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When is it time to sleep train?

(27 Posts)
nc060 Mon 26-Jan-15 11:16:23

My baby is20 week snow and just will not stay in his bed at night. I'm at breaking point, is it too soon to do sleep training?

LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 26-Jan-15 11:19:10

Can you give more detail? When you say he won't stay in his bed, what's he doing? How often does he wake? How long does it take to re-settle? What do you mean by Sleep Training? If you mean CIO I would say yes, he's still very little!

Mine is 2YO and still not a great sleeper. he was horrendous for a very long time so I do really know how you feel.

calmexterior Mon 26-Jan-15 11:26:40

We're about to start gradual reduction technique and DS is 25 weeks. I think 6 months is what is said?

nc060 Mon 26-Jan-15 11:44:03

He wakes up at 11pmafter 3 hours in bed, takes a couple of hours to settle(usually only settles input bed) then wakes up hourly until 6am when that is him for the day. If we do not pick him up and walk about and Rock him he cries and cries.

I am willing to try anything, have spent all morning in tears out of sheer exhaustion

LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 26-Jan-15 20:23:24

OP you must be exhausted. How is he when he wakes up? My DS was very similar and we eventually discovered he had silent reflux triggered by dairy intolerance. Once we got treatment / sorted his diet things improved dramatically.

Iggly Mon 26-Jan-15 20:25:55

If settling with you then there's your answer. It doesn't last forever. You could set up the cot next to your bed and try that.

There's a nasty sleep regression at 4-5 months.

Is he warm enough? The nights are cold and could be a reason. Also reflux. Or just the sleep regression

VeryPoorFloor Tue 27-Jan-15 02:05:44

I'm not sure this will be popular but i will tell you my story, in case it helps as i know how horrific it is. We had the same problems at 5 months. I thought i was going mad with sleep deprivation. I spent most days on the verge of tears and I honestly felt no love for my daughter. I saw a psychologist who said that i didn't have PND, i was just very very sleep deprived. My DD was fine in every respect (happy during day, fed well, on 90th percentile for weight etc), she just would not sleep for more than an hour.

I carried on until 6 months at which point i really was at breaking point. I made my husband come home from work as i refused to do to anything regarding our DD as i felt i hated her so much. I saw a sleep consultant in the end and she gave me "permission" to do cry it out. So we let her cry when we put her to bed. She woke up a few times that first night and we didn't go into her, we just let her cry. It was very very hard and you have to be so strong. It helped that my DH was right behind me, backing me up and giving me strength.

She woke and cried a few times the next 2 nights and by night 4 she slept though the night. She has slept through the night every night since and she is now 20 months. Even when ill, she doesn't wake up. It really really worked for us. It is so hard for those 3 nights, but it was worth it as she has learnt to settle herself.

There are other ways which people will suggest and those are very good methods too and of course might do the same job. Many will say I am heartless and have damaged my DD for ever. But when you are on the edge of reality, CIO is worth thinking about. As without it, I feel my mental health, my relationship with my DD and my marriage may have been damaged forever.

Maybe see if you can pay for a sleep consultant? Would that be possible?

Iggly Tue 27-Jan-15 06:23:31

Even when she's ill she doesn't wake up? hmm

Brandysnapper Tue 27-Jan-15 06:31:29

Good lord Verypoorfloor what did you do to that baby? Why couldn't you have gone in and out to reassure her? That wasn't strong that was cruel. And I have never posted that before but I don't want anyone to read your post and think this is normal somehow. It sounds like something out of an orphanage.

OohNoo Tue 27-Jan-15 09:06:46

Brandysnapper I think that is very harsh. She has already done it

Now I have never done CIO (or any type of sleep training so far...) and don't think I ever will, but we are not verypoorfloor, we have never been her and we have never been her specific situation, I do not think anyone is in a position to make such judgemental, unkind comments as to say she was "cruel" "not normal" "like something out of an orphanage"!!!!

verypoorfloor I do not judge you. Being a mum is not easy and in your situation it looks like maybe you chose the lesser of two evils.

OP ... I have not sleep trained so probably not in the best position to advise, but anyway I think CC/CIO are not recommended for babies of that age, and you would need a more gentle approach which others maybe can advise better.

Do you breastfeed? Is co-sleeping something you would do/have done? It makes night waking much more manageable, just latch them on and fall back asleep...
(Of course then you might still have a 9mo in your bed bf'ing several times a night hmm)

Iggly Tue 27-Jan-15 09:14:25

I didn't think it was harsh

Even Ferber, king of CC, suggests gentler methods. Cc is a bit of a last resort after trying gentler methods. You need to rule out reflux etc first.

oldestmumaintheworld Tue 27-Jan-15 09:25:19

Hi nc, I've been where you are and just ignore the naysayers. I was so tired with my first that after 19 weeks of constant breastfeeding and no sleep I thought I would die. Then my lovely SIL bought me 'How to teach your Baby to sleep through the Night'. She helped me to see that both my baby and I needed to get some sleep and that sleep training was the answer. So DH took three days off work, we told everyone we knew not to phone, come round or call and set about three days of sleep training. And it worked like a charm. It was hard and I do remember vividly lying in bed with my head under the duvet crying whilst my daughter cried in the next room. But it worked. In three days she went from being grisly, miserable and constantly breastfeeding to being happy and sleeping like a dream. And so did I. It was the best thing I've ever done for myself and my children. (Needless to say sleep trained no 2 from 6 weeks).

We used a technique where you go in every five minutes to touch child and reassure, but do not speak, turn light on, interact at all so that they learn that night time is for sleeping and learn to self sooth. If you have doubts look up Dr Tanya Byron Channel 4 and watch parents with twins sleep training. She is kind, sensible and a mother as well as a professional child psychologist.

Good luck.

Brandysnapper Tue 27-Jan-15 12:02:30

Oohnoo I'm sorry but I am concerned for babies as well as mothers. What was harsh was leaving a baby who was used to comfort throughout the night, to cry it out (not cc) for two nights straight with no reassurance that the parents were there at all. That poster obviously can't change what she did (and why would she, when it is viewed as a success) but the OP or other posters might think this is a perfectly fine thing to do with a small baby. It's not, and you can judge me for saying that if you wish.

Millionprammiles Tue 27-Jan-15 13:35:59

nc - you must be exhausted, sleep deprivation is so hard and can effect your health and your relationship with your baby, so you're right to think about what you can do to try to improve the situation (rather than feeling you have to be a martyr about it).

I'm not going to recommend a particular sleep training method as different approaches work for different babies. Try a few out and see what works best for you.
In the meantime, try to get any help you can, from your partner (if you have one), from family, friends, a paid maternity nurse or sleep consultant if you can afford it.

We went through sleep hell with our dd from around 4-5 mths until 10 mths, then we did cc (with shorter timescales, 2,4,6,8 mins etc). I was due back at work so we couldn't continue taking turns to get up every 1-2 hrs.
If its any comfort dd (now 2.7) is a perfectly normal, confidant, happy, sociable, affectionate toddler. Who sleeps very well.

Can you introduce a different sleep aid? We used a dummy so at least when we got up we only needed to pop the dummy back in (dd dropped her night feeds quite early on herself so wasn't waking for milk).

I do hope this thread will focus on supporting the OP rather than turning into a bun fight...

Jackiebrambles Tue 27-Jan-15 13:42:07

There is a sleep regression at 4 months which could explain this? I remember 4-5 months was really hard.

It doesn't last forever OP, although I know it feels like it!

Jackiebrambles Tue 27-Jan-15 13:44:33

OP could he be hungry? I presume you have tried milk/a feed to re-settle him?

My DS still had at least a couple of breast feeds at night at that age. I didn't stop feeding at night until he was 11 months.

worldgonecrazy Tue 27-Jan-15 13:57:22

I'm with brandysnapper CIO at such a young age must be traumatic for the baby and I'm glad that someone on this thread has stated that.

There is a reason that we have an instinct to respond to crying babies, and being over-tired can affect our natural instincts. Babies are meant to want to be with adults, but modern living means that adults try and over ride these instincts. Modern living also means that we don't have the support network around to get us through difficult nights, and it all just breeds in on itself to create a nightmare scenario for the mother.

The good news is that it doesn't last for ever. There are sleep regressions that happen, and they are normal and natural.

There are kinder ways to teach a baby to sleep than leaving them alone.

OohNoo Tue 27-Jan-15 18:44:13

I knew there was a reason that I lurk more than I post....
I wasn't advocating for CIO. Brandysnapper I see that you were trying to get across to op/other mums that it is traumatic to the baby, just felt that the way you did that came across as a rather nasty personal attack on verypoor and her parenting (just from my view, I know I would feel awful if someone said that about me and something I did with my child).

When I read stuff online in groups like this, I often think, if you were having that conversation in RL, would you honestly come out and say that to someone's face???
Anyway, of course I don't know you, maybe you would.

OohNoo Tue 27-Jan-15 18:45:05

ps. sorry OP for going all off topic on your post...

Brandysnapper Tue 27-Jan-15 19:25:53

If you think it was a nasty personal attack, please report me and my post will be deleted.
I have never seen anyone on mumsnet before advocating Cry it Out with a baby.
There has to be a place for saying when we think something is harmful to a baby, as well as a place for offering support to mothers.

nc060 Tue 27-Jan-15 20:07:17

Thanks for all the replies, it was another long night last night so today has been equally long!!

He is bottle fed and we are still giving at least one night feed. I don't think he's too cold.

DHhas got his hands on a smaller cot which we are trying him in tonight incase his cot bed was too big just now. Fingers crossed as im likes zombie!!!

MrPop Tue 27-Jan-15 20:47:29

OP - I think the baby whisperer's pick up, put down method is advised from 4 months if you wanted to give something a try?

juniorcakeoff Wed 28-Jan-15 09:58:09

How does he fall asleep? IMO you need to be getting him to fall asleep at the beginning of the night by himself in his own bed to get him to go back to sleep later. What happens if you put him down awake? If he cries, do nothing for a minute to check whether its just a protest or real fear. If really upset, pick up put down or gentle soothing sshhh, whichever winds baby up less (!) until he falls asleep. It might take ages. Stay in there for the first couple of evenings to reassure if he wakes up. Use pick up put down or ssshhhing to reassure during the night. Set yourself some rules - no rocking, whatever happens he is not going in our bed.

The fact that he is nappng well during the day suggests there are no digestive issues here. It will be hard short term but lets face it, rocking isn't actually working for you.

Millionprammiles Wed 28-Jan-15 10:01:29

OP - do try different methods out (PUPD, gradual retreat, cc). Some babies calm down if you pick them up or they can see you. Others just become more awake/stressed/wound up (mine did) so see what works for yours.

Have you tried introducing a dummy and/or a comforter/teddy? Essentially that becomes the comfort instead of the parent upon each night waking (in theory).

BTW my former GP (a former paediatrician and mother of 3) recommended cc from 5 mths and said there was a lot of misleading info/opinions out there about it. We didn't try it till 10 mths but don't be afraid to try it if nothing else is working and you're at breaking point.

Riri85 Wed 28-Jan-15 18:03:51

IMO you should do what you feel is best for your child and for you nc-if that means using a sleep training method such as CIO then you should do it-what works for some doesn't always work for others and sometimes it is easy for people to cast judgement when they have not been through the same situation!
Haven't used CIO myself but wouldn't rule it out as an option-especially if it was as difficult as it sounds like it has been for you! Keep your chin up!
Verypoor-it must have taken a lot to do what you did to help your LO sleep through!

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