Sleep problems: did anyone just go with the freaking flow and not sleep train?! And if so did it eventually work?

(55 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Thu 14-Feb-13 10:44:30

Anyone out there who isn't doing some sort of plan? My 7.5mo is a terrible sleeper. I won't even bore you with the details. Just think every bad habit in the book and 1-2 hourly wakings. I do all the nighttime parenting so am just doing what I can to survive, feeding, co sleeping, rocking, whatever. Friends tell me things will never improve if I don't either teach self settling or do some sort of cc. Frankly I appreciate the theory but in practice I am just too tired at 3am when up for the fourth or fifth time to do anything but feed back to sleep. Are these people right? Do I have to change things or will he grow out of it?

Is there actually anyone out there who just muddled through? To clarify I am not against sleep training or judging it all, it is just that I am too knackered to put it into practice.

minipie Sat 09-Mar-13 12:33:42

OP, if the only reason you're not sleep training is because you can't face it in the night, you could try doing it at nap time in the day instead. hopefully if they learn the ability self settle in the day, they will then apply it at night. it worked for us - we did a version of controlled crying one day at the lunchtime nap and then again at bedtime, DD then slept through that night immediately (having needed 5+ resettles a night prior to training) so we never had to do any crying in the night. maybe we were lucky though...

banana87 Sat 09-Mar-13 12:49:12

I refused to sleep train both of mine.

DD1 and I co-slept until she was 6 months, and then I slept in her room next to her cot until she was 7 months. She went down asleep until she was 12 months. She indicated she was ready by pushing me away when I was rocking her. She did cry, but lasted no longer than 5 mins.

DD2 was not so easy. She and I co-slept until she was 9 months. She was still waking at least once during the night, usually more. I then (stupidly) moved her to formula at night (it made no difference), and by the time she was 12 months she was sleeping through 8-8. With her as well she went down awake only from 12-13 months and cried for no more than 5 minutes.

I will add that she also put herself into a routine of waking at 8, nap at 11, wake at 11:45, nap at 2. I had nothing to do with it! So don't listen to your friends, listen to your baby!!!

Snowme Mon 11-Mar-13 02:50:24

Nah.
That's not what babies were designed to do.

First baby put to bed in her cot. She woke every 2-3 hours and breastfed for up to an hour each time, then went back to sleep in cot.

At teething time, she was a fitful sleeper/feeder so I just co-slept with her. She didn't leave my bed til just before she started school at 4. Settled quickly into her own room.

Second baby slept through the night from birth to 9 months, didnt even wake for feeds, then again at teething time co-slept with me. His transitioned easier to his own bed because he shares a double with his sister. He'll be in his own bedroom too just before he starts school. He never had naps during the day at all, ever, oddly enough.

I just assumed and was happy enough to muddle through with the lack of sleep, because I thought this was what being a mother was all about, absolute sacrifice for the early years.
I don't know how on earth mothers manage those newborn to early years whilst working full time too. It isn't possible to work on that degree of sleep deprivation, surely?

Anyway, all those sleep training books are a pile of nonsense. Nature provides you with the neccessary post-birth hormones to ensure you function adequately on disjointed sleep, otherwise none of us wold make it through those early years.

My eldest was a very bad sleeper as a baby (woke ev4ery 45 mins for the first 6 weeks) but got gradually better, with a few regressions, didn't sleep through a night til she was 2, then suddenly just did. She's 7 now and I've just started to have to wake her for school, so now she sleeps for 11is hours and very rarely wakes in the night, never without reason.

My middle one was just a good sleeper from day 1, woke to breast feed of course, and I did actively night wean, after which he slept through without further "training", from about 9 months old.

My youngest is 22 months and I am sitting on the sofa with him at 4.45am, he rarely sleeps for more than a couple of hours at a time, never has, and if I sleep with him he is so restless I can only doze and am more than half woken by him multiple times an hour. I am thinking of taking him to the doctor to see if he has any kind of inner ear problem or something, though I may be grasping at straws - he is not troubled by anything much in the day time and growing and developing very well...

crazycrush Mon 11-Mar-13 10:12:01

Wow. From this thread it seems that most people kind of co-sleep? Am honestly curious now. Are the sleep trainers not in this board?

And what about your partners? Are they all happy to muddle through co sleeping? Not meant to criticise... I would co sleep to but bed isn't big enough and DH isn't having it as he has trouble sleeping himself.

Our saga: I did co sleep with our 5 year old (more of a musical beds situation from first waking) until he was about 2 years old.. He was an awful sleeper and would prefer to sleep cuddled up to me.. I didn't mind that much at the time. I always fed to sleep, he woke up for milk until he was four (having bottles from about 18 months old).

We tried a stint of 2 months of sleep training when I was pregnant with ds2 (dc1 was already in toddler bed) where we would be up and down for up to 3 hours every night walking/dragging a screaming toddler back to his bed. I am not exaggerating. Once he calmed down we sat by the bed, then further and further away. I had to often sit in the hallway up until he was about 4. We used the Sleep Lady's Sleep Tight book for this, also holding the door shut as recommended when he starts climbing out of the bed (it was our last resort after a few weeks of this) which makes him still a bit apprehensive sometimes of locked doors.

Well, that sleep training had no real effect apart from 'traumatising' all of us... and he still woke so we allowed him to sleep on a mattress next to our bed after the first waking and had to fall asleep in his bed. The condition of sleeping on that mattress was not to wake us up once he is there but he sometimes wanted hand holding (which i did) and sometimes it all escalated because for some reason he started whining loudly because really he wanted to be in the bed. :-( that was when he was four... So last year he slept through about 40 nights... I know this because i counted the stickers on the sticker charts... And we had good nice rewards, but in the middle of the night he didn't care about those. So now at just under 5 he started sleeping through EVERY night. Fingers crossed, it has been two months. God knows what did it: 1. I was very very serious that I wasn't having this anymore and told him to stay in his own bed and not wake me up. 2. I told him he gets no telly the next day if he wakes me up. (Instead of a reward I opted for taking a privilege away...) 3. We got a spacey lamp in the kids bedroom (optic fibre) something to meditate on if he wakes. It's funny how people always comment how well behaved our kids are (during the day :-(

Ds2 was altogether a much better sleeper. I did make a point to put him down drowsy but awake from birth and made sure i didnt constantly hold and cuddle him and he learned to suck his thumb...and also as a personality he liked his own space more. Until 2 years he also woke once per night every few nights when he was hungry in the early hours so I gave him a snack and of course make sure he always eats a big dinner. He also had a night time feed until he was two (bottles from 8 months). He is three now and sleeps through. He has a comforter btw... Dc1 only ever wanted me as a comforter.. Part of the problem.

I feel so much better writing this all down. And now to DC3 and why I am here on this board... Well, dc3 is 6 months and definitely goes down awake and manages to sleep by himself. Still wakes up every 4 hours to feed a little bit and drifts off in my arm so I put him back in his cot ( all in one room). If he then protests I just walk away. And apart from three times he just stopped protesting/crying. The three times I have just let him cry :-( even up to 90 minutes once. I have a feeling that those times he wasn't well (teething, cough) :-( am sad and stressed about this and need a better approach but in no way will I go through what I had with dc1 again. As a family cannot sustain this..

So. I think there are some kids like my dc1 who need the physical contact more and who won't take any sleep training. But also those should learn to self soothe unless you are prepared to co sleep until they are ready...I would also always try to introduce a comforter apart from boob.

Good luck to you all!

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