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what do you think we should do? 11mo to sleep train or not? (long, sorry)

(7 Posts)
rhetorician Tue 06-Nov-12 22:23:22

dd is 11 months, and her sleep is not much better than when she was a newborn. We are tired. We want to share a bed again without a baby in it. She is breastfed and after a good start on solids isn't exactly stuffing food down. Her day looks a bit like this

wake 7/7.30
breakfast, play
breastfeed
nap 11.30-1
lunch
play
breastfeed around 3
dinner around 5.30-6
bath, breastfeed, bed by about 7/7.30

I know one nap isn't that much, but if we let her sleep later than about 3.30 it takes forever to get her to bed, and the afternoon nap was taking longer and longer to get her to settle for.

once asleep she will wake usually about 8, about 10 (later on a good night); around 3, around 5.30. It's rare for her to sleep longer than about a 4 hour stretch. She starts the night in her cot, but usually comes in with us (or just DP if I have fled to spare room) after midnight.

We talked to a sleep consultant who recommended 3 naps a day, and a method that involves putting her in cot, leaving her, counting to 10, returning and resettling, by picking her up if necessary. She gets very upset quite fast, but we haven't really put this plan into action yet because...

she has had a series of ear infections, and even now, although she has just finished a course of ABs is still tugging at her ears, poking her fingers in etc. When she wakes, she cries hard, as if something is hurting her.

I really don't know what to do - should we just get on and sleep train her? or wait until she seems more settled?

NewNames Tue 06-Nov-12 22:26:50

Ear infections? Bless her. Get that sorted ASAP. I've had them many times and I have cried with pain. The most pain o have ever felt. Can't imagine what it must be like for a tot sad

rhetorician Tue 06-Nov-12 22:30:50

I really think it must still be there, in which case she's had an ear infection pretty much continuously for about 2 months. Which would explain the crap sleep. But not sure what to do if ABs won't shift it

horsebiscuit Tue 06-Nov-12 22:40:32

I wouldn't tackle it too forcefully until I was sure (well, as sure as I could be!) she was well. I might work a bit on things round the edge like not feeding to sleep, always singing the same song when putting her down, maybe introducing a comfort object, trying to keep her in her own cot slightly more, reducing the length of night time feeds etc. Tough love pick up put down etc I'd want to do with a 100% well baby TBH.
I feel your pain though on the tiredness front.

NewNames Tue 06-Nov-12 23:42:15

Ask your doc to change the ABs. Only a certain kind worked on me. Depending on the type of infection you might also need to keep the ear bone dry at all times. Hard to do but is worth it.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Wed 07-Nov-12 00:00:39

We started sleep training out 11 month old 10 days ago, and she has gone from waking numerous times (and demanding milk) throughout the night, to not waking once between 6.30pm and 6.30am. I seriously never thought we would be able to do it.

Firstly, make sure she is totally over the ear infections and maybe offer calpol at bedtime as a bit of pain relief for the earache? Once she is well, try and work out what stuff makes her cry most. For us, we found that DD would shout and scream in frustration if we went in and didn't do milk, but that if we didn't go in the room at all, she would wimper for less than 5 minutes and go back to sleep. Even if she then woke again in another couple of hours.

Some babies respond well to Pick Up Put Down, however that seriously pissed DD off at the annoyance of being lifted out of bed and not offered milk. Gradual Withdrawal also had her screaming at the bars looking at us. We found leaving her and not going to her when she cried was most effective for her. She didn't ever ramp up the crying like she did when we went to her, it just petered out.

Mind you, it was so hard sitting listening to her, and DHs strong resolve is what made me stick to it. Within 5 nights she was down to maybe one wake in the night, couple of minutes cry and back to sleep.

The last couple of nights, ive been going in to check on her as she just isn't waking in the night now.

Her daytime routine:
7am - up and milk
8am - cereal / toast
9.30am - snack or little bit of milk
10am - sleep (1.5hr)
12pm - lunch
2pm - little bit of milk
2.30pm - sleep (MAX 45 mins)
4pm - dinner
5.30pm - snack
6pm - bath
6.15pm - bedtime bottle
6.30pm - bed

Good luck, whatever technique you use. Discuss in advance what you and your DP want to do, how you will both approach it, and set aside a week that works best for you both.

rhetorician Wed 07-Nov-12 10:52:57

goldplated thanks a million that is very very helpful. I think you are spot on about identifying what pushes her buttons - we'll have a think about that

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