General chatter - Do you sleep train your baby?




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abetterme
05-24-2011, 06:32 PM
Hi everyone,
So I was wondering if anyone has ever tried sleep training their baby? I have an 8 month old daughter. She would sleep on me or nestled by me until she reached 6 months. I would try putting her down in her crib after she fell asleep, but she would either wake up right away, or fall asleep and wake up hours later. When that would happen I would give in and just let her sleep with me for the remainder of the night. I was just so exhausted I didn't care at the time.
At the moment she still needs to be rocked to sleep before I place her in the crib, and when she wakes up hours later, I stick it out and put her back to sleep and back into her crib each time. If she wakes up too much before I get her, she won't go back to sleep without a bottle. I personally don't think she's really hungry since she has three meals a day and a bottle before bed. I think she just associates the sucking on a bottle to getting asleep. She doesn't like pacifiers.
I have been researching the Ferber Method (which is letting baby cry without picking the baby up out of the crib, comforting the baby by patting it on the back or any other way without picking baby up, and waiting longer to attend to the baby) I am worried and nervous about doing this. I know it's a hard process and can take awhile before the baby learns to self soothe.
Has anyone ever tried this method or have opinions or suggestions? Should I try this method? Will my baby just eventually learn to sleep through the night as she grows up?


FlipFlop Love
05-24-2011, 07:08 PM
Sssooooo.... I have a little bit of a different experience but some great advice to pass along. (Or at least I'd like to think it's great. ;) ). My daughter (first and only) has special needs. She came home from the hospital at 7.5 months, and by then she had a good schedule of sleeping. Once being home, we had nursing up until 3 weeks ago. Because of her central apnea/trach/ventilator, we always had nursing at night. Our nurse worked Monday thru Saturday, and on Sundays, I would sleep in her room on an air mattress. I was terrified of sleeping through an alarm, and she was (is) afraid of the dark. At 2-1/2 years old, my daughter did not know how to soothe herself. She could not go to sleep without someone with her and without a light on. If she woke up and no one was around, she would get really worked up and not fall asleep for 2+ hours.

We met with our daughter's neurologist to go over some recent test results. Her neurologist is fabulous, so we started asking about sleep. We went over our sleep routine, which was getting her in bed and hooked up and sitting with her until she fell asleep (1-2 hours).

She recommended a modified Ferber approach. If a baby is used to having someone there, it can be very scary to suddenly not have that person. She recommended limiting ourselves. You would go into the child's room for X amount of time to soothe her and then leave. Then, you would let her cry for X amount of time before going back in to soother her. Gradually, the idea is to wean down on that time. Eventually, you'd get to a point where you just had to have a rough weekend and stick firm to the Ferber method.

It worked great for us. It took our daughter about a week to be able to fall asleep on her own. She will still occasionally wake up and sit up in bed, and we have to go back in and lay her back down. She's still mostly asleep and doesn't "know" to lay back down. I think our results were fast because of her age, although had you asked us before we did the modified-Ferber approach, I would have sworn it'd take 2-3 months.

From 9-12 months, kids go through a social/emotional phase of being afraid and being generally clingy. Our daughter is going through that phase now. (We laugh that she was severely delayed in everything else, so why not social and emotionally). It's tough! You just have to just be patient and know there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.

bethbeth
05-24-2011, 07:36 PM
My daughter is almost 10 months and still not a great sleeper. We have decided that we will not let her cry it out.

One book that was instrumental in this decision was "The Science of Parenting." The book shows that when a crying baby is being held she has nomal blood pressure, normal heart beat, and normal stress hormones. When the crying baby is left on her own, she will have elevated blood pressure, elevated heart beat, and elevated stress hormones, which means she is medically in distress.

We decided that not doing that to our daughter is more important that our sleep. We do not want to teach her that if she has problem we will not be there for her.


astrophe
05-24-2011, 08:23 PM
It's part of night parenting.

Don't rule out hunger -- I nursed my kid every 3-4 hours around then. It's hard to remember for sure, but I think that's around it. Because baby tummies are tiny. They empty out quick.

I just rolled with it and coslept with kid in HER room to make nursing/sleeping easier on all. Put her down to nurse, she'd conk out, I'd get back up and go about my business. When I laid back down myself for the night, I'd nurse her again and she slept on.

As she grew, the times between nursings naturally stretched out, and she naturally slept for longer chunks to match. When it was time to go back to my own room -- she didn't have to get used to anything. She already knew her bed, her room, and the routine of me nursing her to sleep and then she didn't budget til morning. And then it was nursing 3 times a day rather than every 3 hrs! At bedtime, upon waking, and somewhere in the middle of the day to compliment the solids.

Even if you do not nurse, check out kellymom.com. There's a good section on parenting night& day.

http://kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/index.html

HTH!
A.

Porthardygurl
05-24-2011, 08:25 PM
My girl is 10 months now and since she was 3 months, she was sleeping 10 hours through the night...here are a few tricks we learned.

1) put a fan or a slumber machine in the room..a baby has extremely short R.E.M. sleep cycles and for long periods of time they are in whats called a light sleep.. So because of that..if you put a slumber machine or fan or something that gives off white noise, when they wake, they are soothed by it and go back asleep a lot quicker..

2) a comfort object like a musical wind up bear or blanket thats familiar is key to have in the crib..even if you were to sleep with it for a few nights and give it to them, then it has your scent and when they sleep with it, they smell you on it..its a comfort thing.

3) a routine is important..baby goes to bed every night at the same time..get a routine..like..feed bath cuddle bed. Do it every night..yes it requires you to sacrafice social life..but you will love it when baby goes to sleep every night..it means more you time..

4) get a rocker or exercise ball to rock and bounce on..it soothes them to sleep and helps with tummy trouble..

I dont believe in letting my baby cry it out..the more your baby can trust by learning that you will be there for them..the less likely they are to freak out and cry more often when they have a need..because they know you will meet there need instantly..they wont be as needy growing up and they wont have to scream or cry to feel like they are getting there need met.. Yes,its a lot of hard work and waking up..but in the end..it produces a happier child who is more trusting in there parents and more independent when growing up...Read up on www.drsears.com <- he has some great insight into parenting and sleep training

cherrypie
05-24-2011, 08:35 PM
I did it with both my kids but they were around 12 months. Took about 3 nights. Problem is you've taught her to only sleep when you are there. Learning to fall asleep on your own is an important life skill lol

jules1216
05-24-2011, 09:38 PM
my grandson just turned one..we watch him on weekends and he is a terrible sleeper..

mzKiki
05-24-2011, 10:07 PM
The Ferber method may be effective, but I can't imagine letting my infant cry it out in a room alone at night. seems a bit mean if you ask me.
My children didn't sleep through the night until they were well over a yr old though.

fitness4life
05-24-2011, 10:56 PM
As a mom of 4 (like that means I'm an expert LOL) I recommend sleep training. IDK what the ferber method is. IDK what you'd call the method I used. Maybe it is the same. But here's what I did.

At about 10 months (I can't exactly remember) I told baby that I was there for her but if she was OK but still wanted me I would come in and pat her back but not engage her - meaning, not talk to her.

Like telling a 10 month old this means anything to her. But I suppose it meant something to me like I wasn't just springing this on her unexplained and who knows what babies can understand?

So here was the drill. Put baby to bed. 1st time cry for 5 min. Go in and pat without talking for 1 min. Leave even if she's still crying. Give it 10 min. Go in and pat for 1 min. Leave again. Give it 15 min. Go pat. Leave. Give it 20 min. Go pat. Leave. Give it 25 min. repeat. 30 min. repeat every 30 in.

It was torture. For about 2 or 3 nights. We never made it to the 30 min mark. She (and he and he and he) fell asleep by the 25 min mark and were all night sleepers (except for nursing) from then on.

That is, as far as I can remember. I had 4 kids in 5 years. It's all pretty much a blur. heehee

sacha
05-25-2011, 08:58 AM
No. I do not. My son is now 1 and has recently gone from waking 3-10x a night to sleeping 8 hour stretches (1 short night feed), or none at all, in the past month. I waited until he was ready. Biologically, I believe it is wrong to leave a baby to cry. I believe in the continuum concept (google for more info). I wear my baby (I don't use a stroller, not that I am against people using them), I don't leave him to "cry it out" sleep training, and it's the best choice I ever made for him.

My son had severe acid reflux, born with a broken collarbone, very hungry baby with very high needs at night, and I had PND. I was advised over and over again to let him "cry it out". I refused. And it was a lot of hard work, harder than most people would be willing ot put up with, but it was worth it.

sniperhil
05-25-2011, 09:23 AM
There are pros and cons to every sleep method approach. With my first child, she liked to sleep. She was sleeping thru the night from 12 wks on. My second child, however, has been sleeping thru the night for the past month. He's 19 mos old! I'd never thought of co-sleeping b4 having my 2nd, it just happened. I wanted to sleep!

He now sleeps with his big sister in a bed beside mine and my husband's bed. Yes, our room has been taken over. However, it's not that big a deal bc we only sleep in there. This time will pass. You will miss (yes, I said miss) this time in your baby's life before you know it!

Every child is different and has different needs. The hard part is finding what works for your baby and your family. Good luck!

goodforme
05-25-2011, 09:53 AM
Children sleep through the night when they are biologically ready. It's a milestone like walking, talking, etc. I myself do not sleep through the night, I wake up several times.

If your baby needs you, your baby needs you. If you ignore their needs, essentially put your own needs before theirs, just think about how they feel. They are alone in the dark, they are wet/hot/uncomfortable in some way, they are expecting you to show up, and you don't. Eventually they learn that nobody is coming, so there is no reason to cry. They are probably not sleeping through the night, they have just learned that there is no need to ask for help, as none is forthcoming.

Go with your instincts on this one.

**edited to add: Wow, I sound really offensive in this post, and that was not my intent. I'm having an emotional day, please excuse me. And if you can't tell, I'm rabidly AP and against any type of sleep training or CIO. Sorry again.

FlipFlop Love
05-25-2011, 05:54 PM
So I kind of feel the need to stress the difference of sleeping the entire night versus soothing.

The ferber method is not used to get your child to sleep the entire night. It is used so that when your child wakes up, she can comfort herself. It is very, very, very important for a child be able to self-soothe. No matter what approach you take (and do NOT feel guilty about you choose), the bottom line is that at some point your child has to be able to comfort herself.

I know someone mentioned above that a child that is crying is "medically in distress." I have to say, my child has truthfully been in "medical distress" many times. Seeing your child not breathing at all is significantly different than letting them cry.

FlipFlop Love
05-25-2011, 06:19 PM
Oh! And to help your child sleep through the night (this is separate from Ferber), there are quite a few things you can do:

1. Circadian rhythm. Our bodies have a natural biochemical cycle. Essentially, you want to crack the code to your baby's rhythm. The idea is that you will find a natural sleeping cycle, and that's what you should start with first. If that means your child naturally wants to sleep at 6pm, then that's what you do. Once you have steadily given into her circadian rhythm and sleep cycle, you can start *slowly* adjusting the times to reflect your lifestyle. The trick is that if you wait too long, and your baby is overly tired, then you'll throw off the rhythm entirely.
2. Naps. Is she napping enough during the day? Are they consistent? Is she in an environment conducive to quality naps? Many times you'll find that if your child isn't getting enough sleep in the day (in the form of naps), then the quality of her sleep at night will be significantly decreased.
3. Soothers. You can try those nature-sound machines or even playing a particular, soft CD all night.
4. Relaxing bedtime routine with quiet time starting 1 hour before bed. Try turning the TV off and dimming the lights about 1 hour before bedtime. Do relaxing activities. Kiddos usually love lotion massages. Heck, don't we, as adults, get massages when we're stressed? A massage and books with rhythm worked great for us once upon a time.

I remember the 8-month phase well, since those were our first days home. My daughter was awake at 7am. She would nap at 9am for 1-2 hours. Nap at 1 pm for 2 hours, and nap at 6pm for 1 hour. We would start to do our nighttime routine (for us, that was trach care) at 9pm. She fell asleep instantly when we hooked her up to her ventilator. :) (Side note: It was quite adorable. She loved that darn thing... probably because she didn't have to do any work.) I don't recall if sleeping that much is what a typical baby would do. She always needed the extra rest because it took a lot of work for her to breathe. :)

Just know that you're a great mommy, and you'll get there one way or another!

Arctic Mama
05-25-2011, 10:05 PM
It's called very similar to a method called flex scheduling and is advocated in "The Baby Whisperer". It is what we use and every one of my children, those who are naturally calmer and not, are wonderful sleepers. Some take more time to establish a routine, but all can self soothe quite well. We have some nightmare wakings with the preschooler and the infant is occasionally hungry at 4 am, but those are far and away the exception.

A little crying didn't hurt any of them. We never let them cry for extended periods of time without 'resetting' them with comfort and pats, but many times our involvement would just wake them more and they do better being left to calm themselves down without our 'help'. The last thing an overtired or overstimulated baby needs is more activity and stimulation, which is exactly what picking them up and talking with them has done (in our house, anyway). Flex scheduling has made happy babies who are well rested, and a happy mom, too. I need all my children napping at the same time to get any working out done or projects, and sleep training has been essential to this. It's one of the most compassionate things we have done for the kids - not making them rely on US to provide all emotional comfort.

I will add that we do not do any serious training until they are physically capable of sleeping longer stretches. For us, that has been anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months of age. We cosleep and baby wear a lot for the newborn stage, and there is a natural separation after that. It hits a point where our noises (like snoring and alarms) are impinging their sleep more than our presence is helping them, and that is my cue to transition to them sleeping in their own room, going down on their own.


I cannot recommend flex scheduling enough. Every additional baby reinforces why we chose this method!

As a mom of 4 (like that means I'm an expert LOL) I recommend sleep training. IDK what the ferber method is. IDK what you'd call the method I used. Maybe it is the same. But here's what I did.

At about 10 months (I can't exactly remember) I told baby that I was there for her but if she was OK but still wanted me I would come in and pat her back but not engage her - meaning, not talk to her.

Like telling a 10 month old this means anything to her. But I suppose it meant something to me like I wasn't just springing this on her unexplained and who knows what babies can understand?

So here was the drill. Put baby to bed. 1st time cry for 5 min. Go in and pat without talking for 1 min. Leave even if she's still crying. Give it 10 min. Go in and pat for 1 min. Leave again. Give it 15 min. Go pat. Leave. Give it 20 min. Go pat. Leave. Give it 25 min. repeat. 30 min. repeat every 30 in.

It was torture. For about 2 or 3 nights. We never made it to the 30 min mark. She (and he and he and he) fell asleep by the 25 min mark and were all night sleepers (except for nursing) from then on.

That is, as far as I can remember. I had 4 kids in 5 years. It's all pretty much a blur. heehee

NiteNicole
05-25-2011, 11:37 PM
About Ferber - Ferber, Mr. CIO Himself, has recanted. He says he wishes he'd never written anything about CIO and he cosleeps with his kids. Something to think about.

Also, your eight month old is getting three meals a day and one bottle? At eight months, kids still eat a lot. She may well be hungry, so don't rule it out.

There are also some really great articles on how some babies wind down with crying and others amp up. Before you start trying to CIO, you want to know which category your baby falls into.

We used a really great book (I've read them all and have some really strong opinions) called Sleepless In America. It really went into detail about routine, activity, the right and wrong times for your baby to be stimulated and fed and what kinds of foods can make it hard to sleep. It made a difference with my difficult sleeper within a week. She was older, but you might want to check it out.

Good luck. Sleep issues are hard!

XLMuffnTop
05-26-2011, 11:15 AM
Parenting is difficult and there is no right or wrong answer so you may have to just see what your child responds best to.

My son was naturally prone to a schedule. At 4 weeks old, he slept through the night (10pm til 6am) and was on a perfect 3 hour feeding schedule (eat, play, sleep). At nap time he would just lean towards the crib and soothe himself right to sleep.

Then comes my daughter... holy smokes! Any time you think you're getting a routine down and you've figured out how to get her to sleep without some big production she changes and out smarts you! And she does NOT nap well. It's a good day if she gets two 1 hour naps at 8 1/2 months. We tried CIO but she's the type that just ramps up and never calms down once she gets going. I give her a bottle, rock her a bit then put her in her crib. She'll usually stir so I place my hand firmly on her back and she settles down.

It's not always a matter of when they're biologically ready. My daughter slept through the night around 8 weeks old for a bit, then she started teething and it got all out of whack. Then she did again around 5 months then she got an ear infection, etc etc! Sometimes kids are just sensitive to small (and big!) changes.

Most importantly, don't feel guilty. It's hard enough being a parent without carrying around the burden of guilt!! There are 5 million books on baby sleep because there isn't one right answer or one "method" that works for all children. So it's OK to try something new. Your child may take to a CIO or modified Ferber method very well and may not. You won't know until you try. If it's a disaster and just makes things worse, it's really not the end of the world. A few days of being a little upset won't cause them to be in years of therapy.

:hug: It seems like forever when you're dealing with colicky, sleepless, or otherwise "difficult" children but it really does go by so quickly. Try to enjoy it in your zombie like haze of exhaustion.

abetterme
05-26-2011, 12:23 PM
[QUOTE=NiteNicole;3865279]Also, your eight month old is getting three meals a day and one bottle? At eight months, kids still eat a lot. She may well be hungry, so don't rule it out.[QUOTE]

Oh no, she has bottles throughout the day as well, but always ends with a night bottle before she goes to sleep.

At the moment I still just pick her up and get her back to sleep and put her back in.
Last night I was up several times. It wasn't hard to get her back in the crib these times, though.

abetterme
05-26-2011, 12:34 PM
So at the moment I have made some changes to wind my daughter down for the night. I give her nightime baths instead of morning baths. I read her a story and sing to her and rock her. I also give her solids closer to bed along with her usual bedtime bottle. Usually she's out by 7-7:30, but last night she was awake until nine.
She woke up several times last night, but finally stayed asleep for awhile after 2:30. It wasn't too difficult getting her back to sleep just by holding her, and it wasn't hard putting her back in the crib. There were a few times she actually did cry and fall back asleep, so that's good too.
I still am not sure what the best method for my family is. I may try a little Ferber Method, but I don't know if I could really carry through. She may just get more awake and angry. I'll just have to see how long and how badly she gets upset. I don't think I could do it if she is screaming bloody murder for hours.

theCandEs
05-26-2011, 01:16 PM
Well, I didn't know about the Ferber method when my kids were little, but I did use this method (not knowing that it had a name) with my oldest and it worked perfectly. He has been a great sleeper ever since. I tried it with my youngest, and it was a disaster! He would cry until he puked. It didn't take long, either. 5 min and he was in there puking. Ironically, he is the sounder sleeper of my 2 now. He slept on the couch in the living room until he was 3. He could sleep right through the TV blaring, and now just about nothing wakes him up. I'm not sure this is a good thing. He sleeps through alarms and everything. I worry that the fire alarm will go off and he won't hear it.

Anyway, what works for some, does not work for others. I never let mine sleep with me, though. I would take them to the living room, or their room, but I didn't want them to be sleeping in the bed with me. I don't like people touching me when I'm trying to sleep. I guess you can say it worked, because both of mine sleep in their own beds now.

Arctic Mama
05-26-2011, 04:32 PM
I definitely agree not every kid is suited to crying to sleep. One of my daughters would keep going to puking too, if we let her, so she needed a lot of patting and we needed to get in there more quickly. My son would just take longer to get to sleep if we went in. He could fuss and grumble for two minutes if we left him, or twenty minutes if we didn't. He did the same sequence regardless, but we just started the process over every time we went in :lol:

I figure most moms are this way - I can hear the difference between a cry that will wind down on it's own or when they are getting set up into a ceaseless scream (super rare, but on occasions we have had wonky days or late evenings the overtired cry comes out). If they have that 'tone', I won't even try to let them calm down by themselves. That is when I bring them into another room for a few minutes and let them calm down a bit, before trying the laying down process again. But that is super rare. Most nights they have the tired cry, where a dark room and their snugglies (animal, blanket, pacifier, whatever) is what they really need, and they need to be left to it.

Temperaments, events of the day, and what they have already been trained to expect will all dictate what they need. I am a diehard flex scheduler, but what the specifics of the sleepy routine look like are entirely dependent on each baby and their specific habits and preferences. But it all ends with them sleeping and being able to go back to sleep easily if hunger or a diaper isn't the solution, and with them being able to fall asleep initially without rocking or needing to be nursed to sleep.

I put them down drowsy and let them fall asleep on their own from the beginning, and that doesn't change whether they are in their cosleeper, our bed, or a crib. As I said previously I cannot stress the benefits I have seen from a basic, predictable routine enough! Part of why they go to sleep easily is because we are militant about keeping the same basic schedule and nap/nighttime rituals so they know exactly what to expect and how to respond.

If you are still struggling with night wakings that are NOT need related, I recommend picking up a used copy of "The Baby Whisperer" on Amazon for a few cents and seeing if that basic approach helps you :)

goodforme
05-26-2011, 04:59 PM
Another book I've seen recommended over and over again, Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution" although I haven't read it myself.

Good luck, because sleep deprivation is NO fun and a well-rested Mommy makes the whole house happier.

Arctic Mama
05-26-2011, 06:14 PM
Yes! I have heard that one recommended by mommy friends of mine, as well. I'm glad we haven't needed it but it has helped in their home, with those who are especially reluctant sleepers. That's another one that has been out for long enough that used copies should be cents apiece.

4star
05-27-2011, 11:36 AM
So at the moment I have made some changes to wind my daughter down for the night. I give her nightime baths instead of morning baths. I read her a story and sing to her and rock her. I also give her solids closer to bed along with her usual bedtime bottle. Usually she's out by 7-7:30, but last night she was awake until nine.
She woke up several times last night, but finally stayed asleep for awhile after 2:30. It wasn't too difficult getting her back to sleep just by holding her, and it wasn't hard putting her back in the crib. There were a few times she actually did cry and fall back asleep, so that's good too.
I still am not sure what the best method for my family is. I may try a little Ferber Method, but I don't know if I could really carry through. She may just get more awake and angry. I'll just have to see how long and how badly she gets upset. I don't think I could do it if she is screaming bloody murder for hours.

Not to worry, I don't think there is a method that says let your baby cry hysterically for hours. Most methods are simply about babies who are easily disturbed sleepers needing some peace and quite to calm down on their own.

What is just as important IMO besides the way you put them down is having that predictable schedule in the night time routine. It's pretty effective when you make a routine out of dinner, bath, and bedtime. They start to predict what will happen and it becomes something they can depend upon. Not to mention, bathtime sets the mood for sleep.

sept15lija
05-30-2011, 04:17 PM
Not to worry, I don't think there is a method that says let your baby cry hysterically for hours. Most methods are simply about babies who are easily disturbed sleepers needing some peace and quite to calm down on their own.

What is just as important IMO besides the way you put them down is having that predictable schedule in the night time routine. It's pretty effective when you make a routine out of dinner, bath, and bedtime. They start to predict what will happen and it becomes something they can depend upon. Not to mention, bathtime sets the mood for sleep.

I don't know if there's a book about just letting them cry for hours but I certainly know a lot of my friends that have done just that...it's pretty sad to me. :( I ttoally agree with you I think the routine is incredibly important - also white noise can really help.

I'm of the AP camp and I don't let my kids cry for me at night without responding...I also don't believe you need to teach them to "self-soothe" - that is a skill that comes with age. My son started sleeping through mostly around 2, my daughter is starting to sleep through a bit and she's 16 months. As far as I can see it's time or training, and we've chosen time. But each family is different! I know how hard it is though - my son was up ALL THE TIME and my daughter, while better, has had a lot of challenges too...it's really hard but doing any form of CIO just wasn't right for our family.