4 month old and controlled crying/self soothe

(225 Posts)
emmak8383 Fri 17-Jan-14 20:32:54

I call it controlled crying but what we are just trying to do is help our daughter to self soothe. Our daughter is breastfed and has always gone to sleep on the boob. Because of this she is unable to self soothe when she wakes in the night. I am still feeding her during the night but sometimes she has woken an hour later after being fed and we have had to go in to her to get her back to sleep as she obviously doesn't know how to do so herself.
So what we have started now is to soothe her by not picking her up. We rub her belly and shush her. We leave her for a minute or two and then we go back and try again with the belly rub and shushing. Sometimes we do pick her up just in case she needs a burp (even though she has already been burped) and then put her back down to try again.
Let me make it clear that we are not just letting her cry it out till she stops. We are trying to soothe her without picking her up so she doesn't rely on it.
We are just after some thoughts about whether this is too early. A lot of information that we have read says controlled crying should not be done before 6 months or 9 months old.

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 17-Jan-14 20:39:24

Six months is the usual minimum age, yes.

However, to think about it another way...

At four months she is likely entering or well in a growth spurt. She may well genuinely need that much milk. If she is falling asleep after a short feed, try to keep her awake for a longer feed (tickle feet or face, talk to her, etc) so she will genuinely go longer.

Why are you wanting her to sleep longer?

Is it so you can sleep more? That's a reasonable desire but this isn't the only way to achieve it. Would you consider co-sleeping, for example? It's saved the sanity of many a bfing mother!

Is it because someone has told you that baby "ought" to be sleeping through? Because you see that was an unfair and unkind thing to say to you.

CoteDAzur Fri 17-Jan-14 20:39:48

I predict that you will get a flogging on this thread.

We sleep trained DD when she was exactly 4 months on the advice of her paediatrician, with great success. 1st night was bad, 2nd night much better and she slept through on the 3rd night. She has been sleeping through ever since, going to bed with a smile.

It is not fashionable these days to give this advice, but it has worked for us. Good luck.

marzipananimal Fri 17-Jan-14 20:42:05

It soounds a reasonable thing to try but I warn you that my 6 month old settles herself at bedtime and naps but still often wakes every 2 hours at night and only resettles with a feed, so it may not achieve what you hope

purplemurple1 Fri 17-Jan-14 20:46:28

I did similar from birth my ds can self settle but only rrecently made it through the night without food (almost 5 months). Thu mine doesn't like to be picked up so it was natural on a way.

TheGonnagle Fri 17-Jan-14 20:46:33

I really feel for you- I know how much you really need to go to sleep and just stay that way, believe me!
But I think she is just too little yet, sorry. Co sleeping was my saviour in the same situation, but I know that's not to everyone's taste.
Good luck, I hope you get a decent nights sleep soon.

Rooners Fri 17-Jan-14 20:52:15

It's too early, sorry sad

'Because of this she is unable to self soothe when she wakes in the night.'

No, thats because she is a 4 month old baby, and isn't meant to be able to take care of her own needs yet.

I don't want to flame you. It sounds like someone has told you she should be self sothing by now? That's not true, it's really not.

Please don't worry, your baby is entirely normal smile You haven't done anything wrong but please don't try and distance her from you yet. There is loads of time for that when she no longer needs you to respond quickly to her.

For the time being just roll with what she needs x

duchesse Fri 17-Jan-14 20:56:36

There's no such thing as "controlled crying". It's "ignored crying". This "self-soothing" is the calm of a child that has given up hoping for any help from its caregivers.

Self-soothing was invented by the same person as controlled crying.

Rooners Fri 17-Jan-14 21:07:41

It seems to be being promoted by a great number of health visitors at present, which is worrying.

emmak8383 Fri 17-Jan-14 21:08:16

Well luckily we have only tried it half heartedly for two days. We will stop and continue to comfort her when she needs it. (just to make it clear that we were not just letting her cry) We were just worried that we were getting her in to bad habits and didn't want to ruin her. We are new parents and we are trying to find our way and do best by our daughter.
Lack of sleep is very hard sometimes on the very bad nights but we are four months in and have good days and bad days. Lack of sleep just seems to set you back and make you feel like you're falling apart. Waking up to smiles does make you forgive the bad nights.
We will continue as we have been and continue to go to her.
Thank you for your comments and advice. We felt it was too early and will stick with our gut feeling from now on.

Rooners Fri 17-Jan-14 21:10:02

Oh that is brilliant to hear - you sound like lovely parents and it is very hard to know what is right especially (but not exclusively!) with your first.

Your instincts will be very important in bringing her up. Listen to them and you will not go far wrong. smile

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 17-Jan-14 21:10:58

I think that's probably best.

If you do try again in a few months, you must must must go for it 100% because that's what makes it work.

Don't be afraid to say "this doesn't work for our family" when it doesn't. Nothing in parenting suits every family.

TheGonnagle Fri 17-Jan-14 21:11:10

Emma, I promise you won't ruin your daughter. It's so hard with a new baby, conflicting advice from all sides and just trying to do your best. And the lack of sleep is a complete killer. By four months you have done the lions share of the really really hardcore no sleep phase.
Trust your gut- I'm sure you're doing great. And enjoy the beautiful smiles smile

Rooners Fri 17-Jan-14 21:11:30

Oh and btw babies and bad habits - that's another myth! They just act on pure, pure instinct and so you will never spoil her by doing what she asks. In fact it will make her stronger and happier.

Good luck with it all, keep posting x

Rooners Fri 17-Jan-14 21:12:57

Oh and co sleeping, or at least sleeping in the same room, has saved a lot of parents' sanity - somehow you don't have to wake on the same level in order to respond to them, when they are right next to you.

I don't advocate co sleeping just for the benefit of the infant! grin

CoteDAzur Fri 17-Jan-14 21:16:44

Oh please. Spare us the theatrics. "Given up hoping for any help" because parents delay responding to baby's cry for a minute or two? hmm

How exactly do you know what goes on in the mind of a little baby? Maybe he thinks "These parents of mine are all over me in the day but they get awfully slow when it gets dark. And when they come to give me a hug I get no milk so it's not worth it. I think I'll just go back to sleep."

MrsOakenshield Fri 17-Jan-14 21:17:40

I did it at this age because I didn't realise it was CC - I think it's in Baby Secrets where they call it spaced soothing and advocate it at this age. It did work but looking back I wish I hadn't done it at this age (though at aged 4 I honestly can't see any ill effects - these days if she can't get back to sleep she pops into our room and we go and lie on the sofa in her room for a few minutes which seems to help). It was sold as mild CC (I now realise), so 1,2,3,4,5 minute intervals and no more than 5. We also didn't allow it to get to full on crying - as soon as she wailed a bit we started timing.

I agree to use your instinct and do what you feel is best for both you (you matter too!) and your baby.

Rooners Fri 17-Jan-14 21:18:41

Well while I'm not given to theatrical words either Cote, I think we can agree that we don't know what the baby is thinking, aside from the fact he is crying, and on that basis I prefer to do what stops him crying iyswim. Because it makes me feel better.

But I think there are degrees of leaving to cry, obviously.

MrsOakenshield Fri 17-Jan-14 21:19:32

a child that has given up hoping for any help from its caregivers.

I think that's rather melodramatic and unhelpful.

CoteDAzur Fri 17-Jan-14 21:23:02

Do what you feel is right for your family, Emma. You can't "ruin" your baby smile We sometimes teach them habits but then we can unteach them when they are no longer needed. I used to lie next to DD in my bed at nap times to get her to fall asleep, but then she managed to fall asleep on her own. She also had dummies until she was 2.5, then managed without them. I know a mum who had to push her DD in a pram for the entire duration of her nap, rain or shine. She now naps in her cot without problems, as well.

Do what you are comfortable with to survive these tough days. They will pass.

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 17-Jan-14 21:24:01

My 2mo sometimes has to wait a couple of minutes crying if I'm on the loo, or wiping someone else's bottom, or similar.

But I agree that while CC works for many babies, the unknowable why is it working isn't necessarily very nice.

Rooners Fri 17-Jan-14 21:24:23

Great post Cote.

emmak8383 Fri 17-Jan-14 21:42:28

I have also started to lie next to DD in our bed in the day time as she is a very bad napper during the day and I read this can help which it does. Even a good chance for me to have a much needed nap although not always easy to sleep when you know you need it. We are lucky that she sleeps in her cot in her own room, we have just wavered as she has had some very bad nights lately. 4 month growth spurt is what we thought and teething.

43percentburnt Sat 18-Jan-14 07:33:07

I agree with cote, do whatever you can to get through the sleepless nights and early days. Enjoy the time you are with a baby as it flys by far too quickly. I co slept with my dd (now 14) she transferred to her cot and bed fine and is really independent and self sufficient, definitely not ruined by too many cuddles. I am doing the same with my baby ds. I believe they only cry for something that they require. Co sleeping allows us all to function!

Booboostoo Sat 18-Jan-14 08:09:36

I don't know if this helps OP but I was reading an article the other day on how there is no scientific evidence that there is an ability to self-sooth to sleep nor any studies confirming when it might emerge. Some babies sleep well, some do not.

Your baby is also going through the 4 month sleep regression which is not an easy time for anyone. Hang in there it does get better.

Rooners Sat 18-Jan-14 08:38:33

Yes, 'self soothing' has become a bit of a buzzword which allows people who write books about 'sleep training' to make a lot of money.

It's a totally fabricated concept imo. In the context it is anyway - self soothing was originally the term for that thing babies do with their mouth when they look like they are suckling in their sleep.

According to my mother anyway. It's not a 'skill', or anything to do with not needing their parents to attend to them.

atthestrokeoftwelve Sat 18-Jan-14 08:43:33

In the ansence of conclusive proof either way as to whether Cc is harmful or not I prefer to follow my heart and trust my instincts.

If my baby cries I give him comfort- it's very simple.

I prefer to trust my instinct rather than some cookie ideas of some American psychologist dabbling with child rearing techniques.

duchesse Sat 18-Jan-14 10:39:40

I agree with twelve- in the absence of proper long-term studies, I think we should trust our instincts (unless our instincts are to keep the baby in a box under the stairs of course).

curlew Sat 18-Jan-14 10:49:31

I'm always interested in the "teaching them a vital skill" proponents.

I always responded to my children crying as soon as I possibly could- and they seem to have learnt the vital skill of going to sleep by themselves without any training. And I would put money on them learning as quickly as many CC babies. If they needed to be taught to go to sleep how come mine aren't still waking every hour now they are 12 and 18?

duchesse Sat 18-Jan-14 10:54:24

Nor mine, curlew, at 20, 18 and 16? grin

Could do with the flipping 4 yo sleeping through the night but that's another story... Latest of all my children to sleep reliably through the night. Would be the one born in our 40s rather than 20s...

marthabear Sat 18-Jan-14 11:08:17

My babies have all woken numerous times in the night. Completely normal. Co sleeping and breastfeeding has worked for us. In fact, I have lost very little sleep over the years as I just breastfeed back off to sleep in a lying down position and drift back off myself. Very little night crying. No distress. And a (reasonably) rested me. I really don't worry about so called bad habits. There's no such thing really....apart from nose-picking.

CoteDAzur Sat 18-Jan-14 12:00:28

"they seem to have learnt the vital skill of going to sleep by themselves without any training"

Of course they do. Eventually.

Some of us don't want to wait for the year or two it can take a baby to take his sweet time getting there, that's all.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Sat 18-Jan-14 12:07:17

Co-sleeping might well work for you, it certainly does for us.

DD wakes several times if in a cot.
She sleeps through in my bed.

It's a no-brainer. When she's in my bed we both get a good night's sleep. If she slept in her cot I'd be shattered!

I make sure I'm following the guidelines for safer co-sleeping, do you know them?

Rooners Sat 18-Jan-14 12:13:27

I generally like to wait for my children to learn to do things in the most natural manner, like walking, crawling, sleeping at the 'right' times, etc...we wouldn't force a child to eat when it wasn't ready to be able to do it naturally, or to walk, or crawl by leaving it on its front on the floor or something...

we wouldn't try and force a child to do without nappies, or learn to dress itself by leavig it cold and naked.

I don't see any real difference. All the things we do to 'force' developmental stages before their time cause the child distress.

Rooners Sat 18-Jan-14 12:14:40

And we know this because the child cries.

Which is why crying is to be avoided if at all possible.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Sat 18-Jan-14 12:47:42

emmak8383 do you know where you got the idea from that feeding a baby in the night will "ruin her"?

Our society is really weird about BFing, it's peculiar to certain cultures sucj as ours, but it's not like this the world over.

Nature has designed boobs for feeding babies. Babies need feeding, and most of them will need feeding at the night at 4 months. Your baby knows this, she knows she's hungry. Your instinct knows you should feed her.

However you've received the message from somewhere that there's something wrong with this, which is not surprising as this message is everywhere in the UK!

But it might be worth reflecting, do you know where it came from? A book? The older generation? Friends? Wider society & the media? Wherever it is from, they're feeding you misinformation.

You absolutely can't "ruin" a 4 month old by comforting her, or feeding her.

Trust your instincts, you know what to do smile

Pusspuss1 Sat 18-Jan-14 12:59:06

The advice is usually no sleep training before 6 months. My baby is now 5 months and is sleeping much better than a month ago, so hang in there! I really liked the book 'the no-cry sleep solution' which talks about gentler alternatives to cc which will help babies to sleep.

curlew Sat 18-Jan-14 13:03:14

"Some of us don't want to wait for the year or two it can take a baby to take his sweet time getting there, that's all."

Does this apply to all developmental stages? Or only those which suit the convenience of the parents.......?

duchesse Sat 18-Jan-14 13:47:23

You know in countries where they parent instinctively, the babies hardly cry at all or much less. Interesting link here.

duchesse Sat 18-Jan-14 13:49:44

Have to say my four have cried very, very little as tiny babies. Perhaps I've been very lucky.

duchesse Sat 18-Jan-14 13:50:23
CoteDAzur Sat 18-Jan-14 13:55:12

"we wouldn't force a child to eat when it wasn't ready to be able to do it naturally"

If my baby wasn't physically able to sleep through the night, she wouldn't do it after only two nights of sleep training. The fact that she did means she was able to do it before but had the habit of feeding twice in the night at around 2AM and 4 AM.

Once the habit was changed, she ate more in the day and didn't wake up in the night.

CoteDAzur Sat 18-Jan-14 14:03:46

duchesse - Yes, you were very lucky.

I had one of each. DD cried all of her waking hours until she was about 5 months old, except when she was feeding. When friends said "Ooh I can't sleep train because I can't listen to my baby crying", I didn't know what they meant because mine cried all the time anyway, whether I was holding her or whatever.

Then we had DS who practically never cried.

I can assure you that they were not parented any differently. Same parents, same home.

Now they are 8 and 4. DD still complains all the time and DS is still just happy mostly. Some things are their character. Parents are not to blame for everything.

BotBotticelli Sat 18-Jan-14 14:28:42

OP at 4mo i did some very gentle 'sleep training' with my DS....i hate those words but its a useful shorthand on this site. Basically i did what you outlined - shhh'd and patted him without picking him out of the cot. about 80% of the time he would go back to sleep - think he just needed to know I was there.

HOWEVER, i was FF him, not BF and i think this does make a difference re: night feeding? DS did not feed in the night after 3mo - we gave him a large 7oz bottle of milk at 10pm when we went to bed (dreamfeed) and then he didn't need feeding until morning. So I knew when he woke up he wasn't hungry (tried a few times with milk in deserperation but he just wasn't hungy - think he just woke up and needed to be reassured and comforted that someone was there).

I think BFing babies usually need to feed in the night longer than 3-4 months, so this might not work with your baby if she is hungry in the night?

HelenHen Sat 18-Jan-14 15:45:19

We sleep trained at around 4 months, it took a couple of weeks and wasn't always pleasant for everyone but we ended up with a happy baby who, at 18 month's, still sleeps wonderfully. However, it doesn't work for everyone cos all babies are different! Do what works for you but, whatever you do, stick to it. I think babies crave stability. Don't try one thing one day and another the next! Don't listen to any of the judging, just trust your instincts and do what feels right when it feels right! You know about as little as the rest of us smile

curiousuze Sat 18-Jan-14 18:08:33

OP I would take the baby back into your bedroom with you as well, if possible. 4 months is quite little to be in her own room and if she's waking a lot to feed then it'll be easier for you. Our son slept better if we were in the room with him at that age. It's easier on you if you can lean over and stick her on your boob without having to stumble down the hall.

We tried CC when he was 9 months (the wuss version with me sitting by the cot, crying with him!). It didn't work, at all. What did work was time. He just grew up and didn't need milk at night so often.

toomuchtooold Sat 18-Jan-14 18:47:17

We sleep trained our twins at 6 months (as they were early, that was more like 5.5 months) and never looked back. We did it after noticing that on the nights when the difficult one went to sleep between our frequent trips upstairs, she would sleep right through to 3am, whereas when she fell asleep with us there she'd be up and down all night. She did continue to take a night feed at 3am until she was about 13 months though but it was just one waking and immediately after she would turn over and go back to sleep.

I wanted to post in this link www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/jun/08/bedtime-blues-get-children-to-sleep about the St Thomas' sleep clinic in which the consultant there talks briefly about self soothing:
"Don't do anything at bedtime that you are not prepared to do five times a night, including at 3am."
This guy is a child sleep specialist in the NHS with a medical degree and years of experience. For me, if there is anyone I am going to trust to tell me how to get my kids to sleep, this is the guy. You will hear a lot of opinions on here that are anti sleep training but it sounds like it is something you want to do and I just wanted you to see that mainstream medical opinion in the UK supports you in that.

HoratiaDrelincourt Sat 18-Jan-14 18:51:30

Except that by default he sees the worst cases and not those who get it themselves within a few months.

That is to say, the vast majority of children.

The "nothing at bedtime that you won't do at 3am" is a very good principle though, assuming it means literally bedtime and not bath/teeth/story.

NoisyBrain Sat 18-Jan-14 19:50:18

I feel so reassured reading this thread! My DS is 20 weeks today and we're now in week 2 of the 4-month sleep regression.
From 12 weeks he habitually slept for around 7-8 hours from 10.30/11. Then it all went tits up at 18 weeks and he now often wakes less than an hour after going to bed (I just pat, shush and insert dummy to re-settle him at this point as he's not properly crying) then at around 2am for a feed, then again at 5am or earlier for another feed, then every hour or so after that til we get up. I bring him into bed with me and DP by about 6.00 which helps me get a few hours' more broken sleep but it's really tough after several weeks of being spoilt!

I was chatting to my best friend earlier who was a self-confessed 'sleep Nazi' (her words not mine!) with her 3 DCs. DP and I have been very much of the 'go with the flow' school of parenting so far which for me, as someone prone to anxiety, has really worked as I'm not stressing about schedules etc. I had to bite my tongue several times as my friend talked about me making a rod for my own back and the risk of getting DS into bad habits by feeding him during the night (while I'm thinking "but he's clearly hungry and Mumsnet says he's too young to form bad habits!") and expressed surprise that we don't put DS to bed earlier (he goes to bed at around 9.30). I know she meant well, she's my oldest friend, but I felt a bit doubtful of my methods after that conversation (DS is my pfb).

thepobblewhohasnotoes Sat 18-Jan-14 21:12:28

NoisyBrain that's the other thing about the UK, many people seem to think DCs will explode or something if not in bed by 7pm. Sure, lots of DCs do prefer to be in bed by that time, and lots of parents like it too. But that doesn't mean it's best for everyone.

MIL comments if she sees DCs in the supermarket after 7pm. She massively disapproves, it's just beyond her why anyone would have a child up that late, let alone out of the house.

But this is despite us living with her for a while; she saw DS staying up till 10pm most days. He had long naps in the day and a late bedtime. He was getting enough sleep and it suited us fine. I could have spent weeks or months fighting him to change his natural pattern, but I couldn't see any good reason to do it (MIL's disapproval not withstanding).

When DS dropped his daytime naps, we put him to bed earlier. It happened naturally with little effort from us.

Later, when he started school, we had to shift his day earlier, to give enough time before school, but we all adjusted, no problem.

curiousuze Sat 18-Jan-14 21:12:34

NoisyBrain keep doing what you're doing. All this 'bad habit' stuff is utter nonsense. They are tiny little babies and either they want food or comfort when they cry in the night, and there is no earthly reason why they shouldn't have both. He sounds like an incredible sleeper for his age! Mine didn't do more than 3 hours until 10 months.

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 07:30:01

Trust your baby. I think that works in many situations.

If they are upset, it's never for no reason.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 10:08:03

"If they are upset, it's never for no reason"

Yes, well, "I want milk because I'm used to 2 AM as a meal time" is a reason, but not a good enough one to keep me going at it for longer than is absolutely necessary, imho. That is the first couple of months. After that, baby is physically capable of going through the night without a feed, and DH and I were perfectly fine with the few nights of crying (while still going to baby & comforting him) it took to change this habit.

There is a middle ground between leaving a baby to cry all alone for hours and giving him the boob whenever he wakes in the night. It is entirely possible to wait for a minute or two when he wakes, to see if he will go back to sleep on his own, then send in the dad check on him to see if there is a real problem, pat/shh, try to put him back to sleep etc.

All imho, of course. I am not at all saying that this is the way that everyone should do things, just that it is the way that worked for our family.

NoisyBrain Sun 19-Jan-14 10:12:48

Thanks, he WAS an incredible sleeper haha.
Oh I also had the 'Oh, he's napping on the SOFA?' comment from my friend as I happened to show her sleeping DS as we chatted on Skype. Well yes, we like the idea that he'll nap pretty much anywhere not just in a darkened room in his cot. DP was right next to him so it's not like he was going to fall off!

NoisyBrain Sun 19-Jan-14 10:29:50

Oh and another thing I've just remembered (sorry I'm off on one now lol) is that my friend had never heard of the 4-month sleep regression. Presumably none of hers went through it hmm It did make me wonder (briefly) if her approach of strict sleep training has its advantages!

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 10:47:44

Well, I didn't know about this so-called "4-month sleep regression" either until I read about it on MN.

We sleep-trained DD when she was exactly 4 months old and that is when she slept through for the first time and continued to sleep through.

DS wasn't sleeping through at 4 months but that was nothing different. We sleep-trained him at 5 months and he has been sleeping through ever since.

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 11:01:01

I didn't experience a sleep regression at 4 months particularly either. I've co slept and BF on demand all three of mine.

I think without knowing why the baby is crying, we can and must always assume that it is crying for a reason significant enough to the baby to make it cry.

That to me is nature and I consider it worthy of respect - especially in a baby as young as 4 months or so. If it's enough to upset the baby I want to do something to stop that.

Just the way I think and feel.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 11:07:24

I agree, Rooners. We must assume that there might be a significant reason for baby to cry. That is why we go and check it out - is he cold, hot, wet, dirty? Is there a hair wrapped tight around a finger or a limb stuck on the side of the cot? Once these and more are checked, and especially if baby is up at its usual feeding time, then it is reasonable to assume that he is up because he wants a feed.

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 11:09:24

Oh I don't know about that. We cannot see his feelings.

<strokes chin>

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 11:10:00

Besides which - usual feeding time? Is there one of those? grin

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 11:21:37

Well, my babies did. One fed around 2 AM & 4 AM. The other preferred 2:30 AM & 5 AM. It's different for each baby, I presume, but they form their habits and settle around more or less the same feeding times. Just like the settle on more or less the same nap times in the day.

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 11:23:20

Oh dear. I just have random babies.

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 19-Jan-14 11:26:39

I have random babies too Ronners!!

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 11:40:58

Have your babies never settled to waking up only twice in the night (for feeds)? I find that hard to believe.

And if they did only get up twice in the night (at whatever hour), did you not know that it was for milk that they cried?

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 11:50:45

I've never really been aware of what time it was Cote, as I don't really wake properly myself - I just sort of roll over and attend to whatever it is they are fed up about.

I just meant there has never been a set time.

Mine all settle very very well in my bed, being BF on demand - it's really pretty easy. I get loads of sleep usually - unless one is particularly upset or has tummy ache or is teething etc. It doesn't happen that often, really.

I just love not having to get upright iykwim. That would kill me.

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 11:51:54

I think most nights mine wakes maybe once, for a feed - it doesn't take long. He's just 1yo now. It's been the same for a while.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 11:55:59

"Just 1 year old" shock

Without meaning to sound like I'm judging (I'm not, just curious), why are you feeding a 1 year old toddler in the night? Do you think he is not capable of sleeping through the night without a feed? I'm really curious, as have never met anyone co-sleeping with and feeding a 1 year old in the night.

curlew Sun 19-Jan-14 12:00:24

"I'm really curious, as have never met anyone co-sleeping with and feeding a 1 year old in the night"

I bet you have, you know- they just haven't told you because of the shock face they would get!

Oh, and 12m being a toddler? Neither of mine "toddled" til about 15m- should I have "walk trained" them?

HoratiaDrelincourt Sun 19-Jan-14 12:00:36

One of mine still fed in the night at two. It's because bf isn't just milk.

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 12:01:59

It isn't that he wouldn't be capable of it. Maybe he would...I don't know.

He's on the cusp of toddler/baby and he doesn't have an enormous amount of actual food in the day, so therefore he might be hungry in the night - I don't know for sure.

He sometimes doesn't want a feed at night, other times he has several.

The thing is I don't mind. I'm happy to roll with it. He will gradually become less interested in having milk or in seeking my warmth and comfort I imagine (not wanting to sound too twee) but sometimes literally that seems to be what he wants. Just something very familiar to him.

If it helps him and he is happy then I really honestly don't object to it. Just as I don't objectto holding his hand when he is unsure about walking by himself, (which he can do but is a bit nervous about still).

It's not a problem. I let ds2 sleep in my bed till he was 5 and he did bf till 4 and a half - but by the time he stopped, it was very infrequent, and he wasn't bothered about it really. Just useful if he was hurt or something.

I'm not judging you either. We all do what comes naturally to us I suppose and it makes my life so much easier to take the line of least resistance smile while yours is probably the way you want it. As long as people love their children, that is the main thing.

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 12:04:42

Besides which he is lovely and warm and it makes my bed nicer having a baby in it! I use blankets, not a duvet.

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 19-Jan-14 12:20:39

"I'm really curious, as have never met anyone co-sleeping with and feeding a 1 year old in the night"

I bet you have, you know- they just haven't told you because of the shock face they would get!

Oh, and 12m being a toddler? Neither of mine "toddled" til about 15m- should I have "walk trained" them?"

Well said Curlew- I know loads of people who were night feeding a 1 year old- including me!! Not something I would necessarily tell people about though.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 13:40:50

curlew - re "Oh, and 12m being a toddler?"

Yes, that is indeed the definition of a "toddler": a child between the ages of 1 and 3.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 13:44:58

" it makes my life so much easier to take the line of least resistance smile "

My DH is like you - drives me mad smile I'm in the "suffer for a bit so you will suffer never again" camp.

Also, I can't sleep with a wiggly baby in the bed. The few times when DC were ill and we tried, I ended up with feet on my back & face grin Also, when I wake up in the night, it takes me literally over an hour to get back to sleep. (Yes, I was scarily sleep-deprived when breastfeeding)

Wuxiapian Sun 19-Jan-14 13:50:18

Why not have baby in bed with you?

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 13:56:40

Fwiw, I really don't know anyone who was (1) breastfeeding 1 year old DC, and (2) co-sleeping with 1 year old DC.

Actually, no, I do know one mum who was co-sleeping with her 2 year old DD and was in tears about it. She had followed 'attachment parenting' and just couldn't take it anymore that her DD was still 'attached' to her - wouldn't go to sleep anywhere but in their bed, incredibly clingy, wouldn't settle with anyone (including her dad) but her.

She gave up on co-sleeping, had several tough nights but her DD now sleeps in her own room. Meanwhile, she recently gave birth to another child and is not following attachment parenting stuff with him. I think she did use the term "rod for my back" smile

Apart from her, no, I don't know anyone who co-slept with a toddler. Another friend was taking her DD to bed when she woke up every day at the unGodly hour of 5 AM but was awfully down about it. She finally said "no" one day to her DD and never looked back.

It's all about what you can live with, really. If you are happy with DC in your bed for years, then hooray for you. We are happy with DC who happily go to sleep in their own beds and don't rise until 7 AM at the earliest, and we have done what was necessary to achieve this.

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 19-Jan-14 15:47:13

CoteDAzur there are many parenting styles, it sounds like your friend chose a method that she was not suited to.

However you seem to give the impression that chidren who are raised in a AP type family are clingy and unabe to socialise.

One of the reasons that many of us go down the AP route is to increase their ultimate independance. we feel that nurturing a child's self esteem is a way to ensure a secure individual who has a great deal of respect for themselves and others.
It can be a tough route especially in the early years, young children do want to be close to their parents.
You friend decided it was too much for her, fair enough but if she had stuck at it she would have reaped rewards.

I have living proof as my oldest is now pretty much an adult himself, and far from "making a rod for my own back" I see an emotionally healthy and very secure young man who has a great deal of respect for himself and others.
Every day I reap the rewards of those early years- my teenagers are a joy to parent.

And yes they slept with us in the family bed for several years.

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 15:55:04

Oh believe me...I have certainly got to the point of saying 'NO MORE!' in certain areas of parenting, and unsurprisingly the children were able to cope with that at that stage.

The thing is I prefer to wait till they are old enough a) to have real confidence in the fact I am there for them, b) to understand that they have needs that can sometimes wait, and c) to understand that I have needs that sometimes cannot wait.

I also want them to be able to talk and tell me in some way what the matter is before I take it upon myself to start ignoring their only means of communicating discomfort (physical or emotional).

This isn't usually possible by 4 months. I think that's my thinking really.

Anyway...thankyou for a peaceable and interesting discussion!

Rooners Sun 19-Jan-14 15:57:00

Two more small points...I'm talking about the bits I got right (imo) not the other bits where I fucked up. There were/are plenty of those...

also I didn't/don't follow a method, whether AP or otherwise. That way I can individualise what we do to the baby and myself. And have nothing to blame if it all goes tits up!

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 19-Jan-14 16:02:18

I agree Rooners- I didn't follow a particular style- just parented from the heart- my style is a bit pick n' mix really but AP is the closest I can come to describing it.
I am also quite a strict parent- I have very high expectations of my children's behaviour, and yet I have never punished my children- ever.

What's more these days I wouldn't have any reason to punish- even if I did!

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 18:15:12

Rooners - I understand where you are coming from and it makes sense. Where we differ is (1) I'd die if I never got anything but broken sleep over years, and (2) I don't think literally 1-2 nights of not getting what's she wants (milk) damages a baby's psychology, especially when loving parents are there to comfort her.

Each family should do what they are comfortable with. The only thing that makes me see red is being judged as horrible parents because we sleep-trained. Comments like the below à la "they sleep through because they give up on the parent ever being there for them" make me positively stabby. There seems to be a culture of martyrdom (not talking about you here, as you don't seem to be suffering smile) and expectation that parents should grit their teeth and wait while baby takes his sweet time sleeping through the night, sometimes for years. Well, we didn't do that and can't be happier about that choice - happy well-rested children, happy well-rested parents smile

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 18:16:30

Atthestroke - I didn't generalise at all but spoke about the one family where I know AP was practiced (and abandoned).

HoratiaDrelincourt Sun 19-Jan-14 18:43:13

Cote I think continually going to comfort them doesn't count as CC/CIO. In most posters' minds those methods require ignoring the child completely for a set period, which is rather harder to defend.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 19:36:37

Not continuously, but going in to comfort often enough that I can't call it "ignoring completely". CC, for sure, like the OP - leaving her for a minute or two, as OP said.

I can't see why this sort of thing would be hard to defend, nor why it needs to be defended. Have none of you taken a shower and couldn't go to comfort your baby while he was crying for a few minutes? I don't think your baby was traumatised and his psychology damaged by that incident, especially if you are an attentive, loving parent overall.

HoratiaDrelincourt Sun 19-Jan-14 19:55:57

I understood your earlier post to mean "going to them when they cry, but not necessarily giving them what they ask for".

I am very crunchy, though wink

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 20:14:06

Yes, we did go to them when they cried. Well, DH did, because I was still breastfeeding and of course we couldn't taunt baby with milk smell oh, it was heaven grin

HoratiaDrelincourt Sun 19-Jan-14 20:31:31

But CC is saying "baby is crying - I shall set the timer for five minutes and if he is still crying after that then I shall go".

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jan-14 20:35:40

No, there is no set doctrine to which one must adhere.

Baby cried. DH went, did whatever to calm her down. Then put her down and left. DD started crying again. DH waited for a bit, then went in. Calmed her down, then left. Et cetera until baby sleeps while I slept through it all.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 06:41:59

CoteDAzur you wouln't die if you existed on "broken Sleep"- even for years.
Polypahasic sleep is common in many cultures, as indeed was here too before the advent of electric lighting.
So no you would not die.

Wherediparkmybroom Mon 20-Jan-14 06:55:44

I'm with you cote, both boys had a cot in the bedroom, I'm more than happy for the baby to come in after the morning feed(about 5ish) but he sleeps in his bed. He is 7 mo.
I did the same with my seven yo and he is a happy, independant child that goes to bed and wouldn't dream of getting out of it except for the toilet, the only reason he comes to our room at night is if he is sick.
I have been told I'm unreasonable about bedtimes a lot over the years!

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 07:01:38

Our family bed has always been a big welcoming place.
Toddlers and children have always been welcome for any reason, whether it's because they have had a bad dream, feel unwell, are cold or just need a cuddle.
THese are all valid reasons to me.
I too have always had strict bedtimes, but less strict about where everyone sleeps.

Wherediparkmybroom Mon 20-Jan-14 07:05:44

I've noticed that people get funny about bedtimes, the baby goes down a 7, and the eldest at 7.45. But I've seen school children that look so tired starting the day and these are the people being sniffy about a routine!

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 07:07:07

What do you mean "funny about bedtimes"?

Sleep is important to everyone.

Wherediparkmybroom Mon 20-Jan-14 07:13:10

One woman was saying that they spent quality time with their children in the evening, this little girl was six! She went on to say that they didn't eat until 8.30 and she just carried them up when she went to bed. Same woman was horrified when ds I admitted to getting all in bed by half seven at the time and lectured us on " family time".

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 07:16:27

But those of us who don't use crying methods or are relaxed about sleeping arrangements are not advocating that children stay up late.

I value early nights, but simply allow my children to fall asleep using gentle methods- at an early time!!

Wherediparkmybroom Mon 20-Jan-14 07:19:11

I hate to hear them cry, but I think some people confuse a little whinge, easily fixed with a quick tuck in or dummy, and crying especially past the 6m mark.

lanbro Mon 20-Jan-14 07:27:07

All babies are different. My eldest always fell asleep on the boob and we sleep trained at 9 months. My youngest at 4mo will not be rocked at all or fall asleep on the boob. When she is tired I just put her down awake and she takes herself off to sleep, trying to make her sleep makes her more upset! 4 mo is very young and I think you just have to go with the flow. My eldest 22mo had a bad night the other night, cried whenever I left the room so I just slept in her bed with her. No problems since so not making bad habits, just doing what is necessary so we all get some sleep!

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 07:28:19

I cab assure you I am not confused at all. When my babies cry I comfort them.
I can't comment on the dummy- not something I used.

Wherediparkmybroom Mon 20-Jan-14 07:32:54

Mine holds a dummy he runs it along the bars for a couple of mins quite often he will lose it about 11 o clock I just put it back in his hand and he's back asleep. But I have had to tell my mum a couple of times not to get him out of the cot because he will then not go back! Real crying is different generally food needed he occasionally fancys a snack about 3.

Wherediparkmybroom Mon 20-Jan-14 07:37:03

Snack nights I'm just resigned to being kicked in ribs for a couple of hours, then getting up early....

Rooners Mon 20-Jan-14 09:35:03

'I hate to hear them cry, but I think some people confuse a little whinge, easily fixed with a quick tuck in or dummy, and crying especially past the 6m mark.'

The thing I don't get is that they always DO have a reason for crying and often it isn't 'just for a cuddle' or 'out of habit' - I reason this because my current baby cries a lot.

Awake or asleep, he has cried a lot since he was born. It's been awful. My last baby before this one, didn't. He cried literally twice in his first six months of life. I mean literally. He would sleep easily in the day, wherever I put him (often a cot in the kitchen or even his lay-back high chair) and woke making little sounds and I would go to him and pick him up for a feed.

He was great. This one is great too but far more unhappy. I don't treat him any differently. I couldn't understand the awful crying and kept asking what the problem could be and was fobbed off with 'babies cry, often for no reason' - bolleaux.

So some nights, getting back to the point, he will not cry much at all. Other nights he will have a proper hard time of it. I assume something physical is going on - getting used to solids and growing teeth and having wind and all sorts of things.

It's not just for the hell of it. I know that if he genuinely can't sleep, it isn't because he doesn't want to. He's perfectly capable of sleeping through if nothing is preventing it.

So I can't understand why people assume babies aren't in need of something, or feeling pain of some sort, when they cry. It's really illogical. Mine does his best and sleeps whenever he can - really well - but when he can't, I would never assume he was just playing up or something.

minipie Mon 20-Jan-14 11:45:22

A lot of these posts don't seem to understand that there are different reasons why a baby might wake and cry in the night.

Of course sometimes they wake and cry because there is something wrong - hunger, teeth, wind etc.

But sometimes they wake simply because they have come to the end of a sleep cycle. All of us come into lighter sleep phases between sleep cycles, and we might wake momentarily. An adult will simply go straight back to sleep (transitioning into the next sleep cycle) and won't register or remember these tiny wakings. However, a baby who has learned that they need to be fed/cuddled/rocked in order to go to sleep will not be able to go straight back to sleep and will instead wake fully. And then they will cry, because they want to be asleep and can't get there by themselves.

This is why parents often find their child wakes at regular intervals in the night - every hour or every 2 hours for example. It's because the sleep cycles are regular lengths, and a baby might wake after every 1 or 2 or 3 cycles.

This is also why many parents find that once their child knows how to self settle (whether taught by CC or not) the night wakings drop dramatically - because when they can self settle, they only wake fully and cry when there is a genuine problem, not just because they have woken and don't know how to get back to sleep.

So teaching a baby to self settle is not the same as teaching them that nobody comes when they have a problem.

By way of example - we used CC to teach DD to self settle. She stopped waking every 90 minutes as she'd previously done. However she still wakes every time she is ill, teething, hungry, too cold, etc.

I should add that some people are very lucky and have a baby who learned very early how to transition from one sleep cycle to the next. (Usually these are the babies who love sleep). Those parents will probably not suffer so much through the 4 month sleep regression. Their child will only wake when genuinely hungry or unwell. For these parents, CC would be pointless. However for those of us whose babies have learned that they need to be fed or cuddled to get back to sleep, CC can be a godsend.

It also seems to me that most newborns can self settle in their first week or so. They drop off anywhere, any time they are tired. Then in their first few weeks, as they get used to going to sleep after a feed, they start to learn that a feed is a necessary part of going to sleep. It's then that the ability to self settle disappears. So it's actually not teaching them to self settle, it's re-teaching them - undoing the feed-to-sleep association that we taught them in the early weeks.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 11:55:54

minipie- utter twaddle.

Rooners Mon 20-Jan-14 11:57:02

I don't think we teach them that they need to feed to settle back to sleep. It happens completely naturally.

minipie Mon 20-Jan-14 12:18:05

of course we don't teach them it deliberately Rooners, it happens naturally as you say. And at first there's no problem with it at all, it's lovely. The problem comes when you have a baby who wakes every sleep cycle and needs to be fed to get back to sleep (despite not being hungry).

I know some people will say "co sleep and it isn't a problem" but it didn't work for us - I couldn't feed lying down, and I turn over a lot in my sleep.

I also know some people will say "it isn't a problem if you get broken sleep" but it was for us as I nearly fell down the stairs one day when carrying DD because I was so tired. That's when we decided to to do CC.

stroke do you have any specific comments to make, as that isn't a particularly helpful reply?

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 12:19:07

minipie- can you provide some links to back up your theory?

minipie Mon 20-Jan-14 12:30:03

No, I can't (doesn't mean they don't exist just that I don't have them to hand).

Can you provide any specific comments on what I have said rather than a sweeping dismissal?

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 12:32:43

You can't provide me with data to back up your claims because there are none.

minipie Mon 20-Jan-14 12:55:44

I don't really understand your request for "data". What sort of data did you have in mind? I don't think many experiments have been done on babies hmm so there's unlikely to be much "data" around.

Please can you explain which particular bits of my post you disagree with, what your view is instead, and (if data is so important) provide data to support your views.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 13:00:18

It's not ,e making claims about "reteaching" babies to self settle.

You say that newborns can drop off anywhere- certainly not my experience- my young babies would only sleep on me in the first few weeks of life- they never fell asleep on their own.
After having so much physical contact for the past 9 months it's not surprising.

Wherediparkmybroom Mon 20-Jan-14 13:11:28

Did no one else find that they seem to fall into a natural sleep routine, as in about the same time everyday, and waking about the same time in the morning?

minipie Mon 20-Jan-14 13:13:29

Yes mine would only sleep on me too (in fact she slept on my chest for the first 3 months) - you're right to pick me up on "anywhere".

What I meant is that at first they can go to sleep without any of the associations that seem to be needed later i.e. feeding, rocking, motion. They may need to be held (as yours and mine did) but they don't need any further "signal".

Booboostoo Mon 20-Jan-14 16:48:40

minipie of course many experiments have been done on babies and how they sleep, it's a very lively area of research, it's just that there is no evidence that there is such a thing as an ability to self-sooth, or that it develops at a particular time, or that anyone can do anything to bring it about. What you are saying sounds reasonable, apart from the total lack of evidence behind it; once you become aware of that, it starts sounding completely made up because all the consistency it has is internal.

CoteDAzur I bfed and co-slept DD till 2yo so now you know at least one more person! Night time wakings seem to be the norm with bf babies, see this interesting paper: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3951913

CoteDAzur Mon 20-Jan-14 18:00:38

Booboo - Loads of people (myself included) have managed to get their babies to sleep through the night via sleep training, so obviously there is something we can do to bring it about. Call it "the ability to go back to sleep on their own without screaming the house down" if you don't like the term "the ability to self-sooth".

I don't know in RL anyone who has co-slept with and breastfed a toddler through the night. I do know there are a few of you on MN smile It is a big place. There are quite a few MNers who don't ever wash their hair, as well.

CoteDAzur Mon 20-Jan-14 18:01:34

Wheredi - Of course. I said the same below but this was news to some.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 18:20:28

I have no doubt that sleep training brings about the required effect- but as none of us really understands why it works-and it feels so instinctively wrong to many of us that it's not something I would want to risk doing.

CoteDAzur Mon 20-Jan-14 18:22:36

Atthestroke - Your "polyphasic sleep is common in many cultures" put a smile on my face the whole day grin I just can't think of a sillier and more pretentious way to talk about good old broken sleep. It isn't even the same thing as broken night sleep, of course, which is what I was talking about.

Which cultures might that be where people don't sleep for a long stretch in the night but just have catnaps through the day & night, I wonder? It can't be anywhere where people work 9-to-5.

People can be quite different regarding sleep. I can't sleep during the day or nap and could only cackle in agony when people said I should "sleep when baby sleeps". If I wake up in the night, I can't go back to sleep before an hour or two. My dad is like me. When I was breastfeeding, this meant that I would manage to fall asleep about 15 minutes before the next feed. It was proper sleep deprivation, and coupled with no naps in the day, led me to hallucinate while behind the wheel after a few months.

So yes, I do believe that I could have died because of severe sleep deprivation. If not, depression was looking like a real possibility. And you think death or at least depression would have been worth it If Only Baby Never Cried, not even for a few minutes at a time.

I don't think so.

Rooners Mon 20-Jan-14 18:23:45


atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 20-Jan-14 18:29:21

CoteDAzur - if you were true sleep deprivation you would not be lying awake at night for an "hour or two".

Booboostoo Mon 20-Jan-14 18:56:40

CoteDAzur without proper research you don't really know whether what you or other people did had a causal effect on sleep paterns or merely a coincidental one. After all, the babies of parents who do no sleep training also sleep through the night at some point as well.

Japanese culture tends to favour extended bf and family co-sleeping up to about 5 years of age, so perhaps you just know people who confirm what you think is true.

Rooners Mon 20-Jan-14 19:21:28

It perhaps depends what you prioritise.

I don't prioritise sleep, necessarily, or should I say sleep that is undisturbed completely.

I prioritise no one crying. I think that's my main thing - I can't stand to hear crying, from my babies, so I'll do whatever prevents or stops that.

Even if it means they 'have' to cry for maybe 2 nights - nope. I could not and would not do that. It would upset me far too much.

Wherediparkmybroom Mon 20-Jan-14 19:28:56

I value my time with the children, I also value my marriage I really don't believe children in the bed up to five years old would do any of my family any good.

cantthinkofagoodone Mon 20-Jan-14 19:45:41

A link to an article that backs up the link to self soothing and not waking every sleep cycle scienceofmom.com/2012/02/23/the-importance-of-self-soothing-to-infant-sleep/

This forum seems to think that the only acceptable way of parenting is to have your child in your bed and attached to your boob all night until they decide that they don't want to. In the real world people need sleep to function and some children need help in learning.

The AAP has carried out research and as long as they child is well loved and not neglected in other ways, a couple of nights of controlled crying is fine. The arguments about cortisol levels are highly flawed - cortisol levels rise when babies breastfeed too but we just don't know what it means.

CurlyKiwiControl Mon 20-Jan-14 19:46:06

It's pure antidote here but this is my experience ...
DC1 bf awful sleeper, up all night, Fed every 45 minutes or so for months. Was too scared to co sleep. Sleep trained (cc) around 5/6 months and it took about a week to crack and she slept through 7-6 regularly.

DC2 bf awful sleeper, up all night, Fed every 45 mins or so. Co slept from 8 weeks till he was nearly a year old. It was bloody hideous. Sleep trained around one. It was horrendous and I have never been so tired for over a year of my life I was so tired I used to slur my words. He sleeps okay now 2 year old.

DC3 ff, great sleeper. From day one he was put down at 7pm and on strict 4 hour feed schedule. If he woke I had a chair next to cot and would shhh pat, use dummy but not pick him out. He gradually spaced out feeds ... by 8 weeks only having one feed around 3/4 am. Now at 12 weeks he sleeps from 7:30 to 7:30. He occasionally stirs but will resettle... I don't go to every whimper.


bigkidsdidit Mon 20-Jan-14 19:48:34

There MUST be habit associated with night wakings. My DS1, until I gently sleep trained him (no crying) woke every 45 minutes ON THE DOT! It was remarkable.

Rooners Mon 20-Jan-14 19:57:09

'This forum seems to think that the only acceptable way of parenting is to have your child in your bed and attached to your boob all night until they decide that they don't want to.'

grin I think you'll find that 'this forum' is HIGHLY divided about this topic!

Rooners Mon 20-Jan-14 20:03:37

From your link:

'When a baby knows how to self-soothe and falls asleep independently, she wakes in the night, checks her surroundings, and finding nothing to be alarmed about, she goes back to sleep without needing our help'

That's what mine do when I'm next to them in the same bed. It doesn't mean I get less sleep than someone who sleeps separately from their sleep trained baby. It means I get the same amount, perhaps, but it's achieved without the several nights of crying.

cantthinkofagoodone Mon 20-Jan-14 20:11:20

If cosleeping works its great. I know from trying that ds is very distracted and wakeful if he's in our bed but all children are different.

I personally don't agree that it is damaging to an otherwise well loved and cared for child to go through cc.

bigkidsdidit Mon 20-Jan-14 20:15:47

My ds1 is like that, cosleeping makes him more wakeful. Je loves his own bed in his own dark room (he is 3).

My ds2 however loves co sleeping and I do do it, although I have slightly trained him as I have night weaned (he is 7 months) je is still in bed with me. He sleeps all night that way, so I'm happy to do it. I would prefer he move into ds1's room too as I wake him in the morning shuffling round, but that's a minor issue!

CoteDAzur Mon 20-Jan-14 22:38:54

"if you were true sleep deprivation you would not be lying awake at night for an "hour or two""

Or, you don't know what you are talking about because you don't know anything about me hmm

CoteDAzur Mon 20-Jan-14 22:44:44

"without proper research you don't really know whether what you or other people did had a causal effect on sleep paterns or merely a coincidental one"

It's as coincidental as hearing thunder after seeing lightning smile

Night 0: Baby wakes up three times in the night to feed
Night 1: Sleep training starts. Baby cries a lot.
Night 2: Sleep training continues. Baby cries much less.
Night 3: Baby sleeps through the night.

Does that look like a coincidence to you?

minipie Mon 20-Jan-14 23:28:33

*I prioritise no one crying. I think that's my main thing - I can't stand to hear crying, from my babies, so I'll do whatever prevents or stops that.

Even if it means they 'have' to cry for maybe 2 nights - nope. I could not and would not do that. It would upset me far too much.*

Rooners, that sounds an awful lot like your reasons against CC are purely self interested ones. You can't stand crying. If so then that's your choice. But many parents would take a few nights of crying and better sleep at the end instead. That's their choice. No moral high ground either way.

Can't believe people here are seriously suggesting that if a baby sleeps through after a few nights of CC or other sleep training, it's a coincidence! Come on...

Booboostoo Tue 21-Jan-14 07:33:39

CoteDAzur well yes, looking at one case and drawing inferences is the definition of coincidence!

canthinkofagoodone thanks for the link I am working through its references and will get back to you with comments (if anyone is still interested!).

YokoUhOh Tue 21-Jan-14 07:57:16

There is no harm in co-sleeping and breastfeeding. There is potential harm in leaving a baby to cry. I will never forget the completely silent tears of DS's 6mo little friend, whose mum regularly turned the baby monitor off when he was crying sad I looked at him one day (when DS was screaming about teeth or something) and he wasn't crying, just had tears streaming down his face, no noise. He'd learnt that there was no point in crying for help sad

cantthinkofagoodone Tue 21-Jan-14 08:55:53

Yoko that is too sad but that is just general neglect, not sleep training.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 21-Jan-14 09:22:17

I don't know how it is possible to ignore a baby's cries.

curlew Tue 21-Jan-14 09:26:30

It's easy if You Are Doing It ForTheir Own Good..............

Rooners Tue 21-Jan-14 09:34:11

'Rooners, that sounds an awful lot like your reasons against CC are purely self interested ones.' YES! That's exactly what I am trying to say.

Well, maybe not purely, but largely. In the first instance. That is my PRIORITY, that no one cries.

But that's for a secondary reason which is that I think it's wrong and sad to allow a tiny child to cry without a very good reason, ie, you're trying to help him stop crying but don't know how.

If you know how and you ARE able to stop him crying but refuse to (for perhaps purely self interested reasons) then I think that is terrible.

But then, other people's priorities seem to be that everyone sleeps through, and they probably think my actions are terrible in their own way.

Not judging exactly but well, maybe I am actually.

curlew Tue 21-Jan-14 09:51:09

You know, I would much happier with this if people said "I wanted an unbroken night's sleep and I hated having to share my bed so I did controlled crying because I found it worked and I feel that my needs are at least as important as my baby's". We've all done things because it suited us as adults. Being selfish is not always such a bad thing. But you have to be clear sighted about it. Pretending it's for the baby's benefit, or it's "teaching them a useful skill" is all bollocks really. Do it if you want. But be honest abut it.

curlew Tue 21-Jan-14 09:53:22

I could easily say that co sleeping was me being selfish because I got plenty of sleep and didn't have to listen to my baby crying. But in that case, my selfishness and the baby's needs/wants matched.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 21-Jan-14 09:54:24

What concerns me is the mechanism employed to carry out crying methods.

Like all primates human babies have evolved to have 24 hour attention and close physical proximity to their mother. "cache" animals like the big cats leave their offspring in undergrowth while parents hunt. These animals don't cry when left- it would be unsafe to do so.
Human babies do cry for company and comfort.
Teaching them that their cries are inneffective does not sit happily with me.

We do not understand the mechanisms when we use crying techniques and given that we have no evidence to show no harm then I prefer to trust my mothering instincts.

These crying techniques are very new and much based on Dr Ferber's techniques popularised in the 1980s.
Even he has now relinquished much of early ideas, admitting: "I wish I hadn't written those sentences"- Talking of :

"Although taking your child into bed with you for a night or two may be reasonable if he is ill or very upset about something, for the most part this is not a good idea…sleeping alone is an important part of his learning to be able to separate from you without anxiety and to see himself as an independent individual."

He regrets these comments.

Rooners Tue 21-Jan-14 10:38:51

I agree, it is worrying and I think it goes so far against nature as to be obviously wrong. But that's just an opinion.

With my priorities comment I think I was trying to say taht for some people, 'everybody sleeps' or perhaps 'no one is awake' is the priority while for me, 'no one is crying' is the priority.

It depends on what you want to achieve and while there is some crossover between crying and wakefulness, and sleep and happiness, that's kind of how I see it all. It's a spectrum in a sense.

CoteDAzur Tue 21-Jan-14 10:44:16

Booboo - That is not the definition of "coincidence" at all. I have no idea where you got that idea.

Feel free to leave your fingers stuck in your ears while you sing "la la la" if that helps, though.

CoteDAzur Tue 21-Jan-14 10:52:55

I agree with you, Rooners. It is all about what you can live with.

I can live with two nights of crying. I can't live with years of broken sleep, risking DH's job, my mental health, and baby's life as well as my own because I'm too stupid & slow due to sleep deprivation to notice the truck coming my way and do something about it.

It you can't live with a few nights of crying and you are fine with wriggly little ones in your bed feeding through the night for years, it sounds like you have made the right choice for your family.

The message to take away from this thread, for everyone, should be to each their own imho.

... which is the exact opposite of comparing a few nights' CC to child abuse and neglect, blowing it all out of proportion by talking about teaching them their cries are useless, and touting the lifestyle of humanoid cavemen ffs hmm

Keznel Tue 21-Jan-14 11:45:34

Haven't read this entire thread so forgive me if I'm repeating someone else's comments. There was a recent (2012) study done that confirmed CC does not harm the child in any way, if I ever figure out how to link things on here I will post a link to the article but I'm sure you'd get it through google.

We did CC with my DD when she was 7months and trust me we were at our wits end when we undertook it. Co sleeping simply did not work for us and I did that for quite a while! I also tried other sleep training methods but nothing worked. Sleep deprivation was making me ill, and was starting to put a strain on my marriage! She is now 21months and as far as I can tell a happy healthy little girl who sleeps a solid 12hrs a night. It took 3 nights of controlled crying. Yes she may have got to that stage by herself but at the time in the moment, when we were up 6-7 times a night, it was the right thing to do for our family.

Keznel Tue 21-Jan-14 11:48:48

Oh and she still has the ability to cry when she needs us, is hungry, has fallen, because she's getting her hair brushed/teeth brushed, when Mickey Mouse has finished grin

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 21-Jan-14 12:50:27

Cote- it's not a simple stark choice as you describe.

You said:
"I can live with two nights of crying. I can't live with years of broken sleep, risking DH's job, my mental health, and baby's life as well as my own because I'm too stupid & slow due to sleep deprivation to notice the truck coming my way and do something about it.

It you can't live with a few nights of crying and you are fine with wriggly little ones in your bed feeding through the night for years, it sounds like you have made the right choice for your family."

You suggest that the only two options are being dangerously tired/ Oh loses his job/you become mentally ill--- or doing controlled crying.

That's ridiculous.

We co slept because I value sleep for the whole family. Noone has ever been short of sleep in my family, There are also other ghentler methods to encouraghe babies to sleep without resorting to ingoring their cries.

You paint a very hysterical picture of what life must be like for those of us who don't choose to ignore our baby's cries.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 21-Jan-14 12:52:47

Keznel- you can quote studies, but the evidence is mixed and no- one can say for sure what the possible effects may or may not be.

No evidence of harm is not the same as evidence of no harm- so while the jury is still out I prefer to comfort my babies when the cry for me.

curlew Tue 21-Jan-14 12:57:01

"... which is the exact opposite of comparing a few nights' CC to child abuse and neglect, blowing it all out of proportion by talking about teaching them their cries are useless, and touting the lifestyle of humanoid cavemen ffs "

Ffs right back atcha! It's either civilized controlled crying or the lifestyle of a caveman? Where the fuck did that come from??

CoteDAzur Tue 21-Jan-14 13:02:08

My reference to "lifestyle of humanoid cavemen" came the fuck from Atthestroke's talking of "Like all primates, humans have evolved to..."

Can you not read?

CoteDAzur Tue 21-Jan-14 13:05:44

Atthestroke - It looks like you didn't understand my post. Try reading it again. I didn't say those are the only two options for everyone in the world. I said those two situations were the ones my family and Rooner's family were in.

CoteDAzur Tue 21-Jan-14 13:08:04

And the post you replied to is the very opposite of "hysterical", saying we all do what we can live with, to each their own etc.

From where I sit, you are starting to look slightly hysterical, though.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 21-Jan-14 13:09:53

Cote I will let you cool off a little- your posts are becoming increasingly hysterical.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Tue 21-Jan-14 13:16:26

I haven't rtft but I don't understand this correlation between self settling and sleeping through. My two boys are vastly different in terms of sleep -ds1 needed loads of help getting to sleep for ages, he sleep through almost a year before he could self settle. Ds2 is now 8m and can self settle (not because we've caught him, he just can do it ) but doesn't sleep through, waking between 1 and 4 times a night.

Keznel Tue 21-Jan-14 13:22:59

Ho hum like everything out there people have passionate belief in one thing or another! We are never all going to agree on this. I did try co sleeping but neither me nor DD got a good nights sleep at best we were getting an hour maybe 2 at a push!! How can that be good for her or me! That's why we sought an alternative and yes we tried PUPD and all the rest of them but DD did not get the concept of sleeping at night!! I was slipping into depression and I do not say that lightly, it was then that DH and I discussed at length to try CC. Being made to feel we've damaged DD is cruel and ridiculous, do you force your views on everyone in your lives or just when it comes to babies sleeping?? We were at our wits end and CC gave us a solution and a baby that now enjoys going to bed! When we say bedtime to her she skips of to pick the book she wants read so so far not displaying any signs of psychological damage.

I just feel that some people need to be more tolerant of other peoples decisions. You never know what's going on in someone's life to make them do the things they do! Sorry am rambling as I am now sleep deprived from DS (18weeks) and no! I haven't done CC crying with him yet before you ask smile

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 21-Jan-14 13:30:19

No one has suggested that you have "damaged" your DD.

Can you please post a quote for this from the thread?

Keznel Tue 21-Jan-14 13:56:38

It's what's being implied by the anti CC brigade. Besides I'm too tired to read, or take in the information in 155posts! I'm off to make some coffee and try not to put the teaspoon in the bin. DS co sleeping not going well either, sigh sad

CoteDAzur Tue 21-Jan-14 14:03:03

Atthestroke - "Hysterical" is not a magic word that makes people so when you call them hysterical.

As anyone can see on this thread, it just isn't happening, I'm afraid.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 21-Jan-14 14:03:57

Kenzel that's unfair.

You are reading too much into the posts here- and it's unfair of you to put words into our mouths and then judge us for it!!!

Rooners Tue 21-Jan-14 14:11:42

I don't think many babies of 18 weeks sleep 'well' tbh. It's normal. The danger is sometimes that people expect babies to fit in with family life and sleep at the same times as everyone else when they're really not supposed to.

Rooners Tue 21-Jan-14 14:13:50

And by 'danger' I don't mean 'your child will die from being left to cry briefly'.

I mean it sets us up to feel like we are failing, or our babies are malfunctioning or something.

If we could learn to respect the way babies behave and regard it as normal for them, and something to make allowances for, not try to 'correct' asap, it might make our own lives a lot less stressful.

Booboostoo Tue 21-Jan-14 17:30:30

Here are my thoughts on the link provided by cantthinkofagoodone and the studies it links to (I didn't have time to read all of them in detail so I read the main review study she cites):

The article itself admits that:
a)one of the three factors influencing sleep, quiet sleep as a newborn, has nothing to do with parenting techniques
b)there is no evidence of causation in parenting technique interventions, this could all be mere correlation.

The article then points to the Mindell review as evidence.

The Mindell review:
1.sets out the sleep problem as parent defined, so by definition co-sleeping, breast-feeders would not classify themselves as having a problem (only non-co-sleeping non-breast-feeders would see them as such as per this discussion for example).
2.the studies do not include any co-sleeping breast feeders.
3.he has a bizarre interpretation of the failure of extinction and graduated extinction techniques as stemming from the parents’ inability to tolerate the crying, rather than the child’s inability to tolerate the technique. This pre-supposes the technique is good (efficacious and beneficial) but can’t be correctly applied by the parents which is the reason for its failure rather than leaving this to the study to establish.
4.graduated extinction techniques are the only time self-soothing is mentioned and there the assumption is that this is the goal of the technique – there is no questioning of whether the ability exists or testing of the question of whether it can be developed or not.
5.similarly there is an assumption that are such abilities as independent sleep initiation techniques, that babies develop them and that parents can take steps to encourage their development; again there is no evidence to back any of these claims.
6.pretty much all the techniques mentioned as supposed to have positive results (from really tiny studies) but there is no study considering whether sleep patterns would have improved on their own anyway – again no evidence of causation. Despite the very small number of data available the authors do conclude that interventions are better than non-interventions.
7.worst of all the durability of the treatments is rarely measured nor is it compared with changing sleeping patterns in parents who do not use sleep modification techniques.

In conclusion the whole argument is leakier than a sieve with researchers assuming the conclusions they ought to be testing, tiny poorly designed studies and no confirmation of causality over simple coincidence.

Booboostoo Tue 21-Jan-14 17:32:41

CoteDAzur I went to my window three days ago openned the shutters and the sun came up, I went to my window two days ago openned the shutters and the sun came up, I went to my window today openned the shutters and the sun came up...ergo my openning the shutters causes the sun to come up. That's about the strength of the argument you are using (and by the way I am criticising the validity of the argument not you personally, unlike some of your posts which are borderline too personal for friendly, rational discussion).

minipie Tue 21-Jan-14 17:46:13

booboo there are many, many parents who have done controlled crying for a few days and at the end of those few days their child's sleep is completely different to the way it was before. Usually their child wakes up far far fewer times.

Are you really saying that that is all a huge coincidence?

If so then, in the nicest possible way, you are nuts grin.

Rooners Tue 21-Jan-14 18:16:41

I also thought the Mindell review was flawed because of the starting point of 'problem sleepers' or something like that - sorry haven't looked at it since last year so can't recall the exact words.

I wouldn't consider my babies' sleep to have been a problem, really, at any point. Not a problem that needed to be 'sorted out' in any case.

So that counts people like me out of the study from the off.

Booboostoo Tue 21-Jan-14 18:20:01

minipie there are many people who have done homeopathy and at the end of a few days they are healthy again, doesn't mean homeopathy treated anything - in the same way that there are many people who open their shutters in the morning and then the sun comes up (in fact there are probably millions more people with the shutters/sun thing than the sleep training/sleep improvement, so mere numbers don't mean anything). You need much more than correlation to establish a causal link, this is not my insane thinking but a fundamental building block of science, research and the rational process by which we try to make sense of the world.

Rooners Tue 21-Jan-14 18:27:58

Thankyou for such an excellent post, Booboos.

minipie Tue 21-Jan-14 20:36:40

booboo if there are many, many people who have had a long term health issue and a few days of homeopathy sorts it out, then yes I'd say that is pretty good evidence that homeopathy works. I have no idea if that is the case. I do know it's the case with sleep training.

By your logic anything could be coincidence. Maybe it's coincidence that a baby drops off to sleep whilst being fed. Maybe it's coincidence that a baby smiles when you smile at them. However the fact that millions of people have noticed an immediate correlation, suggests a cause and effect relationship. Same applies to sleep training.

Booboostoo Tue 21-Jan-14 21:02:35

minipie this is simply not the case. Simply believing something is true, no matter how many people believe it to be true, does not make it true. Homeopathy has a very well documented placebo effect so merely stating that a lot of people believe it to be true does not make it true.

The reason the recovery is coincidental to the use of homeopathy is that there is no reason to believe a causal connection between homeopathy and treatment. There is no physical evidence that water has a memory, there is no experimental data to show that like treats like and there is no evidence that substances that are diluted become more potent. That is, every premise on which homeopathy is based is proven to be false, therefore any connection between it and an improvement in health is coincidental.

Your examples by the way are not similar. There is actual evidence that breast milk helps babies sleep. This is based on a chemical analysis of milk and our understanding of what hormones like oxytocin, prolactin, melatonin and cholecystokinin do. E.g. melatonin is undetectable in breast milk during the day, but peaks during the night. This is a causal story that ties in with everything we know about brain chemistry and how hormones work, not some made up stuff that people happen to believe. This account of the link between breast milk and sleep remains true even if no one actually believes in it (truth is not created by belief).

jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Tue 21-Jan-14 21:12:59
minipie Tue 21-Jan-14 21:51:41

Of course truth is not created by belief. But parents don't "believe" their children to be waking less after sleep training. The children either are or are not waking less, it's an objectively observable fact.

In our case, DD went from waking virtually every hour between 12 and 7 am (and having done so for months) to waking not a single time. She did this on the first night after doing CC at nap time and bedtime.

I have heard/read plenty of similar stories from other parents - even on MN, where CC is vilified.

Are we all just deluding ourselves that there is a causal link?

Honestly I can't quite believe I'm having this discussion, your argument is so ridiculous. I'm off to do something more constructive.

Onefewernow Tue 21-Jan-14 22:01:33

I have resorted to controlled crying. I didn't for my first or second, or even my third- because I have decent age gaps between all three, over 5 years in each case. However the fourth and fifth were shortly after number three- you simply do not get time after a few weeks of trying to juggle them all otherwise. If you take the view that toddler 4 may need lunch and a nappy change then baby 5 must be put down at some point. Whether he likes it or not. And that means that baby 5 gets used to going to sleep without being held.

Shockingundercrackers Tue 21-Jan-14 22:23:37

Op I haven't read through the whole thread (have non sleeping 6 mo) but IMHO chuck all the "expert" books in the bin and log off the Internet. Trust yourself and your baby. Soon you'll recognise the cries which need to be answered with boob and the ones with cuddles / reassurance and which can safely be ignored. Dc1 was an Xiang sleeper when we leaned to listen to his cues. Dc2 not so much but he's just a totally different personality and a very happy boy.

This time passes so quickly. Honestly it's not worth worrying about. There is no right way of doing this, just enjoy your baby and do your best to give them what they need and you'll be doing fine smile

CoteDAzur Wed 22-Jan-14 06:54:09

Booboo - Sorry but I'm grin at your clutching at straws with "how do you know it works" and comparing CC to homeopathy sugar pills. LOL!

CoteDAzur Wed 22-Jan-14 07:15:07

That's not an actual quote, by the way, before you race off in a tangent smile

Booboostoo Wed 22-Jan-14 08:23:39

minipie That is not the definition of an objective observable fact, pretty much every aspect of it can be challenged:

Objective: it's clearly not objective as it is the subjective experience of two people. No effort has been made to make it objective through, for e.g., the use of a disinterested observer, the setting-up of control conditions, the recording of results, etc.

Observable: while it is true that you observed this happening you set up no formal criteria for your observation, e.g. what counts as disrupted sleep, what counts as sleeping through, and therefore your observations cannot be consistently compared with those of others. For example, my friends claim their DS sleeps really well, having been at their house at bed time several times it means that their DS is put to bed and left to cry for 20 to 45 minutes. They don't mind this and think he is unproblematic in his sleep. This is a subjective observation, which by its very nature, can be misleading if you are looking to generalise results.

Fact: at best you have seen B follow A (if we ignore the above problems), you have not in any way shown that A caused B to occur. Even if you appeal to other parents on MN who used your technique with B as a consequence there are equal numbers of parents who used a different technique with B as a consequence or no technique at all and B still occured. My friend's baby has slept 12 hours through in her crib with no effort on her parents' behalf from 6 weeks to now (2yo). In addition for everyone who has seen B occur after A there are the people who tried A, or another technique, or nothing at all and B still did not occur.

The whole point of scientific studies is to examine A and B under controlled conditions as well as to discover the rationale behind the relationship between A and B and account for any possible relationship between them.

I never said you were delusional, I merely criticised your argument for being invalid.

CoteDAzur of course I can tell you are attempting to be personally disparaging but I can't tell what this contributes to the discussion so I am not sure how to respond to your contribution.

puntasticusername Wed 22-Jan-14 09:28:44

Rofl at this thread. It's supposed to be coincidence that parents report improved sleep after carrying out CC? Grasping at straws, much...? Really.

Booboostoo Wed 22-Jan-14 09:46:20

Laughing at someone does not constitue an argument. If you think my argument is demonstrably poor feel free to demonstrate why.

Anyway I feel I have made my point, good luck OP.

minipie Wed 22-Jan-14 10:28:38

This is ridiculous booboo.

It's like trying to argue that if you leave an ice cream in the sun, the sun will make it melt. There has never been any scientific, controlled-conditions experiment that proves this, because it's so bleeding obvious that nobody needs to do the experiment. But on your logic, it is merely a coincidence that the sun made the ice cream melt.

I give up. Believe it's a coincidence if you like. I doubt anyone else is with you on that one.

puntasticusername Wed 22-Jan-14 10:31:34

I'm sure you've made all the points of which you are capable, yes. I've no intention of wasting my time reiterating the arguments others have made.

HoratiaDrelincourt Wed 22-Jan-14 10:38:03

I agree that CC works for many parent-child units (ie it isn't for every family) and that the coincidence of CC and improved sleep for those families may be considered causative and not just correlated.


I do not agree that it works "because baby has learned to self-soothe". We have NFI why it works; we can merely observe that it appears to when the parents commit to it.

For me, I have too many doubts about why it might work to want to consider it. And I'm lucky that I've never reached the "last resort" region where it would be the next thing to try. Don't get me wrong: I've had two bad sleepers, and DC3 is too young for us to know yet, so never say never. But either I function well on limited sleep or have a greater tolerance of exhaustion, because I've never yet needed to "cure" my children's sleep patterns.

kitchensinkmum Wed 22-Jan-14 10:59:54

There isn't anything wrong with sleep training! It needn't be harsh , a gentle approach can work wonders over a ten day period .
Those of you who can't hear your child cry as babies may also find it impossible to say "NO" to your toddler !
I know a lot of these children (so slept or had parents up ten times a night for first five years.) and the attachment parenting children who are now late teens and early twenties. Compared to the children who had love AND firm boundaries around sleep and everything else they are hopeless. None of them are independent always needing help for everything . They just don't cope as well. Sorry but it all sound lovely in writing, attend to very need no matter how much you are hanging by a thread , just do what ever the baby or toddler demands. You just turn them into demanding people who sap you try of every bit of life.
Sleep training needing be unkind or un natural. But it might just save your sanity . You will be a mum or a dad for a very long time and it's needs to be sustainable.
Imagine if you couldn't put yourself to sleep? Who much would you cry (I know I would) if , every time you woke up you couldn't get to sleep no matter how tired you were . Teach your baby to drop off by it's self . It needed feel unloved , I fact you will be a better parent if you haven't flogged yourself half to death .
Côte , you get my vote ....

Rooners Wed 22-Jan-14 11:19:47

WHAT a load of utter, utter codswallop. No offence.

puntasticusername Wed 22-Jan-14 11:41:05

kitchensinkmum sorry, but that's a ridiculous argument. You are conflating no-cry sleep solutions with overall excessively permissive parenting. The two don't necessarily go together at all.

kitchensinkmum Wed 22-Jan-14 11:41:31

Because ? You think parents should be slaves to their children hahahahahah

kitchensinkmum Wed 22-Jan-14 11:44:51

I'm not putting names and labels on parents or parenting just saying you need to teach baby to sleep ASAP without relying on sucking. I speak from experience and have almost 40 years of it .
Co sleeping isn't wrong and I wasn't suggesting it to be so. Even with co sleeping baby needs to learn to settle without sucking .
Previous post to rooners

puntasticusername Wed 22-Jan-14 11:52:22

Sure. But as I say, doing gentle sleep solutions doesn't necessarily equate to "being a slave to your children" in general.

Rooners Wed 22-Jan-14 12:03:58

'Because ? You think parents should be slaves to their children hahahahahah'

I think you are digging yourself a hole here. That comment really doesn't deserve a response. No one will take you seriously if you write in the very ignorant and dogmatic manner of your first post.

It's just not worth engaging with, I don't know where to START in correcting all the nonsense you have written.

kitchensinkmum Wed 22-Jan-14 12:04:26

I always advocate the gentler solution , by taking a holistic approach and looking at the whole child not just the sleep.
The end result is still the same though. A baby who sleeps well and a parent who can rest and recharge too.
Parents who want to sleep train their child shouldn't be judged because they want to get their own sleep back. The gentlest way will work extremely well. I know parents of three year olds who get up five times a night to give a bottle of milk to a super screamer . These poor exhausted people simply exist they don't live because they are too tired .

Fulfilling a child's needs isn't always giving everything they want when they want it .

kitchensinkmum Wed 22-Jan-14 12:05:40

But you responded rooners and you were arrogant . Calm down and feel your inner peace . Be happy not filled with anger for me ..

Rooners Wed 22-Jan-14 12:06:22


Rooners Wed 22-Jan-14 12:06:58

You're a health visitor aren't you?

kitchensinkmum Wed 22-Jan-14 12:07:36

Oh dear Rooners . Why would you want to correct me? Isn't debate about listening to other opinions and experiences not correcting them and telling what they think. Maybe if you had more sleep you would be a calmer and happier person. Happy days I'm sending you a hug to help .

puntasticusername Wed 22-Jan-14 12:28:56

grin rooners

Perhaps the troll hunting guidelines should be expanded to include health visitors grin

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Wed 22-Jan-14 12:37:10


bigkidsdidit Wed 22-Jan-14 13:48:56

Well, this has got very strange!

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 22-Jan-14 13:51:39

I am bowing out.

Whether Cc works or not or works for a short time I am not qualified to say.

I do know that it feels too harsh a method for me- and that's the crux of it for me. My babies cry and I comfort them.

kitchensinkmum Wed 22-Jan-14 16:32:01

You don't like health visitors ??

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 22-Jan-14 16:54:21

HVs are not known for their good understanding of many issues. Often their training is out of date, their knowledge inadequate and give advice based on personal views rather than medical knowledge.

Good HVs do exist but they are rare.

catslikefelix Wed 22-Jan-14 19:41:56

I find it hard to believe that people defend or even show off about the fact they let their babies cry or refuse nutrition in order to teach them who's boss and then ridicule mothers who instinctively respond to their babies needs! Like they're the freaks!! Babies are born with an un myelinated nervous system and are incapable of knowing or learning but can only BE which is why they have fully developed parents to care for them and respond to them ffs! The nervous system doesn't fully develop until we're about 18 which we all know is when we should expect our young to start needing less physical and emotional care...and yet some parents expect their babies to need less care when they are 4 months!! Minipie 'a baby who has learnt that they need to be fed/cuddled/rocked in order to go to sleep...' They haven't learnt to need that, they just simply need that!!Why question it? To Cote.. where did you get the idea that babies of 4 months are perfectly able to go all night without nutrition? That's not true! A breast fed baby should be expected to feed on a few occasions during the night..breast milk is easily absorbed. As a breast feeding mother you must know that! To withhold nutrition isn't being a canny mother! It's cruel! And kitchen 'babies should learn asap to sleep without sucking!! Where did you hear that crap? Babies suck! It's what they do! It's pretty much all they do at 4 months! Why expect them not to? Surely the fact that virtually every baby has sleep 'issues' must inform the intelligent, instinctive parent that it's actually the normal and physiological way for a baby to behave rather than a defect that needs to be corrected!

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 22-Jan-14 19:55:24

cats- I totally agree. It's madness trying to get babies to need less comfort and nutrition.
If we can't do that as mothers then there isn't much hope.

kitchensinkmum Wed 22-Jan-14 20:19:34

I don't think less comfort or less nutrition was suggested by any posters . J

catslikefelix Wed 22-Jan-14 20:33:56

kitchen not picking up a crying baby and not feeding a 4 month old who might, no forget that IS probably hungry has been widely recommended on this thread! Have you got short term memory problems?

Bumpsadaisie Wed 22-Jan-14 21:01:17

My son is 2 years and three months old. He still can't self soothe if he wakes in the middle of the night! (This is normal). I have to repeat what we do a bedtime, i.e. quick story and Twinkle Twinkle.

I would do controlled crying with a child that is old enough to understand what you mean when you say you are popping downstairs for 5 mins and will then pop back to check on them. My son isn't old enough for that yet, maybe in a few months. I know from my older DD that things change a lot by the time they are 3 and you can expect more independence from them without them getting hugely upset.

FWIW he fed to sleep as an infant just like all infants do. When I stopped feeding he settled himself fine after story and song.


Bumpsadaisie Wed 22-Jan-14 21:09:06


"We didn't want to ruin her".

You can't "ruin" your little baby girl by always being there and comforting her (though its true that it feels like we are ruined by the lack of sleep sometimes grin). In fact being a responsive and warm parent is the making of confident and trusting children.

My personal opinion is that sleep training is a bad thing with infants/toddlers. Different thing with a preschooler who has got over the separation anxiety phase and who has a mature understanding of the concepts of time and space and who has words with which to communicate.

I would never say I would never do it, because if sleep is SO bad that you are having a nervous breakdown and your relationship with your oH is falling apart, clearly that's no good for baby either. But my personal approach has always been, no sleep training unless you absolutely have to.

(PS my eldest is four now. Sleeps like a dream, never a peep out of her, straight to sleep at bedtime, gets up in the morning and plays by herself. I am sure my 2 year old boy will be the same once he is old enough).

Enjoy your little girl.

PS have you heard about the four month sleep regression? Brace yourself!

Bumpsadaisie Wed 22-Jan-14 21:13:45

PS I agree with Rooners that it is perfectly possible to be a warm responsive parent and at the same time be a parent who can say no when appropriate and set firm boundaries. That's what I aim for (I say aim as of course I don't manage it all the time - sometimes I'm a snappy unsympathetic mum who gives in and lets them have smarties before supper as I'm in a grumpy mood. But most of the time I aim for warm, responsive and firm.)

YoniMitchel Wed 22-Jan-14 21:31:07

I fully agree with kitchen some children need to learn to self soothe , both my DC woke every 30 mins for me to nurse then back to sleep , I did sleep training (gradual retreat method ) with DS at 14 months and wished I had done it sooner , my life was so hard, I couldn't go anywhere in the evenings , I was trying to teach full time too, I was arguing with my husband constantly . we did sleep training with DD last month at 5 months and we're delighted , I do feed her during the night but I won't feed her 30 mins after a feed and I put her in the cot awake for naps and at bedtime, since learning to self soothe her boss have gone from 30 mins to 1.5 hrs , works for me smile

YoniMitchel Wed 22-Jan-14 21:31:49

Naps not boss!!

catslikefelix Wed 22-Jan-14 21:41:54

Yoni children can be taught to self soothe..babies can't! How you describe your life shows that you were having trouble coping with and understanding a newborns needs and that's a shame but to recommend sleep training at this age should be a last resort for parents with difficulties not a widely extrapolated method for night time care of young babies

minipie Wed 22-Jan-14 22:26:13

Felix how do you know? my dd was not able to self soothe (I prefer the term self settle) prior to sleep training, afterwards she was. that to me suggests babies can be taught to self settle.

I don't agree that choosing to sleep train means you don't understand your baby's needs. I understood that my baby needed me to rock her back to sleep because that's the only way she knew how to get back to sleep. I also understood that sleep training could teach her a different way to get back to sleep, ie by herself. It worked (thank god).

YoniMitchel Wed 22-Jan-14 23:18:46

That's very patronising cats, who in the world can hold down a full time demanding job and get up 6-8 times a night to rock /nurse a baby back to sleep ? Nobody I know . I understand newborns perfectly well but I don't class a 5 month old as a newborn , funny how lots if breadtfed babies start waking much more frequently around 3/4 months , it's not just hunger, it's bad habits, no 5 month old needs to be fed every 30 mins, as mini says they need to learn another way to go to sleep

kitchensinkmum Thu 23-Jan-14 06:32:46

Perfectly said Yoni! It's fine to feed on demand through the night with ten wakings + if you don't have to work and have someone to do your washing cleaning ironing cooking and entertain your other small people . Sadly most people don't have these luxuries. A Babylonians of four months only needs to feed twice in the night max . No one says you have to be mean just sensible. Lots of people on here have said that their sleep training took three nights . I know families who co sleep until their child is 2 years but they still train the baby not to feed ten times a night .

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 23-Jan-14 06:58:00

catslikefelix- you are making assumptions about CCing- that you are teaching yourt babies to "self soothe"- a very saccharine term for a harsh technique.

Your baby cries and you ignore- that to me is "teaching" a baby that his voice is not worth listening to, that no-one is responding, that he needn't waste his breath.
The first crush to self esteem and inner voice that could save his life one day.

Rooners Thu 23-Jan-14 08:17:17

Lots of people seem to be citing having to work full time and it seems this makes all the difference.

Would you still sleep train if you didn't have to work? Or if you could work PT?

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 23-Jan-14 08:31:03

Good point Rooners- I co- slept because I needed my sleep for work.
I worked 30 hours a week and was tandem feeding a baby and a toddler.
Co- sleeping ensured that we all slept well- and I mean sleeping well as having several night wakenings to breastfeed too.

bigkidsdidit Thu 23-Jan-14 08:46:03

I would have, Rooners, yes. I've always needed tons of sleep. Even now both my two sleep through I go to bed at 9pm and at LEAST once a week I put them to bed at 7, tidy the toys, make the lunches, brush my teeth and I'm asleep by 7.30! I'm hopeless. I could never run the country!

bigkidsdidit Thu 23-Jan-14 08:47:37

Having said that, I do work ft but flexible so I start work at 6.30 m (leaving the house at 5.45 while DH does mornings) so that I can pick them up at 3.30. So I do need to get up early.

YoniMitchel Thu 23-Jan-14 10:42:50

My sleep training involved sitting bedside the bed soothing the baby with my voice and picking up occasionally if very upset , I did this for bedtime and naps , I would never ignore a baby crying but I won't pick a baby up and feed if I feel it's just habit, anyway I've found if a baby can go to sleep themselves they tend yo only wake when genuinely hungry. FWIW I'm on unpaid maternity leave and still did my version of sleep training cos I was wrecked and have a toddler to look after too but I'd recommend sleep training to anyone whether working or not and whether they've other children to mind or not, who doesn't need /want decent sleep ?! I fed DD twice last night but by next month I'd expect her to go down to one feed as she'll be eating more solids. Where I live everyone bottle feeds and has been getting a full nights sleep since 6/8 weeks so I feel like the lenient one, guess it's what you're used to!

YoniMitchel Thu 23-Jan-14 11:06:19

Also I was talking to my GP about it over Christmas , she has 6 kids , all breastfed and she told me mothers have to look after themselves, the babies are always fine , she said feed the baby and go to sleep in a different room and they should go at least 3/4 hours , somebody else should go into then if they wake sooner, she said rem strict is good , having been through hell with DS I agree , strict is good , DS was like a new child , much happier and much more content cos he was getting the sleek he needed smile

kitchensinkmum Thu 23-Jan-14 19:41:48

Yoni your sleep training sounds perfect. Not cruel or mean . It's true the babies are fine but many mother are fit to drop

alliswell2 Fri 24-Jan-14 08:12:01

I hate the term self settle. To me it's a euphemism for let the baby/toddler wear them self out crying and eventually fall asleep from exhaustion or worse, realise (eventually) that feeling hungry and crying is not going to get them anywhere.

atthestrokeoftwelve Fri 24-Jan-14 12:34:46

I agree alli- "self settling" or "self soothing" sounds very sweet, but training your babies to silence themselves is far from sweet.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Fri 24-Jan-14 12:49:47

My DS has gone to sleep on his own since he was about 4 months old. He hasn't actually been left to cry it out, although he very nearly always cries before sleep (including the car, buggy etc).

He cries if he is hungry or has any need that he can't communicate to me.

He self settles after we used shhh-pat. He's never stopped crying because noone answered his cry and it is just stupid to assume such things.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Fri 24-Jan-14 12:50:43

Sorry forgot to add that the ability to self soothe does not equal neglect.

atthestrokeoftwelve Fri 24-Jan-14 14:37:44

What makes you think these babies are being "soothed" at all?

"Soothe" means to comfort, hush, lull, placate, to bring relief, make calm, appease.

These babies are not doing this, they have simply stopped crying. Why do you assume from that they are "soothing" themselves instead of just come to realise that no- one will respond to their cries, so give up and go back to sleep?

Mothers can soothe babies, there is no research proof whatsoever that babies who sleep through the night do so because they have learned to “self-soothe.

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