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What was your sleep training method and did it work?

(34 Posts)
Me2Me2 Mon 11-Nov-13 07:02:53

I'm getting a bit desperate. Dd is 6 months and wakes up a lot during the night. Sometimes to feed, sometimes to grizzle, and sometimes she'll start playing. Her sleep was fine up to 4 months but since we stopped gro-bagging her she has gradually started waking more and more. She definitely used to know the difference between night and day but now I'm beginning to wonder.
I've decided we have to do something about it. DS was not a perfect sleeper but it was a slowly improving picture so I just went with it. One of our problems is that dd never takes more than 3-4 ounces so tends to eat little and often, though I don't actually think she needs that much milk at night anymore (at night wakes she often goes back on 1 ounce or less so it's the sucking thing)

How did you sleep train your babies? (non-leaving them to cry methods) How long did it take? And was it overall a good thing?

We co-sleep, which was the answer with ds but doesn't help dd unfortunately. At this point I think we need to start over with her in the cot


Jiltedjohnsjulie Mon 11-Nov-13 08:28:31

If she's 6 months isn't there a growth spurt and a developmental leap?

HappyAsASandboy Mon 11-Nov-13 08:35:57

I would keep feeding her in the night and cuddling if she doesn't want milk. At 6 months she is really very tiny and IMO very young to be sleeping through.

My DCs fed about three times a night (at 12.30ish, 3.30ish and 5.30 ish, then up for the day at 7am) until just over 2 years. Then they dropped to 1 or 2 feeds per night and eventually slept through reliably at 2 yrs 6 months and 2 years 9 months.

I think little people have similar needs to adults at night time. Sometimes I want a drink, sometimes I snuggle up to DH for a cuddle. Sometimes I can't sleep and I have to get up for a drink/snack/read a book. This pattern is just more frequent in babies.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 11-Nov-13 08:40:28

Is she being weaned? Could the food be unsettling her a bit. What time is her last "meal" if she eats in the evening perhaps drop that meal and replace with more milk.

I used the control crying method but that's not popula on here , just with two children I couldn't have one waking the other up all the time.

Me2Me2 Mon 11-Nov-13 09:08:59

I am just starting her on food but doesn't make up a meal yet. I'm too chicken for CIO but need some programme of action. I don't expect her to sleep through but need to break the cycle we're in. Bedtime itself isn't a problem - bath, bottle, cuddles. She goes down around 8/8.30.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 11-Nov-13 09:10:59

Cc and CIO are different things.

The no cry sleep solution is often recommended on here. Might be worth looking at. Will she take a dummy?

minipie Mon 11-Nov-13 09:13:43

we did controlled crying (not CIO) and yes it worked - but only for one specific purpose which was to teach dd to self settle, ie to put herself back to sleep if she didn't need anything, instead of needing to be rocked or fed back to sleep. She still wakes if she genuinely needs something (food/water/comfort). hope this makes sense. if your dd already knows how to self settle I am not sure CC would help. in fact I believe most forms of sleep training are basically teaching self settling so again if your dd can already do this I don't think training will help.

We found DD's sleep at 6 months was not great but about 7/8 months and once she was on 3 proper meals a day it improved a lot.

ToysRLuv Mon 11-Nov-13 09:16:49

I came on here to say I used gradual withdrawal with great success at 3years old. Obviouly a completely different solution. No idea what ypu could do at 6months. DS had a dummy, which helped a bit.

Me2Me2 Mon 11-Nov-13 10:09:38

she can't self-settle

she has a dummy but she often won't take it when she wakes up. She does this thing where she half wakes up - eyes not open but thrashing about and crying, during which often nothing will work (cuddles, bottle, dummy). If she goes on to open her eyes and wake fully she starts smiling and playing.

I'm thinking that maybe, every time she wakes, I soothe her and put her back into the cot (no more my bed for now) and just keep doing this through the night, and every night, until she starts sleeping for decent stretches (3-4 hours, for example).
(she sleeps in her cot from 8-midnight with a few wakes so it's not all new to her, and indeed used to sleep happily in it)

Me2Me2 Mon 11-Nov-13 10:11:38

ps I know 6 months is young, but at the same time I feel we're on a newborn pattern which is more about habit than need

self soothing is the key isn't it. DS began to sleep well once he could find his dummy and put it in himself.

minipie Mon 11-Nov-13 11:03:58

ah right. yes self settling made a massive difference to us - she went from multiple wakes a night - for no reason just needed putting back to sleep - to just one or two wakes when she was genuinely hungry.

starting with cuddling and putting her back into cot at each wake sounds like a good start. then next step could be not picking her up but stroking/shhing her back to sleep instead. then just standing by cot and shhing. then standing by door and shhing. etc. till hopefully she can go back to sleep by herself. this would be a sort of gradual withdrawal method of sleep training. I never tried it as I used CC - didn't have the energy for gradual withdrawal!

I think after a certain age it is actually counterproductive to do too much soothing, it means they think you are there to play and you are a distraction from sleep - at least this seemed to be the case with my dd who will never sleep if there is something more fun to do!

rubyslippers Mon 11-Nov-13 11:05:43

i night weaned at 6.5 months old (breast) by reducing the time of each feed every other night - took 2 weeks and worked

then gradual retreat and rapid return when DD was nearly 4 years old - took nearly 3 weeks and worked

stopgap Mon 11-Nov-13 11:56:54

We did gradual retreat at 15 months. It took forty minutes of rocking to get DS to sleep, although he STTN from six months, so it was just a case of teaching him to self-settle in a gentle way. He's now 2.3 and has a natter to himself for ten minutes, then proceeds to sleep for 11-12 hours at night.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Mon 11-Nov-13 12:18:24

We did gradual retreat which had some success but had to escalate to short CC (going in after no more than 5 mins rather than longer stretches). The combination worked after about three weeks. DD was about 7mo and we plan to do the same with DS when he gets over 6mo.

Out of curiosity, why did you stop putting her in grobags?

homeaway Mon 11-Nov-13 13:45:16

Would you consider putting her back in the grobag and see what happens? People abroad put their children in them until they are quite big. You can buy them for 2 year olds !

Me2Me2 Mon 11-Nov-13 14:11:57

I stopped grobag when she started rolling over. It hadn't occurred to me that she could stay in for longer. Worth a try!

mrsmalcolmreynolds Mon 11-Nov-13 19:30:16

Can definitely use grobags for longer! DD was in hers until just over two and we only encouraged her out because she was going into a bed. I have seen others on here though who even kept them after DC went into beds rather than cots - I was just a bit worried she'd fallover trying to walk in them.

minipie Mon 11-Nov-13 20:02:55

When you said gro bag I assumed you meant swaddle.

gro bags (like sleeping bags with bits over the shoulders) can definitely go much longer, dd is still in hers aged 1 and no plans to stop any time soon. rolling isn't a problem as the bag rolls with her.

CoteDAzur Mon 11-Nov-13 20:08:07

DD slept in grobags at the age of 3. There are quite large ones.

DS, on the other hand, would strip his grobag off, along with his nappy so we had to take off the grobag when he was about 2. Now 4.5, he still kicks off his cover and sleeps without a blanket. I wish we had kept the grobag for longer.

girliefriend Mon 11-Nov-13 20:15:07

Routine and some cc, yy to putting her in a cot. Some babies need to have their own space to sleep well, my dd was def one of them!!

I found a bedtime routine, which involved a bath, milk, cuddles, darkened room, soothing music and putting into a baby sleeping bag worked well. My dd would need her dummy to help her settle, if she cried I would reassure but if just grizzling would leave and let her try to self settle.

Yes I would say it worked, she slept well generally and still does 7 years on grin

girliefriend Mon 11-Nov-13 20:16:27

My dd was in her sleeping bag/gro bag til she went into a big bed around 2yo!!!

CoteDAzur Mon 11-Nov-13 20:21:16

Re sleep training method: Yes, ours worked. We did a modified CC, where night feedings stopped cold turkey and DH went if baby woke in the night. He waited a bit to see if baby would go back to sleep. If not, he went in and tried to put baby back to sleep by rocking, singing, walking about, shh/pat whatever.

We did this when DD was 4 months old and it worked in 2 nights. She slept through on the 3rd night and continued to sleep through except for the occasional illness/teething.

We did it again when DS was 5 months old. It took quite a bit longer with him, but I think that had to do with the fact that he was sleeping right next to DH who is a very light sleeper. One night DH went away on business and DS slept through or so I thought because I don't really hear a baby's grizzling. And he still sleeps through every night.

Handbagsonnhold Mon 11-Nov-13 20:21:49

Hi Op I think also maybe she was cosy in her Gro dd stayed in hers until over 2....also fab for the budding young escape artist....

muddylettuce Mon 11-Nov-13 20:27:48

A wee bit befor dd turned 6 months and after her first teeth which was pure hell at night she went through a sleep wobble. Her issue was going down in her cot, having slept perfectly in there since she was 3 months. I learned there is a 6 month growth spurt and they can start feeling attachment anxiety. Anyhoo, I have no advice for the 4am play hour, I generally scoop her up and go to the spare bed so I can snooze while she coos...any other ideas please send them my way. For all other times I highly recommend the pick up put down / gradual retreat methods. I do a combination. If she wakes I go in, put a hand on her or if she's particularly upset pick her up for a cuddle, when she stops crying I put her down, tuck her in and sit by the cot. She falls asleep in seconds now, I don't even have to sit by the cot but in the beginning I'd be sat there a while...I used to read a book! We're only a couple of weeks in aswell. Good luck! X

muddylettuce Mon 11-Nov-13 20:28:36

Oh and she does still sleep in a grobag. X

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