Can 'wrong' sleep associations really sort themselves out without having to sleep train? Looking for hopeful outcomes

(8 Posts)
pia78 Tue 13-Sep-16 13:40:48

I have been trying to get 9 week old baby into 'good' sleeping habits such as sleeping in her cot, putting her down 'awake but drowsy'etc..however I find following all these 'experts' (GF, baby whisperer) all very exhausting and joyless..no matter what, I cannot seem to get her to nap during the day for more than 40mins unless she's on me or in a sling which means a large portion of day is spent trying to get baby to nap ( even pram doesn't work unless it's a very rough cobble stones which unfortunately none near my home...discovered she liked them on hols and would happily nap for 2 hours but I digress)
I know she is still quite young but I worry I won't be able to settle her down the line without some amount of crying which really upsets me.
My question is are there any success stories out there with babies that learn to sleep longer and settle themselves naturally without having to sleep train? Or is it some babies are just like that from day one? Am I reinforcing the cycle by using a sling?
Thanks for any advise, am feeling v frazzled!

Laquila Tue 13-Sep-16 13:46:16

I can tell you what you want to hear (yes, some babies do become good sleepers without sleep training) but the reality is that your baby might not be - you just have to give them the best start you can and cross your fingers!! IMO, good sleep is 15% good sleep habits and the rest pure luck. My 3 yr old had to be bf to sleep every night and woke multiple times for milk at 9 months, and then literally overnight he started sleeping through. We couldn't bloody believe it. My advice would be: at this very early stage, don't worry too much about putting them down awake or not feeding to sleep. I'm more of the opinion that it's more important for them to get the right amount of good quality sleep than it is for them to fall asleep alone/without sleep crutches at such an early stage. Good luck and chin up.

LuchiMangsho Tue 13-Sep-16 13:53:48

Might or might not. But 9 weeks is too early to tell. And night sleep is more critical than naps to be honest.
You have to take the longer perspective. Mine was a dreadful sleeper at 6 months- breastfed a lot. We did the gentlest of sleep training (not left to cry but we broke one bad habit after another slowly). Today he is 4. He is by far away the best sleeper of all his friends. In bed and asleep independently at 6:30, sleeps through till 7. Has never ever come into our bed etc.
All the parents who sleep trained at 6/9/12 months are now struggling with kids who won't go to sleep, won't stay in bed etc. It is hard to see the long term when you are bone tired at 9 weeks but think of introducing good sleep associations and habits and it will pay off in the long run.

LuchiMangsho Tue 13-Sep-16 13:56:35

And we didn't do sleep training at 6 months. I just broke the feed to sleep habit at 8 months. Co slept for a year. Then moved into a cot in our room. He stayed there for 18 months. Then into his own room.
As babies they change so much it is hard to 'train' because their habits and routines will change constantly.
I will say that you should aim for a good bedtime routine and keep it consistent (v boringly so) and between two set times, say 7-7 the baby stays in the dark. It was a bit boring for me or DH to do that, but he got day from night v quickly. So small steps at this stage.

Rozdeek Tue 13-Sep-16 14:02:37

I don't mean to be unhelpful but I don't think anyone can really answer this question properly as it depends on your baby. The method of sleep training depends on your baby too as some will never respond to the harsher methods and some (like my son) will never respond to the gentler methods.

Your baby is too young to think about these things now though. Just do what works smile they change so quickly. At that age my son could be put down awake in his cot and go to sleep on his own. Then he hit 3 months and would literally only sleep in the pram so we are having to sleep train now (he's 6 months).

At 9 weeks I wouldn't worry at all.

MxMarmite Tue 13-Sep-16 14:13:25

Yes, sleep associations can sort themselves out independently, although it doesn't mean they will. Honestly, the worst thing I ever did with my first baby was read the Baby Whisperer - I had been feeding her to sleep without too much thought, and suddenly I got into a big old flap about how she would never sleep independently. Cue a month of stress and trying to get her to nap without the boob, which failed completely and just led to an overtired baby. I went back to feeding her to sleep, and occasionally trying to put her down awake. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, until over time it just worked more and more often and now at 2 she settles brilliantly.

Having said that, I've now got a 7 month old who is nowhere close to sleeping through and still very attached to his dummy. I too am pondering whether to let him figure things out in his own time or do a bit of sleep training. It will probably depend on just how exhausted I get!

Either way, I think 9 weeks is far too young to be worrying about such things! I really would carry on just doing what works for now, and reassess when she's a bit older.

Saltlake Tue 13-Sep-16 14:15:19

My first would go to bed beautifully during the day, and sleep for 1-2 hours at lunch, and wake every hour overnight anyway. I did what worked for subsequent children.

One DC I planned to sleep train when she fed to sleep multiple times overnight, aged about 8 months . The plan was only to offer her a feed alternate wakes, and cuddle her in between. I messed it up and didn't offer a feed for two wakes in a row on night one. She was very indignant, and shouted at me for fifteen minutes before falling asleep. I only realized when I woke at six with monster boobs. She didn't wake for a feed again.

Nine weeks very young. Do what works, it will all change with th next growth spurt anyway.

Rozdeek Tue 13-Sep-16 14:39:13

I agree the baby whisperer is bollocks.

I do think if you feed to sleep (or dummy to sleep) as they get older it does cause problems but then it often doesn't. It's impossible to say in advance. My SIL still boobs her 18 month old to sleep and she sleeps 7-7 without a peep.

Just wait and see and don't stress about it now.

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