Any non sleep training, baby led mums out there with success stories to share?(21 Posts)
(Very) long time lurker, first time poster here.
I have an almost 5mo DS, who used to be a fab sleeper who has recently reverted to multiple wakings during the night after reliably going up to 10 hours. I'm thinking 4 month sleep regression maybe. On reading past threads, chatting to other mums and generally googling , I'm getting myself into a bit of a tizz about the sleep habits I may be instilling in my son.
. We don't co-sleep but I have him next to me in our room and I either feed to sleep at night or rock him. I also rock him for day time naps, or he'll fall asleep in the car or pram. Our routine is completely led by him, if he starts looking tired, or it has been a long time since he woke, I act, and try and get him to sleep . I can never put him down awake.
Generally I'm ok with this approach. It works! However, I can't help but feel I'm doing the 'wrong' thing! I think I'm generally a relaxed mum, and like the philosophy of 'attached' parenting but am starting to worry about 'making a rod' and all that. will I be rocking for ever? Should I be feeding in the night again after not doing so?
Anyone else who went with the flow whose DC, grew into good sleep habits ?
yes! I fretted and fretted about all the books and methods etc like I can tell you are doing as I knew my gut instinct was to be baby led and do what worked. it's taken longer as dh was very old school and wanted to 'train' but he now agrees and is happy with what we do. there's a method called WIO - wait it out - which you can Google, there's a website and a fb group.
'do what is comfy' my gp said the other day after hv started banging on about night weaning/ sleep training.
I'm actually now reaping the benefits of feed to sleep at night now I'm back at work (with bedside cot/ cosleeping) and in the day too as an afternoon nap is often welcome! though lo will sleep in arms, push chair sling etc too. some nights are hard but as I ultimately feel less angst about it than all the fannying about writing sleep plans etc I cope and sleep much better. plus those nights would be hard anyway. my only regret is that dh can't sleep with lo as dh is an extremely light sleeper (he complains about me snuffling in my sleep so there's no chance with a baby!)
using the pram is ideal as the nursery was happy to use it for naps as are grandparents. my lo can now just be put in it sleepy and will nod off with a couple of jiggles.
I'd just rather enjoy my baby than faff on forcing him to do things he doesn't want to do / can't yet do - he will when he's ready. its a massive shame we're made to feel failures if we're not sorting sleep out and doing routines training etc. he'll be all grown up before I realise it!
My ds2 is now 2.2 yo and was very much as you describe your baby. I went with the flow, it was hard at times as he woke multiple times in the night at some points, but sleep training isn't for me and anyways I have a older son at school who I didn't want to be woken by an upset baby in the night. Ds2 slept through at 18 months and that has continued unless he's unwell.
on the rocking for ever thing - at night he started getting cross and asked to be laid down instead of rocked when he was about 7-8 months after bf. In the day rocking became a cuddle, sling or pop in pram.
My 7mo DD wakes 2 or 3 times in the night and I feed her to sleep. Mostly I can cope OK, so not stressing too much yet. I tend to rock her to sleep in her pushchair on a mat in the hall for naps. These posts are very reassuring. Sometimes I feel like a useless mum for not sleep training!
I'm watching this thread with interest as DS is 13 months and has once done 10 hours and nothing close since! I rock him to sleep for naps and bedtime and feed at least once through the night.
To be fair to him he does have a horrible cough at the moment which wakes him but he's just not a good sleeper really.
Unfortunately there are as many different 'right things to do' as there are babies.
If you want to try a 'method' do it, if you don't, don't. If there was something that worked for all babies we'd all be doing it.
Thanks for the replies. Clarella, what you say about enjoying your child and not forcing them into something they're not ready for chimes with me. I feel like I'm going with my gut as you say and mothering on instinct. It is only when I speak to other mums or read about methods that I start to doubt myself.
I will check out WIO, thank you
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I felt pressured into doing something about dd1's sleep. At 18 mo we tried 3 nights of controlled crying and I still feel incredibly guilty about it. With that exception, we progressed from feeding to sleep, to cuddling to sleep, to sitting by her bed and holding her hand. She's now 3.3 and we stil sit with her until she's asleep. It only takes about ten minutes and feels right for us. I'm sure she won't want us to sit with her forever!
We've ended up with a similar approach with 10mo dd2. She's fed to sleep then goes into her cot. She usually wakes at 11ish and we co sleep from then. It stops her disturbing dd1 and I get a bit more rest than if I had to keep going into her room.
Hopefully it will be ok when I go back to work in a few weeks. I've decided to stop worrying about my babies not being like other people's babies. I've accepted that they won't take bottles and are unlikely to sleep7-7 for a long time, and I'm not prepared to try techniques that I'm not comfortable with. They're only babies for such a short time, I'm going to enjoy the cuddles while they still want them.
I have a success story. It's taken 3.3years but DS now wakes at most once a night. We bed share. Not my initial choice but it started at 5 months when I had absolutely no sleep for days. Several weeks of one-two hours in total each night meant I gave in and bed shared and we got enough sleep for me to not hallucinate. It's got better veery slowly and the amount of angst I have expended over this is ridiculous - but two things stood out. Firstly, DS became a much more contented baby during the daytime - probably cos he was sleeping more soundly and secondly, I had no other way of making it through. No grandparents to take him, a DP who couldn't do overnight cos he drove a big van all day and you can't have a chap delivering metal pipes being tired enough to dose off at the wheel. DS was very slow to wean from overnight milk but once I finally got it away from him he's never asked for it and never cried - he was just ready. I do know I would have been so much happier if I knew we would get to this stage.
Everything with DS is far far easier if I follow his lead. Potty training? Age 3.1 in the end but with absolutely no faff whatsoever. Wish I had ignored my HV who tried to panic me and all the other comments. I keep reminding myself - its much easier when I look at DS and his abilities and needs and not what everyone else thinks or does.
Yes, but I'm not sure my "success" will be what you're hoping for if you're going by mainstream parenting media/standards etc!
DS is 5. I put him to bed by (after stories) giving him a kiss, pulling the door just to and saying goodnight. He is asleep in about 5-10 minutes if he is tired (if not he sits there singing to himself and playing with his toys, he thinks quietly!) He goes to bed at 7pm and usually wakes up at about 8am, sometimes closer to 9 if we don't have to be anywhere.
I think he was sleeping through at about 2.6 if you mean a solid 12 hours, I remember my best part before he slept through was the time where he would wake once in the evening and then once when I went up to bed and then would come padding softly into my bed in the early hours, he would have been just over 2 then, although he was doing similar before I moved him into his own bed too. That increased to one wake up at about 11pm (so when I went to bed anyway) and his night time coming through became later and later until it was the time he would get up in the morning. Eventually he dropped all of it.
I have never ever sleep trained him and never left him to cry himself to sleep. They get there. The only bad time we ever had was when I left his father and his sleeping went absolutely up the wall, I had him up at about 2am in a playpen ignoring him because he wouldn't sleep but he also wouldn't let me sleep. Even that though passed in it's own time, and I think was an extreme reaction to an extreme situation which he couldn't express any other way (he was 14 months, so pre-verbal, but aware).
We stopped co-sleeping at 2.2 because he was always pushing the duvet off me, and because I had started seeing DP and sometimes stayed on the sofabed with him downstairs and noticed that DS had started to sleep better when I wasn't there.
Don't worry about the 'rod for your back' advice. As long as you are coping and your child is happy, that's fine.
They're only young once.
Thank you for the replies. It is reassuring to hear that your DCs got or are getting there on their own.
HSMMaCM, your post needs to be my mantra!
Hi, I'm not sure whether my story is a success or not but I thought I'd give you my perspective!
My ds was a really good sleeper as a baby, woke for a quick feed then straight back down, sleeping til 5am, etc. we co slept, I bf to sleep etc.
At 6m it all changed. We went from that to wakings every 30 mins throughout day and night and hours of screaming. Turned out to be a dairy allergy. Improved a lot once we'd eliminated that but still v bad. He woke 2/3 times minimum every night. Up for the day at 5. Hated napping.
When he reached one I sent DH in every night to comfort him and within a couple of days he was sleeping (almost) through though still getting up at 5 (latest!)
Now age 16 months he has for the last 3 days slept through til 6am!!
He learnt to self settle himself around 10/11m and whilst he won't go to sleep from wide awake will settle from sleepy.
I think sending DH in was what cracked it most to be honest. I don't know whether your ds is a bit small though? He is still very little. I found the dr sears sleep book very calming and reassuring. I would highly recommend it. This is normal, my friends who have had v strict "rules" haven't had dc who slept any better on the whole, just made things harder for themselves in the mean time.
My dd was / is not a great sleeper. I fed or rocked her to sleep for the 1st year and she only napped in the pram/car/my arms. Every now & then id have a panic and worry I should be doing something but I decided she would get there in her own time. The night of her 1st birthday she slept for 10 hours and has been doing that consistently now for a few weeks I think stopping breast feeding made a difference but I'm glad we let her do it in her own time despite a year of sleep deprivation.
These are the sites that have helped me a lot, my local lll is very active and has a very supportive fb group. Many mum's have successfully coslept, let baby lead etc on there - in fact there's a similar discussion there this morning! Their experiences give me daily confidence, which is, at the end of the day, what we need - confidence in our parenting styles. All babies are so different though it's my belief now that there should be a book and method for every individual baby - my child has his own personality, needs and physiology (which is imo the main thing governing 'ability' to sleep - teeth, size of air ways, gut, wind, if they're crawling / walking yet which also affects the gut etc etc) and so I feel I need to recognise this. His only way of communicating his needs or that there is an issue currently is through cries. He's had occasional midnight parties but that's lessened since crawling as he's so knackered! I also feel that we don't expect a child to learn to do anything by them selves initially nor by crying, so why sleep? (I am an SEN teacher!) It's taken a long time to reach this view though - but I'm much happier for it. However I feel all parents must do what they feel is right rather than be unhappy as this too has an effect on family life and lo. So if that includes 'training,' so be it.
<adjusts soap box>
in fact - if you read prof Helen Ball's latest contribution to the bmj (see 2013 publication and download) she talks about precisely this kinda stuff.
<puts soap box away and slopes off to make hot chocolate after a night with a baby with a VERY stuffed up nose>
These experiences are great to hear everyone. As I'm still pretty new to all this it's hard not to sometimes doubt myself. I will continue going with the flow and doing what seems right to me I.e as if I'd never heard or read any of the training advice.
Thanks Clarella for all the links, I had a quick look and feel reassured. Thanks for the sleep book recimmendation too Bloob!
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