sleep training? — The Bump
Babies: 6 - 9 Months

sleep training?

For those of you that have tried sleep training:

At what point did you reach your breaking point? I've been really hesitant to try sleep training for a couple reasons. One is that I just don't like the idea of crying it out although I know there are different methods and two, because LO is in daycare and won't have this training consistency for nap time, also I'm really bad with being consistent with these things in general.

However, LO is 6.5 months and I'm going crazy without a good night of sleep. We rock him to bed around 8-8:30pm. About 50% of the time, he wakes briefly before H and I go to bed around 10 and we have to rock him for another few minutes. 100% of the time, he is up within 3 hours now. He used to sleep for a 4-5 hour stretch and then wake every 2 hours or so. We used to bring him to bed around the 3am mark when it was difficult to get him back down in his crib. However, recently we've given up and just bring him to bed after the first wake up around 11 or 12am since he will continue to wake almost every hour if we don't. I really don't have a huge problem with cosleeping safety-wise but it's getting really uncomfortable for me. I basically wake about every hour and my back/neck hurt so bad from contorting my body in certain ways to make sure LO is okay. And LO still wakes up a ton during the night. It's just easier to nurse him back to sleep immediately as opposed to repeatedly trying to get him back in his crib, since he wakes up almost immediately after we put him down half of the time. He's been a rather high needs baby since day one though, so I don't even know if sleep training would work for us... :/ Thoughts?

Re: sleep training?

  • We are pretty much in the same boat with about the same patterns but LO is 8 months. I am currently reading "The No-Cry Sleep Solution". I would like to see how it goes using those techniques first before I try "cry it out". It's been super difficult and I want LO to be in his crib but like you, it is easier to co sleep and nurse him back to sleep immediately, however now he wants to nurse in specific position (me sitting up) when before I would be able to do the side lying position and get some extra rest. I guess I have no real advice other than I am definitely about to be at my breaking point. I work full time and 8 months of little to no sleep has definitely taken a toll on me. You definitely need to have a very consistent bed time routine for any sleep training to work. My LO is in day care too but I am not too worried about the nap time situation there. When he is home during the day on the weekends he has been going down for his naps pretty easily. 
  • @crsanchez

    If nothing else, it's always nice to hear that I'm not alone! I also work FT with a crazy commute and man...what I wouldn't give for 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep, lol. If I have to hear about another person's baby sleeping through the night with no effort required, I'm going to lose it! :P

    I guess I should probably pick up a few books to read before implementing anything. I read about the pick up/put down method (I think that's the No-Cry solution- I can't remember. I read it months ago and then was too afraid to try, lol) but honestly that seems so exhausting for everyone.

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  • First, what time is your LO waking up in the morning? Because I think going to bed at 8:30 is too late, unless your LO can sleep until 8:30. Babies who are overly tired have an even harder time falling asleep. How long is your LO sleeping at daycare?

    Second, it doesn't matter what method you try. The first few days will be hard. And I am sorry, but every method will involve some crying. Do your research and figure out  what method works best for you and your schedule. And then stick with it. Don't cave at 3am. And make sure to start on a day when you are house and can have a good bedtime routine for several days.

    Once you figure out what method you like, talk to your daycare. they might not be able to follow your sleep training exactly but they should be able to implement parts.

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  • crsanchez87crsanchez87 member
    edited December 2015
    SmrBrd2012  Last night was the first night  I started to implement some of the techniques I read about in the No Cry Sleep Solution. He had a solid two hours of napping at daycare so I know he got some good day time sleep in. I started gave him his dinner at 6:00 (he didnt eat very much, maybe an ounce) and by 6:30 we started his bed time routine which consists of bath, books, nursing/cuddling, and then sleep. One good tip that I implemented last night was making sure the last hour of his day was done in dim-dark lighting and in a calm quiet atmosphere. So for bath time I set up a lamp in the bathroom so it was dim and I made sure I was calm and spoke to him quietly. After bath we went to the bedroom where I had another lamp on, so dim light, and we did our books. Then I nursed him in the rocking chair with dark lighting and his sound/light machine on. Once he was slowing down on the nursing, but still awake, I unlatched him and  lightly closed his jaw with my finger (another tip from the book). Then I put him in the crib and he slept from 7:00 until about midnight. He woke up nursed and went back to sleep until 3. Then he woke up and wanted to party. I just think that is part of the 8 month sleep regression though. But he went back to sleep in his crib about 30 minutes later and slept until 6:45. Not a total win but a little better. I really think the calm setting during bed routine helped alot! 
  • @sarcasm101

    Thanks for the tips. LO wakes around 6am for daycare. His first nap is around 8am because of that. We've tried implementing bed time at 7:30p. Sometimes it works but he is still up within a few hours and no changes in sleep habits otherwise. He generally sleeps about 3 hours at daycare and sometimes I can squeeze in a short nap when I bring him home around 5. It definitely may be worth revisiting the 7:30p bed time as it's been about a month since we gave up on it.

    @crsanchez87

    I agree that the winding down/dim light time is important! I try to do this and try to yell at hubby to not overstimulate LO before bed time but we could definitely be doing a better job.

    I've honestly just given up with a lot of stuff since I'm so darn tired. It looks like I just have to try again!

  • If you aren't consistent, nothing will work. And you definitely are not alone! With that being said, don't be afraid of tears. Most tough things with babies and kids involve tears. It's inevitable.

    My daughter was waking 1-2 hours after she went to bed consistently EVERY single night and I knew she was fed, had a clean diaper and was tired, just having a hard time transitioning between sleep cycles. I stopped going in and let her fuss for a bit. Did this with my first child as well and it worked like a charm. After about 10-15 minutes she would put herself back to sleep and she stopped waking at that time. Me going in just made everything worse so I left her. She didn't have a need, I wasn't abandoning her, she just needed to go to sleep.

    She was still waking once in the night for a bottle until she was 9 months old and I was more than happy to keep doing that until she started drinking less and less then I just stopped going in.

    Both of my kids are great sleepers and I contribute that to my consistency and persistence. I like sleep, my kids like sleep, we are all much happier people because of it :)

  • BigboobsmcgeeBigboobsmcgee member
    edited December 2015

    First, what time is your LO waking up in the morning? Because I think going to bed at 8:30 is too late, unless your LO can sleep until 8:30. Babies who are overly tired have an even harder time falling asleep. How long is your LO sleeping at daycare?

    Second, it doesn't matter what method you try. The first few days will be hard. And I am sorry, but every method will involve some crying. Do your research and figure out  what method works best for you and your schedule. And then stick with it. Don't cave at 3am. And make sure to start on a day when you are house and can have a good bedtime routine for several days.

    Once you figure out what method you like, talk to your daycare. they might not be able to follow your sleep training exactly but they should be able to implement parts.

    Good advice. My 14 month old goes to bed at 7pm. She used to go down around 6 or 6:30 (and sleeps all night). I know that doesn't have to work for everyone but PP is right about an overly tired baby.
  • The SleepEasy Solution worked for us. It involves consistency and increasing intervals of check ins like PPs have suggested. Good luck.
  • I agree with PP. Consistency is the biggest thing and sometimes when you first try to sleep train, your LO isn't ready. So its good to give it time and revisit it later. It's definitely not convenient for Moms who work but you can either work with or work against your LO. I will let you know how our steps are going. If you read the book, it really does have some great tips and techniques, and it does/can involve letting your baby stir and fuss for 10-15 minutes to make sure they are truly making "awake" sounds and not just squirming. Good Luck!
  • Thank you all again for your advice. One issue I've run into is that LO doesn't often fuss in the crib in the true sense of the word. Within a minute or two, if we don't go in, he often is flat out screaming. Sometimes this happens immediately with waking. I have let him do this a few times but no longer than 5 min and I can't remember a time where it has resulted in him passing out. I'm hesitant to let him scream like this. If it was fussing for 15 min, I would have no problem doing this. Sometimes I do, if it's all he's doing. Any advice for this? I was thinking the Pick up/Put down method would make the most sense for this, but the few nights we did try this, it only seemed to make him more frustrated, and then he wouldn't stop crying even though I was comforting him in my arms.

  • Thank you all again for your advice. One issue I've run into is that LO doesn't often fuss in the crib in the true sense of the word. Within a minute or two, if we don't go in, he often is flat out screaming. Sometimes this happens immediately with waking. I have let him do this a few times but no longer than 5 min and I can't remember a time where it has resulted in him passing out. I'm hesitant to let him scream like this. If it was fussing for 15 min, I would have no problem doing this. Sometimes I do, if it's all he's doing. Any advice for this? I was thinking the Pick up/Put down method would make the most sense for this, but the few nights we did try this, it only seemed to make him more frustrated, and then he wouldn't stop crying even though I was comforting him in my arms.

    I personally think the pick up/put down method is nuts because it only made my kids more upset (didn't really even try that with my second kid). However, sleep training is trial and error so you might have to try something for a while then switch if it isn't working.

    With that being said, I really believe that this gets harder the older they get and the more aware they become. I'd bite the bullet and just let him cry. I've never had to leave either of my kids longer than maybe 20 minutes. You should be able to tell if it's not working. As long as his needs have been met then he's simply just fighting sleep and I know how hard it is to hear them cry but the pay off is so worth it. For everyone.

    Some people would strongly disagree with me on this but I have 2 great kids that sleep like champs. No negative side effects from 2-3 nights of crying ;)

  • I read on precious little sleep that bed & nap are different parts of the brain so don't worry about daycare consistency. If they're consistent with their routine & you are with yours it will work!
    crsanchez87
  • When you say cry does that also mean scream because like the momma above wrote it escalates passed crying pretty quickly. Also at what age did this work for your children? Thanks for your time!
    SmrBrd2012
  • Sleep training made a noticable difference in one night. I think that our baby didn't cry for longer than an hour at a time on the first night and it got better from there. 

    Our baby was similar to yours at bedtime- needed to be rocked/nursed to sleep. Sometimes needed to be repeated. Several times. Had to be nursed back to sleep- all night long! Since birth she only ever fell asleep while being nursed and held or moving in the car or stroller. NEVER on her own. Never in her crib. Sleep training worked so great with her and it worked fast. I know that we were very lucky. I know how hard it is when your baby is not sleep trained.

    I would try it for at least one week before you reach your 'breaking point' and at that point you have the option of calling someone for help you don't necessarily need to give up.


    For those of you that have tried sleep training:

    At what point did you reach your breaking point? I've been really hesitant to try sleep training for a couple reasons. One is that I just don't like the idea of crying it out although I know there are different methods and two, because LO is in daycare and won't have this training consistency for nap time, also I'm really bad with being consistent with these things in general.

    However, LO is 6.5 months and I'm going crazy without a good night of sleep. We rock him to bed around 8-8:30pm. About 50% of the time, he wakes briefly before H and I go to bed around 10 and we have to rock him for another few minutes. 100% of the time, he is up within 3 hours now. He used to sleep for a 4-5 hour stretch and then wake every 2 hours or so. We used to bring him to bed around the 3am mark when it was difficult to get him back down in his crib. However, recently we've given up and just bring him to bed after the first wake up around 11 or 12am since he will continue to wake almost every hour if we don't. I really don't have a huge problem with cosleeping safety-wise but it's getting really uncomfortable for me. I basically wake about every hour and my back/neck hurt so bad from contorting my body in certain ways to make sure LO is okay. And LO still wakes up a ton during the night. It's just easier to nurse him back to sleep immediately as opposed to repeatedly trying to get him back in his crib, since he wakes up almost immediately after we put him down half of the time. He's been a rather high needs baby since day one though, so I don't even know if sleep training would work for us... :/ Thoughts?

    "It's always better when we're together." -Jack Johnson
  • kshos said:
    When you say cry does that also mean scream because like the momma above wrote it escalates passed crying pretty quickly. Also at what age did this work for your children? Thanks for your time!
    My baby was 5 months, 1 week when we did CIO and it worked. She wasn't really screaming, just crying I would say.
    "It's always better when we're together." -Jack Johnson
  • Just crying. No screaming for us. We did a gentle method where we went in every 5 minutes to pat with no talking or picking up. I may have said this but it was the "precious little sleep" web site that helped
    Bigboobsmcgee
  • We have a screamer too. Dad has the stomach to let him cry it out, but I don't. On the nights when dad puts him to sleep, he sleeps longer stretches. I would just rather get up twice than hear him scream for 30 minutes.  Good luck, you are FAR from alone!
    Bigboobsmcgee
  • Hi there! I'm from the June 15 board. There is a thread on sleep training over there if you want to go take a peek. I agree that consistency is key. Just follow your momma instinct, as some mommas don't find the sleep training methods helpful. Do what works for you. My LO goes down to bed easily, semi-awake. Sleeps about 5 hour stretches, but the second waking he wants to be in bed with us. So we co-sleep then. I'm totally fine with it because it is working for us now. I love the extra cuddles too, especially because I'll be going to work full time soon.
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  • CIO doesn't work for us.  He gets more upset and I can't handle it after an hour of screaming. The older he gets, the better sleeper he is becoming.  He's almost 7 months and he now only wakes up once, sometimes two times during the night. Last night he was down at 9, up at 12 and then up for the day at 5. I have my husband get him in the mornings so I can have a couple more hours of sleep.  I know 9 is super late, but that's what's works best for us and LO. If we put him down earlier he's up at 3am for the day and that's not working when I have to work 10-11 hour days.  Our pediatrician was the one who suggested we push his bedtime back. 
    Good luck with whatever method you use! It is so hard. 
  • momma2charmomma2char member
    edited February 2016
    I know this is an older post, but we reached our breaking point a few nights ago. Our LO has progressively been getting worse at sleeping and way more reliant on us to get back to sleep when she wakes. To the point where she is up every 30min-1h overnight needing to be nursed or rocked back to sleep. If she's rocked back to sleep, she would punch, kick and scream her way to sleep and arch her back (checked by 3 doctors and no underlying medical condition). We started the pick up/put down method last night and my girl had a really rough first 30 minutes but then fell asleep. I didn't feel comfortable leaving her to cry by herself and wanted to be there to soothe her without rocking her or nursing her, but still have her fall asleep in the crib independently. I'm typing this the afternoon after night 1 of sleep training. Baby girl is down for her second nap of the day. First nap took 15 minutes to get her napping. This second nap, she went down in her crib wide awake after story time without a fuss or crying and talked herself to sleep happily. The website I followed was this one, and it was beyond helpful. Even in the comments section and I didn't have to go buy a book and spend my non-existent extra time reading. She also has condensed other methods of sleep training on her site!

    http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2009/01/pupd-tbw.html?m=1

    ETA: she was "snacking" overnight hourly before this, and last night she only fed twice again! I don't expect her to sleep through the night, but to wake and call for me when she's hungry or there is a problem. My goal is to have her learn that when she wakes up and everything is okay with her and around her, she can fall back asleep independently. 

    ^ also, I don't think there's really a sleep training method that doesn't involve crying. Sleeping independently is a hard thing to learn and I personally think most babies will hate the idea of the change in being dependent on mom/dad to fall asleep. The pick up put down method was pretty much non-stop crying (like CIO), but with being there to comfort from afar and reassuring them/patting bum until they stop crying, then literally right after they stop crying you put them back down in their crib. It was beyond stressful for sure but at the point where I was ready to give up and do CIO, she turned a corner and didn't cry when I put her down, turned her head and talked herself to sleep with a smile. 
    Bigboobsmcgeebeemaya83
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