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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1722
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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I am having a horrible time getting my baby to sleep where

Resolved Question:

I am having a horrible time getting my baby to sleep where he "should" be and at night for any extended period. Home from the hospital he never wanted to sleep in his bassinet only on us. We finally were able to get him to sleep in the crib but it would only be for a couple hours then couldn't get him back to sleep. After a couple of weeks he liked sleeping in his car seat, so we let him do that every night. But this scared me as I read it was unsafe for SIDS and now he is too big to sleep in it nowhere to move around. So back to the bassinet.... He sleeps for an hour or 2, then up screaming, change him, feed him, try to get him to sleep again but might wake up 30 minutes later unhappy. HELP!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.

CoachJenK :

How old is your baby?

CoachJenK :

hi

Customer:

15 weeks


I know it seems like I should have been doing this a long time ago....

CoachJenK :

no not at all...I think it is the other way around....still very young and now is really the time to just start setting up the good sleep habits.

CoachJenK :

I think if you take that pressure off you can relax a bit.

CoachJenK :

tell me about feeding schedule, formula bottle etc.

CoachJenK :

does he use a pacifier?

Customer:

he doesn't have a schedule per say - he eats 6 oz. formula bottle about every 3 hours during the day which usually ends up being about 5 feedings every 24 hours

CoachJenK :

there is an old funny saying that goes like this..."anyone who says they have slept like a baby has never had one." :-)

Customer:

and yes he uses a pacifier


 

CoachJenK :

ahhh I like what you just said...doesnt really have a schedule....time to start putting one in place.

CoachJenK :

where does he nap during the day?

CoachJenK :

babies need to be taught how to sleep...and to go back to sleep and it takes time, patience and sometimes sheer exhaustion on your part but it does happen.

Customer:

i have tried with the schedule but sometimes he gets hungry before his feeding time

Customer:

he naps in his crib at my in laws for about an hour or in the car seat at their hours for an hour or 2


 

CoachJenK :

and what about a schedule around sleep

CoachJenK :

they watch him during the day? anyway for him to be at his own hom and the in laws with him?

CoachJenK :

the reason I say this is that in order to establish great sleeping the more we can keep his routine the same the better chance we have and that means sleeping as much as you can in the same place.

CoachJenK :

so his crib in his home would be ideal

CoachJenK :

if that is not possible then okay but i am just giving you the ideal.

Customer:

no it s not unfortunately

CoachJenK :

ok so we work from there....they in laws must do the same thing you do before he sleeps and if he wakes so that there is little confusion.

CoachJenK :

crib training can take some time

CoachJenK :

as well as learning to go back on his own.

CoachJenK :

so a full bottle, burp, clean diaper and then in.

Customer:

Yes my husband is going to tell them tonight to please make sure whatever we work on this weekend they continue to do


 

CoachJenK :

if he wakes he cries for two minutes...if he doesnt stop you go in...do not pick him up, but gently pat his back for 5 seconds and repeat the mantra....all is okay it is time to sleep.

CoachJenK :

he will protest and scream when you leave the room.

CoachJenK :

next time you wait 3 minutes and go back in and pat and say the mantra.

CoachJenK :

no other talking or cooing, nothing just the mantra in a flat voice.

CoachJenK :

you dont want him to think he is missing anything by sleeping.

CoachJenK :

he doesnt get picked up...he gets a reassuring pat and a mantra.

CoachJenK :

it could take 4-5 long days and nights but it does get better as long as the routine is the same no matter where. But I would strongly urge that he is only placed in a crib no matter where he is

Customer:

ok - how long do i do the back and forth until i say OK he needs to be picked up or needs to be fed, etc.?

CoachJenK :

at his age his length of time should get better as he can go longer between feedings.

CoachJenK :

I would ask your pediatrician how often they are recommending he be fed through the night. because it may be that he only needs one feeding if your last one is late and his first one in the morning is early.

CoachJenK :

so maybe it is an 11pm 2am and then 6-6:30 and any other time he does not get picked up....if your doc says he can go the night without it then i would not pick up and just practice this training. It will not be easy...I wont lie but he will get it if you are CONSISTENT if you cave he will know it and scream louder and longer the next time

CoachJenK :

I went through it with my twins...and it was hell but it worked and they now sleep all night unless they are sick.

CoachJenK :

it is not cruel...it is for their health and growth too as they need to learn to do it on their own.

CoachJenK :

but he is still young so again go easy and take it slwo.

CoachJenK :

*slow

Customer:

what if he gets to that point where he is screaming and it sounds like he's choking - i hate that :-(


 

CoachJenK :

you go in...check on him reassure him with the pats.

CoachJenK :

there are many different schools of thought out there...I just believe that when you pick up you are teaching him...i cry loud enough and long enough and I will get picked up.

Customer:

what if I do this for a week and it's not getting any better?


 

CoachJenK :

http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/baby-sleep-training.aspx

CoachJenK :

Stick with it. I would not suggest going backwards. He will protest but he needs to sleep and he needs to learn how to go back on his own. Get the help and thoughts of your doc as well.

CoachJenK :

usually it is about 4-5 days of really tough stuff but then it begins to ease.

CoachJenK :

Here is another link to look at. http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-ferber-method-demystified_7755.bc

CoachJenK :

if he is sick that is a different story...but that is not what we are talking about here.

CoachJenK :

you still here with me?

Customer:

i keep reading these things that say to put him down when he's drowsy but we joke around and call him "narco" baby because he tends to fall asleep while eating


 

CoachJenK :

then put him right in the crib

CoachJenK :

do not let him doze in your arms

CoachJenK :

that one minute of sleep can cause him not to sleep

CoachJenK :

even 30 seconds of sleep in your arms while eating can give him the second wind.

Customer:

what if he hasn't burped? should i still put him in crib?

CoachJenK :

do you burp him through the feeding or only at the end?

Customer:

he tends to scream when the bottle is taken away and screams until he burps and gets it back, so I burp him after each 3 oz.


 

Customer:

and he just started that a few weeks ago not sure why


 

CoachJenK :

okay maybe give him 4 ounces and then a burp so he feels a bit more satisfied.

CoachJenK :

it sounds to me like oyu are doing a great job....

CoachJenK :

things will fall into place with a bit more consistency

Customer:

so when i let him cry - how long? an hour, 2?


 

CoachJenK :

I would start with 3 minutes of crying without going in...then go in with the mantra...mommy is here it is time to sleep while giving him 3-4 reassuring pats then leave the room. then I would wait for minutes.

CoachJenK :

four minutes

CoachJenK :

then 5 and 6

CoachJenK :

the longer time you put in small increments the more chance he has to learn to get back on his own.

CoachJenK :

does that make sense?

CoachJenK :

you might have a few nights of going in every bit as i am suggesting but after it he starts to see that there is no gain to cry and he will doze off

CoachJenK :

and that helps him to go back on his own when he wakes through the night

CoachJenK :

if you let him cry for an hour as you asked and then pick him up you teach him that he needs to keep crying and eventually you will come pick him up

CoachJenK :

if you go in with the reassurance with an increase in the interval you are helping him to do it on his own.

Customer:

ok i will start trying this then

CoachJenK :

and touch base with pediatrician about the feeding through the night.

Customer:

should he have a nap at the same time every day like 10 and 3?


 

CoachJenK :

soon you will all be sleeping...I promise...if I can do with with twins you can too.

CoachJenK :

exactly....the same time no matter what and the same place

Customer:

and how should they handle putting him down for a nap if he is not tired and is crying?


 

CoachJenK :

same way as you do at night...trust me he is tired..

CoachJenK :

crying is okay....he is crying cause hes tired and wants to sleep and he is crying cause he wants someone to do it for him.

CoachJenK :

routine routine routine

CoachJenK :

then he will know what to expect and he will feel safe to doze off

CoachJenK :

during naps...if the crying and going in happens for one hour and he doesnt sleep then nap time is over and then you must keep him up until the next nap

CoachJenK :

he iwll learn that this is the time for sleep and where.

CoachJenK :

*will

Customer:

ok - what if i have more questions and want to chat more? Can i request you specifically?

CoachJenK :

absolutely. the next time you come to the site and ask your question..at the beginning of it write for CoachJenK only and it will come to me.

CoachJenK :

I hope I have given you excellent support and will take a moment now to rate me that way.

Customer:

ok - what about the pacifier?


 

CoachJenK :

If I have not please let me know so I can help you further.

Customer:

should i keep giving it to him when he starts to cry?


 

CoachJenK :

in terms of what placing it back in?

CoachJenK :

then you become hostage to doing it every time.

CoachJenK :

place a few in the crip around him so he can start to reach for them

CoachJenK :

you dont want him to cry for pcai and you have to go in each time it falls out

CoachJenK :

it is really hard not to but you can do it.

CoachJenK :

when he is screaming listen to something calming for yourself...music, relaxation, whatever works.

Customer:

ok - last question - is there a way for me to print this out? LOL

CoachJenK :

lol. once you give me a fabulous (lol) rating you will receive it in an email

CoachJenK :

youd still get it if you gave me a terrible rating.

CoachJenK :

:-)

Customer:

great - thank you!

Customer:
CoachJenK :

my pleasure. good luck and soon you will all be sleeping.

Customer:
CoachJenK :

CONSISTENCY

Customer:
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1722
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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