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"Sleep training"

(5 Posts)
ForEverythingAReason Sat 13-Jun-15 11:34:35

I am a clueless first time mum to a nearly 6 month old DD.

I know next to nothing about "sleep training". I would love to know what other people do / did to encourage self settling with their DC and wondered when is a good time to start.

The reason I am concerned is that I want to ensure DD is getting enough sleep. I have seen first hand how a poor day and / or night's sleep effects her and I want to avoid it having a detrimental effect on her development.

I read conflicting things on here. Many posters seem to say CC is a big no no before 1 year old and I'm certainly in no great hurry to try it with DD. I am just wondering what other methods (if any) I might be able to use in the near(er) future. Is any sleep training method really recommended before 1 year old?

Currently I almost always feed her to sleep and sneak her into her cot. I have tried co-sleeping a couple of times,but it doesn't seem to make DD any more settled tbh. Also DH and I are rather tall so there isn't very much room in our bed as it is.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Allyouneedispug Sat 13-Jun-15 21:09:36

Don't know how much help I'll be, but I don't want to read and run.

We started a modified version of CC at 7 months (I think). This was on the advice of DSs hospital consultant (severe reflux baby) and HV. Due to his reflux and issues feeding, he'd basically sleep for just an hour or so at a time and I needed to go back to work.

We had a clear bedtime routine from Birth: bath, stories, song, bed. This has helped immensely with getting him in the "mood" for sleep. Usually after the song, we'd cuddle for a bit and then into bed to settle. DS loves his dummy and I couldn't bring myself to take this away from him, so he always had a fair few in with him.
I'd then go in every 5 min to check on him-he never made it past 15m awake.

DS continued to wake during the night, not for a feed but just because he wasn't ready to sleep through. I would let him cry for a minute or so, then go in to reinsert the dummy. As the nights wore on, I started leaving him for slightly longer to see if he would settle himself. He usually just wanted a dummy which he didn't yet have the ability to locate himself.

Our version of CC was sort of the diet coke version. Dummy stayed put (it's still here at 17 months but one problem at a time) and I still went in to settle during the night, but I definitely think it helped him settle down to sleep at bedtime.

We have never co-slept nor fed to sleep- not because we didn't want to, but DS wasn't having any of it. I think the first thing to tackle is getting your DD in her own bed and knowing that this is where she sleeps-it'll be tough transition but beneficial in the long run.

ForEverythingAReason Sun 14-Jun-15 14:17:15

Many thanks pug (love your username btw). I've just bought some sleep training manuals. One is CC based and the other is a gentler one for "calm" babies (allegedly). Hopefully I can merge ideas from the two and come up with my own diet coke CC! Don't have the will power for 'real' CC but my gut instinct is telling me that DD needs to learn to self settle somehow. Sneaking her into her cot is just so damned sneaky! I just put her down for her nap and she opened her eyes and gave a sad little wail when I put her down before drifting back off again. I hate it but can't sit holding her every time she naps unless I give up eating, washing etc... Anyway she wakes up too early (and livid) when I let her nap on my knee.

Allyouneedispug Sun 14-Jun-15 20:34:23

I think you have to do whatever you feel comfortable with. My DS has always been really high maintenance and soft approaches just wouldn't work (gradual retreat fell flat on it's face-he wouldn't even lie down as me being in the room meant attention)
As long as you know that your DD is dry, comfortable and fed, then the tears and whining are because you're changing up what she considers to be "normal"-you have to decide if you want this to be a long process as the softer methods, while not as painful for you, take longer to be effective. As it was, as soon as I got nights sorted (it took about a week) then naps were a breeze. He went from never napping to sleeping for 1-3 hours a day without any fuss.
For what it's worth, I'm glad we started at 7months, although I know it's considered a bit young by many (our consultant actively encouraged us to sleep train then). I'm also glad we did it quickly-it was horrible hearing him cry but at least it was over quickly.

FATEdestiny Sun 14-Jun-15 23:03:04

Is any sleep training method really recommended before 1 year old?

Teaching a baby to sleep well is something that happens from birth. For example from birth, right as far back as being a tiny newborn it is quite reasonable to get into the habit of

- Feeding baby and putting down to sleep (rather than cradling)
- Feeding baby then waking slightly while winding, then putting baby down to sleep.
- Getting baby to learn to use a dummy to sleep independently of you
- Trying to settle baby back to sleep without picking up if baby stirs in sleep.

There are loads of other little things. Fact is "sleep training" (as in teaching good sleep habits) starts from Day 1 and develops as baby grows. There needs to be no start date.

The difference though, is that these kinds of sleep training don't involve any distress or crying. Just establishing routines and structure that promotes good sleep habits for the future.

What you are referring to would be sleep training that involves not responding to baby's cries. It is reasonable to say that the baby needs to be of an age where you can be absolutely certain that the reason for crying (given it is babys only means of communicating a need to you) is tiredness and definitely nothing else. This is where the not under 12 months comes from.

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