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Sleep training?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    Sleep training?

    A brief survey, to get some insight on possible methods. DH and I are existing on 5 hours or less of sleep every night. We need something to change. I read the no cry sleep solution, but never implemented it. So, I'm seeking any ideas...

    Additional info- my DD is 9 months. She STTN from about 4.5months-7 months and from 7 months til now has been a decline- bedtime (6-630pm)goes well usually but the MOTN wakings are getting worse and worse. Pedi encouraged us to stop MOTN feedings- she usually still has one. She's been rocked to sleep up until now, which I know is a bad habit and will have to be broken as a part of this process.

    1) Did you/will you do any form of sleep training for your LO?

    2) If so, which method? Why did you choose it?

    3) If sleep training has been completed, how did it work? How long did it take?

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    I used a combination of methods over the years. I highly recommend getting a copy of Weissbluth Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby AND a copy of Dr. Ferber's book and actually reading them. People tend to say things like - "We did Ferber you go in and check on them every few minutes." But it works much better if you actually use the very precise schedule laid out in the book.

    Weissbluth discusses reading certain cues to help your baby get to sleep easier. Being "overtired" makes it harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. This is still true with my twins who are almost 4 years old. If we get to bed late, they ALWAYS wake up earlier the next day!!

    I had a night nurse and she helped me sleep train my twins when they were 18 weeks old. We got them sleeping 10-6. By the time they were 5 1/2 months they were sleeping 12 hours a night (6-6).

    I'm not sure how old your LO is but if you're still feeding at night try this. You feed at 7 or 8pm and GO TO BED. DH feeds at the 10 or 11pm feeding. Then you get up for the middle of the night feeding at 2 or 3. That way you've slept from 8:30 to 2 or 3am. It's a decent chunk. It might help until you get your LO settled.

    Good luck - getting babies to sleep is hard - but once you do it, life gets back to normal a bit. :)

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    First of all, Summer, I feel for you. We have dealt with horrible sleeping and it really takes a LOT out of you.


    We did a very simple version of sleep training (DS is almost 8 months). On a night I was pretty certain (although as most parents know, it's hard to be very certain!) DS was not sick or hungry or in teething pain, we did the (quick) extinction method. I would go in a few minutes after first hearing him fuss, replace binky, make sure he was swaddled (we just stopped swaddling last night), and leave. He would scream when I left, but then calm down. If he started up again, I would wait longer, like 10-15 minutes before going in. After that, I would wait 20-30 minutes. Usually he would fall asleep somewhere between the second and third visits. It only took one or two nights of this before he would pretty much stop waking up, or if he did wake up, fall back to sleep pretty quickly. HOWEVER: we have had to do this all over again after every sickness, and he's pretty much had a cold since the day he was born.


    I will say 2 additional things. 1: This is extremely difficult for me. My stomach is in knots the entire time he is fussing/crying. I absolutely hate it. But it can work.  2: DS slept through the night 3 out of the 5 nights my DH was away recently. Since DH was back DS sleep has been awful. He cried pretty much from 4-6:20am today. I cannot figure it out. I'm not doing anything differently. So I can't help but wonder if there is something going on with him I don't know about. That is one of the most frustrating things about trying sleep training.


    Also, to touch upon something Misslily said, I, for one, honestly did not know how to figure out when to give up the night feeding other than trying it and seeing what happened. It took me many nights of pep talks to myself, and stuffing DS with nursing and a supplemental bottle at bedtime, before I could try it. If your pedi says to stop, then you can probably be assured that it won't hurt DD to give up the feeding. Again, this is a hard decision (at least it was for us) because you can torture yourself thinking that your baby is in there with stomach contractions from hunger. But if DD is eating solid foods at dinner and having a good feeding just before bed, she can probably make it through the night.


    Good luck! If she's done it before (4.5-7 months) she can do it again!

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    Hey Summer, we didn't necessarily sleep train, for the most part DS is a good sleeper but I saw in your other post that you are able to get your DD to sleep in your arms but when you put her down she wakes up.  We were dealing with this for awhile and one trick that worked for us is rocking DS with a small blanket around his back that I would then transfer to his crib and lay him down asleep on top of it.  The blanket gets warm with your combine body heat while you're rocking and shields them from the cold sheet when you put them down.  Hopefully this helps just a little!  Good luck!

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    With DD (18 mo) I've done several things:

    -When she was about 9 mo old I would let her fuss it out, never cry it out. that being said, I'd put her down awake, leave the room, let her fuss for a few, go in rub her belly, leave, repeat as necessary.

    -when she started standing up, I'd lay her back down, leave, fuss, go in lay back down, repeat

    -now that she'd older and more subborn I've done several things. I've worked hard at getting her attached to alovie at night. A stuffed dog. I'd rock her with the dog, talk to her and tell her to hug daisy (the dog) if she woke up in the middle of the night. That night, she woke up, cried for a min, grabbed daisy and settled back down.

    -if she wakes up after just a few min-I go in lay her back down, rub her back, leave. She likes to hold onto my shirt, so sometimes I give her one of my PJ shirts so she can smell me. Some nights are better than others.

    Mostly DD gest back on track after just a few nights-thankfully! longer stretches I've done the trick of keeping her up so she has to get all her sleep in less time, then move her bedtime back to its normal time.  

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    Hi Summer - Sorry if I sound like a broken record because I know I've mentioned this before.  What really made the difference for us was putting DD to bed awake.  I can't recall when, but sometime between 6-9 months.  She STTN starting at ~3 months, but would sometimes wake up for hours every night for a week.  I would rock her to sing a couple of songs and get my snuggle time in, but then put her down awake.  I think I did it gradually - so at first I'd sing 5 songs and put her down half asleep, but within a 2 weeks had it down to 2 songs and mostly awake.  I'm sure she didn't immediately go back to STTN, but it happened pretty quickly.

    I read Weissbluth's HSHHC and found it very helpful, but we didn't really do too much CIO because once we started putting her down awake, the long sessions in the middle of the night mostly went away.  They would happen randomly for one night or when she was sick, but not regularly.  There have been times where she has cried when we put her down and we let her go for a few minutes to see if she'd settled down on her own.  If it turned into a habit, I would have been on board with an official CIO plan.

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    Thanks so, so much for the perspectives so far. The times we've tried to let her CIO and go in to check on her every so often, she cries the hardest I've ever heard, like hysterical, like someone is hurting her, screaming, and like someone said- I can't take it. It physically makes my skin crawl and I just can't take it, I have to go in and help her to stop crying.

    We've tried a couple times putting her down awake, and I know doing that will make MOTN decrease, but same thing- the crying turns into hysterics and does NOT ease up no matter how many times we go in. In fact I think us going in just makes it worse. She's so used to us picking her up and rocking her that when we don't do it, she gets even more upset. I know we've created a monster and need to fix it, but I'm just scared to really try it for a whole night and possibly not sleep at all or have her cry for hours and hours. I feel like she'll think we abandoned her and she'll be scarred by it

    I've tried several objects as lovies and she doesn't like them. We tried one of those animal-head-on-a-tiny-square-blanket things (you know what I mean!)- no luck. Same with a little stuffed pink penguin, which we leave in her crib.

    At such a loss for what to do :(

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    If you want to drop a night feeding, offer her water. the reward will be less. Try in a sippy cup during the day. She'll get upset for a night or two, but then when she sees the sippy she'll know, she may take a sip or two, then rock then back to bed. MOTN wake ups are the worse. I'm never at my strongest or clearest mind to do the "right" thing, and automatically do the thing that gets me sleep the fastes-rocking them back to sleep.

    I always use the clear sippy's for water, thermal ones for milk. DD knows by the sight of the sippy what she's getting. When I started this she'd get upset for a few, then sip the water and then back to sleep. Now when I put her down if she's thirsty she picks her head up says "Lala, lala" (water) then goes back to snuggle.

    DD didn't take to a lovie until she was over a year.

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    Summer - I feel for you, I really do. I used to get so tired (I sometimes still do - I had them each get up 2x last night for a total of 4 wakeups!). Have you tried the SleepLady technique? She stays in the room, sitting in a chair next to the crib while baby gets settled. You move farther and farther out of the room every day until you are out.

    I went through a phase where I lay on the floor and stuck my hand in the crib railings. It's important to try and NOT PICK HER UP or rock her to sleep. The reason is that once she wakes up, she will need those cues and crutches to fall asleep again. It's like you waking up on the floor - you'd want to get back in bed with your pillow and blanket to get back to sleep. She wakes up without you and NEEDS you to get back to sleep.

    I do remember another mom named Daisy who also had b/g twins. She got to her wits end and did CIO to extinction. She said it took them eleven nights. It's the longest I've ever heard of anyone. And there was also LemonMelon who said she did sleeptraining at 12 months and wished she had done it at 6 months. It was her one big regret about her parenting style.

    No one has all the answers - you're the mommy and you have to do what you're comfortable with. My brother and SIL couldn't stand to sleep train and their second daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was two years old. At that point I think she had become totally in control of her parents instead of the other way around. But she's a happy and bright teenager now so it all worked out in the end.

    again - good luck!

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Micromom. Show Micromom's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    We all go through this, and it can be rough.  Regardless of what the "experts" say, it's important to find an approach that works for your family.  I could not bear prolonged periods of crying, so we went with a modified version of a few different methods.

    It helped me a lot to make a plan.  Make it during the day, when you're clear headed and calm.  Involve any partners who will be doing this with you to make sure everyone is on the same page.  Having  a set plan helped me feel more in control and less likely to make emotional/desperate/exhausted decisions.

    For bedtime, it helped me a lot to establish a set routine (bottle, 2 books, 5 minutes of snuggle/singing, into bed), whatever works for you, keeping in mind that it's something you may have to maintain for the long term.  Consistency is really important.  It will help you feel calm, and help the baby feel secure.

    For the crying at bedtime or in the middle of the night, we applied the same thinking.  Make a plan, and be consistent.  I know that even one minute of crying can feel like forever, but if you have a stopwatch, you can see it as a reasonable, finite period of time for you, and your baby.  Again, consistency is key here. To get over the initial hump, I decided, OK, I'll do this for one week and then re-evaluate.  Knowing that there was a potential end in sight really helped me get through it.

    We also did the method mentioned above, of slowly moving farther from the room, which seemed to work pretty well too.

    You don't say how long this has been going on, but keep in mind that at that age, there are a lot  of developmental things happening, so it's possible that those things are affecting sleep patterns.  Also,  soon the baby will start being more mobile, which will definitely help wear her out and encourage better sleeping.

    After so many months of thinking of your little one as a fragile little baby, it's can be hard to shift your thinking to see her as a hearty little person, ready for a new phase.  She's bigger and stronger, and ready for new things. 

    I know, it can feel overwhelming.  Try to think of it as a transition.  You're doing a lot of good things, and you'll figure it out.  Hang in there!




  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    Go to and read that technique, it might really help you. Alternatively, or ALSO, you could hold her and rock her to 90% asleep, so she is droopy, then carefully put her in the crib, and as you put her in the crib she'll probably wake a teeny bit and you immediately (while you are dropping your hands away from her) put your hand on her tummy and move her so she feels rocked, and she'll drop off.  Then after 3 days this, put her in at 80% asleep, so her eyes are fluttering a LOT but she's officially awake.  Then after 3 more days, put her in at 70% asleep, and still stay and "shake" her tummy (or back if she rolls onto her tummy) to put her asleep.

    Now she should be calmer about putting her in the crib awake, and you can begin putting her in more awake, but still staying until she's asleep.  Then sit by the crib until she's asleep, then move your chair every 3 days farther across the room, like the sleep lady. The sleep lady says to move farther away every 3 days, not longer, because you don't want to develop a NEW NEED, just begin to extinguish this one so you want to move to a new step every 3 days vs every week.  That's the theory, at least! 

    This will still involve some crying, because anything that is new will be upsetting and she'll cry if only because things are different and she's confused.  But she won't be permanently damaged, and your whole family will be happier if you all get more sleep.  And happy mommy and daddy makes happy baby and life!  (A modification of 'happy wife, happy life' Smile, I can't figure out how to rhyme it all) And once she's 12 months or 18 months she'll be able to cry for even longer, and then she'll be able to say words like "help me, come back, i need you" and thta will KILL you so do it now while she's younger and has had this habit for less time than in 18 months when she'll have been doing it even longer and find it even harder to do.

    But nowhere in the above is it 'cry it out until she darn well falls asleep' because it doesn't work for her and you, and if you can't stand it (or she just won't fall asleep) then it won't succeed.  So do find something that works for your family - I'd agree to discussing it with your husband, make a plan, and stick to it. 

  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from malw. Show malw's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    Soooo hard.  Harder on you than it is on them, I'm convinced.  Our 9 mos pedi visit we were informed that they "don't need to eat at night now, it's just a habit". That 12 hours btwn feedings was fine.  Our pedi advocated CIO, using a baby monitor so we knew they were ok and not going in until morning - promised us they would still love us the next day and they would not be traumatized by it!  Our daughter got it fast / she slept in 36 minutes the first night, 16 minutes the second, 15 the third and she sleeps the whole night unless there is a real problem / a dirty diaper or teething.  She actually threw up one night recently and never woke up, as I wiped her hair with baby wipes and changed her clothes, then put her back in a clean bed.  A great sleeper without much help from us.  

    Our son did not get it at all.  Let's just say that we celebrated his one year birthday by visiting Children's sleep clinic (the Dr Ferber clinic). Their plan is gradual extinction, each night you add a minute or two to how long you stay away.  the first night, baby cries for three minutes, then go in - do as little as possible to reassure (no picking up, no feeding, no singing, no lights, minimal engagement - you don't want these visits to be fun, it's time to sleep!) and leave again.  Go back in 5 minutes. Then 7minutes. Then 9. Then 11. Then 11 each time for the rest of the night.  The first night he finally fell asleep between the second and third 11 minute checks.  for the record, he screamed louder each time I left (with our daughter sleeping 2 feet away in the same room, the ends of their cribs touching) and me outside the door watching the clock... The next night your first return is at 5 minutes, then 7, then 9 etc.  Each night it's a few more minutes added. Our (his) doctor told us - if it was "too long" to hear him cry, change the numbers to what we were comfortable with - go back in one minute if we needed to, just know it would take that much longer for him to learn.  Being consistent is the key.  It took over a month with him, a good night followed by a worse one...

    one more thought I would put out there.  My SIL told us (when they were abt 4 months!) but we just didn't understand the significance - the cries get louder and stronger as they get older and stronger.  So the crying at 4 mos (or 9 months) didnt come close to the bloodcurdling scream a 13 month old could let out.  They are protesting the change - they like their routine, For them it's working. 

    Although actually, now we know it really wasnt.  Once our children each started to sleep through the night more consistently - we saw a personality changes - they became much happier, much sunnier once they slept better... And so did we.

    Full disclosure?  Sleep is a journey.  Its not perfect, even now we have an occasional tougher night.  Our son occasionally wakes up at 2am and wants a hug and since he's long since out of his crib, he wanders in for one ;-). Teething (i know we all got them, but molars stink).  A changed routine during the day.  One night at 3am I brought a 2 yr old down for a snack, since nothing was calming her it was the only idea I had left.  She downed 3 glasses of milk, then fell back into a sound sleep for the rest of night.  And ate like she was starving for the next few days...

    Its a tough place, made worse by how tired you are - it's so hard to think clearly about what might work.  Check out "the baby sleepsite". I never got a sleep plan from them,but I was on the e mail list and they seem to have good ideas.  whatever you do, the first night is brutal.  good luck.  

  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Sleep training?

    All I have is sympathy.  :(  Well, and agreement with 3 of the points above.  One, do get the Ferber book and read it - very scientific, and helped me a lot.  Two, having a plan (any plan!) will make you feel so much better.  We didn't get a plan until DD was 14 months and there was a backwards slide, and the trying to decide/discuss what to do when you're exhausted is worse than anything.  Three, as hard as it is, it truly will get better and your LO truly will be okay, no matter what you decide.  Wishing you lots of luck!