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Sleep training

(17 Posts)
clarabellb Mon 27-Feb-17 13:32:17

I have an 11 month old DS
He goes to bed at 7pm and gets up at 6am. In between he wakes on average 2-3 times and needs a cuddle before he will go back to sleep. He stands up in the cot and cries until one of us go through. I haven't left him long as I don't know what I should do. There is so much conflicting advice!
I didn't want to leave him to cry when he was younger but now that he's getting older I need to tackle this once and for all.
Can you please share experiences of how you sleep trained, especially around this age?

snoopyokay Mon 27-Feb-17 13:37:24

My DD does the same although only woke up once last night, I still don't see how leaving them to cry will help though, surely they just need reassurance that you're still there? confused

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 27-Feb-17 13:42:03

You could try supernanny- go in, use a stock phrase (goodnight, see you in the morning etc) lay them back down and leave. go back after 2 mins, 3 mins etc repeating the phrase and laying bsck down.

You aren't leaving them to cry, you always go to them, just not straight away. They very quickly learn that you aren't far away so settle themselves instead of calling for you.

DD2 was a shocking sleeper so this was the technique we used. Occasionally after illness she will go back to waking again, so we do this with her and two nights tops she's sleeping through again.

clarabellb Mon 27-Feb-17 13:55:41

Thanks for the replies. Surely he has reassurance that we are there since we have been going in and cuddling him for 11 months?
I am thinking for his sake he needs to be able to self settle/soothe but I don't know how to go about this.
He had reflux as a newborn so used to scream at night and I would rock him to sleep. I know it's me that's caused him to need me to get back to sleep.

splendide Mon 27-Feb-17 14:20:54

Mine was like that and grew out of it quite soon after one.

I always worried that if I left him to cry at all he'd start not liking bedtime and it might jeopardise our very nice bedtime routine where he went into his cot all happy.

I don't think he needs to self settle for his own sake at all - if he's going back to sleep after a cuddle he is fine. It's more about what works for you and trying to find the best way to maximise sleepy all round!

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 27-Feb-17 14:34:43

But leaving him at increased intervals he'll soon learn to settle himself, it's basically controlled crying by the instead of leaving 15 mins initially you just leave a few mins. It works like a dream for DD smile

clarabellb Mon 27-Feb-17 14:35:01

Okay, thank you. It's reassuring to know he will grow out of it. I don't mind getting up to give him a cuddle, I just felt like perhaps I'd caused this and needed to 'fix' it.

mummy2oneandtwo Mon 27-Feb-17 21:55:11

I have 17 month old twins and what works for one, doesn't work for the other.

My one boy is a great sleeper and if he does wake but doesn't settle back down, I can give him a cuddle, pop him back down and he's asleep again.

My other boy is nothing like this. We tried everything, patting him to sleep if he woke, going in and saying "sleep now" and nothing else, sitting in the room but making no eye contact...none of it worked. The only thing that did was letting him "cry it out" .... it was painful, I stood outside his door crying, wanting to go to him, but my husband said we needed to get through it and he was right. Overall he will sleep through (12 hours) and if he wakes he has a little fuss, maybe stands up for a cry, then lays back down and sleeps. I found it very difficult but I truly believe it's the right thing to do with him, any sort of contact with us seems to simulate him and wakes him up further.

On the nights we have let him cry it out, in the morning he is still the happy, cuddly little boy he was the day before, and better for getting a good nights sleep.

Trifleorbust Tue 28-Feb-17 06:57:32

Surely he has reassurance that we are there since we have been going in and cuddling him for 11 months?

Babies don't think like adults. Being afraid at night time is an instinctive prey response. Just reassure/sooth and quietly leave again.

chloechloe Tue 28-Feb-17 07:57:33

TBH that doesn't sound that bad for an 11mo if he's going straight back to sleep! And don't think it's you that's caused it - I think it's pretty normal behavior.

DD1 started sleeping through from 11mo but even now at 23mo still has nights where we have to go in and cuddle her briefly. I would keep going in as brief as possible - I just cuddle DD and tell her to lie down to sleep then go. He'll probably start to grow out of it and wake less with time. Try to distinguish between his crying as well. With DD there are now times where she just wants us to go in but doesn't genuinely need us in which case I don't go in. (Her current trick is to poke her toes through the cot bars and shout "ow"!) But sometimes they do just need that bit of reassurance that you'll come when they need you and with time they need you less and less.

Redkite10a Tue 28-Feb-17 08:16:57

Does your DS go down by himself for naps, and at bedtime or are you still helping him go to sleep?

We did the slow and gradual thing with DS, where we gradually reduced the amount of help he needed from us to go to sleep (so from being rocked to being held, to us lying next to him in a double bed, and finally to him lying in his own cot). He was a rubbish sleeper and it took ages, but involved no crying. We found that as he learned to fall asleep with less input from us, the night wake ups decreased. The biggest improvement came when he got to the stage he'd fall asleep lying next to us, so you don't have to get the whole way for things to improve. It has taken a long time though, but as leaving him to cry really didn't work we didn't have many other options. We worked on it for naps and bedtime, but always went for whatever was easiest and fastest for the middle of the night when all we wanted was to go back to sleep.

clarabellb Tue 28-Feb-17 11:37:45

Hi redkite
I'm still helping him to go to sleep for naps and at night.
Last night he actually slept right through (7pm - 6.30am). He stirred at 2am and cried out but didn't stand up in the cot, rolled over and went back to sleep!
The only thing I did differently last night was give him a banana about an hour before his bedtime milk. I didn't think he'd had enough snacks yesterday so was worried he'd wake hungry.
The advice about gradually helping him learn to get himself off to sleep is very helpful. I really don't want to let him cry but I also want him to be able to sleep soundly all by himself.
Thanks to everyone for their advice so far.

clarabellb Tue 28-Feb-17 11:43:40

Hi chloechloe
What you've said about being able to distinguish between the cries has really hit the nail on the head.
As I wasn't confident when he was younger that I did know the difference I really wanted to steer clear of any crying methods.
Thank you for saying it's quite normal...that has made me feel so much better.
I will try what you say, a quick cuddle then back down. Although I know he will cry if he's still awake when I leave the room so should I just repeat cuddle and back down?

Me624 Tue 28-Feb-17 13:35:08

Does he have a comforter or teddy? My DS is the same age and he has a teddy he is very attached to. (He also has a dummy though I assume your DS doesn't since you don't mention one.) He usually sleeps through but if he wakes in the night I give him a few minutes before going in and usually if he finds his dummy and teddy he will happily go back to sleep himself and only gets worked up if he can't find them. You might find it helpful to introduce a teddy in his cot and once he's attached to it he may not need you when he wakes?

ILoveMonkeys Tue 28-Feb-17 13:41:27

I have sleep trained both mine very successfully. First was 14 months old when we did it, second was 12.

We put him down awake after a bottle and he went off to sleep. When he woke we let him cry for 3 minutes then went up, picked up and soothed. Keep the lights out and didn't speak to him. Once he calmed down we put him back down and left him for 5 minutes. The crying was usually worse for a couple of minutes but soon calmed. After 5 minutes go back in and do the same. Next time 7 minutes, then 10 minutes. We never got passed 10 minutes and both of them were sleeping through in 3 nights.

Very hard thing to do but IMO the best thing we have ever done.

Good luck

clarabellb Tue 28-Feb-17 20:50:47

Hi me

He doesn't use a dummy and he does have a teddy in his cot

clarabellb Tue 28-Feb-17 20:53:24

Hi ilovemonkeys

He would start to cry as soon as I left the room if I put him down awake

Tonight he was wired to the moon...I think he had pancakes at nursery today! So I did end up holding him until he fell asleep.

Fingers crossed he sleeps through again like last night...I fed him a banana as if this is the magic cure grin

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