Share experiences and give advice and tips on effective strategies for getting troopers to sleep.


Postby Team Hope » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:12 pm

Attention fellow Commando Dads first time parents require urgent help! Sleeping (or LACK of) is causing us major problems at Team Hope HQ :evil: Our BT is nearly 11 months old and we have had what could be considered a full nights sleep on only a handful of occasions :roll:

Our bedtime routine is well established and has been from an early stage, our BT goes upstairs at 18:00 for bath, bottle and bed... And she is out for the count at 19:00.... That side of things is not a problem! (And hasn't ever been) On a handful of occasions she has slept from 19:00 until 05:00 which we can cope with, but these are very rare and few and far between and definitely not a regular occurrence! :(

At the moment our BT is going to bed at 19:00 and wakes up without fail at 22:00! We have tried everything and anything from dream feeding her to crying it out but nothing seems to work?! (Currently writing this as we are all sat downstairs watching Baby Jake as BT was screaming blue murder & we could take no more!)

last few nights it's been bed at 19:00, wake up at 22:00... Then after cry it out etc she goes back off by 23:30, wakes again at 01:30 whole process starts again, back off to sleep and then up at 03:30 and won't go back off to sleep until 06:30 (which is then only a short cat nap) :evil:

This is having a major impact on our lives here at Team Hope HQ! Mon - Fri I'm at work (08:30-17:00) which means when I get back home from work I entertain little one before bed, then when she is down we have to try grab some food and then get our heads down as we don't know when BT is going to wake (Our friends think we are mad as we don't/can't do anything during the week)

I don't have any family support and we only have my in-laws (BT's gran & grandad) but they have said they won't have BT overnight until she sleeps thru... So we are stuck in a vicious circle!! Got to admit we are very envious of our friends who have babies similar ages to ours who go to there grandparents at least once a week! Not saying that we want our BT to go to her grandparents on a regular basis but once or twice so we could get a full nights sleep once in a while would be a god send! I understand why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture :lol:

My wife's year maternity is up & she is teacher (who before BT arrived needed lots of sleep) and is dreading returning to work full time with little or no sleep! Today she got up with BT at 03:30 and left me to sleep for a few hours before work (which I needed) and on the weekend I will do likewise so she can catch up....

HELP! Any ideas/suggestions etc would be appreciated!
Team Hope
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Postby Team Hope » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:54 am

So last night Ruby was crashed out at 18:45 (after her bath and bottle) put her down and she was out for the count.... 22:00 she was up wide awake moving around in the cot wanting to be out.... We tried the cry it out which resulted in her screaming the place down (loudest she has ever screamed) it was only when we heard a loud thump (she had hit her head on the bars of the cot) we had to abandon the cry it out, Mrs H brought her into our bed (hoping that she might doze off in her arms so we could put her back in the cot) but this only seemed to excite Ruby who clearly wanted to be up and playing!!!! She didn't go back off to sleep until 01:30 ish and was up (as we knew she would be) at 05:00 on the dot (that wake up time is ingrained) :evil:

So we have two tired/zombie looking parents who are both shattered! The joys of parenthood eh? :mrgreen:
Team Hope
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Postby CommandoDad » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:28 am

OMG TEAM HOPE! You are officially having a NIGHTMARE!

I have to pop off to pick up my son from a Sleep-Over, but I'll get back to you today.

Keep your chins up guys, which I know can be a challenge when you've had very little or no sleep. This situation will improve, even if you feel right now, it's for EVER!

Kind regards,

Neil Sinclair.
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:32 pm


Postby virtualsid » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:34 pm

Hi Team Hope,

I know there is a fair bit of advice in the Commando Dad book about routines and the like, and how to do 'night manoeuvres'! A few of them we don't follow yet - like no proper routines (big move coming, and just can't create a routine yet that makes sense to any of us).

I thought it might be helpful to let you know our current experience with our BT, who is almost 3 months - and is exclusively breast fed (not drunk from a bottle since week 1). She also sleeps in a bassinet in the same room as us. We use a dummy fairly often, and especially so at night, if she won't get to sleep on her own.

During the day, she doesn't sleep regularly (much to our disappointment)! Though sometimes, if she's either in the car and/or the pram, she can go for around 4-5 hours of sleep - which is too much really, as she needs a feed after about 2-3 hours, and my wife needs to give her a feed. In any case, normally she tends to feed every 2-3 hours. Though today she went in the middle of the day without a feed for just over 4 hours, which was a bit excessive. She had a BIG feed after that.

Our daytime routine for feeding/sleeping attempts to go like this:
BT gets grouchy/we smell something - change the nappy if BT is awake. See if she's stirring if she's not awake - or if she's been asleep too long (3+ hours) we might just change her anyway. She has previously had bad nappy rash, and we don't want that back!
Play with her after nappy change, and pass her to my wife to feed her, or just hold her if she doesn't want to be played with, or fed.
If she falls asleep while feeding (usually this happens), try and put her in the bassinet to sleep for a while - might only be 30 minutes. Could be an hour or more if we're lucky.

Our evening routine for feeding/sleeping attempts to go like this (after about 7PM):
Change nappy
put into sleeping bag
try to get her to sleep in the bassinet
or, if that doesn't work, back to feeding, until she falls asleep feeding (at the breast)
put into the bassinet if she fell asleep

In the evening, after about 7PM, she tends to get restless, almost feeding non stop until about 10PM.

She'll then start to make noises around 3AM, or 3:30AM, and will almost certainly be awake by 4AM. So I follow the evening 'routine' above, and if we're lucky, she goes back to sleep before 5AM.

She'll then start stirring about 2-3 hours later, and want another change, feed routine. So this is about 7-8AM. We try to let her sleep after a feed then, but it's usually a no-go - she wants to be up and awake for a while.

Neither of us are working at the moment, but it's crazy how tired we both feel she makes us. We don't do regular shifts to give each other a break at the moment - we BOTH wake up when she does, which I'm not sure is sensible - at least it probably won't be when I go back to work...

On the odd occasion, she has slept for 5-6 hours overnight too. Again, we feel this is too much, as my wife realises that she's quite full, and needs to feed the BT, or else it might start to affect her supply.

As our BT isn't gaining as much weight as hoped, we don't want to restrict feeding in any form at this time, even though we rarely get more than 3-4 hours of non stop sleep.

Sometimes when we can't get the BT to sleep, I will bring her into the bed and lay with my arm around her, so my wife feels like she can't roll onto her. We don't have an ideal position to bed share, but we're not opposed to this. Once she's asleep, I can generally carry her to the bassinet no problem.

I was wondering what your routine was when Ruby wakes up at these crazy hours? I can't imagine what this sleep deprivation must be like after almost 11 months..! I can't wait to start getting into a better routine once we move... Hopefully our BT will let us actually sleep for more hours once we start a good daily routine.

Also - based on this subject, I found this link which was quite interesting: http://www.parentingscience.com/baby-sl ... terns.html.
I've also read a section of 'The Science of Parenting' (http://www.amazon.com/The-Science-Paren ... 075663993X) - but didn't finish the whole book. It had some useful information in there, but I would take the tone of the book with a pinch of salt - seems a bit judgemental.

This is a long post, but I hope the last link might help in some way. Whether to understand it's possibly normal (doesn't sound helpful if that is the case), or whether there is anything you can see that might be causing her to wake up and stay awake so frequently and for so long overnight!
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Postby gbjim » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:06 pm

We'll think my first post in a long time so bare with me, my BT is 22 months now and trust me I know what your going through. Rather than Go through routines, discipline etc let me tell you it does get better I promise. Our little angel ( yeah right) would go down at 7:30 and sleep till 6:30 RESULT , however aster a spate of the flu cold etc 6 months ago she has not slept in her own bed for more than 3 hours without screaming the place down every three hours after, so your not alone.

My wife is a teacher also and I work away from home 5 days a week so you can imagine it's not easy for her either. We just do what we can to get her to sleep, if she gets in our bed and sleeps so be it, you need your sleep. Although everyone says it's all about routine, it's all about survival first, ther not going to want to sleep in you pr bed when they are 16 so do what you need to for now and it will settle down eventually.

I hope this other side of the fence advice helps.

Climbers only use ropes to stop the sensible ones getting away !
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Postby stormrider » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:57 am

like jim I've been out of the loop for a while and intermittently catching up.
we have been thru the same thing - not quite as bad at the moment but stumps is up two or three times a night many nights - usually it's dummy or food but try teething powders/gel, stumps started teething at three months and its been going on ever since- poor little sod. when he gets a cold on top of this it makes him a right misery guts. food routine out the window, hardly eating anything - at least we can pile milk into him still.

there is no shame in sleeping whenever and wherever you can - particularly if you are away or driving - 30 minute catnap and a coffee afterwards just might save your life.......

I'd go down the route of - teeth, food, other pain, then onto lonlieness or wanting to play.
it sucks nards I know. but at the weekend one of you go to bed reet early - like six, with earplugs and is left until one am whiel the other stays up, at one or two you swap and the late shift has the early morning laughs while you sleep on - it might be the onyl way you can get thru it for a while,

keep hanging on in there - you will get to the other end - it will just seem like it never comes.
I find i am now drinking so much coffee i ought to have shares in costa....
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Postby anvardy » Tue May 20, 2014 7:51 pm

I hope things have gotten better for you. I don't know enough about older BTs to give you advice there, (we have twin girls 8 weeks old) but for us there is no guarantee of any silent stretch of more than 3 hours. This is what we do to ensure a minimum amount of sleep: we work in shifts, like others here seem to do as well. Granted, I don't see the CO much but it does keep us sane and morale up.

The CO goes to sleep at 21:00. We've put a single bed in the baby-room-to-be and it's sound and light proof. Add some ear plugs and an eye patch for good measure and she goes to sleep. I have the last feed around midnight and I try to get some sleep with the BTs. The BTs sleep beside our bed in co-sleepers. We switch at the point that they wake me up after 02:00. This may be 02:02 or 04:30. Then I go in the single bed and sleep (like a baby ;) ). I can set the alarm at 07:00 which still gives me a guarantee of 5 hours plus the bonus I get if we all sleep after the last feed. The CO gets 5 hours guaranteed plus her bonus if they sleep beyond 02:00 or during her shift. I'm lucky enough to be able to set the alarm at 08:00 sometimes, but even at 07:00, we both get a minimum of 5 hours of sleep.

So, whatever happens during the night, we have at least some solid sleep. You could vary the times to fit other schedules of course.

I hope you don't have to implement this and that it blows over quickly
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