Gradual retreat advice needed ...(2 Posts)
I've just started doing this with DD (nearly 11 months) but feeling confused by it all. (I was going to do CC but couldn't face it in the end.) Settling her at bedtime is working quite well - I've been sitting by her cot with just a hand on her, shushing a little, but then taking hand away once she starts to settle. I started two nights ago and the first night took about 10 mins for her to go to sleep, last night about 30. T
he thing is she's waking up loads and then it's taking an age to get her back to sleep again - last night she woke 3 times before midnight, and each time it took half an hour to an hour to get her back to sleep again. I fed her at 1am (am not going to entirely cut out night feeds yet - she only has one or two at most and I'll tackle that once she's settling better) but once I'd fed her she just wouldn't settle back in her cot again. I kept my hand on her but whenever I moved it she would lighten and wake up again. I ended up sleeping on the floor by her cot all night with my hand on her, eventually taking it off but then having to put it on her again whenever she stirred and her little head would pop up to see if I was still there ...
I'm not sure I'm doing this right!! Any advice? I'm going to continue and see how we get on over the next few nights but I'm disheartened a) by the number of wake ups and time it takes to settle her and b) by the sleeping on the floor by the cot and what a flipping light sleeper she is!!
The central premise behind gradual withdrawal seems to me to be to wait until the baby is ready to sleep deeply and soundly herself, gradually reducing your input as she learns and develops in her skill to self settle.
So I guess you are going to be guided by your DD in how long this takes.
Personal experience from my four children is that DC1 (who was the light sleeper, being firstborn) took until about 5y or 6y before she developed into a deep sleeper.
My other three children slept much better because, frankly, I did not make the same mistakes again.
A dummy is a fantastic sleep prop. But 11 months I fear may be too late to introduce this.
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