Post # 1
My daughter just turned 5 months old and my husband and I are finding ourselves in search of some sleep solutions.
For naps, if we put her in her swing at just the right time, she can fall asleep and stay asleep. Sometimes she falls asleep while nursing and I can easily transfer her so that she’s sleeping on her own.
But at night, she never goes to sleep by herself. For several months, it was my husband who rocked her to sleep. Now, she wants to nurse to sleep. This may be because she’s getting hungrier during the day, and we’re currently exploring options for starting solids.
Once she’s asleep, she sleeps for a good 11 hours with no nighttime awakenings. But it’s getting her to sleep that we’re struggling with.
I should also add that the “cry-it-out” method isn’t for us. We’re looking for something more gentle.
Post # 3
I breastfed both of our kids, but the younger of the two did not like sleeping at night. So, I started giving her a bottle of formula at night or making sure she had cereal at night. It keeps their tummy full and when they’re sated they are most likely to drift off to sleep!
Also – my mother told me that I refused to fall asleep when I was a baby. Her and Dad used to put me in the car and drive around until I fell asleep and then transfer me to the crib!
Post # 4
@eurekaanchovies: I refuse to do the CIY method also. My son is also 5 months old. We are doing sleep training by starting a routine at night. After his last evening feeding, (I can’t BF so its formula) we put him in his sleep sack. Then I put him in his crib and start his sound machine.
We let him hang out in there, I am still in the room but sitting in the rocking chair. If he starts to fuss or cry I do not pick him up but just go over and gentley rock his body and talk softly to him. I do this for a few moments to just let him know I am there. The back to the chair and repeat until he falls asleep. The only time have picked up if he does start to cry pretty hard, then I do pick him up and rock him just to calm him down and put him back in his crib.
We are also in the process of breaking swaddling him by using halo sleep sacks but keeping his arms inside the sack, once he gets used to having his arms not swaddled and can move them around a bit we will put his arms out one at a time.
Post # 5
Thanks, Ladies. I’ll try your suggestions.
Post # 6
I’ll ditto @Sassygrn: ‘s advice that now would be a great time to start bedtime and nap routines. It won’t solve your problems immediately, but over time it should help her transition herself to sleeping on her own.
Additionally, if you prefer gentler methods, I would recommend the No Cry Sleep Solution. It gives a lot great suggestions on how to transition your child to sleeping by him/herself using gentle techniques. Remember that gentle sleep training is not going to give you the fastest results, but it should work with time, practice, and patience. 🙂
Post # 7
What helped us most was Tracy Hogg’s Baby Whisperer book. Hands-down, best sleep book out there, IMO. Practical, easy to apply, addressed all of our concerns that the other books didn’t, and seemed to have more realistic expectations for my family than Weissbluth, Pantley, or Sears.
I just loved it. I know her method won’t work for everyone or be a good fit for every baby, but I highly recommend it. Not just her Pick Up/Put Down method, but also her explanations of types of cries were SO helpful!
Post # 8
And, in your case, here’s my 2 cents– it really sounds like you aren’t enforcing a routine– if you don’t want her to nurse to sleep, don’t let her. Pop her off before she’s totally asleep, nurse her before you start the night-time routine and in another room– whatever it takes so that she gets her last feed NOT as part of her falling asleep process.
She may cry about it, but if she does, she’s crying because she is protesting how she’s going to sleep. She’s saying “I want the boob, mom! That’s how I fall asleep!” And you just have to say “No, that’s not how you fall asleep now.” (Note, I’m not saying cry it out by sticking her in the crib and letting ‘er rip. I’m saying that even as you rock her in your arms– if you want to go back to that– she might insist on nursing, and if you don’t allow her to, she may cry.)
Post # 9
@ViaMinorViator: Interesting how your child is now the same kind of sleeper that you were!
@Sassygrn: Thanks for sharing your practice with me. I’m interested in doing something similar. The CYI method just seems so cruel to me. Thankfully, my husband is on the same page as me, and he’s very keen on being a part of her bedtime routine, so wish us luck!
@Mrs. Spring: Thanks for the advice. I’ve requested the No-Cry book from the library. I am totally prepared for a longer process but I think it’ll be worth the time and energy, since we certainly want a happy baby and we want to be happy ourselves. Thanks again.
@red_seattle: Thanks for your advice. I’ve got the Whisperer book on request from the library. We tried to put a routine in place, but we weren’t strict about the time, since she seemed to become tired at a different time each night. Plus, since I let her nurse and nap on demand during the day, that flexibility made its way to nighttime. I appreciate your advice. Wish us luck!
Post # 10
@eurekaanchovies: When you start your routine, your baby will get the cue and after a few days, he’ll fall asleep around the same time every day. We started a nightime routine when our son was only 5 weeks old and he got it very quickly. He now sleeps through the night with only one feeding, at 11 weeks old.
We usually play with him, then switch to a calmer activity before bathtime. Bath is at the same time every day (give or take 30 minutes, depending on his naps for the day), then it’s the last feeding, burp, swaddle, bed.
I have this amazing book, but it’s in French and not translated… Basically, it insists on a predictible routine, not letting the baby fall asleep anywhere other than his bed, providing a calm environment for the baby to sleep in. And being aware that the ability to fall asleep on his own is hard work for baby, so he may protest (by crying) and that’s ok. You go and reassure him, but without picking him up if possible, and if not, you pick him up but put him down as soon as he’s calmer (not when he’s back asleep). Then when/if he cries again, you wait a little longer to go back to reassure him… Like, 15 seconds increments.
It worked for us, just with the routine and good sleep habits, we almost never had to let him cry.