BananaPancake — The Bump
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BananaPancake

I read a previous post where you were talking about your sleep routine to get babies to sleep in their beds. I have been thinking about you and I have some questions. I would appreciate if you could give me your thoughts!

At what age did you start putting them down and leaving them? I assume you let them CIO? My H says we should let them CIO now but I think they are too young, not quite 8 weeks.

I'm afraid we are heading for bad sleep habits. Here's our routine... Bath, jammies, boob, attempt to put them in cribs, they scream, I soothe, get them to sleep in my arms, try again, they wake and scream... And this goes on until I finally give up and fall asleep with them in the recliner. They are capable of laying flat, no reflux issues, and they nap flat all day. But at night when we lay them down they grunt and fuss.

I really want to have babies that will eventually go to sleep in their cribs and I'm willing to do what I have to, but at this age what should we be doing?? H and I are getting frustrated! I would love to hear what you did for your girls when they were this age. Thank you in advance!

 

Re: BananaPancake

  • We used CIO when our baby was 6 months old.  8 weeks old is way to young to try that.  They are not able to self soothe themselves to sleep yet.  A routine is good, but keep your expectations lower on when they will sleep in their cribs.
  • Thanks Amber, I agree! I'm just wondering what else I could do now, or stop doing to establish good sleep habits for later.

     

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  • How long are they up before you are trying to put them down? Are you putting down drowsy or asleep? Have you tried a sound machine?
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  • 8 weeks may be a little early, but it's more about how they weigh than anything. I actually just finished sleep training my boys who are 13 weeks old today. I started at 10 weeks (they were 12.6 and 12.8lbs at the time) I did CIO- gave them their last feeding og the night at 8 and came back at 6am. The first few nights were BRUTAL! I was crying in bed and DH was holding me while my babies cried- for about 2 hours or so. It was awful. My dr said once you commit though, there is no backing out- unless you want them to learn to cry for hours before you will get them. It's controversial, but they are sleeping like champs now- it was a rough week, but totally worth it and I would do it again if I had to. They are fine and actually really smiley and giggly in the morning when they see us. GL.
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  • I highly recommend the book Heathy Sleep Habits, Healthy Twins. It gives you some great insight on how to get them to sleep and how much sleep they need. If memory serves (it's been a while). The earliest you should start sleep training is four months adjusted. I didn't really have to do anything they started sleeping through a day shy of four months (3 months adjusted).

    This book helped me pick up on their sleep cues.

    Another tip is that some babies need to cry to burn off their excess energy. I would let them cry for 5-10 minutes depending on whether or not I could tell if they were calming down. Many times they fell asleep around 5-7 minutes. If they were still going and getting more upset I would go in and restart the process. I had to watch the clock though because every minute they cried felt like 100.

    We also used the Fisher Price Seahorses. They would lay in their crib and watch it and eventually doze off. Sometimes I had to turn them on 3-4 times, but they helped out a lot.

    Good luck!

    ETA: I got these around 10 weeks (http://truewomb.com/). They really helped with the crib transition. I used them until almost 5 months.

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  • I second the Healthy Sleep Habits book.  I also agree with the minimum of 4 months for sleep training.  I have never heard of sleep training being based on weight - we've seen two different pediatricians (we switched around 9 months) and both have said that sleep issue solutions are based on ages.  What I've heard about weight is that when they reach a certain weight you don't need to worry about waking them up throughout the night to eat anymore, but that's completely separate from actively sleep training.

    Healthy Sleep Habits has suggestions to help develop good sleep habits from early on.  It gives age appropriate recommendations and I believe would address some of the issues that you're having.  For your specific issues, have you tried having your H put them down?  After feeding them I would try passing them off to him and see if he has more luck.  I would also never go in if they're fussing.  Full-blown crying is one thing, but fussing is different.  And do you swaddle?  The SwaddleMes helped us a ton when we moved them from the RNPs to the cribs, and when they outgrew those we used the Magic Sleep Suits for a little bit.

    Our first pediatrician didn't believe in sleep training until 1 year old (one of the reasons we left that practice is because he laughed at us when we asked for suggestions to help with sleep and said to "deal with it") so we did it late in the game.  I wish we had done it earlier.  We first tried around 7 months and they clearly weren't ready - they would just get more and more worked up.  After two nights I pulled the plug.  We tried again at 8 months and we had two nights with just a few minutes of crying and that was it.  Prior to this time they were sleeping in their cribs but had to fall asleep on us first and were up a few times a night (once to eat).  After their 9 month appointment with the new doctor we started weaning the night feeding (per their suggestion) and for about a month now they've been STTN. When we did the sleep training at 8 months we put them in their cribs, shut the door, and didn't go in.  Now if they wake up in the middle of the night we don't go in unless it's a serious "something is wrong" cry.

    I know 8 months sounds like it's far away - and you can certainly try sleep training much earlier then that - but I would really caution you against trying sleep training now.  At the very least run it by your pediatrician first.  The first 6 months are HARD.  There's very little sleep and it's an endless cycle of eating, sleeping, and diapers.  H and I both work full-time and we're only starting to get out of the exhaustion induced fog that we were living in.  I cried because I was so tired and overwhelmed many days in those first few months.  But before you know it you'll be over that hump.  The one thing that bums me out about our sleep training is that it's made them such independent sleepers that they now refuse to fall asleep in our arms or nap in bed with us, so there's much less cuddling going on and I miss my little babies!  

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  • image BabyCarryingVessel:
    I read a previous post where you were talking about your sleep routine to get babies to sleep in their beds. I have been thinking about you and I have some questions. I would appreciate if you could give me your thoughts! At what age did you start putting them down and leaving them? I assume you let them CIO? My H says we should let them CIO now but I think they are too young, not quite 8 weeks. I'm afraid we are heading for bad sleep habits. Here's our routine... Bath, jammies, boob, attempt to put them in cribs, they scream, I soothe, get them to sleep in my arms, try again, they wake and scream... And this goes on until I finally give up and fall asleep with them in the recliner. They are capable of laying flat, no reflux issues, and they nap flat all day. But at night when we lay them down they grunt and fuss. I really want to have babies that will eventually go to sleep in their cribs and I'm willing to do what I have to, but at this age what should we be doing?? H and I are getting frustrated! I would love to hear what you did for your girls when they were this age. Thank you in advance!

     

    Hi! Healthy Sleep Habits is 100% the way to go - that book has saved us over a million times by now! At 8 weeks, there's really not a lot to be done. the nights are long for tiny babies, and at 8w we usually have them in bed with us. I can assure you that there is absolutely nothing you can do or not do that will make sleep routines good or bad later on. An 8w/o can't remember 5 minutes ago, so you're good! I would really just do whatever you have to do to get rest for YOU. If that means swings, rock-n-plays, bouncers, bed-sharing, whatever. They can make up for lost time during the day, but you're the one who needs that night time rest. And really, all they want right now is to sleep against your warm chest, and who can blame them? Around 4 months you can start doing things to get them ready for independent sleeping. 8w is hard because they're starting to become aware of things around them, but probably just wish they were back in the womb! I'd suggest a tight swaddle, a swing and a very loud noise machine. If it seems too loud to you, it's probably just right for them, unfortunately! I think they call it the 5 S's? (Google that!) That always works for us and tiny babies, but a lot of it is just hit or miss with these little ones! 

    Bottom line, they're just too young right now, and you'll probably be in survival mode for another 8w or so. I know it sucks. :-/ They'll start developing a routine closer to 12w, and you might even be able to wean from the swaddle a bit. But don't worry at ALL about doing things now to make them better sleepers later. You can hold them 24 hours a day with no worry at all - they'll be happier, more secure babies for it later! I know you probably just want a little space and to have everyone JUST SLEEP, but this too shall pass and you'll be wishing they were 8w again. :-) It's such a precious time - just do what comes naturally and read Healthy Sleep Habits - I feel like Dr. W is a part of the family the way we referenced him for the first few years! 

     6-7 months is really a fantastic time to sleep train, and there really is a good window for it right around then. I think you'll probably have a pretty good idea. Normally for us it comes when baby starts sleeping horizontal and wanting to nurse at all hours instead of cuddling and nursing in turns. There will come a point where you and DH will look at each other and think, "Crying?? No biggie - let's just get our nights back already!"  

    CIO is tricky, because there is a fine line between feelings of independence and feelings of abandonment. At 8w they can only feel abandoned when they cry, which is why it's important to  pick them up as soon as they cry. It's a lot of work, to say the least, but when they start learning that you're going to be there when they need you, they can start putting it together that you always come eventually and will learn that a little bit of crying won't hurt them. CIO at 6-7m works well because they can remember things in small increments. So when you shut the door for ten minutes and then come back in to lie them back down, they start remembering that. Before about 5-6m, they can't process that you're somewhere on the other side of the door, so CIO can be harder on everyone. And 6-7m might be fine for some babies and not right for others - doing it too early essentially means that you're dealing with a tiny stranger. If you wait a few more months, you'll know your babies' cries better and will be able to make more educated decisions during sleep training. It can be VERY stressful for Mom and Dad to listen to Baby/Babies crying - it makes me nauseous, so it helps if you wait a few months to know just who you're dealing with! DD #1 was a marathon screamer, DD #2 hopped into her crib at 6m (straight off of bed-sharing and nursing) and never cried at bedtime ONCE, and DD #3 loves sleeping with her sisters and rarely fusses at bedtime, but when she does it's heartbreaking. I hate CIO, but it serves them so well and knowing that bedtime is really bedtime does wonders for our evenings, our sanity and our marriage. CIO may take a few nights, but there is nothing so nice as knowing that if you get everyone ready for bed at 7, you'll have a glass of wine in your hand by 7:30 and be snuggled up watching TV with your honey. :-) 

    Hang in there, Mama. The first few months are a blessing and a curse, aren't they?! I can't think of anything more frustrating than an 8w/o (let alone TWO) who won't sleep! Use those Mama instincts and do what feels right - there is no wrong way to do things this early in the game, and if you make it through the night, you're doing something right. :-)  

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  • Thank you all so much! I really am enjoying this age and I'm trying to soak it all in because time is flying. Tonight i'll have H read this post and I will order that book. Thanks again!

     

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