(Closed) Please help a tired mom! Sleep training (or not sleep training) advice needed.

posted 5 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
Member
1074 posts
Bumble bee

** disclaimer ** I never fully read any books on sleep training. Just short articles or other people’s advice.

We didn’t start sleep training until Dear Daughter was 6 months old. A routine helped us a lot. About an hour after dinner it was bath, story, nurse, then put to bed in her crib sleepy. We used a humidifier for white noise. We closed her door all the way and got black out curtains. Most nights she fell asleep right away. 

I couldn’t really handle letting her cry. So if she cried longer than 5 minutes we got her. But we stayed in her room with it dark and rocked her for a couple of minutes. That usually did the trick. 

 

Post # 3
Member
24 posts
Newbee

Break the cycle NOW! My son is 20 months and still tries to climb into bed with my fiance and I. When he was 3 to 4 months old I started putting rice cereal in his bottle before putting him to bed. It helps him remain full longer. When he wakes put him back in his bed and try to comfort him. Even if he cries you can’t keep putting him in the bed with you.He is getting confused. Once they get accustomed to sleeping with you its VERY hard to break more so for you than him because no one wants to hear their child scream and cry.

Post # 4
Member
683 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

my baby is now 7 months and once the doctor gave me the ok last month, we stopped her late night feedings. I was in the same boat but my baby was sleeping from 11pm-7am every day at just two months old. Yay! Well once I moved her bed to arrange my room that stopped when she was about 3.5momths and she hasn’t slept through the night but a handful of times since

Post # 6
Member
683 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I wrote advice in there but it didn’t work for some reason…

what I do, if he doesn’t *need* to eat (see how long babies your kids age can go late at night without feeding) and slowly cut down the unnecessary feedings in between. Making them shorter and shorter. Also try powerfeeding before bed time (feed until the baby absolutely refuses to take another drop).

also consistency is your best friend. I learned that with my eldest when she had colic. Same bed time every night, same routine, same wakeup routine is crucial as well. Keep lights off when you feed him unless its a very low light.

once we stopped my daughters night feedings when she wakes up not instead of feeding her I put some music on low and hold her while swaying to the music until she is about to fall asleep.once she is on the verge I lay her down with a pacifier (helps reduce risk of SIDS) and walk out. She is getting much better now

hang in there, it will get better

Post # 7
Member
562 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I agree with PP. Routine is really crucial for the initial falling asleep.

Babies sleep in 50-60 minute cycles. They transisition from deep to light sleep. If something disturbs them during that light sleep, they’ll wake up (I was just reading about this because we’ve been having some trouble with our 8-month-old waking up). Try to find out if something is disturbing your son at these times — street noise, family pet, etc. Having a white-noise machine could be helpful.

We did CIO a bit when my daughter was around 5 months. It was helpful, I think. We left her for 3 minutes, let her cry, comforted, left for 5 minutes, comforted, left for 10 minutes, comforted and so on. I don’t think we ever had to go in again after the first 10 minutes. I think it’s the Ferber Method?

Good luck!

Post # 8
Member
11744 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Everyone’s got their opinion but you need to do what feels right for your baby and family. Personally, I believe your sons sleep is very normal. I don’t believe bad habits or spoiling can form at that age. I believe sleep is a natural, developmental process that needs no training And with time it will get better. It’s not easy but it’s what we sign up for when we choose to have a baby. 

reading up on infant sleep patterns and adjusting my expectations were what helped us most. My daughter is 9.5 months and still wakes 1-3 times a night for various reasons – feeding, separation anxiety, gas, teething, developmental milestone, etc. 

theres no magic bullet with infant sleep. They’re growing so fast, it’s constantly going to change In the first few years. There will be good stretches and bad. Pretty soon you’ll be fighting to get them out of bed in the morning!

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  .
  • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  .
Post # 9
Member
3008 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Karie:  First off, my sympathies! My son will be 5 months in a week and there are times I am so tired that I just start crying- it comes in waves. The very best advice I have heard is to just “muscle through.” It means to just tough it out and not drive yourself crazy with tons of different methods. My son was sleeping well at 2 months, regressed at 3 months, and is doing better now. That being said, here are a few things that worked to get my little guy happy to be sleeping in his crib- taking scheduled naps in his crib (10:30ish and 1:30ish), a white noise machine, always napping/sleeping in his Magic Merlin sleepsuit, and a set bedtime. We close the black-out shades, turn on the white noise, put him in the sleepsuit, I breastfeed him and then put him in the crib. If he cries I will pat him and say “SHHHH” (or humming loudly in a low tone works, too). If he keeps crying I let him nurse a little more- he only rarely cries more after that and it is usually when he is overtired because he missed a nap or it’s past bedtime or something. I agree that 12 weeks is too young for CIO. Good luck! You will get it figured out! My son was also used to sleeping either in his co-sleeper or in my arms in bed but we got him into his crib 100% of the time in just a few days. Just go with your gut and try to get a routine going- this too shall pass!

Post # 10
Member
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

 

Karie:  Personally, I can’t let my Dear Daughter “cry it out” I simply can not take it. I’m to afraid she will get so upset she won’t be able to breathe and she will suffocate. (May seem ridiculous, but personally, it’s happened to me but I have a breathing problem). Anyways- I think we’ve been very lucky when it comes to Dear Daughter, she will be 11 months on the 12th. She ALWAYS slept in a bassinet in our room until she was 4 months, and then I transitioned her on a weekend into her bed and she seemed to do okay. There were plenty of times that I fell asleep on the couch and I had to put her in the swing to get her to sleep. Also, there were some times I had to cuddle her to fall asleep, not very often though because I was/am to scared about smashing her. (Paranoid, hello. lol)

Around her 4 month mark I invested in a Amber baltic teething necklace, and that has done WONDERS I am so convinced has helped her with more than just her teething. She doesn’t even know it’s on or realize it’s on because I started her on it so young.

She also has a nightlight on in her room, through the summer there was a fan on. For the winter, a humidfier runs every night. She also has the baby einstein sea soother (talk about a god send) that has ocean sounds that she would fall asleep to, too.

 

Maybe try any of those things, see if that works?

Post # 11
Member
9815 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Do you like having him in bed with you?  Mine was in her crib from day 1 (in our room) but during our 4 mo (3.5mo-5.5 mo lol) sleep regression I brought her to bed with me often.  It just worked better for me to get more sleep that way and I liked snuggling her.  So she was probably in our bed at least once a night.

I personally feel that 3 mo is too young for CIO and I only did some light fuss it out/pick up-put down at 6mo+ when I could tell she was crying (when I put her down initially for bed) in order to get me back into the room.  Because she’d stop crying as soon as I came in and would cry when I left.

Do you use white noise?  I’d suggest a loud fan.  Also, what I did was just pick up/put down.  Put baby down awake.  If they start crying, pick them up and hold for a few minutes until they calm down.  Put them down.  Repeat (many times).  Eventually mine figured out how to go to sleep on her own.That’s not to say I don’t have set backs and off weeks.  Your baby’s sleep sounds pretty normal to me.  They will start “sleeping through the night” eventually and then can regress for awhile due to things like teething, mental or physical leaps. 

Mine is 8mo old and still wakes up at least once per night to eat, up to 3 or 4 times on her off nights.  I would do what works best for you and what feels right.  Do what works until it doesn’t.  It bed sharing works best for everyone to get the most sleep I would definitely do it.  It is also normal for babies to have their long stretch of sleep first and then wake up more often after that.  So they will not sleep in 6 hours stretches- it would usually be one 6 hour stretch and then wakeup every 2 or 3 hours (or whatever) or so after that.

I moved my baby to her own room at 5mo when she was keeping me awake with her babbling.  It was fine for me to leave her babbling (she wasn’t crying) but it was keeping me awake.  Now she can babble all she wants to herself in her own room.

Post # 12
Member
905 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Full disclosure: I am not a mom but was a full time nanny for 3 years after college and sleep trained twins.

Consistency is key! No matter what you tactic you decide, CIO, co sleeping, etc. just remember that if you deviate (it’s amazing how little a change can really affect them.. Smell, the wrong pajamas, etc) from the current plan it’s only making it harder for your little one. (I used to repeat it over and over.) I say current plan because as you go through the sleep training your mothers intuition may really tell you that the method you’re trying is not for you guys. I would also recommend not trying CIO unless you are totally committed to it, which it sounds like you are not after talking to your doctor. It’s SO hard and coming back from it is even harder! 

I also always used to tell myself: Every baby becomes a teenager and then I’ll be wishing they’d wake up. Helped to keep things in perspective when there was no end to the tunnel of crying babies. 

Post # 13
Member
8861 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Karie:  Not knocking co-sleepers, but it was not what I wanted to do and sounds like not what you want either. So the goal is to get the baby to sleep better in his own bed. One big point is that everyone — even babies — roll around, fuss, wake up, half-wake up, etc all night long. Don’t assume that every time he wakes up it’s because he’s hungry or needs something. If you have a good feeding routine during the day, he should be able to go at least as long between feedings at night, probably longer. If you hear him before it’s time for a feeding, don’t go in his room. Let him fuss a little and there’s a good chance he’ll fall back asleep. If it’s time for a feeding, feed him, rock him, love him, then put him back in bed sleepy but not sleeping. Let him learn to fall asleep on his own. We did this with both my kids and very rarely had any sleep problems. At around maybe 7 or 8 months, my daughter started crying when I put her down. At first (because it was unusual at first) I would rush back in to see what was wrong, but then I realized nothing was wrong, she just wanted more mama time. It was really hard, but I let her cry it out. First night she went 15 minutes then fell asleep, next night she cried 10 minutes then fell asleep, next night 5 minutes, and then she was back to falling asleep on her own with no crying. I know it’s hard to let them cry — you feel like you should go comfort them, but helping them learn to fall asleep on their own WILL comfort them for the rest of their life. With kids you have to think long-term and be willing to make yourself (and them) unhappy now so they can be happier in the future. Good luck!

Post # 14
Member
953 posts
Busy bee

My kids are older..but ill just give you my input.

 

Enjoy your time with your baby.  I co-slept. .sorry I don’t care if people think it’s wrong. I slept better and so did my children.  I couldn’t let my babies cry it out. They needed me. 

 

Do what you feel is right for you. A sleepy mommy and a cranky baby doesn’t make for such a happy life.  I don’t believe all this “self soothing” bull. Sorry these are infants. I also know that my children grew out of my bed on thier own…and I don’t know one person who has thier adult children still sleeping with them. 

 

When they get older you will wish…you held them every night and dream of that time where you listened to your little one breathing while he slept in your arms. The smell of his breath..heck even the smell of wet nappies. 

 

Don’t feel so pressured by people who tell you ______ is the right way. Do what feels best for you and your child.  

 

Oh and I kicked my Fi out of my bed last night so I could have an all night snuggle/movie fest with my 8 year old. It reminded me…how much she frigging moves and how annoying her feet are in my face. 

Post # 15
Member
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I woke up with my baby and breastfed her every time she woke up, up until she was 6 months old.  At that time, we decided to try extinguishing CIO.  Some people have judgy feelings about that, but I knew my daughter, and seeing people come into her room every few minutes just ticked her off more.  It took around 3 nights of long term crying before she finally started to sleep pretty well.  Then, it was HEAVEN until she started teething.  Now she wakes once a night or so.  I give her 20 minutes, and if she’s still crying, I go in to comfort her (however, when she is ill or teething again, I usually am much more lenient).

Am I sleeping like a baby?  No, but honestly, I don’t expect that for a few years yet.  I am getting enough sleep to function, though.  That’s about as much as I can ask for.

 

oh, and some nights I ask daddy to take care of her instead.

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