to not do sleep training?(113 Posts)
This has probably been done to death on here but I would like some advice- feel free to read
or not even read and run if you want to.
DS is 7mo now and he sleeps like this;
bath, feed and cuddle before bed at around 7/7.30 put down in cot. He cries pretty much every 40 mins after that but settles when we go up to stroke his head or give him a quick cuddle which takes about 5 minutes.
Feed around 9.30/10pm then depending on how settled he is he usually comes into the bed with me (dp sleeping on sofa!)
He then sleeps in bed with me and wakes at 1am, 3am and then at 5am is awake for the day.
He has 3 naps per day, 2x 40mins and 1x 90mins if I'm holding him.
He is BF, has a dummy, sometimes rocked to sleep but only half the time- other half he falls asleep being held but not rocked. Never falls asleep alone in the cot.
Weaning is not going well but rather than be frustrated I'm trying to be lead by him and keep mealtimes/food as fun as possible.
I am working part time now doing 3 evenings per week so in that time dp does childcare often with help from pil. Then I get home at 11pm on those nights and feed DS and if necessary bring him into bed.
DP (understandably) doesn't want to sleep on the sofa, I don't want him to either. We would really like it if DS would sleep in his cot and for longer stretches of time but both of us do not want to sleep train if we can avoid it. I'm not asking for 10 hours straight- just a bit longer than 3 being the maximum.
Will he just grow out of this by himself? Is it the bfing? Have we indeed "made a rod for our own backs"? Am I being a bit pfb in wanting to avoid sleep training?
Sorry it was so long and thanks in advance if you can help.
This sounds fairly normal to me. Breastfeeding doesn't cause this (if you did introduce formula, it wouldn't necessarily change the sleeping pattern), and you are doing a grand job by the sound of it.
I know it's hard, but they are not little for long.
Don't even listen to the phrase "rod for your own back". It's such a dreadful cliché, and such an ill informed and unsympathetic thing to say.
Could you all fit in the same bed together? It's a bit rough for your dh to be sleeping on the sofa - maybe embracing safe co-sleeping would be a useful way forward for a while?
In all honesty I would do sleep training.
Not just because you would get more of your lives back, but also because I don't think your DS is getting enough sleep in total (which may be affecting his eating, may be unrelated though) and I think he'd probably get more sleep if you taught him to self settle.
However there are forms of sleep training that are gentle and don't involve crying - basically very slowly and gradually teaching him to fall asleep by himself. Look up "no cry sleep solution" for example.
BFing in itself is not causing this but his inability to fall asleep by himself probably is.
Up to you of course!
Different people do different thing. I know DD was cranky until I put my foot down and forced her to sleep. A friend just rolls with her baby's sleep schedule and he's still a happy boy.
Do what works best for you kid.
We didn't sleep train, but our dd did sleep on a mattress on the floor from about 8 months. We could then lie with her until she slept and roll away. If she woke in the night I generally went to her and sometimes I'd get her off to sleep and go back to bed and other times I would just end up being in with her instead. By the age of 2 she slept through 11 hours, with no need for tears.
I do feel most babies need help in 'learning' to sleep through. Lots of gentle sleep solutions - why not give one of them a go?
Course it's not PFB to want to avoid sleep training (by this I'm assuming you mean Cry It Out?). It's up to you how you feel and what you're prepared to do or not do with your baby.
Some bottle fed babies don't sleep well too, so try not to worry about that.
Do you already have a night routine - book, bath, feed, bed? I swear by ours to the point of being slightly OTT that nobody breaks it!
Also for me it was important to try an get DS used to sleeping in his cot. I would go in to feed him frequently in the night but really resisted bringing him into our bed. I have been known to get in the cot on the worst nights .
I can't remember what age he was when I realised he didn't need to be fed everytime he woke, but i followed my instincts and sometimes he'd just drift back off with a cuddle and his dummy - eventually the wake ups got less frequent.
A bit off topic but it helped me to remember that sleep isn't something they suddenly learn to do and you're all set - babies have peaks and troughs of good and bad sleep. I personally found the wonder weeks app helpful for 'predicting' the troughs but I appreciate not everyone rates it.
I did sleep training at 9 months old (under the instruction of a sleep consultant) because my BF DS was exactly like yours!!!!
I hit a wall where I just couldn't cope anymore. I was unbelievably exhausted, was sreading the days and nights with my DS and I was starting to resent him.
When you hit the wall you will ABSOLUTELY realise that you know the time has come (if it does) to Sleep Train. It doesn't sound like you're at that point yet though
Sounds horrendous and l would be looking for ways to change it. As a pp has said there are ways that don't involve crying it out. It just sounds a bit shit for your ds as well.
I have a 'path of least resistance' approach to parenting - so have never done CIO or other methods of 'sleep training' that you may be thinking of.
However, I have always had my eye on where I want to be with both my daughters (3yrs and 7.5months) - so aimed sleeping in own cot at nights and for naps. I exclusively BF as well and at one point with DD1 realised my total lack of routine with naps and feeding to sleep wasn't really going to work when I returned to my job three days a week as neither my DH or mum could do that so had to find other ways rather than DD napping in my arms after feeding to sleep. With DD2 that just wasn't an option with a toddler around so she needed to nap in her cot.
So, with that in mind, I've tried to 'direct' things we do to achieve this - so that means persisting with trying to put DC into cot at night or for naps using whatever tricks or tools help (white noise, dummy etc, shushing, rocking). So then DC learn if they put in cot plus Ewan the sheep on lullaby with comforter means time to sleep.
I've always taken a kind approach without a lot of crying (perhaps moany protests for a few minutes before dropping off but I never allowed real upset crying) - when newborn I fed or rocked to sleep, progressing towards being drowsy when put down and now she's 7.5 months I can just do a quick 5 min routine (look at owls on her bedroom wall to say goodbye to them, look out window, close blinds, cuddle with Ewan on, then put in cot awake and she'll drop off quite happy herself 90% of the time. Other times she needs another cuddle before she settles.
This didn't happen overnight and it won't happen by itself - hence the need for some version of 'training' to gently push your DC in the direction you want them to go. It's a gentle approach to take - pick one thing at a time - I think daytime naps are harder to achieve than night time in my experience.
Alternatively if you don't want to do that and continue to co sleep - that's ok too but maybe get another mattress for DC room so your partner doesn't have to kip on the floor. It's whatever works for you.
My DD still wakes a few times at night and I just feed her - even though she probably doesn't 'need' fed as is on the 90th centile. I may consider some kind of night weaning in a few months when I'm due to return to work and she should be eating more solids. But hopefully I'll not have to go down that route.
It's a tricky one - DD2 still needed feeding at that age. She'd go twice a night, 11.30 and 02.30, until she was almost 1. I was back at work after 6 months, so it was hard. Thing is, she was genuinely hungry. I know they say babies don't need night feeds after 6 months, but DD was draining both sides in 15 minutes flat (and then going straight back to sleep so I was still pretty damn lucky).
If you really don't think your DH is hungry, then gentle sleep training isn't a bad thing - No Cry is good, and I did Pick Up - Put Down with DD2 when she started falling asleep on the boob at the moment of let down at almost a year old. You do need sleep.
Your baby, your rules.
I found letting dd play in her cot during the day did help. She was happy in there.
We did resort to sleep training in the end, but we didn't do cry it out.
Don't freak out about the feeding thing. Dd reacted to anything on a spoon as a ploy to poison her until well over a year old.
It took me ages to work out babies don't just wake at night because they're hungry.
Al of that has been normal for my three children. I've followed their lead really but I'm very relaxed about sleep. If you do go for sleep training, I'd eek it out a bit longer if you can because between about 8-10 months has been the worst time for sleeping with all of mine (combination of first teeth, learning to walk and weaning) and sleep training them at that point would have been completely hideous. I think after the age of one when you can be sure they're not actually in pain or genuinely hungry would be a better time to do it if you can wait that long.
FWIW even with no sleep training, my elder two got significantly better, especially in the evenings, at about 11 months. My youngest is 10 months and is currently improving greatly after being hideous since the 4 month sleep regression.
arent you very very tired? Tbh you don't sound desperate and if you don't want to try and increase the amount of sleep you're getting and feel anti what you call sleep training then you shouldn't do it.
I've never really understood what sleep training is. Perhaps it's what I do. I'm a horrible unfeeling unmaternal bitch who starts stretching out feeds and letting them cry it out from the moment they are born. They seem OK to have survived it so far but I appreciate its not very mumsnet and that I've got lucky three times around with decent sleepers.
Your poor DH sleeping on the sofa.
I would definitely be sleep training. At 7 months a baby is well able to sleep for longer than three hours and does not need night feeding
And as for baby led weaning, sod that for a game of soldiers. Sounds like your little soldier dictates everything in the household.
Maybe look to cut out one of the naps in the day. This could help the sleep at night.
At that age my DS had a 30 minute nap in the morning (I would wake him after 30 minutes) and then about 90 minutes after lunch (again waking him after 90 minutes).
Worth a try.
Sleep training, specifically controlled crying or CIO is child abuse. At no other age would it be considered reasonable to ignore a person in distress. Some children take years to learn to self settle - in the meantime it's our job as parents to be there for them.
If you haven't seen it already, the ISIS sleep project has lots of information about normal sleep patterns for babies:
I found it really helpful to know what's normal and what's not wrt babies and sleep.
Agree with Lucy. My DS was having two naps - late morning and early afternoon just before he was 1. He was hell to get to sleep at night and woke at 5am every morning for months.
Then he had a weekend at Grandma's and she couldn't get him down for his afternoon nap so he didn't have one. Problem solved overnight!
Now he's 16 months and a nightmare at night again but it was good while it lasted
Your DS is probably at a good age for some of the more gentle sleep training methods (I personally am not keen on CIO) if you want to do it, unlike mine who is a bit older and a bit more aware of what I'm up to and bloody hell does he resist.
Hi, my LO is 7 months old too and I found the Baby Whisperer shush pat / gradual withdrawal techniques a useful and gentle way of sleep training, and getting them to sleep in a cot.
White noise is also good.
But it is also important to look at the daytime routine and probably cut our the last now and make sure she is getting enough milk and food during the day so you can start cutting back the night feeding.
Most important thing though is that you are happy with the situation and do what you are comfortable with and feel is right for your baby
He sounds normal to me, if he's not getting much food he still needs milk so will still wake in the night regardless of sleeping training. Maybe cutting out a nap might get him to 6.30am? Is there a reason you can all cosleep? Sleep training is a very extreme reaction when hes only doing what most babies do. I think it's a very emotional issue I think babies and small children need to be comforted and I have always given that to my daughter regardless of the time of day.
I do completely agree with nanofone.
I sleep trained my daughter at 6 months by using the Baby Whisperer book, which focuses on reading your own baby's cues, so that they are happier and therefore so is the rest of the family.
No controlled crying involved, so it isn't distressing.
She used to have a programme on TV. Maybe there's clips on YouTube?
X-post with Laney. Yes, the shush-pat...that was it.
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