Intro

All content of this blog is my own opinion only. It does not represent the views of any organisation or association I may work for, or be associated with. Nothing within this blog should be considered as medical advice and you should always consult your Doctor.

The Duracell Bunny Baby

The Internet at times seems to have two distinct camps - the "expect them to sleep 12 hours" side, and the "it's normal for babies to only nap for half an hour, never want to be put down/sleep on a chest and wake every hour at night" side.

I (as usual) don't fit in either.

I often read from other mothers that very broken sleep must be normal, because their baby does it - some babies, even teeny weeny ones just don't need sleep!  If mums have had several children and some slept great, others not - this reinforces the belief it is personality; and in the past I would have agreed.  We call these babies "spirited" or "high needs", Sears writes a whole chunk about them here; and I think his descriptions are fantastic; but I think we can break it down even further and am not convinced personality is the whole explanation.  Yes babies are meant to be held close on a chest - does this mean that it's therefore normal they never want to lay down?  Babies are meant to sleep next to mum, but did cave woman sleep standing up?

Partly I think this has arisen as direct opposition to the "expecting 12 hours sleep camp", IE embracing baby's cues and being responsive.  But for me responsive parenting can also include exploring if there is a reason baby may be struggling to relax, if the parents feel that's something they need to explore.  That is not the same as suggesting not addressing the reason will lead to "bad sleep habits" or a baby that never sleeps better, babies change a lot as their brains and bodies grow.  Some will naturally iron things out as they mature going into the second half of the first year, some may be nearer 3 or 4 and some may continue to struggle to get to sleep/rise early, although the signs may become more subtle as sleep requirements reduce.

I'm not talking about training them to sleep, leaving them to cry or enforcing strict routines - but really watching baby's body language and cues to see if this is normal personality stuff, or, if he is desperately trying to convey something with constant waking and/or an intense need to suck.

Many parents I have discussed this with are those who have posted seeking advice - and they've mentioned replies are often to co-sleep, sling wear etc; but as they pointed out, what if they're already doing all that and still feel they have an issue?  Some say mum shouldn't ever expect a good chunk of sleep, that this is parenting and again I agree that there will be times baby is fussy and unsettled at night, certainly it's normal for babies to nightfeed - but does that mean therefore that it's typical for a baby to never be settled and sleep for longer than an hour or so?

With a first baby this may be easier, mum can nap when baby naps, head off to bed with baby at 6pm should she fancy - but throw 2,3,4,5 or more other children in to the mix, and/or work outside the home - and things can be very different, some mums are so exhausted they can barely function.

Whilst reassuring mums things are normal can be helpful, and there is a wide range of normal, there is also a range of what parents can cope with -  some may stop co-sleeping/breastfeeding/responsive parenting in a bid to save their own sanity or because their gut instinct is something isn't right, yet they have no idea what.  Whether these "work" in terms of changing behaviour or not is irrelevant, the impact to baby can be significant.

I'm of the belief there can be several reasons for consistently very disturbed sleep patterns or indeed a spirited/high needs infant, none of which involve bad habits, breastfeeding to sleep or baby needing to sleep in a cot to (say it with me) create positive sleep associations.  My feeling is that frequent wakers seek comfort, not that they wake due to a habit or reliance on said comfort to remain asleep; but what I want to focus on today, because it's a matter close to my own heart is the Duracell Bunny Babies (DBB).

How do you know if you have one of these?

Generally if the comment: "just go with the flow, babies will always sleep when they're tired" makes you laugh out loud, it's a pretty good indication; well they might, but no longer than 35/40 minutes in one nap (consistently), even if exhausted.  In exchange they might take lots and lots of little naps, day and night - or may stay awake for most of the day from a very young age and then wake frequently at night too.

The reality is that some babies do not sleep well despite being tired.  Nope, Nada no way - DBB are called such because they rarely seem to run out of energy!

DBB's according to Sears are:
"HYPERACTIVE"
"This feature of high need babies, and its cousin hypertonic, are directly related to the quality of intensity. Hypertonic refers to muscles that are frequently tensed and ready to go, tight and waiting to explode into action. The muscles and mind of high need children are seldom relaxed or still. "Even as a newborn, I could feel the wiry in him," one mother related
."
Whilst many would recognise this in a toddler, being "tense and tight" are not characteristics we typically link with the label hyperactivity.  I like "hyper switched on/hyper alert", as I feel it's more descriptive.  Their muscles are often frequently tensed and tight - their muscles and minds do seldom relax, but is this always easy to recognise this in a baby?  I've put together some of the indicators I think define a DBB.:

Signs of a DBB:

  • Baby appears very physically strong - many comment they head their head very early, sometimes from birth.  When they arch and push with their legs they feel strong and many are very early movers.  This is not related to size - baby may appear unusually strong for age/size.
  • Baby is very alert from a very young age - being "very alert" is very difficult to describe, but many mums of DBB comment how alert their baby is (and often others have too) they are often described as "very switched on".
  • They don't show tired cues - whereas when a typical baby starts to become tired, they slow down start to relax and show tired cues; the DBB is opposite.  They flip from awake to asleep without the relaxing/showing cues/unwinding.  One minute they can be playing happily, the next rubbing their eyes (an overtired cue) and if you have a tool like feeding to sleep/pram at this point, will typically suddenly zonk for a power-nap. Many DBB in my experience use either feeding/motion to sleep - not through habit but because it assists relaxation, they tend to be like marmite when it comes to  prams/carseats/motion, and either love or hate it.
  • Hyper when overtired - some have a slightly longer window of doing the stage above than others, some flip straight to the almost hyperactive behaviour a very overtired baby displays.  They may struggle to keep still, fidget, fuss and cry a "tired cry".  Some resume play seemingly full of energy again although they may be short tempered or as one mum described "manic" flipping from laughing to crying in quick succession.  The parent ultimately feels the baby is tired yet wont sleep!
  • Struggle to stay asleep - all babies have periods of unsettled sleep, for DBB's it's consistent and persistent month after month and comes with other signs here (as mentioned above babies can have unusually disturbed sleep for other reasons).  Baby may show signs of exhaustion with purple/blue bags appearing under eyes (whilst this may be a sign of food intolerance, lack of sleep will give you them too!) yet still no longer naps or stretches appear.  In fact often the more tired a DBB becomes, it seems the less they sleep!
  • Co-sleeping makes no difference - baby still consistently wakes 1-2 hourly, it's likely to be more bearable but DBB's may want to be awake and playing in the middle of the night, regardless of where they are.  Others have an intense sucking need and are described as "Velcro babies who would stay permanently attached given a choice."
  • Constantly moving - sit and watch a DBB and you will note they never keep still, even when tired  they do not relax.  A leg may be bouncing, an arm wiggling - but they're in some way always constantly on the move when not asleep.
  • Mum feels baby is tired - some mums will acknowledge their baby isn't sleeping the huge stretches many mainstream books state they will, but that they are happy, settled and content with the sleep they are receiving.  Others though have a gut feeling their baby is just not getting enough sleep and desperately want to help them sleep better.
  • Baby is very sensitive to mum's emotions - something I've noticed is that if you take an already tense baby, and you add a tense/frustrated mum, a lot of DBB's will become even more tense/unsettled and will struggle even more to settle; for some even just laying there willing baby to sleep seems to be enough to unsettle them!  If you're beginning to feel this way & are holding baby "change of arms" can help IE passing to partner can work, if no spare arms available laying down next to them on your bed or suchlike can be an alternative.  If you're "sleep willing", try and do some relaxation/breathing exercises yourself (great to teach DBB if they're still struggling in toddler hood too) to clear your mind and truly relax yourself, and you can sometimes be amazed how quickly this will help baby to settle too.  If all else fails taking a shower with baby is something many mums comment can be a good stress buster if home alone.
  • May cry before sleep or upon waking - especially if tired, some DBB can seem prone to almost needing to cry to settle and again when waking ie they wake fussy and grumpy not happy and well rested.  Parents sometimes say he cries whether I'm holding him or not so I may as well put him down, but crying in arms is very different to crying alone.
Identifying why your baby is struggling to relax is perhaps the hardest piece of the puzzle because it can be several causes or just one, so finding someone to help work through things can be difficult; reasons can range from an undiagnosed tongue tie, food sensitivities, cranial or structural discomfort from birth and so on.  Something I believe can help these babies in the meantime is.....wait for it......*whispers* a rough sleep routine *sharp intake of breath".

Before you hit close hear me out!

Just because baby doesn't show sleep cues, doesn't mean they don't have a window of time in which it is easier for them to settle to sleep.  Some studies have suggested when a baby becomes overtired their bodies produce adrenalin and other "stay awake" chemicals, which is why they can appear to become suddenly energetic.

My own Duracell bunny had a predictable wake up time - OK so it was 5am, but it was predictable.  By playing with the gap from wake up to sleep, rather than watching her cues - I found trying to assist sleep at a particular time had more success than others; with the highest success rate before she showed any sleepy cues at all (the window was so small from this to overtired, she didn't get the "wind down" time she needed).  I started with the morning nap and then worked my way through the day, once I had a rough idea of times I then adjusted accordingly this based on how well she had napped earlier.

Of course the easiest way to do this with a younger baby is sling wearing - most sleep in a sling so they are "in position" for when they start to become tired.  Contact and movement can help many DBB's relax (some resist contact and the sling and arch away) and with many carriers a small adjustment can be made to manoeuvre material, and help cut out visual stimulation for baby (which some DBB seem to really need).  Some slightly older babies seem to prefer a back ride to a front carry; resting their head sideways on the wearers's back to nod off.

If this isn't possible/doesn't work/baby is older and wants to be down playing -  you can try putting baby in the sling at what you've worked out as the "optimum times".  Despite what any book tells you this will be variable for each baby. As an example when my daughter was taking three naps, she needed to be relaxed and ready to sleep two hours after she woke for the first sleep, despite books etc saying she should have a longer gap for her age.  

Clock watching is a total pain - if you have a baby that is happy without, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone!  But if you're struggling it's something you can try and which may help a little..

The last thing I would add is that the DBB can easily seem to get stuck in a cycle when overtired, the less sleep they get, the more frequently they wake.

Something that can sometimes help is "sleep cramming", which is doing anything and everything that works to maximise sleep for a day or two IE laying down with them when they nap, feeding them back off if they stir (and you're breastfeeding) long walks in the sling/pram.  Sometimes helping them catch up during the day can pay dividends at night/early morning wake up time - but with some it can be easier said than done.  White noise, reducing stimulation eg colours, sounds etc can also help "switch off", whilst I would never endorse baby napping in a dark quiet space as important (it's oftenblooming inconvenient)- for some DBB in my experience it does make a big difference; in my daughter even encouraging her to turn and face the wall instead of gazing around her room had a dramatic effect.

Above all remember your baby is not waking to manipulate you or because of anything you have (or haven't) done.   They're not trying to be spirited, or "high needs", or challenging, or whichever term you prefer to use,    in fact they're just as bewildered as you (if not more so).  Instead of being left to cry or trained, these babies in fact need more understanding and sensitivity than your average bear; whilst I've met many mothers who have regretted not responding more, I'm yet to meet one who wishes they had responded less - regardless of what the mainstream books say.

38 comments:

  1. My son is still a Duracell Bunny Baby at 2 years old!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Describes my son still at 8 years..

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a great post. There are times when it seems I have the only baby in the world who flips from happy laughing to desperate eye-rubbing followed by howling in just minutes, so it's reassuring to have another name for it and to see it described so well. Clock-watching is starting to work for us, though I never thought that I'd do this - this morning I took him to the cot for a nap just over 2 hours after waking, even though he seemed bright as a button, and he went off without a murmur, which I'm pretty sure shows he needed it. I have to say it's a pain, though, and makes me feel I'm turning into one of those fretty fussy mothers who's obsessed with sleep times, in a way I never thought I'd be.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This absolutely describes my now 5 year old son who only slept 45 minutes in a row for the first 3 years. I would love to be able to go back and tr this out. I did bedshare and sling wear and breastfeed constantly haha. We have no found out he has a Tongue Tie and severe sleep apnea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you mean 'now found out'? What is severe sleep apnea? How did you find out?

      Delete
  5. Wow that's my 3 year old spot on! He woke at least every 2 hours until he was 2 even with co sleeping and rarely napped. He runs around with endless energy and is even worse when tired. He does not eat much either. My second son is similar but not so 'hectic'. AA this make so much sence to me I have been told that it's my fault my oldest does/did not sleep as i for fed him to sleep and co slept. My second still wakes frequently but he is different.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I spoke to you about my own Duracell bunny a few weeks ago. AD found a small posterior bond that may need to be divided and I have a card FULL of information to give his osteoopath. Really hoping there's an improvement when we see the osteopath as we're already doing all the lovely AP things and I literally have no life as I spend 3-4 hours a day with him napping on my chest in a dark room, and another 12 hours (if I'm lucky) in bed at night with him... in a dark room.

    I had to send my washing out this week as I can't stay on top of it. I refuse to believe it's his personality, because he seems genuinely uncomfortable/in pain when he sleeps alone or wakes up.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Everything you said describes both my girls to a T. My older daughter is 7.5 and of course she's capable of some self-regulation now, but she still gets sillier and more hyper the tireder she gets, and the later she goes to bed the earlier she will wake up. When she was a baby I was extremely well-rested because I slept and napped with her every single moment until she was about 10 months old, when we got an AmbyBaby hammock and she would sleep in that for about an hour at a time.

    My younger daughter is almost 1. She took all her naps in the Ergo for the first 7-8 months of her life, and I totally had to watch the clock to see when it was time for her to sleep because she wouldn't let me know with any of the typical cues, or if they were there they were extremely subtle and easy to miss since I was parenting two kids.

    I don't think it's possible to truly understand the difference between a Duracell Bunny baby (hee, in the U.S. we call it the Energizer Bunny!) and a baby with more "normal" sleep patterns unless you've lived with one, but this post would be an excellent start to helping someone understand!

    ReplyDelete
  8. My.first and.third.are like this. The oldest now 10 years old was by far the hardest. He slept in 20 increments.until 3 months old totaling 6-8 hrs a day. He is still very hyper and if left to his own devices will stay awake through his second wind, then passout. But he will sleep like a champ now...he just has to.get to.sleep.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Our son was most definitely one of these babies... Drove me so crazy when people assumed that cosleeping was some magic solution.

    I found it useful when I learned that the human Basic Rest and Activity Cycle for humans is 90 minutes and babies are most likely to go to sleep easily at multiples of 90 minutes after they last woke up, so at about 80 minutes after they wake up, you want to go somewhere dark and start soothing them rather than e.g. trying to entertain them. I wish I'd known this from the start as I suspect that it might have made our baby's sleep problems less drastic (we did eventually resort to sleep training in utter desperation, albeit of the variety where we stayed with our son rather than leaving him alone)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow! This was my daughter. She's not so bad now, but I don't know if that's because we've adapted to her needs. We're lucky if she has more than 10hours sleep at night, and no naps during the day (or she'll be up till after midnight). But both my partner and I were diagnosed as hyperactive as children, so I guess I expected sleep issues. My friends used to think I was mad, keeping my baby up till I went to bed, but it worked for us. I think using a sling and bedsharing saved my sanity. Thanks for sharing this, its good to know we're not alone!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh this brought back memories. We broke the overtired/can't sleep/more overtired cycle by introducing an electric swing with sideway motion. Not what I wanted to do, but it was the only thing that worked and once we had a nap pattern, all else fell into place. Sling didn't work for us, at least not at home. How lovely though to have a second baby that is different and realising that it really had nothing to do with parenting style!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post! I never realised this had a name! She was 2 days old when she lifted her head and looked around while on her tummy, about a week old when we realised she can hold her weight on her legs and 9 months when she got up and started running around. We were lucky in the way she likes her sleep, but I breastfeed her to sleep at 17 months. Sometimes she gets so hyper before bed that even the boob can't calm her down and I have to hold her tight for about a minute (she hates being constrained) until she loosens up. I hate that bit, I feel like a terrible person, but I've yet to find another way to calm her down in this situation. Any suggestions perhaps? Other than that I love her being such an active and happy kid, she's fascinating to watch!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is sooooo my now 4 yr old! He was an early mover - rolled at 4 months and walking at 10 mths- and nearly drove me Mad with the 30-40 min cat naps. We tried the pram, the sling, rocking chair, etc and it was always a struggle to get him to sleep and usually involved tears. Once he started going to sleep in the car (still with tears but less of them) I used to drive him to sleep on the nearby highway! He only started napping longer when at about 10monhs I decided to start napping with him. After about 2 weeks of that he started sleeping a little longer. He still winds up tighter and gets louder and sillier the more tired he is, tho thankfully now he'll go to sleep easily when we lay down wih him and start reading him a bedtime book.

    ReplyDelete
  14. OMG when have you been sneaking into my house to study my baby?!

    I have a few friends at the mo who have none sleeping babies. I think this will help them as well as me.

    Thank you so, so much!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fab article! Exactly describes my DD, and she is also a very light sleeper. Despite 2 tongue tie releases and quite a few osteopathy sessions she still seems to have fully charged batteries! To anyone else they wouldn't know she was actually tired when she goes into overdrive. I too have found the clock watching to be the answer. I am looking forward to the times when she doesn't need as much sleep in the day so that it doesn't seem to be so much of a battle. Any ideas on helping a DBB sleep for longer when out and about? She really struggles to switch off, and when she finally does (I usually have to turn the pram seat around to face me) it is only for 30-40 mins.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Fantastic post. This is my son (20 months). I became very high strung about his sleep and clock watching but it was necessary to keep him calm and happy. People who don't have experience with these sorts of babies don't understand!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is partly my daughter. She's always been one to go, go, go, crash (from birth!), and she does get hyper when she gets overtired. She also rolled over at 1 week! But in general she's also laid-back about many things.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I definitely have one of these - and we're still dealing with the hyper-hyper at 8 years old! I've met quite a few DBBs in my time as a doula and I have to pull out all my tricks of the trade to help them sleep - usually the sling (with material draped to cut out visual stimuli), dancing, humming a boring tune and rhythmic patting of the bum finally gets them off. I've also noticed that some like a swaying dance, others like an up and down movement, and some like to feel the vibrations of my feet stamping on the floor...I can 'hypnotise some by stroking down their foreheads down between their eyes and down their noses with my finger, very gently in a rhythmic manner. Others, when they get to that 'stare-y' state can have their eyes gently closed by a gentle stroking hand down over their face. It's about being sensitive to the cues, getting to know who this little person is and what they need from a care-giver to assist them to sleep. I so agree, AA that people who say babies will just sleep when they're tired haven't worked with many babies!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you, AA. So glad to hear a middle ground to how to cope with the dbb :). My middlest was such a baby and at 5 years old she still has to climb on her bed and spin like a puppy before she finally flops over and sleeps. At least 2 nights week she'll get up and need something in the night.
    She was bf, slinged, co slept, home birthed, treated by a cranial ost. And baby massaged every day. We had a very vague routine set in place by her older brother who thrived on regular sleep times.
    Every night I'd fall asleep around 7 with her, sneak off for some dinner but never eat it coz shed be wailing and wake her brother. After that if I even rolled away from her in the night she would scream blue murder. Putting her in a cot was unthinkable. Letting daddy deal with her was also out of the question, she bit, scratched and drew blood if it wasn't me next to her. She woke every 20-40 mins til age 3.5. When we night weaned at age 2.5 she screamed for 10 days and nights straight, the neighbours would knock on the door, worried!
    At age 3.5 one night after shed bitten her brother for hugging me I sent her to her own bed. She screamed and banged her toys against the neighbor's wall, and when I tried to stop her she ran to the front door (whilt I was trying to put her bitten brother to bed) she yelled out the letterbox that her mummy wasn't looking after her!
    I was exhausted, frustrated beyond words and miserable. U had no head space and our marriage was falling apart. When I looked for advice I'd beAt my self up for not having more patience with her, and I never met anyone else who had a baby like it, or even believed me! The ppl I knew thought I was crazy for not using CIO and medised.
    So your post is like therapy, and I hope it helps all the other mums out there who are dealing with the same :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sounds like my brother as a baby - he only slept between 5am and 7am from 4months to 22m then had a few months of sleeping better then back to not sleeping until he was about 3. Even though it was the 70s my parents took it in turns to stay up with him as they didn't want to leave him alone (dad worked mum was a SAHM). He did have bottles upon bottles of calpol though as it was put down to teething :-0

    ReplyDelete
  21. This explains my 12 month old to tee. I instinctively knew he was everything you described a DBB to be, but I didn't have a definition (except from Dr Sears) or a solution. The impact on a mother's life is HUGE. I don't think other mothers realise it. I am an exhausted mess from the last year. My body & emotions are in serious trouble. I'd like to know what you do when the sling is no longer viable? (I developed chronic shoulder/neck pain from wearing him for the first 6 mths).

    ReplyDelete
  22. thank you - you have just escribed my son Charlie perfectly. Just nice to know that we're not alone!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. A lot of you sound like the kids have food allergies...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Well, clearly you've met my son!! He is still very much like that at 2, although thankfully does sleep a lot better now. My mum says I was just like this as a baby too. Makes me wonder if there's a genetic link or if I mother my son just the same way I was mothered, in effect almost causing this behaviour?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Have you considered also linking into dietary influences? Once weaned is there any connection with blood sugar peaks/introduction of refined foods? Before weaning what about caffeine and stimulants in the mothers diet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not drink any coffee or tea or take any sort of stimulant and this describes my baby to a T.

      Delete
  26. Yes. Yes. And yes. This is my 14mo daughter to a T. I used feel like I was talking in circles when I was telling minders that they need to get her in the pram (as the plan was to walk her to sleep as I didn't expect them to pop her in the sling) about 30 minutes before she was "due" to get tired. Once she is tired - you've missed your chance!

    It has been very hard to pin point her sleep cues but we are getting there and massage before bed has helped wonders. We still rock her to sleep though and we need to stand up as she is just can't settle if we sit down.

    Great article. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  27. My now 23 m.o. was just like this for the first 9-12 months or so. He's much calmer now although night sleep is still variable (naps are almost always good).

    Naps were hideous and night-time sleep wasn't great until we instituted a rough nap schedule at 6 months, when things improved hugely.

    I still bf him to sleep (or rock if feeding doesn't work).

    Interestingly (given some of the comments above), we have just discovered that he has a nut allergy, although not to a nut I ate much of when he was younger.

    Now during the day he's very chilled and has a huge attention span when he's entertaining himself (which he does a lot).

    He's definitely more sensitive to external stimuli than some children, and pretty responsive to my feelings.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is my baby. He is a high needs all night feeder. He is 20 months. Nothing will wind him down. He stopped feeding to sleep during the day at 8 weeks of age and I had to walk for hours with him screaming to squeeze any sleep out of him. He would never accept a pacifier, a comfort toy/rug, a dream feed, rocking, and he refused a sling from birth. He also refused to be swaddled from birth. He also had reflux so we slept sitting up for the first 6 or 7 months. I could not detach him from the breast at all. I can now a little bit but he feeds for half the night still.

    To the people who can massage their kids, how on earth do you make them sit still? That is impossible and always has been for my child. I tried and tried for months when he was a little one. But he was crawling at 4 months (even earlier in his sleep), walking at 8 months and pulling himself to stand before he could crawl. We used to call him planky because he was always as stiff as a board. He now kicks a leg for an hour or two until he is asleep. If there isn't a total black out in the room there is no way sleep will happen. I feed him to sleep but it still takes a very long time. He has never slept for more than 4 hours. His usual is 1 hour. He often wakes at 1am and screams until 5 or 6 (with me or my husband there). If I feed him he stays awake for the same amount of time, but doesn't scream. He didn't string 2 sleep cycles together until he was 9 months old.

    If anyone has any wind down tactics, I'd love to hear them. Nothing has worked. We have a routine, but he just learns what it is and refuses to take part as he knows it signifies bed. I'm going back to work so it's all a big nightmare. We exist on very little sleep and we have tried everything.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is my baby too! Needs pitch balck quiet to sleep, doesn't have the usual sleep cues, is happy and content even on very little sleep, is very active and physical and has been since birth, is a nightmare to get to sleep and keep asleep! If I hadn't had another baby first who was completely different, I'd have thought it was me!
    I've become a clock-watcher naturally, which frustrated me as it was the opposite of the free and easy way we responded to our daughter's sleep, but it is more successful with our son, and I'm glad to hear that this works for others too.
    I have also noticed that if he falls asleep, but is woken up, it is almost impossible to get him back to sleep (not much fun with a noisy toddler around) for about another hour. Is this other people's experience?
    He too seems to sleep better if he cries for 5 minutes or so first, which I don't enjoy, but it wierdly seems to settle him?!
    The one thing that is saving my sanity currently is an android mobile app called 'baby soother'. I set it to 'ocean waves' for 99 minutes as I feed him to sleep, with the 'noise activation' setting on. If he does wake (naturally, not because of noisy toddler) he often re-settles within a couple of minutes. I hate relying on such a thing, but it is making a big difference to both night and day sleeping.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is exactly my 7 mo!! What makes it more difficult is living with my overbearing Inlaws who have told my hub that I'm being rude to them when I ask that they don't overstimulate her jus as I'm about to take her up to TRY to nap! They think I'm mad for watching the click n should jus let my baby be, particularly as "she doesn't look tired"... Grrr!! Most of the time she passes the OT stage and starts playing in hyper mode - reinforcing their opinion that she doesn't need to sleep yet. They don't ever have to put her to sleep so it annoys me that they Don't understand how much more difficult they ate making it for me... Bath time gets interrupted by hyper MIL! I can't get her wake timing correct cos MIL always wants chores done when she insists right there n then - and dictates my time particularly when lo is hyper playing but I kno she's super tired... Reading this post has made me feel better.
    Lo naps on me during the day which makes MIL think I'm just trying to get out of housework or lazing about upstairs with her. Doesn't realise how stressful it can b when tryin to get ur baby to sleep cos only u seem to recognise the importance of her getting the right amount of sleep...

    ReplyDelete
  31. My Dbb doesn't like the sling and will only nap on me. If I try getting her to sleep in cot she will just play around and either then become hyper or start crying. So I rarely put her in the cot for daytime naps as she will just completely miss the nap instead. It's so much easier to get Her to sleep on me. But then I'm stuck there n can't get anything else done. Any tips?
    At night she is More likely to put herself to sleep in cot after a nice feed And lots of patting, or else she'll feed to sleep!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. This describes my bubba boy to a T. He is almost 1yr old and is absolutely a DBB. I thought we were the only ones going through this extreme lack of sleep. I co sleep with him and he still wakes a few times during the night. I breastfeed him back to sleep and he nods off again quickly but often wants to stay attached. As for day time sleeps, maybe 2 20-30 minute naps. He's very clingy, lots of cuddles and I can't leave the room without him crawling after me and crying if I'm out of sight. My 1st 2 slept beautifully, my 3rd needed to co sleep but she would sleep through the night but this little bunny is busy busy busy.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am wondering how you got to understand his nap times and how you put your baby 'down'. Mine gets drowsy, but in a few seconds is vividly awake again, either because I move or because he wakes himself up. I am trying to find a method that gives him rest, but avoids him to have to cry it out, since he really still doesn't understand that the crib is for sleeping.. even when putting him down drowsy (now he's 2 months). So how do I do that!? I am curious to hear all of your stories and thoughts.. thanks a lot..

    ReplyDelete
  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I feel like you left out the part of the article I was most waiting to hear. You said early on in the article, "...Responsive parenting can also include exploring if there is a reason baby may be struggling to relax...", but you never go into that. You touched very, very briefly on it but then ignored it altogether. Instead you focused on what you can do "in the meantime" to try to help a little to get your baby to sleep. I really would like to hear what you think can be causes of babies not wanting to relax.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Totally describes my son. I decided to clock watched for naps after 4 months of struggling to get him to sleep and feed well I thought at least I had control somewhere. It was very difficult to tell when he was tired. All the advise was about being baby led and all the mums I knew thought I was being neurotic but i went with my gut and he responded so well to a routine. I did do some sleep training to teach him how to get to sleep on his own as he got really distracted with cosleeping and wanted to play, and also his arms and legs used to flail about and he moved a lot in his sleep so it kept me awake. Was also tiring for me wearing sing as he was always moving. He's 3 now and as long as you catch the sleep window for bedtime he goes to sleep no bother and stays asleep for 11 hours. So glad I put in the hard work early on :)

    ReplyDelete