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All the sleep training advice seems to boil down to the same thing but I'm getting a bit sceptical...any advice?

(11 Posts)
GoldenGreen Mon 10-Jan-11 19:39:56

DD is 7.5 months old. Up until about 15 weeks she seemed to make slow but steady progress in going longer between feeds at night but since the 17 week growth spurt she's been much more random and despite having a regular routine in the day she's never developed a good pattern of night sleeping.

All the advice says that it's about removing "bad" sleep associations, don't feed to sleep, that she needs to put herself to sleep etc etc. So a few weeks ago I started to try and break her feed to sleep association.

Here's the thing though - on the few occasions she's dropped off without feeding, it's not had any positive effect on her night sleeping at all. In fact last night she fell asleep for the first time with no intervention on my part whatsoever, not even me stroking her head - and was up 5 times needing reassurance, rocking, feeding etc.

On the other hand, I've fed her to sleep plenty of times and had much better nights. On a particular day last month she fell asleep having fed to sleep (and fed to sleep for her naps, too) and slept 11 hours!

I often hear her wake and resettle herself in the night. On the other hand, she often wakes and needs feeding, too! I can tell by her noises which way it's going to go.

Ok this is becoming an essay, sorry - my point is that I am not completely convinced by the received wisdom on this and I feel that maybe this is just a developmental stage for her and she'll sleep when she's ready? Also I think sometimes she is just genuinely hungry.

I am getting weary of never knowing when or how many times I'll be up in the night tbh but not sure what I want to do about it!

Anyone have any experiences to share - did you feed to sleep and just find your baby adjusted eventually - or do you HAVE to intervene and teach them to fall asleep...I've been told to do CC but won't consider this till she's at least 12 months and tbh don't think I could carry it through.

Smartieismycat Mon 10-Jan-11 19:58:45

I know how you feel, at 7.5 months you feel DD should be settling herself. I was quite 'strict' with my DD, now nearly 2. From about 8 weeks she was going through the night (but to be fair I wasn't able to breastfed past a month). We put her to bed the same time every night from a week old, 7pm and woke her with a feed at 7am. The rest sort of came from there.
She's not been the best sleeper but not the worst - although we are having trials and tribs at the moment. Don't do CC if you can help it, although it's working in our 2 year old, not sure could have done it when she was younger.
My instinct tells me our DD would have been worse without the routine.
When they are teenagers we'll be moaning about them lying in too long!

CommanderDrool Mon 10-Jan-11 20:04:47

This age is tricky to sleep train. She will be teething, hungry, lonely etc etc.

Frankly I would just let go of all that sleep training stuff fir a while, accept your sleep is going to be disturbed and try again in a few (or more) months. She is still very tiny.

CommanderDrool Mon 10-Jan-11 20:07:22

And feeding to sleep at this age is fine. She will develop and not be do interested in doing that by 12 months.

Don't let those books scare you. Trust your instincts about YOUR child.

carve133 Mon 10-Jan-11 20:09:51

DS's 4 month sleep regression lasted until he was about 14 months old (not to worry you mind....).

I had a very similar experience, in that he could fall asleep alone, but whether he did or not had no impact on the sort of night he had. In fact he was better if I fed him sometimes. I think he was still hungry in the night up until about 9 months, and teething really bothered him along with some other disruptions going on at that time (we were commuting for DH's job). Your DD could well be bothered by teeth at her age. They often bothered DS before they appeared, when they were moving inside the gum.

I did start using ideas from the No Cry Sleep Solution eventually (once I was sure he was no longer hungry/not teething), and I think it was helpful, particularly the ideas for reducing the sucking to sleep, and gradual withdrawal. However, I also wonder if it gave me something to focus on while he grew out of it. It wasn't just me changing things, it was me making small changes in line with what I felt he could cope with developmentally.

Trust that you know your own baby, and if you're not convinced that the advice is right for you and her then its not right. You can always try something, assess whether its helpful for you and if not, try again a few weeks/months down the line.

Oh and sleep/rest whenever you get the chance! Once it improves you'll wonder how you ever did it, but it seems the human body is capable of more than I thought possible when it has a small person to look after!

carve133 Mon 10-Jan-11 20:11:36

X-post with CommanderDrool - I quite agree

GoldenGreen Mon 10-Jan-11 20:17:25

Thank you - fab responses - and yes her first tooth appeared ten days ago so there could be more on the way.

I have an older ds who fed in the night just once till 12 ish months but he was ff and never fed to sleep - from birth he would just drop off when tired - unusual I know.

Am tending towards just going with it for now. Just hoping for reassurance that she will eventually sleep a bit better!

mwahmwah Mon 10-Jan-11 20:24:22

Sounds like you're not really ready to go down the CC route. I did it with my DD 4 yrs ago, and was REALLY persistent. It does work quickly but, and it's a BIG but, you really need to be 100% committed and ready to do it or you'll just cave in! I found it very hard, but worth it in the long run, she's been a beautiful sleeper from 5 months 7pm till 8.30ish (and she was exclusively breast fed till 6 months). Definately worth it for my sanity!

DilysPrice Mon 10-Jan-11 20:33:04

I do feel that encouraging her to settle to sleep on her own (without CC) will be of benefit in the medium term. It sounds like she will sometimes do it happily, and in that case why not exploit it whenever possible.
Richard Ferber compares cuddling a baby to sleep and then leaving them alone in their cot to an adult waking up to find some maniac had moved us into the bath (or kept stealing our pillows). We'd wake up furious, and understandably so. Made perfect sense to me.

GoldenGreen Mon 10-Jan-11 20:38:10

Yep - you're right, am not ready even though getting very tired... I would probably do it if I was truly convinced that she was not hungry or teething but I can't be sure! Glad it worked for you smile

She moved into her own room 3 days ago - hasn't helped so I might move her back as then I can respond to her quicker and get back to sleep myself.

GoldenGreen Mon 10-Jan-11 20:40:50

X-post - it does seem to make sense Dilys and I've encouraged it where possible (used ideas in NCSS) but no real improvement after weeks and weeks has just made me wonder, that's all!

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