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Sleep problems: did anyone just go with the freaking flow and not sleep train?! And if so did it eventually work?

(55 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Thu 14-Feb-13 10:44:30

Anyone out there who isn't doing some sort of plan? My 7.5mo is a terrible sleeper. I won't even bore you with the details. Just think every bad habit in the book and 1-2 hourly wakings. I do all the nighttime parenting so am just doing what I can to survive, feeding, co sleeping, rocking, whatever. Friends tell me things will never improve if I don't either teach self settling or do some sort of cc. Frankly I appreciate the theory but in practice I am just too tired at 3am when up for the fourth or fifth time to do anything but feed back to sleep. Are these people right? Do I have to change things or will he grow out of it?

Is there actually anyone out there who just muddled through? To clarify I am not against sleep training or judging it all, it is just that I am too knackered to put it into practice.

RightUpMyRue Thu 14-Feb-13 19:59:49

I didn't sleep train but I did night wean at 16 months and DD slept through once there was no longer any BFing on offer. We continued to co-sleep until she was 3 then the transition into her own bed was easy peasy.

The night weaning only took 3 or 4 nights of offering water and cuddle instead of a BF and she decided it wasn't worth waking up for. She still fed to sleep until we gave up BFing completely at about 2 years.

claudedebussy Thu 14-Feb-13 20:04:54


i did nothing with my babies and they all eventually sorted themselves out.

and those friends of mine who did do sleep training still didn't seem to have good sleepers a few months down the line. (judgey)

christinecagney Thu 14-Feb-13 20:15:36

Yes muddled through with my 3 DC. Totally agree there are no bad habits etc, babies just are babies and sleep when they like til they aren't babies anymore. Sleep training of any kind is hugely stressful for everyone, I think. And some people are just not 'sleep through' middle DC has hardly ever slept all night- age 12 years now. But after a certain age they don't need to wake you just because they are awake... A few toys on the bed, a drink and a snack by the bedside, the radio on quietly etc . My DH and my DM never sleep through the night either. Always getting up to read, make tea, or do ironing in DM's case!

PenelopeChipShop Thu 14-Feb-13 20:32:52

Glad there are some others out there! Just as an example I am currently trapped in the rocking chair in ds's room as he's asleep on me but won't be put down. I'll probably try once more then give up and go to bed with him before 9pm. No choice as DH not here to give respite. Aaarfh what has happened to my life???!!

ScillyCow Thu 14-Feb-13 20:33:59

I didn't (with twins).
Dt1 slept through at 8 months, D2 at 3 months.

BitBewildered Thu 14-Feb-13 20:51:32

I didn't sleep train either of my two. I suppose they both started sleeping through at about a year (ish). They're 3.7 & 2 yo now and both sleep straight through (12hrs) in their own beds every night, no problems settling etc. It will end at some point, just get through it as well as you are able, and if that means co-sleeping, feeding to sleep or whatever that's fine. It's as legitimate a choice as anything else.

nethunsreject Thu 14-Feb-13 20:54:57

didn't sleep train either. training is for dogs wink . ds1 slept all night from about 6 months , ds 2 was about two years shock grin . happy both ways tbh . sleep issues are a post industrial problem. do what feels right.

BitBewildered Thu 14-Feb-13 20:56:40

I do have a friend who sleep trained very hard. Her DS1 complied, it suited him, she thought she'd got it sussed. DS2 still wakes every night and is now 3yo.

Nightmoves Thu 14-Feb-13 20:58:18

This thread has given me such hope. Trying not to get too excited...

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Fri 15-Feb-13 07:47:32

bit like toilet training too...children naturally teach themselves. They have to have the right processes in place in their brain for it to work, there's no point trying before they are ready. Everyone just gets stressed and angry and there are loads of accidents.

IHeartKingThistle Fri 15-Feb-13 13:09:03

The thing is OP, if the sleep situation as it is is making you unhappy then you need to change it. Lots of the posters on this thread seem to have been happy for their babies to take their time. There's no problem with that, but if you're pulling your hair out, sleep-deprived and losing out on time with DH in the meantime, it seems to me like a week/few weeks of sleep training makes more sense in the long term. I'm not judging anybody, honestly, but I know I couldn't have handled broken nights long term and I would have enjoyed my children less as a result. Whatever you choose has to work for you.

Oh I am so about to get flamed...

christinecagney Fri 15-Feb-13 19:47:14

No, no flaminggrin.

Each to her own way. I just found sleep training more stressful than having to wake up in the night....

Maraki Fri 15-Feb-13 19:53:19

DD is 5yo. Still a terrible sleeper. I am still hallucinating with tiredness. I get up 2-3 times a night to pat her and re-assure her, I am just too tired to sleep train. Around 4am I give up, she gives up waiting for me to go to her and she climbs into our bed. I wait for her to sleep and then I go and sleep in hers.
I will make her pay for this when she is a teenager. I have tried everything in every book. I have given up. Completely.

changeforthebetter Fri 15-Feb-13 21:22:48

Each to their own etc but Dd2 was a "shocking sleeper" for nearly three years. Then, she began to sleep and is pretty reliable, bar the odd nightmare. Dd1 was a dream, sleeping through at three months etc ....... Now at 7yo she is horrendous. I have done the same with both (except co slept with Dd2 for nearly 2 years).

My personal belief is that babies and some toddlers really need that night time contact and will gradually become more independent when ready. I also think "sleep training" is more about selling books than helping knackered parents and distressed kids.

But, you are the one faced with the situation at 1am, 3am or whenever. No one has the right to tell you what to do ( unless they are planning to come in and take over for a couple of night grin).

PashaFox Sat 16-Feb-13 08:32:20

This is so reassuring! My DS is nearly 7 months old and in a house where CIO isn't an option (seriously ill retired father) we mainly cosleep and yawn our way through the day. We introduced a dummy at around two months and he slept for 5/6 hours straight which was lovely, then at about 4 months refused to take one at all, so we're back to waking and water every hour or so. Good to know I'm not the only one!

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Sat 16-Feb-13 10:11:20

IHeartKingThistle, you're right, if it works for you then by all means...just be aware that for a lot of people sleep training doesn't work, not easily anyway or not long term...and it can be heartbreaking when it goes wrong and you have a child who won't be trained at all. Lots of crying for nothing. But then there are people it works for so it's a risk you take.

A lot depends on how you do it as well - I wouldn't ever advocate crying it out, or CIO, but there are other much gentler methods which might be worth a try if you're cognescent enough to manage them grin

rhetorician Mon 18-Feb-13 13:47:43

We did nothing with dd2 until she was over one, we moved her out of our room and stopped feeding her at night, but no CIO or cc. Dd1 we were more proactive, but I wouldn't say we sleep trained as such. I know this is a divisive issue, but I do think that sleep training is useful in certain circumstances, and that it may be the lesser evil. I also think that, based n our experience, we let bad habits go on for the lack of will/energy to fix them. I don't think sleep training at 7 months would have done anything, but we probably could have had an extra month or 2 of sleep in 2012

recall Mon 18-Feb-13 13:58:29

Mine are 5 3 and 2, I did some sleep training with the eldest, but was too knackered to bother with the younger two, and co slept. Its only the eldest who has trouble going to sleep now, the younger two go straight off, and sleep right through, but they are in our bed. Because I have 3, I find co sleeping is a chance to have a nice long cuddle and some one to one time, sometimes during the day, its too busy to indulge them.

tory79 Mon 18-Feb-13 22:31:49

No, I did everything 'wrong' with ds, he spent the first couple of months sleeping on my chest all the time, we co slept, he had his naps with me in my bed. He fed to sleep all the time. I fed him everytime he woke, which was at least every 2-3 hours every night. He went in to his own room about 8 months and was still waking the same and I still fed him everytime. He still spent all his naps with me in my bed. When he was around 11 months, something finally clicked for him about napping in his cot, which was fab, he also dropped to 1 nap at the same time which may have made a difference as he was sleeping much more deeply I think. But he was still waking up at night and I was still feeding him.

We got to 13 months and he had never slept through, and never slept for longer than about a 4 hour stretch. I never once tried to 'fix' him, if he needed me, he needed me. But then we went to Florida for 2 weeks. On our return he got soooooo jetlagged, that for the first 3 nights we were back he slept for 15 hours straight each night. And that I think taught him to do it, as aside from a few nights where he has been ill/teething, he has slept through from about 8-630 every bloody night for the last 4 months now! Yippee!!

RhinestoneCowgirl Mon 18-Feb-13 22:42:42

I didn't sleep train and both my DC got there.... eventually!

DS started sleeping thro until 5am about 18m, then 7am by 2yrs. His younger sister was nearly 3yrs by the time she was reliably sleeping thro.

I co-slept quite a lot just to survive!

WhichIsBest Tue 19-Feb-13 04:06:51

Another muddler here. But unlike most people replying, my DD has never slept through the whole night, and she is almost 5.
I don't mind briefly re-tucking her in once per night though, which is what she tends to still 'need'. It isn't that I am up and down every few hours.

WhichIsBest Tue 19-Feb-13 04:08:22

(Oh I am up now with third trimester insomnia, not DD's doing!)

TheYamiOfYawn Tue 19-Feb-13 10:20:25

My DD was a terrible, terrible sleeper. She woke up between 6 and 10 times most nights until she was two and a quarter. Then, over the space of about a month, she started sleeping through most nights.

DS wasn't such a horrific sleeper, but still woke more than was deemed socially acceptable (4idh times a night flyer the age of one, constant feeding from 4am). He was three in October, and has been sleeping through most nights since January. They both just grew into into their sleep with no training or bedtime struggles.

jaggythistle Tue 19-Feb-13 20:23:42

Yes and yes with DS1 who is now 3 and has slept fine since somewhere between 1 and 2.

Currently attempting muddling with DS2, wish I'd taken notes on how to muddle successfully the first time. . .10 months and no sign of much sleep!

Eeeeeowwwfftz Fri 08-Mar-13 22:14:22

So, let's get this right. By "going with the flow" do we really mean not doing any kind of encouragement (let alone "training") and eventually they get it? We're at 21 month's now, and sleeping has gradually improved since birth. We're down to one or two wake-ups per night, but he can be very difficult to settle if he wakes - particularly if we don't whack the tits out... He's started saying "sleep" and "tired" and knows what sleep is, by acting out lying down and scrunching his eyes up in a way that makes it impossible to sleep, so I'm hopeful he's on the road to working out what to do.

Our few (admittedly half-hearted) attempts to encourage more sleep have led to more screaming and stress than any of us want that we've decided to take the sit-it-out route... but it'd be nice to know from people who've been down this track that it will work out in the end.

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