Babies: 6 - 9 Months

Struggling with sleep training

My husband and I started sleep training our 6 month old daughter 10 days ago. It was not something I ever planned to do and I agonized over the decision but eventually decided we needed to give it try. My daughter was addicted to bouncing, and would wake up after 20 to 30 minutes during the naps and up to 8-10 times at night. SOMETIMES she would nurse back to sleep at night but many times just wanted to be bounced. We eventually brought her in the bed with us but that wasn't cutting it for her either. She was totally sleep deprived. I did not want to let her cry it out but I finally decided it was the best choice for her. I opted to do the Furber method, but stayed in the room the first two nights while she fell asleep just to get her adjusted. Then on the third night I started the progressive waiting and have been doing that ever since, with the longest time being 25 minutes. The thing is, we are not having the success I read that most people have with this method. It seems like all the experiences I read about are of extreme crying the first night followed by a dramatic drop on night 2 and by night 3 or 4 the baby is going to sleep without crying and staying asleep for several hours. Our baby still cries almost every time I lay her down for at least 15 minutes, sometimes more, and is often still waking after 30 minute naps. I'm fine getting up to feed her once or twice at night (I'm EBF) but she will sometimes still cry when I put her down 45 minutes or more. There has definitely been improvement (she has put herself to sleep without crying or with little crying several times, which NEVER would have happened before) but I was hoping to see more drastic results more quickly. I would not be okay letting her cry herself to sleep for 20 minutes every night and nap forever! Has anyone had experience with CIO where the results were slow like this but eventually turned around? If you are against sleep training, please don't comment. I felt the same way and did not make this decision lightly so am not looking for input from people who think it is cruel. Just looking for support/experiences from other moms who have been through it! FYI we do the whole bedtime routine (pjs, stories, massage, nurse, lullabies, etc) and put her down around 6:30. Naps we aim for 2 hours apart. We have blackout curtains and a noise maker. 

Re: Struggling with sleep training

  • I can totally sympathize. We were totally against CIO until we needed it. My son (now 6.5 months) had never enjoyed falling asleep. Up until 5.5 months, I would just rock him to sleep and then set him down, but he would still cry and scream while being rocked to sleep in my arms. What can I say, he's a social guy and didn't want to miss anything ;) But it was obvious that he needed the sleep and he was so much happier with enough sleep, so we just made it work. However at 5.5 months, he would no longer stay asleep when I set him down, which led to me rocking him to sleep 3-4 times per nap and lots more screaming. So we tried CIO, and it has been a life saver for naps (he has never had any problem falling asleep by himself at bedtime, go figure). The number of times he has fused when putting him down for a nap has dramatically decreased since we started (one month later it's usually only if we try to squeeze in a 3rd nap if his first two were less than 2.5 hours total, and the fussing is more talking than screaming). And we can now put him down awake but drowsy. He has also developed much longer naps (2 hours vs 20-30 minutes), which are obviously more refreshing for him. So, CIO actually led to way less crying and more refreshing sleep. But it was a gradual process for us too, which I think is partially due to him being at daycare during the week so we can only practice on weekends.
  • I forgot to add, we do 10-minute intervals for soothing when he is fussing (he usually goes to sleep 1-2 minutes after the first time we go in to comfort him). However, if he is still fussing after 45 minutes, we just skip the nap altogether.
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  • Thank you that is really helpful to hear! Seems like all the stories I read are of people having these magical experiences with CIO where it works immediately! I was starting to wonder if maybe my daughter is just one of those babies it doesn't work on so it's nice to know someone else had slower progress with eventual success!! 
  • Honestly just keep being consistent with what your doing, sounds like your doing all the right things sometimes it just takes them longer to adjust, also it's totally normal to have a few good days and then I swear baby tries to test you again to see if you'll change and go back to what you were doing before. Stay strong she will get the hang of the new way of doing things just keep being consistent and keep the routine, lots of stimulation and floor time when she's awake and once she starts moving lots that will help tire her out more and sleep a bit better ! Stay strong your doing a great job
  • I'm encouraged by this. We have just started trying to train our 6 month old. He seems to be fighting sleep the last few days. I think he is also teething too which may be another reason for the slow progression.
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