What worked for us. Hope this helps.(576 Posts)
This post is going to be massive - no apologies however.
So I've posted at least 5 queries about DD's sleep and read about 1 billion threads, because DD only napped for 30mins in the day, would only BF to sleep (since a newborn I wanted to get out of the habit, but nothing else did it). She spent the first 5 months in her cot, only for us to end up co-sleeping so we could get a bit of rest. She would BF every 2 hours at least in the night, and by the end she'd wake every half hour before we went to bed. I knew I couldn't do CC/CIO, I'm not strong enough even if I thought that was the right thing to do, but I thought that I would be forced to if things carried on the way they were.
We read No Cry Sleep Solution, which is complicated and didn't work for us.
So a friend had tried a technique, that she recommended and I thought that it was too much of a leap for DD, but i kept the email, and one evening I sort of snapped and decided that IT WAS TIME. DD was 8 1/2months. I don't know from what age this technique is recommended, but I don't think I'd have wanted to do this earlier, as you still have to cope with the baby crying. I knew DD was ready because now she quite clearly has two cries - one properly sad and scared, the other a bit shouty and put on, so when doing this technique you know what's going on (but I'd like to add that I still comforted DD when she was shouty - she's still trying to say something, but I deÞ nitely wouldn't pick her up and panic!)
I'll paste her email to me, hoping she won't mind. We didn't do it in the ten days, as it was just a bit too much, but i wonder if the way we did it made things a bit complicated. So I recommend doing it as laid out.
But now DD takes 20mins to fall asleep by herself (with one of us in her room) in her cot, in her room. and I do not feed at all between 7pm and 7am. Dh goes in in the night and he gives her water in case she's thirsty but she's quite happy without. It takes him no more than about 3mins to resettle her (unless ill).
After starting this at the beginning of January she still wakes up once or twice a night but it doesn't affect me as I wear earplugs and DH goes in! ha ha ha! (I still hear her and wake up, but I don't wake up fully and find it difFicult to go back to sleep) Do I need to tell you how I feel like a different woman?
So here's the email -
^"Ok, this is a plan thing that we first tried with dc1 when we got to the point where we knew something had to change. There seems to come a point where not only do you get tired of 'helping' your baby get to sleep, but whatever you do seems to work less and less - as if they know something has to change too! It takes a bit of work for about ten days or so but mostly the first couple of days you really put your back into it and then it gets easier. I remember vaguely doing it with dc1 and have just rediscovered it with Dc2 she is a bit of a firecracker so I was expecting trouble but babies love to learn something new, especially around this age and she only woke once last night despite having a cold, which is a HUGE improvement. Dc1 found this very easy and never shed a tear. Dc2 screamed 'TRAITOR!!' at me many times during the first night (she does that a lot), so I'm not saying that there won't be some crying because you will be doing something different to before but you don't have to leave her side and can reassure her as much as you need to, physically and verbally.
The idea is that you are no longer going to help her go to sleep - in whatever way - if you rock her, feed her, jiggle her, whatever it is. You can be there and reassure her but it is no longer your job to MAKE her go to sleep. It is your job to support her whilst she does it herself.
First of all, you know that thing that everyone says about having a bedtime routine (which I imagine you already have) is utterly true. By the time they are a toddler, the sound of a running bath is enough to set the bedtime clock going. When you choose to do this thing, it is really important to stick to your bedtime routine without fail for the ten days and it needs to be between 20 and 45 minutes long. Also, this plan also applies to naps, so you need to be able to be at home for naptimes - just until Dd has the thing established - ten days usually does it. Lastly, you are aiming for Dd to be in bed by 7ish in the evening and not much later. If you're like me you're knackered by about half four, so starting bedtime at a quarter past six is no trouble. You've probably done all that so on to the plan. I'll do bedtimes first and then naps.
Day 1, 2 and 3 - Place a chair right next to the cot. Make it a comfortable chair, you may get to know it fairly well. Have a duvet, cushions, iphone, book to hand. Do your bedtime routine and put Dd in the cot awake. She may well not know what to do next and try all sorts of things. If she stands up you can gently pop her back down again but only a few times - if she insists on standing for a bit then let her - it may just be one of those things she incorporates into her own burgeoning routine, and I daresay she is capable of getting back down again by now. You can pat the bed to let her know you want her to lie down. Sooner or later she is likely to sit down for a bit and eventually plop on to her front. She has to find her own way through this so she may try eating her blanket or playing with a toy before she lies down - that's up to her. If she cries, you can pat her and speak to her. As long as you remember that your patting and comforting is not there to get her to sleep, just to help her calm down in this new and confusing situation so as soon as she starts to settle, lighten your touch with a view to taking your hand off her, and stop speaking. She may go back and forth a bit needing you to touch and speak to her a few more times, but each time lessen your touch when she has settled. Stay there until she has fallen fast asleep and creep out. This bit can take ten minutes for some babies, but most fall asleep after 45 minutes. Two hours is the longest on record! I expected Dc2 to be a two hour effort but no - 45 minutes almost exactly. As long as you know that it is going to take that long, you can get through it. When she wakes up in the night, you do exactly the same thing, each and every time. The first few times she wakes, she will probably yell for you, but as she gets the idea that she can drift back to sleep herself, she may just squeak and go back (sounds unlikely? I thought that too.) The idea is that as time goes on you can wait a tiny bit longer before you go in, to give her the opportunity to practise her new skill.
Days 4, 5 and 6 - move the chair a few feet away from the cot. Keep everything else the same except you are further away. Once you have had your bedtime cuddle and put her in the cot sit down. You can still go to her if she really needs you, and you can still speak to her but she may not need as much help by now. Again, wait until she is asleep before you leave. Repeat as often as necessary when she wakes although, again, leave it a few minutes before you go in.
Days 7, 8 and 9 - move the chair to the door or the other side of the room. Make sure she can still see you, but once you have settled her in her cot and gone to the chair try not to go to her unless she has got herself into a daft position and can't get out. By now she will start developing her own strategy to get to sleep, and you will be able to tell what stage she is at, because you've been watching it all the way through.
Day 10 - you have several choices. If you think things are going really well and baby can cope with you not being there you can leave the room and see how she gets on. You can hover by the door out of sight and watch what happens, and reassure her with your voice. If you feel apprehensive about it and think she needs longer you can try the Bustle - instead of sitting down, tinker about in her room, cleaning up or folding washing or whatever. Or you can continue in the chair. The idea of the plan is ultimately for you to be able to plonk and go, but I quite like spending that extra time with DC so I use a mixture of the bustle and the chair. For night wakings you now really have to give her the chance to go back on her own. Wait ten minutes ( I know - such a long time!) before you go in. I got up last night to Þ nd by the time I got to DC's door, she'd already curled up again! That's the main brunt of it. Just bear in mind that the first couple of nights are the worst - she might wake more frequently, but stick at it and you'll see an improvement. The other thing is that when they start sleeping longer in the night they get up properly a bit too early in the morning - but this usually improves over a few weeks as they get the hang of sleeping. I've kind of assumed that you are going to move her into her own room - there's no reason you can't start this as soon as you move her in. If DC get ill and it disrupts her sleep, go back to whichever stage in the plan you think works best. You can sleep in her room if you want to keep an eye on her, but don't bring her in with you.
Naps - Do the same for naps as you do at night times only you can't sit there for as long as it takes - give it an hour and if she hasn't gone to sleep, get her up and feed her or do something different and try again a bit later. If she resists napping like this twice in a day you can resort to taking her out in the buggy or something. just so she gets a bit of sleep in the day. You are aiming at two solid naps a day by the way. If you've started this thing at bedtime the night before, the nap thing is usually not a problem. I can't think of anything else right now! By the way this is based on a Canadian lady's idea. I chose to use it because it doesn't mean leaving a baby to cry. They learn to fall asleep without you intervening, although you might argue that your presence is a sort of intervention, but before long you will find yourself saying goodnight and shutting the door, because she'd not taking any notice of you anymore!" ^
So for us the First night it took 3 hours 10mins, which is why for nightwakings later on that night I just fed her instead of sitting with her. Within the first few nights she woke LOADS less and then DH would go to her and he would just ask her to put her head down and she would and go straight back to sleep. Needless to say that sort of thing just wouldn't happen before. So if I remember rightly it was only after 4 or 5 nights that I stopped feeding her. The other thing we've found a bit hard is waiting a few mins before going in to her when she wakes. We just give it one or two minutes more than we'd usually do instead of waiting 10.
DH would like to add that he thinks the important thing is to teach DC to put their head down and close their eyes - he says' put your head down, put your head down, now close your eyes' and repeats it a bit like a mantra gently until DD does, and then stops as soon as she does what he says. He says for our 9month old that after a week she knows what it means and does what he suggests! He says that this is useful in the night and that's all he needs to do to get her to go back to sleep.
For the first night I recommend a large glass of wine that you take in with you. For the second night, have the bottle waiting for you on the table in the lounge. Also on the first night we both did it together for a bit of moral support and took it in turns but I'm assuming that none of you is as much as a wimp as I am.
I hope this isn't too much of a mess, my friend's writing is very clear, and mine is all over the shop. I'm just a bit enthusiastic about how its gone. I hope this is of use to someone.
Oh no Do you think it would be worth trying going cold turkey with the dummy?
We had another good night. I think he fell asleep in about 40 minutes (DH was asleep too) and he woke up again at 5.00am.
I wish I'd been proven wrong!
I caught DH holding dd to send her to sleep
He said that it was to avoid using the dummy at all and trying to wean her off that instead of doing the two together which I can understand. But then she stirred an hour later and he gave her the dummy!!! We'd been so consistent until then too.
I just hope she has her best night yet tonight to prove me wrong!
It's been remarkable quiet. I think DH may have fallen asleep in the rocking chair in the dark.
Thanks! Same here- DH on first shift here. Fingers crossed!
DH has the first shift tonight. We're hoping for even better but it might be worse as DS is more inclined to play up for his dad. DH is even more scared than I was.
Hope you have a better night too.
Ah it's become a bloody nightmare tool for us that dummy!
Good luck for tonight westiemama! I hope you get a repeat of last night!
No he doesn't have a dummy. I did try to give him one in the early days when he wouldn't sleep but he wouldn't take it. I'm so glad about that now.
Well done westiemama! That's amazing!
So happy that you've had such a great night so quickly!
I'm thinking your DS doesn't have a dummy either?!
I tried to update last night but kept getting error messages on my phone.
We were prepared for a long night and agreed before hand to 1 hour shifts. I took the first one. For the first half hour DS thought it was all a game. Kept pulling up and bouncing, throwing his teddies at me, pulling the curtains so he could peek out the window and general mayhem. I went from gently laying him back down saying 'night, night time' to trying not to laugh at his shenanigans.
Half an hour in he started to get really tired and the grizzling started. As it got worse I did my best to comfort him but he just wanted to be picked up. As the second half hour came to an end he was getting proper upset and I was on the verge of picking him up but as I laid him down again he started snoring! One minute he was on his knees crying and the next he was fast asleep. So asleep that I could leave the room straight away. He was out like a light
He woke up again at 5.45 this morning. I'm utterly gobsmacked. In fact I spent half the night awake waiting for him to wake up. I still can't believe it and hope it wasn't just a fluke.
Time to sleep: 1 hour
Number of night awakes: 0
That's what I'm telling myself!
Last night was tough. I think its because dd has always had a dummy (the best and worst thing we ever did). It probably helps her settle in the evenings at first but hinders in the night.
She settled nice and quickly around 7.00 last night and didn't wake again until nearly 1. She stirred around 9.30 but resettled herself- unheard of! That part was fantastic and the longest she's gone without intervention.
BUT then she wouldn't resettle without her dummy and was fighting sleep big time from 1-4. I gave up at this point and asked DH to take over ( how he sleeps through it I'll never know). I took him another 45 mins or so and then she slept until 7.15. (Somehow this distribution means that its DH's turn for a lie in this morning - but that's another story).
The important thing for me was that this 3.5 hour awake stint didn't involve lots of crying until right at the end as by that point she was so overtired she didn't know what to do with herself. I also think I might have caused it in some way as I didn't leave it very long before going in to her when she woke at 1 ish.
I also must admit that I was very close to just taking her into bed with me by the end. DH resisted.
Things learnt from last night:
- we have to get rid of the dummy
- don't be so quick to go in to settle
- don't do 3 hours before calling DH if he's going to claim the lie in anyway!
-mn is great for passing the time on night wakings!
Westie and Grainmum some similarities here. DD cries when put down, calms when held. Always wakes within 5 mins of us going to bed no matter what the time! Sleep got far worse for us just before xmas and if it's 'just a phase' it's a bloody long one. I'm back at work next month, something needs to change.
Mad how is it going? Thanks for reassurance on the crying. Sounds like we'd need to be tough and persevere once committed, no point in enduring the first night then giving in...
Good luck westiemama!
Dd has just settled in 15 mins with minimum crying ( more moaning really). 3 days ago on our first night there was lots of crying!
It's not easy but definitely worth giving it a committed try for a couple of days. Only do what you're comfy with but I know that after stocking bit out for a horrendous first night, the second was do much better.
Take your phone into the too. With you and read the thread from beginning. Lots of inspiration and tips!
Let me know how it goes!
ITNG is just finishing, then bottle and bed. I'm so terrified I can hardly breathe.
i'll join you in a few days - tried some controlled crying a couple of weeks ago with some improvement, but it didn't feel right, I backed down at times which doesn't help and it doesn't seem right to continue for any longer.
So DS is almost 9m, breast fed. Some nights he wakes almost every hour in the evening. if not it seems that whatever time I go to bed he wakes just as I'm going to sleep! It also takes ages to settle him at bedtime, he constantly wants to sit up/crawl around cot. Often the only way is to walk out for 5mins and let him cry. Then I go back in, lie him down and might stay there.
Currently mostly just feeds once per night.
Away this weekend so will try this next week.
Artemis, I'm worried about the crying too. DS screams his head off the second he's put in his cot and stops immediately he's picked up. I'm sceptical but desperate to be proved wrong. Watch this space ...
DS is 10 months. He's only ever gone to sleep on me. This was always relatively quickly and then I could put him down. He'd wake 3 or 4 times a night but it was bearable. Since Christmas it's just got worse and worse. He's happy and sleeping so long as he's being held. The minute he's put down he cries. Poor DH has been walking the streets at 3am to try to get him to sleep. I've reached the point where I left him to cry and cried into my pillow (and hate myself for it). Something has to change. Up until this thread the only advice I could get out of people was 'it's just a phase, it'll pass'. Not much help when you're at breaking point.
To be honest that's what's surprised me the most so far. Dd wouldn't go in her cot at all without screaming the place down. On the first night there were tears. And to be honest I picked her up to comfort a couple of times before realising that might have been delaying the settling ( but I couldn't just sit there and not pick her up). That was definitely the most difficult part and I agree with what the op said at some point (I've read quite a lot of the thread during night wakings)- I think you need to have gotten to that point where things have just GOT to change to give you the resolve to stick at it.
The second night there were very little tears and on all three nights she hasn't really cried during night wakings- more just laid there, moaned a bit and not wanted to sleep. But the fact that she's been happy laying in the cot is really so much better!
The night wakings are so difficult and I'm so lucky that DH is sharing them even though he's in work. I go back in under a fortnight and am desperate for some improvement before then!
I'm watching and considering, Mad. At the point of desperation with 7mo DD's awful sleep and don't know what to try. We have every bad habit going and she's awake for 2.5 solid hours every single night.
Has your DD been very distressed? My worry is mine would scream for hours on end even with me there. I've tried putting her down awake many times but never got past 15-20 mins of screaming before I've given in.
Well once again the overnight is a nightmare.
She's pretty much been awake now since 10! I'm sure no one will be reading now but am posting to occupy my mind as I sit next to the cot again.
We've done it in shifts so I haven't been day here for the full four hours bit seriously- when is this supposed to improve?!?! I know its only day 3- must keep telling myself that and accept we're in it for the long haul. At least we have some evening back so far. Looks like I might need to use that evening for sleep and keep going to bed at the same time as her but in a different room now.
Yey! She's finally asleep- for now! Now to dc1 who's been asking for me for past half hour!
Hello! How old is your dc? The lack of sleep and lack of any time at all to switch off for five minutes is hard isn't it?!
We gave in at Christmas and started co sleeping but none of us have been sleeping properly and evenings had become non existent.
Day 3 today and she has gone down in cot awake and gone to sleep in 15 minutes! And this is a baby who wouldn't even settle in our bed unless I went to bed with her and stayed there!
It's the overnight that has also been a killer so I'm hoping that if we stay strong and stick with it then some progress will be made in this area.
I've only just come across this thread. It gives me hope when I'm on my knees with tiredness. I'm going to start trying it tomorrow.
Bit of a thread revival!
Just wondered if there's anyone who, like me, has been reading large chunks of this thread and is now in early stages of implementing it?
It'll be night 3 here tonight. Last night the reduction in time to settle in the evening was fantastic- from hour and half to 40 mins. The fact dd (8 months) is even in her cot is an improvement!
She is awake (A LOT) in the nights. Several times for up to two hours but mostly half hour or so. Not crying but laying there fighting sleep.
I'm finding this hard to deal with especially as we have DS (3) too. But am determined that our whole family's sleep has to improve. So we're sticking with it and hoping for progress to arrive sooner than later but understand that this could take a while!
Anyone about for joint support?
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