Sleep training — The Bump
June 2015 Moms

Sleep training

Some of you have mastered the art of getting LO to sleep without too much fuss. I envy thee. As someone who struggles in this department, I was hoping to find a method that works for us. Please let me know what technique you used. Did you modify it in any way? How long did it take for LO to master it? Did you try any other methods that didn't work? TIA!
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Re: Sleep training

  • I was stuck rocking lo until she was asleep and then would hold her for a few more minutes before putting her in her crib. It was exhausting. I started the Ferber method last Friday with no intention of actually doing it. After crying for 40 mins I picked her up and she passed out, slept until 6 something which was her normal except the last few days before that she kept waking up every few minutest. So doing that made me do it again sat night and she barely cried, just talked for about 40 minutes. Sunday she fell asleep about 10 mins after being in the crib. After those 3 nights I started with naps. It wentp ok to start. We were getting 30 min naps maybe twice a day because sometimes she would be crying After 30 minutes so I would skip the nap. Although there have been a few times that I've left her until 35 mins if she seems she is going to sleep. So lately we haven't skipped any naps and sometimes there is crying/sometimes not, sometimes she is asleep in 10 minutes and sometimes 30. I don't go in to check anymore. She has been taking a long morning nap which is awesome. Today was 2 hours! I also spaced out her wake time when I started this. Now i put her in the crib 2 hours after she woke up. Hope this helps you! It definitely helped us! Oh- she also now sleeps on her stomach since starting this.
    lovethatcolosun
  • Ok so a little background on what I'm working with. LO has been nursed to sleep up to this point. I put her down either drowsy or asleep in her crib. She sleeps generally in two hour chunks. She wakes and cries. I give her some time (2-5 min) to cry herself back to sleep before going to get her. If it's at night or during her long nap I can usually repeat the nurse to sleep cycle. However, now I am encountering new obstacles. She wakes every time I put her in her crib now and cries. I've left the room for up to 20 min while she whine/cries. She has yet to be able to go to sleep this way. How long do I let her cry? It breaks my heart to hear her do more than the whine/cry. Like the real tears cry. I feel like I'm sending mixed messages when I'm sleep training so I need to find something that works for all of us that I can stick to.
  • For LO, I modified Ferber because I was afraid of LO waking DS, which I think you've struggled with too. LO gets a 7 oz bottle between 6-6:30; she put herself on this schedule. We do our nighttime routine and put her down still awake but sleepy. We would let her whine/cry but if she seemed like she was starting to go nuclear, I would go in, pick her and bounce until she settled, then put her back down, awake. Repeat as needed. The worst night took 2 hours of this. DS sleeps hard enough, we let her fuss MOTN. After 4 am, I feed her and put her back down. Now her typical night is sleep from 7 until 4-5, then I feed her, then sleep until 8. If I let her fuss at 4 am, she will go back to sleep up she'll be up for the day at 5:30 or 6. She just can't do 12 hours like DS did. But he also woke up screaming from hunger and when she wakes up, you can at least change her diaper.

    With DS, we swung for the fences and it worked. With LO, we started with DH going in to settle her the first time she woke up (usually before midnight) because if I did it, she had to eat. You might need to enlist DH, at least for the first waking. When we started, she was waking at 10:30, 1, 3 and 5. We were able to drop the 10:30 and 3 pretty quickly. After a week, I stopped feeding her at 1 and that was when she switched to one waking between 4 and 5. She's eating several ounces at that feed, so I'm having a hard time getting rid of it.

    The second one has been harder because I'm terrified of a sleep deprived 3 yo and I haven't been super consistent because she's my last baby and I love the snuggles.

    I hope you find something that works. If you need more details, pm me.
    lovethatcolosuncbrtncanadian
  • @lovethatcolosun we were having the exact same problem. Nursing to sleep & wouldn't transfer plus screaming when I'd put him down. He's been in our bed for the past 2 weeks, but would still cry if he happened to wake up while putting him down. I got beyond frustrated while trying to put him down for a nap on Saturday morning. After the second time of having him wake up, I left him in the crib crying. I'd go back in when there was a pause in crying, pat him, talk to him, but the minute screaming started, I walked out. He cried on & off for about 35 minutes, then slept for 2 hours. Yesterday and today for naps I've been able to put him down sleepy & he's been asleep in 15 minutes with minimal fussing. He also put himself to sleep in our bed last night, so this Friday he's going in his crib...We'll see how it goes.

    I was so sad on Saturday, but am now amazed at how it helped.
    lovethatcolosunSammy K
  • Not sure where to ask this, so I'll throw it here! Has anyone introduced a lovey/transitional object?
  • Lo snuggles with a little blanky with a pig head on it. For naps I'll leave it since I can watch the monitor but at night we take it before we go to bed or if it looks like it's near her nose.
    virginiaunicorn11alcrimminsbeemaya83
  • slynnn768slynnn768 member
    100 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2015
    My question is when you start the training...does baby usually sleep longer once they finally fall asleep by themselves? I know they will eventually but I mean that first night. I'm in the same boat as @lovethatcolosun with a baby waking every 2 hours. Once he goes down for the first time, will I have to repeat the crying process every 2 hours, or do they generally tend to sleep longer than usual?

    Eta tagged wrong person..
  • ^^ I did sleep training one night and after 40 minutes of going in the room in increments LO fell asleep to wake up 50 minutes later. I haven't done sleep training since! That was a month ago. He has gotten better on his own though. I'll try again after 6 months if he doesn't sleep better on his own at that point.
  • I did a modified Ferber. I would check in at 3-5 minutes the first cry, and then 5-10 minutes the second. I had a hard time letting her cry past then, but thankfully there was only a couple times that she didn't fall asleep before the second check in. After about a week she was able to go to sleep with zero issues. Now she barely cries before sleeping, and when she does, it's only for maybe a minute. I would never pick her up, just rub her head or pat her back/bottom. The one thing I regret doing the first time around, was letting her keep the pacifier. I thought one thing at a time. First the sleep training, then the paci. We retrained without the pacifier a couple weeks ago, and sleep has been phanominal. She goes down easier, and has better quality sleep. She doesn't lose the paci and then look for it anymore. She sleeps 8:30 pm to 5/5:30 am, eats, and then goes down again til 8 am. Morning nap from 10ish to noon. Afternoon nap from 3 to 4:30. Maybe she'll take a quick snooze on the couch around 6:30/7 for 15 minutes.
    addingonlovethatcolosun
  • amccoy129 said:

    @lovethatcolosun we were having the exact same problem. Nursing to sleep & wouldn't transfer plus screaming when I'd put him down. He's been in our bed for the past 2 weeks, but would still cry if he happened to wake up while putting him down. I got beyond frustrated while trying to put him down for a nap on Saturday morning. After the second time of having him wake up, I left him in the crib crying. I'd go back in when there was a pause in crying, pat him, talk to him, but the minute screaming started, I walked out. He cried on & off for about 35 minutes, then slept for 2 hours. Yesterday and today for naps I've been able to put him down sleepy & he's been asleep in 15 minutes with minimal fussing. He also put himself to sleep in our bed last night, so this Friday he's going in his crib...We'll see how it goes.

    I was so sad on Saturday, but am now amazed at how it helped.

    This is interesting. See I've been going in to check on her and pick her up when she really gets wound up. I like that you use a reward system for calming down and not crying. If I go in to just pat her back or rub her head and leave she really gets pissed. The first night of training she cried for two and a half hours. We checked on her in progressively longer stretches. It didn't turn out well. Last night was a joke. She carried on for about the same time and my old tricks weren't working so she slept with me the whole night. DH fell asleep in DS bed so I spread out last night. Anyway, naps were torturous again today, until I got a two hour stretch out of her. (Her only nap). I'm not sure what the hell is going on.

    I added a blanket between her plastic mattress and sheet to see if that keeps the chill off. She seemed to startle awake when hitting the cold mattress. I'm also back to swaddling (arms out) since she stopped flipping over for the time being. That's the only way that she would nap today.
  • @slynnn768 I think it depends on the baby. My LO has a harder time falling asleep for the night then she does when she wakes in the middle of the night. She's usually so tired after her first waking I feed her and she falls right back asleep. At the 4 AM feed a lot of times she'll be wide-awake. I put her down that way, she talks to herself and falls asleep in 30 minutes or so on her own.

    I didn't do any formal sleep training and the only book I read was the Dr. Sears baby sleep book. I've just tried different things and have settled on my own method. We do our night routine (I don't go by the clock but by her tired cues so this varies between 6 & 7). We always put her special sleep music on. If she is hungry I have no problem nursing her to sleep. If I put her down and she fusses I try to soothe her by rubbing her back & saying our sleep cue "it's ok. Night night." A lot of the times she calms and starts to fall asleep & I sneak out. If the fussing escalates however I will pick her up and rock her a little and try putting her down again saying the same thing and rubbing her back. I'll use the paci if needed but she doesn't always need it. I don't leave the room if she's straight out crying I try to soothe more. But I will leave if she is awake or just fussing and I will let her fuss/cry for about five minutes before I go back in and try this same routine again. After the second time I will usually try nursing again in case she is actually hungry. I figure the fuller her belly the longer she will hopefully sleep! If she won't go to sleep after 45 min of us trying this I just get her up and try again after she starts getting cranky. After that she seems to go down easier the second round. Sometimes I will lie down with her too, whatever works!
    My biggest goal was I didn't want her to be fearful of the crib or sleep (I have a lifelong history of sleep anxiety & I didn't want this for her). I think we've achieved this! I know she will sleep eventually and I prefer not to fight her on it so I kind of have a go with the flow attitude.
    I think every baby is different and so is every parent so you have to find what works for you both.
    lovethatcolosunvirginiaunicorn11moz3518
  • Last night lo woke up at 1 am! I knew she wasn't hungry because she ate at 6:45 and always sleeps until at least 5am without eating. Well I let her cry with checking on her once. She cried for a while but did go back to sleep until now.
    lovethatcolosun
  • @lovethatcolosun we haven't done it at night. I don't feel that is going to go well. Haha. Last night he fell asleep nursing at 6:30, I put him down to go check on dinner in his crib. You would've thought someone was beating him.

    I read somewhere to try to go in during a lull. I thought it was on here but maybe it was somewhere else.
    lovethatcolosunAPago
  • Yay for progress! I was wondering how things were going.
  • I did the Ferber method, but also modified it to what I felt most comfortable with. I stretched the 7 day plan to 14 (so day1 x2, day2 x2 and so on). I also did not give him the pacifier.They say to introduce the pacifier only once they are able to find it and put it in their mouth themselves, otherwise you have an LO who will potentially wake up every time it falls out.

    I do nurse LO before I put him down though. I know it's said to separate feeding and sleep, but I really enjoy this time with him and he doesn't wake up to nurse any longer so I'm sticking to it.

    I will share one thing that I think worked for us, and this is only my opinion...I rolled up two towels and placed them under his matress pad and sheet on either side of him. My son loved the feeling of being swaddled and I co-slept, so he likes that feeling of being close. I make sure to place his head above the towels (in case he turns his head, so he's not smooshed against be side of the towel) and he usually sleeps with his hands above his head, so the towels are basically hugging him on either side of his body (hope this makes sense).

    It helped him feel snug and almost like he's being cuddled. So we did this and Ferber, and he's sleeping 7pm-8am every night. Ferber was hard in the beginning but by day 4 he was a different kid. Sorry for the worlds longest post!! Good luck and it looks like you're heading in the right direction.

    Also to add, my son screamed bloody murder whenever I went in to "comfort" (didn't feel like I was providing any comfort in that moment!) him, so I drastically reduced the amount of time I was in there. Usually would be a min and he was shrieking by the time I left. Went down to 15-20 seconds. I found that I needed to reassure him that I was still around, but staying longer than the 15-20 seconds just aggravated him more. A quick pat on the back, stroke his hair and I was out the door!
    FTM - EDD June 16 2015
    ChardeeMacDennislovethatcolosunksimo6virginiaunicorn11
  • lovethatcolosun - We do a modified Ferber/ Happiest Baby method... Let him cry for five minutes, go in an soothe.  Then 5 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 10, then 12, then 15 and then 20.  No more after that unless baby is hysterical.  We DO pick baby up if they are really upset.   If they are not super upset, we rub their belly or back and talk to them a little bit to reassure them. 

    And by WE , I mean my husband.  I am not cut out for sleep training.  I cry the entire time and would cave if it were just me.  My husband had my daughter sleeping through the night and putting herself to sleep in about a week. We trained her at about 6 months as well. 

    He started to train my son two nights ago... the first night it was 90 minutes.  Last night it was 45.  Hopefully, the time will continue to decrease over the next week or two.  Our son cried less and was less upset last night as compared to the first night. 

    I have to remind myself that this is our child learning a new skill.  He doe snot understand what's going on and needs time to adjust to a new reality.  AND that he has cried for much longer than 10 minutes in the car when I am unable to help him at all.... (that is just reassurance for me).  AND that crying is ok.  It does not hurt him just as it does not hurt me... (that is also reassurance for me!). 

    I hope your LO is doing well! 

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  • I think once we're back from Christmas break we will start training again. Things have been really off with her naps since I started up at work again and traveling. Once we're home and in a routine again I think it'll be better. She has definitely improved over the last few weeks though. She only wakes about three times a night now. I co sleep with her from about 12-4 and then I've been putting her back into her crib awake drowsy. She will put herself to sleep at that point. I know she can do it, it just depends on her mood on how long it takes. I see progress, that's the important part.
    Sammy K
  • We do a modified Ferber too. She gets more pissed when we go in to calm her down and then leave. Today we let her cry for 25 minutes and finally went in to get her. She didn't nap that time at all. This afternoon, she went down easily and slept for 2 hours. For naps she sleeps on a bunny lovely which helps the transition easier; take it out at night.

    We were doing great at night until recent nights, I feel like I don't know what to do when she's crying in MOTN. I like the tip on letting DH do first wake- she expects to be fed if I go in.
  • Thank you for posting on this! I Haven't even been able to finish the Ferber book to really start sleep training. I did start on having LO put down on crib drowsy and he has been doing great. He wakes up maybe 1-2 hours later crying, so we just let him be and goes back to sleep. The only thing we need work on is those MOFTN feedings. He is doing two feedings still. We are in a major house renovation and the master bedroom is almost done. Hoping to go full on night sleep training then.......naps, that's another story. He will not nap in his crib!
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  • dancegurl1118dancegurl1118 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2015
    As LO gets older she is definitely getting more upset as I leave her for naps than ever before. She rarely cries but now has started crying when I put her down. She still goes to sleep, sometimes needing me to pick her up for about 30 seconds...but I don't know why all of the sudden she's started getting so upset. Her crib, alone, is her happy place.

    ETA: I'm losing my mind by posting this because I just felt a top tooth today which could explain her craziness these past 2 weeks. Can't dirty delete so IGNORE THIS.
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    jessieR358beemaya83lovethatcolosun
  • @dancegurl1118 6 months also begins separation anxiety. So that w/ teething...yay right?
    beemaya83
  • We've also started night terrors over here. It's not super common this early (1-2 is more normal) but my kids are overacheivers. Luckily DS hasn't had one in almost a year. Maybe LO will outgrow them, too.

    If you think LO is having night terrors, ask away. Ferber's book has a section on it that really helped me.
    beemaya83
  • As LO gets older she is definitely getting more upset as I leave her for naps than ever before. She rarely cries but now has started crying when I put her down. She still goes to sleep, sometimes needing me to pick her up for about 30 seconds...but I don't know why all of the sudden she's started getting so upset. Her crib, alone, is her happy place.

    ETA: I'm losing my mind by posting this because I just felt a top tooth today which could explain her craziness these past 2 weeks. Can't dirty delete so IGNORE THIS.


    LO's new thing is screaming crying when I lay her down for a nap - or, like, if I even start to tip her in the general direction of the crib. I have to let her go ten minutes or so and she almost always falls asleep. But it sucks.

    Ugh I'm am NOT looking forward to the top teeth coming in. We got the first two (bottom) very early at 4 months - and nothing since. But she chews on everything so I think it's coming!
    beemaya83
  • I have a question for the Ferber moms.
    If my baby is chugging bottles every time he wakes up.... Can I even do the Ferber method?! I've tried to just pick him up and soothe but he is dying for food apparently.
    Who knows.... All I know is I'm desperate but I don't think I'll hack it if my kid is really actually hungry and I'm letting him self soothe ?
    beemaya83
  • I'm trying to educate myself on the modified Ferber tonight....... It seems to make sense but they don't mention hungry babies much. All they mention is that if they are at an appropriate weight that they don't need a MOTN feeding. I have a fat baby who disagrees I guess?! Lol
    beemaya83
  • @klkonwi I don't know the answer to your question but I feel the same way regarding the feeding, if my LO seems hungry (which she almost always does in the MOTN) I can't see not feeding her at this age. Sometimes even I wake up hungry in the MOTN & grab a snack & I'm not growing the way she is! I don't know the ins & outs of the Ferber method but I only let her fuss if I know she's not hungry & I've attended to her other needs. In the past week one night she had thrown up on herself, one her diaper was dirty & one she was stuck with her face against the side of the crib & couldn't reposition herself. I was glad I only let her cry for 5 min each time. That's whst I'm comfortable with, 10 min if she's being particularly stubborn & I e already checked in her several times. Also for me it depends on her type of cry, if she's really frantic I'm not letting her cry more than five min, that doesn't work for us.
    virginiaunicorn11janat1717
  • @klkonwi I would ask your ped about feeding. Ours was pretty adamant that night feedings are unnecessary at 6 months and it was habit, not need. For reference, LO is 16lb, 45% for weight. That being said, I feed LO but only after 4 am (usually 4:30 to 5:30) since that is 10+ hours from her last feeding.

    Have you tried smaller bottles? Maybe he really doesn't need a full one, but that's how he falls asleep? If you try a 2 or 3 oz bottle but he cries for more, you could definitely bring that up with the ped. If he falls back asleep, then it's a habit he's associated with sleeping.

    If I remember right, your LO is no "delicate flower" so I would be surprised if he genuinely needs multiple full bottles at night. But with growth spurts and babies being babies, anything is possible.
  • Yeah he's a huge guy almost 20 lb at 6 months..... He takes 5 oz bottles almost every MOTN feeding and that's a full bottle. Boo.... It probably is something I've made a habit of. Seems like I'll need a full bottle of tequila to break it at this point?! Lol
  • @klkonwi Have you tried bigger bottles to space out wakings? My 16 pound LO eats 7 or 7.5 before bed. At 20 lb, I would think he could eat 8 or 9 oz bottles without a problem. It might at least buy you and extra hour or two between feedings.

    Liquor definitely helps the first couple nights of sleep training. :smile:
    klkonwiKaLikeAWind
  • Here's a list of things we've tried
    1) tried bigger bottles....-absolutely clamps his lips down and refuses after 5 oz
    2) rice cereal in the bottle
    3) half formula/half breastmilk
  • beemaya83beemaya83 member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Photogenic
    edited December 2015
    @klkonwi as I have mentioned my little guy wants a feed whenever he wakes up in the middle of the night. I really BELEIVE that it is a habit for him. I was hoping that once he started eating solids he would sleep through the night but nope! He only feeds 4oz each feeding this is through out the day and night. I've tried increasing to at least 6oz but he stops right at 4oz so I don't want to force feed him. @Sammy K I wish mine ate as much as yiurs that way I didn't have to keep feeding him every 2.5 hours. My little guy has his 6 month appointment on Monday so I'll inquire to his pedi then. I'd like to add that my hubby is struggling with the Ferber, he wants to pick him up a few minutes after he cries. Yesterday was horrible. So I just had to tell him to do whatever he wants,I rolled over And went to bed.
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  • LO wakes up around 4 am every morning and would probably happily take a bottle but I just bring her back into my bed and she happily falls asleep... I always wondered if I could just let her cry it out... Apparently I can't ugh!

    I am terrible with sleep because my 4 year old comes in every night at some point and does t ever want to fall asleep without me... Ladies who get kids to sleep on their own keep up the good work!
    ciennah99mindaa
  • CIO right now for the first time. Happy new year. Haha
    HoosOnFirstmindaa
  • Popping in here because my LO is walking up every 10-30 minutes round the clock now so I have no choice but to start "working" on sleep with him. It's been going on for 2-3 weeks, doesn't seem to anything going on, no sick, no teeth. We thought he was cold but that's not it. Tonight actually went well. He screams at the top of his lung for 1-2 minutes, stops for 2-3, repeats for 10-20 minutes. Problem is he's still walking up all the time to nurse and he really doesn't seem ravenous. IDK. I'm definitely not cut out for sleep training, not my style and I'm feeling like I have no choice. Kid has to sleep. At least I know its good for him because his current situation is not okay for him.

    DS1 was easier. @klkonwi is your LO just up eating and then right back down? DS did this 2-3 times a night until 13-14 months, then dropped it quickly over just a week. He acted ravenous at every wakeup. Frantic for food, then back down. He was plenty big. We eventually realized stressing over it was the tiring part and just hustled to feed him and get right back to sleep. At 13-14 months I all the sudden felt like I was being played. He no longer seemed that hungry. We were on formula bottles by then. I actually just started offering him bottles with water (since he was old and healthy), he'd drink a few sips and give up and go to sleep while I rubbed his back. After a few nights of this, he stopped waking. Honestly it sounds like your LO is hungry. Mine might just be fucking with me.
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  • @henrytviii it's incredibly reassuring that your ds stopped feeding MOTN at 13/14 mo..... Make me think he really is just hungry; who knows!!!!
    ciennah99henrytviiivirginiaunicorn11cbrtncanadian
  • ^^Trust me looking at my kids you'd say I don't need to nurse the at night (I think you've seen pics of the one we call shark bait :neutral: ) but they just really behaved like they needed food and nothing else. I wish this one was hungry and right back down, but he's actually just a poor sleeper now I think. My toddler is skinny now, no weight issues.
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