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Baby sleep training

Discussion in 'Family, Home & Health' started by candy, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. candy
    Rough_Rock

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    by candy » Aug 11, 2013
    I'd love to hear success stories about how you got your babies to fall asleep and stay asleep (without feeding) throughout the night. Please also include info such as the baby's age, whether baby was formula or breastfed at the time, where the baby slept, how long it took, etc.

    My personal situation: at 6 months old, our son's sleep is now worse than ever, although it's largely because we're trying to break some (bad?) habits -- nursing to fall asleep, co-sleeping in the same bed, and nursing on demand throughout the night. We have a new, consistent bedtime routine and put him down drowsy but still awake around 8pm, but he still wakes up crying at 12am, 3am, and 5am before waking for the day between 6 and 7am. I try to rock him back to sleep but it rarely works, and he just gets hysterical until I feed him, although I'm not convinced that he's truly hungry. I've also sent my husband in to break the association with middle of the night feedings, but no luck with that either.

    The pediatrician, day care, and lots of other experienced parents are telling us that CIO is the only way, but after several hour+ screaming sessions we were at our wits' end and felt that it wasn't the right solution for us. But we're desperate for a good night's sleep and for our baby to learn how to self soothe, and are willing to CIO if that's really what it takes.

    I'm sure that a lot of parents here are in the same boat, and there might not be a one-size-fits-all approach. So, general advice would be great. What did it take for you to consistently get a good night's sleep?
     
    


    


  2. amc80
    Ideal_Rock

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    by amc80 » Aug 11, 2013
    I can do a longer reply when I'm not on my phone, but there's another thread on here I started about baby sleep issues. Lots of tips and advice in that one.
     
  3. dreamer_dachsie
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by dreamer_dachsie » Aug 11, 2013
    I have two sons. I used the same method with both. It is very complex, so try to follow all the various details with care.

    I did this at nine months old with both boys. It took one night only for them to stop waking to nurse. Up until that point both were exclusively breastfed at night and woke about 4 times to feed in the night.

    Put on jammies and fresh diaper, nurse them, kiss them, put them in the crib, close to door, and then do not go back in on pain of death ;))

    My older son cried on and off for an hour or so. My younger son cried on and off for 1.5 hours the night we did CIO. My older son slept 12 hours through the second night and ever after (until transitioning to a toddler bed from the crib). My younger son woke the second night but only for about 20 mins. And he woke at 4:30am for a feed that I could not "break" him of -- so I just fed him at 4:30 and he stopped waking at that time when he got older. Yes, its hard. Yes you lie there sweating it out while he cry and thinking about how horrible you are. But it works. I was totally against CIO before I had kids and until my older son make me mental waking 4 times a night at 8.5 momnths. The key is you cannot crack. If they cry 45 mins and you go in... game over. You just taught them to cry longer! Iron will.


    My only other suggestion is to co-sleep and nurse on demand throughout the night. Of all the moms I know, they either used CIO or else they co-slept to get some sleep.
     
  4. dreamer_dachsie
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by dreamer_dachsie » Aug 11, 2013
    we also tried all of this and more with our older son, just for background.
     
    


    


  5. Dandi
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Dandi » Aug 12, 2013
    I used the 'pick up, put down' technique with my son. I started that on and off from about 6 weeks of age when I moved his from his bassinet to his cot. Of course when he was that young I wasn't trying too hard to enforce it, if he wouldn't settle after about 20 minutes I would feed him and try again the next day. I lay him down awake but drowsy, and every time he cried, I picked him up and patted his bottom, and softly repeated over and over that it is time for sleep. As soon as he was calm, I would lay him back down, and if he cried, I'd repeat the process. I stayed home for a week to get him used to a loose sleep routine, and put him down for naps at roughtly the same time every day, trying not to keep him up for more than an hour and a half. After a few weeks I only had to pick him up once or twice. He was sleeping about 12 hours total a night, but waking 1-3 times a night for a feed.

    Bedtime is always the same old thing - bath at 6pm, pjs, read him a book with low lights and tv down/off, breastfeed him while softly telling him it's bedtime, and into bed by 7pm. As I tuck him in I softly talk to him about what he might dream about that night, and I think that distracts him a bit from the fact that it's bedtime ;)) Kiss goodnight, light off, and straight out of the room, and close the door. I'd let him cry for five minutes or so, and try patting him to settle him down, which usually works. If not, he gets a quick cuddle until he has settled down, and then leave the room again, repeating as many times as necessary. Basically, sending the message that mummy is here, and isn't going anywhere, but it is sleep time for baby.

    By 4 months of age I was able to put him down wide awake, and he would go to sleep within 10 minutes or so, and he was sleeping 12 hours a night with no wake ups. Now he is 8 months old, napping twice a day for about 1.5 hours at a time, and sleeping 7pm until 8am with no wake ups (well he does occasionally wake, but I don't hear him as he drops back off to sleep fairly promptly). I'm sure a lot of this is a personality thing too, he is a fairly mellow baby who is perfectly contect playing by himself and doesn't need to be entertained or held a lot. But I always give my experience with this method as it worked well for us, in the hope it will help someone else.

    Here is the thread that amc started: https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/baby-sleep-training.188121/?hilit=baby sleep
     
  6. Dandi
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Dandi » Aug 12, 2013
    Also, just another thought, have you tried putting your little guy to bed a bit earlier? I found that Oscar was overtired and didn't sleep well through the night, when he was going to bed around 8-9. His sleep improved when we gradually moved his bedtime to 7pm. Just an idea!
     
  7. Kunzite
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Kunzite » Aug 12, 2013
    Dandi is right, that's an awful late bedtime and is likely contributing to your issues. It's perfectly normal for a 6 month old to wake up at night to eat, though obviously not that often. Can you give us an idea of your total sleep schedule? Often sleep problems are because the sleep schedule as a whole is not age appropriate and baby is overtired. I've posted this link quite often because I think it's a great starting place for creating an age appropriate sleep schedule: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11GHo4keUb2TVJUlSL1kD6HQcEgaNFBmzoQoOzcpcyas/mobilebasic?authkey=CPXE1bsO&pli=1&hl=en

    To summarize, a 6 month old should have a wake time of no more than 2.5 hours (1.75-2/2-2.25/2.25-2.5/2.25-2.5), have a total wake time of 9.5 hours, therefore getting a total of around 14.5 hours of sleep (of which 11-12 are night sleep).
     
  8. amc80
    Ideal_Rock

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    by amc80 » Aug 12, 2013
    My kiddo was going to sleep at 8 or 8:30. We gradually moved it to 7:30 and it made a huge difference. We did the CIO method and it took just about a week to get him sleeping all night. We've since had some regression (teeth, sickness, etc.) and as soon as he's better I'll do CIO again.

    Here is the thread I started a few months ago-
    https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/baby-sleep-training.188121/
     
  9. Skippy123
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Skippy123 » Aug 12, 2013
    My boys didn't STTN (sleep through the night) until they hit 9 mos! I was sooooo Sleep Deprived with twins. I was ready to try anything and then bam they STTN. I did have a similar schedule as Baby Wise, eat, play, sleep every 3 hours or 4 hours; the stretches get longer as they get older. As time went on they slept more at night but at 8 mos they still had a 2 or 3 am wake up. I think some babies STTN early and some later. I do think having their biggest meal before bed helps and a routine with bath, eat then bed helps. best wishes!
     
  10. candy
    Rough_Rock

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    by candy » Aug 12, 2013
    Thanks, ladies, for sharing your tips and experiences. I went back and read amc's thread and found it so helpful. I'll definitely be trying many of the ideas shared. Kunzite, I think your analysis is right on -- my son is probably not getting enough sleep during the day, and is possibly going to bed too late at night. I'd post his nap schedule but it's honestly all over the place and wouldn't be of much help, although it may explain the sleep issues we're dealing with. We are trying to be more vigilant about regular naps and a bedtime routine. And we seem to have been successful in transitioning him to his crib, so that's a small victory! That spreadsheet you linked to is full of helpful information and I'll be reading it carefully.

    DandiAndi, Dreamer, and Skippy, thanks for your words of encouragement as well. I'm glad the sleepless nights are behind you! It's nice to hear that there are a few different ways to go about this, and it might just depend on when a baby is ready to sleep through the night.

    He's been asleep for 2 hours now... I think I'll try a dream feed and then I'll head off to bed myself. Crossing my fingers for a good night's sleep!
     
    


    


  11. SB621
    Ideal_Rock

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    by SB621 » Aug 13, 2013
    I was very lucky that after 8 weeks-ish both my children only woke up 1x every night. They went down at 7:30pm. Woke up around 2 or 3am for a feeding and then slept till 6am.

    However around 8 months I wanted them to STTN so we did sleep training for my DS (DD just naturally around 5 months started to STTN no problems). He was on a mixture of breast milk and formula, though I didn't breastfeed I exclusivly pumped for both. It took 2 nights of having him cry it out but after that it was fine. He wailed for a good hour both times.

    Now he is 3 and is still a horrible sleeper. He is out of the crib and in a big bed. He gets up at least 1x everynight and comes into our bedroom for no reason. We just walk him back to his bed and tuck him in. He will do this for weeks and then stop and STTN for awhile and then we are back to waking up. Our daugher however is an amazing sleeper and as mentioend before we have had no problems with her.

    We never co-slept and both kids always slept in a crib in their own room.

    Goodluck!
     
  12. dreamer_dachsie
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by dreamer_dachsie » Aug 14, 2013
    As another tip, I always found dream feeds just messed everything up and actually caused my kids to WAKE expecting a dream feed! Makes sense, because I always found feeding them set their circadian rhythms.

    At 6mo both my kids went to bed at 6pm!
     
  13. MrsDarcy
    Rough_Rock

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    by MrsDarcy » Nov 27, 2014
    We did what I like to think of as a modified CIO. When he cried, we would go in an try to soothe him without talking or picking him up. Usually, I would pat his back or bottom. If it was really bad, I would pick him up for a few minutes, just so that he calmed down a bit. Once I laid him back down (he might even still be crying but just much calmer) we would leave. If he kept crying for 10 min's I would repeat this. My older son was sleep trained at 3 months and my younger son at 6 months using this routine. It only took about a week both times.
     

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