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Is it time to sleep train?

(32 Posts)
lilypadpod Tue 01-Mar-16 08:18:17

DS has just turned 6months. He breastfeeds at 10pm, 1am, 3am, 4am (and is awake shouting and crying for an hour after the 4am feed!) and is up for the day at 6am!

I am shattered.

He is already on solids and breastfeeds every 3-4hours during day.

Would you sleep train?

He won't self soothe and has to be rocked and cuddled to sleep with dummy or he feeds to sleep.

NickyEds Tue 01-Mar-16 08:38:53

You obviously know your baby better than random strangers on the Internet but in general, no I wouldn't. 6 months is still too young I think. My dd is 7.5 months and keeps me up half the night but I still think she's too young and it just wouldn't work. Sorry, it's knackering.

Sandsnake Tue 01-Mar-16 08:41:51

That sounds tough OP. My DS is nearly four months and we're up several times a night too. No idea re the sleep training but have been reading this thread, which seems to have helped some people

StarlingMurmuration Tue 01-Mar-16 08:42:21

We sleep-trained DS at six month - he's now 15 months old, and only wakes in the night if he's in pain or has a nightmare, and then we calm him down until he's ready to sleep again. We recently moved house and he has been a little bit more unsettled, but prior to this, we had on average one disturbed night a month. I was going out of my mind with sleep deprivation, and it was like magic after we did the training - sleeping through for 10-12 hours from the first night.

GreatFuckability Tue 01-Mar-16 08:45:19

I did it at 6 months with dd1 cos she was killing me! She's still alive and thriving 12 years later

Moomintroll85 Tue 01-Mar-16 08:58:07

Can only speak from my own experience but I probably wouldn't at 6 months. My DS was a good sleeper early on but at around 6 months he started getting really clingy and just wouldn't sleep. For a long time we tried a few tactis but it just didn't work. When he was about 12 months he learnt how to self settle and he sleeps well now.

It sounds like he's feeding for comfort at least some of the time. Could your partner help try to settle him if he doesn't actually need a feed? - so your DS couldn't smell the milk and didn't have any other associations of feeding he has with you.

With sleep training I think the key is consistency - you have to stick to your plan. There are lots of different options and helpful advice online. You also need your other half on board and I would make sure your DS is not teething, ill, going through separation anxiety, etc before doing.

Also do you have any friends/family who could visit during the day and look after him for an hour or two after a feed so you could get a bit of sleep? That should help you a little bit.

Hope you get some sleep soon. I feel for you!

Ragwort Tue 01-Mar-16 09:20:51

Yes I would - but I had a strict routine (GF - not popular on Mumsnet grin) from Day One. My DS slept from 7pm-7am with one quick night feed until he was 8 months and then slept through the night.

I don't want to sound smug as it might just have been that he was a really good sleeper and it was down to pure luck - but I genuinely feel that a routine certainly helped

mummymeister Tue 01-Mar-16 09:29:45

I would because I think you know your own baby and your level of tiredness yourself. don't underestimate how tough it is though. you will crack it in a couple of nights - a week at most - but you both have to be on board with it and stick to it.

its not popular on here with many but I do honestly think an exhausted parent struggling through the day to drive, work, do normal stuff also has to be taken account of. you are no good to anyone especially your baby if you are completely exhausted all of the time. good luck. come back and let us know how it goes but do read up on it first and have a proper plan in place.

jemimastar Tue 01-Mar-16 09:34:04

OP- is he still in your bedroom or in his own room/bed?

Tallulahoola Tue 01-Mar-16 09:56:16

I feel your pain because DS (4 months) wakes up like this. DD was the same and I trained her at 9 months - that was the point at which I felt confident she was eating a lot of solids/drinking plenty of milk during the day so I could rule out the idea that she was waking from hunger. If you're already confident of that then I don't think 6 months is necessarily too young although he might still need one night feed.

I followed the advice in the Dr Ferber book on night weaning. Basically you pick one feed (maybe 1am or 3am?) and reduce the length of feeds by a minute or two every night until you're just down to a couple of minutes. The idea is they're taking in so little milk by that stage that they don't miss it when you cut it out. Worked for me - there were tears for a couple of nights them she slept right through that feed. Took about a month to eliminate them all.

pinkcardi Tue 01-Mar-16 10:03:04

A difficult one, only you know what's best but given that awful pattern of night feeds surely something has to give. So yes, if you ask for my opinion you need to tackle the sleeping issue.

'Sleep training' is an emotive phrase and can mean so many different things. Why not research some options (such a variety) and try one that you think would suit you and your baby best.

We were extraordinarily lucky, with a BF baby that slept 6 hrs from 6 weeks and all the way through from 8 weeks. But at times she changes her patterns and we do have to deal with night wakings. We find that having a consistent approach helps, one which is agreed well in advance rather than off the cuff at 2am when tempers are on edge.

Good luck, hope it improves soon.

ThePebbleCollector Tue 01-Mar-16 10:05:21

I say do what you need to do only you know your baby.

I posted on here about trying to get my daughter to use a sippy cup at 1 years old and I was flamed. But sleep training seems to be more acceptable on here.

My one year old only sleeps a few hours a night, yet at 5 months old she slept through, never needed training, now she won't sleep no matter what method we use!! So I wish you the best of luck, all you can do is try a few things and see how you like them smile I did one night of leaving her crying after doing everything she could possibly need, she ended up puking all over the bed, required a full change of everything and she was wide awake by then! lol

lilypadpod Tue 01-Mar-16 16:51:17

Thanks everyone

He's still in our bedroom, in a cot next to our bed. No plans to move him out until he's one.

I don't mind doing 1 or 2 night feeds, but I don't think he's hungry he just wakes and needs to feed back to sleep in my arms. I need him to learn to self-soothe.

Did you do controlled crying? How many nights did it take? Any tips?

He used to sleep for 7-8hours between 8weeks-18weeks then the dreaded sleep regression hit!

He is teething and has 1 tooth half through but aren't they teething for a year or so?

ollieplimsoles Tue 01-Mar-16 16:58:15

Have you tried co sleeping op? It really helps us with 17 week old dd.

I personally wouldn't do controlled crying, I don't have the balls.

Have a read of 'the no cry sleep solution' it has some great tips on self soothing

caravanista Tue 01-Mar-16 17:06:55

It's never time to sleep train. End of.

SisterConcepta Tue 01-Mar-16 17:35:03

I did but then I need 7 hours unbroken sleep to function and my children need 10-12 hours unbroken sleep to go through the day without miserableness and grumpiness. I have friend who co-sleeps with her school age children who never settled or slept through the night on their own. We are both happy with our own choices and would never consider each other's approaches. Horses for courses.

Ashhead24 Tue 01-Mar-16 17:36:25

I did it with mine, he was waking every hour and I was exhausted and really not coping. It took 2 weeks and I was about to give up when it suddenly started working. Went from waking 7-9 times every night to 2-3 times.

I read and watched loads of stuff beforehand as I was really against doing it, but after 2 months of no sleep I felt I had no choice (he had been fine for the first 4 months). I went for gradual retreat and it was really horrible to do, but both our lives are much better for having done it.

If you are worried about doing it look at other things that will help such as what you're doing for the bedtime routine and in what order, and making sure noise and light conditions are consistent all night.

God luck!

dietcokeandwine Tue 01-Mar-16 18:48:51

Not necessarily time to sleep train but certainly time to move him into his own room.

Why do you want him in your room till he's one?

Current advice is still 6m for SIDS is it not?

There's a good chance that he is waking so regularly because you are disturbing him during the night. Even one of you coughing slightly or turning over during the night could be enough to disturb him and of course as he can't yet self settle, you then need to feed him back to sleep...

I wouldn't go down a tough sleep training route at this age personally but I would most definitely see if putting him in his own room cut down the number of wake ups. At 6m my younger two would wake almost every hour if in a room with us. In their own rooms DS2 slept through and whilst ds3 still woke for feeds, it would be once or twice not every hour.

If you do want to sleep train try the pick up put down way recommended by the baby whisperer rather than controlled crying-gentler on both baby and you.

LetMeBakeCake Tue 01-Mar-16 19:05:14

I sleep trained my son at 4 months (daytime naps) and then at night. He slept a minimum of 12 hours at night from 5 months old consistently and never woke up.

I read a few books - I think you need to find one that will work for you but I ended up using one called Gentle Sleep Solutions (I forget the author) but it was brilliant - offers the choice of controlled crying (for quick results) or sitting by your baby (taking longer but get there in the end). The thing I liked most about it was it offered 'case studies' and then solutions - I'm sure there will be a scenario in there that matches yours and you can then just follow the steps to resolve the issues.

I think people have strong opinions when it comes to sleep training but remember this:
You love your baby
Your baby NEEDS a lot of sleep to thrive
YOU need your sleep!
If your baby is warm, fed, clean you are not neglecting them or hurting them - just helping them learn how to settle themselves
I now have a very happy and confident 3 year old who still sleeps 12 hours a night smile

In my experience I've seen the later people leave things the harder they are to implement as baby becomes more aware and of course habits are formed

Sleep training was tough and there were tears - mostly from me! But it was honestly the best thing I ever did. Naps took a while to get right but night sleeps actually worked pretty swiftly. Good luck smile

ScrumpyBetty Tue 01-Mar-16 19:10:01

caravanista its never time to sleep train. End of

That's a bit black and white. I sleep trained at 18months because by that stage, after 18 m of being woken 2 hourly throughout the night I was severely depressed, anxious and at times suicidal. I could not carry on. We had tried co-sleeping and all the gentle options. They didn't work. So we did controlled crying and actually only let DS cry for 2 mins at a time. It wasn't harsh or cruel, no damage was done, in 3 nights he was sleeping through and I was 100% a better mother, more attentive, relaxed, loving, less stressed, it was 100% the best thing we ever did.

Judgemental statements such as yours are not helpful. Nobody sets out to leave their children to cry, and if I could have done something else, I would have. At the end of the day, I needed to sleep more than 3 hours a night in order to function as a mum, hold down a part time job, be a good wife and just survive!

If I had not sleep trained I fear I may have collapsed from a nervous breakdown or had a car crash from exhaustion...and then where would my DS be- with a mother in hospital or worse?

shebird Tue 01-Mar-16 19:11:57

I would consider putting him in his own room and also try some sleep training assuming he is otherwise well. I personally cannot function long term without sleep and think me being grumpy, forgetful and clumsy is potentially more dangerous and damaging to my baby than teaching them to self settle.

ComeonSummer1 Tue 01-Mar-16 19:13:47

I could have written your post LetMeBakeCake but you put it better than I could.grin

Op we did with all our 4 at similar ages to your child after I crashed the car with tiredness.

This upsets me as when dd was 12 she was badly injured by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel.

Mine are now all grown up and absolutely fine. Fantastic actually wink

Ignore the negative comments and do what you need to do for your sanity.

It's not easy but it works if you are 100% both committed and resolute.

ComeonSummer1 Tue 01-Mar-16 19:15:53


If you are lucky enough to have a self soothing good sleeper then respectfully shut up.

If you are driving and sleep deprived please don't as you could kill any of us or our babies just like the person who slept st the wheel almost killed mine.

Ifiwasabadger Tue 01-Mar-16 19:20:46

This was my baby until 6 months.

Bellasima20 Tue 01-Mar-16 19:30:40

lily sorry but there lies the issue.
Why do you want him in untill he is 1? I loved having DS with me co-sleeping in sleepyhead but he was still waking 2-4 times a night at 6 months. I couldn't take it anymore so reluctantly, moved him to his nursery. Had a video monitor on top volume...but not a peep. From that first day on he slept through, he clearly was ready to move and happy to have his own space too, think here is the issue.

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