About to start sleep training and nervous/guilty - any positive stories?(22 Posts)
I am currently on my own with my two DC and suffer from PND, which gets much worse when I am sleep deprived.
My DC1 was a really bad sleeper and aged 4 still wakes in the night a couple of times a week plus gets up early. I found the sleep deprivation with him unbearable ( DC2 was a ( happy) accident as I didn't want more children because of the lack of sleep!).
DC2 has generally been a much better sleeper, but the last few weeks has started waking a lot for his dummy both at night and during naps. He is 8 months old. I have a lovely friend who is a sleep trainer who has offered to come and sleep train him - she uses a gentle method of being in the room and reassuring but it will inevitably involve a bit of crying.
My head knows I should do this as I can't cope with the lack of sleep, but my DC2 is such a lovely, sweet boy I am feeling so terrible about this. I'm actually crying at the thought of it ( although that could be lack of sleep). I wonder if I should try and do it myself instead but then I worry I will get so tired I will not be able to cope. Please reassure me!
Sorry- no reassurance here. Sleep training is cruel.
what a horrid reply to someone obviously struggling, people never cease to amaze me.
ignore that op, you are doing what is right for you and your family. I think it sounds great that your friend can come in and help, especially as she is experienced. you've said yourself that she is gentle and I'm sure what having you doing anything you don't want to. all you can do is give it a try and hopefully it can improve things and therefore improve the quality of all your lives. I did some sleep training with my ds at 10 months but it turned out he barely cried at all and quickly learnt to self settle which improved things greatly. good luck with it, but be reassured your doing a great job
*won't have you doing anything you don't want to do
Oh FFS caravan. Sleep deprivation is also cruel, for parents and babies.
OP loads of us have done sleep training and our children still love us. You'll all be fine
It sounds like the method she uses will be very gentle. We used gradual withdrawal for our son at around 10 or 11 months and it worked well. Involved very little crying as we were always there, just gradually moving away etc. it will be fine
We have occasionally had to use the method again as he's grown older due to different phases (he's 2.4 now) but only for a day or so. So make sure you know how to handle that.
I tried cc but couldn't do it, but this way felt ok for us.
It works, is all you need to know. And no, it doesn't teach your child that their needs won't be met or any rubbish like that.
caravan what a stupid comment.
Op, You really need to do what is best for You, Sleep deprivation is not good for you or your dc's health.
Thank you everyone, I really do appreciate the replies.
I ended up having a mini breakdown with my DC1 and he had to be looked after by other people quite a bit. I fear that happening again and I just can't do that to him or DC2 - I still feel terrible guilt and sadness about it - hence I think I have to sleep train! Logically I know it's the right thing to do, but it is that fear that he will feel abandoned. I jut needed some reassurance so thank you.
Caravan - what an unhelpful and inaccurate thing to say. Go over to AIBU and lay into someone over there.
There are many versions of sleep training. Some of them are incredible gentle and loving and 8 months old isn't too young to start.
I did gradual retreat and I can honestly say that I felt like I was taking back control and giving my son what he really needed which was a good nights sleep. It took a while and yes he cried, but it was never a scared or upset cry, it was a slightly confused and weary tired cry. He was never left alone, he was never distressed. He didn't love it, neither did I but it did not harm him in any way. And I couldn't carry on as we were.
Good luck OP
Sleep training is not cruel you ypur child need to sleep i sleep trained dd1 it was hard as she was in a cycle of waking or just not sleeping it was gentle but consistant and repetative there was crying but she was pissed off she couldnt get to sit on the couch all night if your friend is helping you that has to be a bonus as you will be supported through it
He won't feel abandoned, this was my fear too but you don't have to leave him. You can get him to sleep all night long doing a training where he isn't ever left alone. It is hard work but so worth it, for you, your son and your wider family.
Be confident. You can do it. As pp said its about repetition and consistency - once you start stick to your guns until it gets better but be prepared for it to take 2-3 weeks if you are doing gradual retreat.
Yes it is gradual retreat and he won't be left alone. Thank you everyone for your support!
What an awful thing to say Caravan. Op is clearly in need of some support. Very, very insensitive. IMO the kind of thing that people blessed with naturally great sleepers say. No idea of the sheer exhaustion and desperation that persistent sleep deprivation can cause.
I used cc starting with 1 minute intervals with ds at 13 months and am in the process of the same with dd.
Both of my children have very secure attachments to me, DH and other close relatives, are happy, bright and confident little ones.
There is a huge difference between a little crying/grumbling for a few minutes at a time and being left to CIO.
Good luck OP, it's hard but totally worth it for a well rested family
I did CC at 9 months for a whole range of sleep related problems we had and I just couldn't cope anymore.
We did intervals of 1, 2, 4 and 8 minutes.
The first night was the hardest obviously but still not as bad as I expected. Within 3 nights we had complete success in terms of sleeping through but it took a few days on top of that to sort out his daytime naps. Within a week he was a completely different baby.
I will add though that I did my sleep training under the advice of a sleep specialist who gave me fantastic advice and came up with a whole new routine for DS's naps and his bedtime. I felt very empowered from the start because I had strict rules (for want of a better word) and so I didn't have to doubt what I was doing.
Good luck OP
I did it recently with my 11 month old, but it was for different reasons as he was sleeping through the night but not self-settling at bedtime. Bedtimes were awful - up to an hour long and consisting of us trying to get him to self settle, but picking him up when he got upset, all mixed in with him being a bit of a rascal and trying to play.
So we did a kind of gradual retreat, where we put him in his cot and sat nearby but tried not to interact too much. Anyway, night 1 went perfectly, night 2 resulted in lots of crying (maybe 30 minutes with the last 10-15 minutes being quite bad). We ended up picking him up and cuddling to sleep and then carried on the next night and had no further problems. He may have just had a bad day that day. He is now self-settling consistently without tears every nap and bedtime so I am very happy with the result. We still sit in the room with him and it can still take 20 minutes or so, but it is much improved and I wish we had done it sooner.
We did gradual retreat with dd just before her 1st birthday. She woke up hourly from 4 months until 9 months old then anything from 3-10 times a night until she was almost 1. People don't even believe me when I tell them that! She had to have a bottle of milk to go to sleep with and I'd have to stand and pat her tummy until she fell asleep. She would wake up for milk or her dummy constantly.
It was fine and she took to it well. The first night it took about 30-40 minutes for her to go to sleep. I sat on a chair right next to the cot and shushed her when she whinged. She cried a bit but it wasn't a proper cry. The next few nights, the time it took for her to fall asleep got less and less until I could just put her in her cot and shut the door and she would go to sleep straight away on her own. She still can now. I eventually swapped the milk through the night for a small amount of water and she stopped waking up for it after a while. She started sleeping through at 18 months.
OP don't feel bad for doing it. Gradual retreat is very gentle and works well. You have to do what you have to do! Good luck.
Thank you for asking tatums - unfortunately my DC1 was unwell do we have delayed starting until this Saturday, when my friend will come round ( my DC has known her since birth so is completely comfortable with her). She has offered to do the nights by herself but I sort of feel it is something I should do myself so may suggest that instead ( with her support).
I did however take his dummy away for naps today on the spur of the moment and it was actually not that bad.
Tonight was the decider though that I need to tackle it - I am so sleep deprived I got cross with both my DC as they wouldn't go to bed I even spoke sharply to my little 8 month old, which I feel terrible about. Anyway on balance it did make me realise that some nights with some crying are going to be better than an angry mum. I wish I could cope better with sleep deprivation but I just seem unable to
I understand. My son was up at 4.30am today, for no real reason and I was more than a little sharp! Go into it positive. I worked it up in my mind to be the most difficult thing ever and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It was still tough but I think we are masters of assuming the worst. Catastrophe thinking is what I'm good at .
I did controlled crying at 9 months after endless nights of broken sleep. Looking back I probably had PND but wouldn't admit to myself or anyone else. Anyway, the sleep training was not anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. You will get people who don't agree with it but if you've been sleep deprived for so long and can't see an end to it on its own then go for it. Took 2 nights for this and dd slept 12 hours straight. In the morning after doing cc she reacted no differently to me. I thought she would hate me but obviously didn't seem at all bothered. Her biggest concern in the morning seemed to be how quickly breakfast could be served to her.
It will be fine, your ds will still love you and everything in life seems so much better with sleep. You can be an even better mum being rested and able to do things with them. Good luck, you'll all be great.....
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