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Sleep training - need moral support!

(26 Posts)
Plateofcrumbs Sat 05-Dec-15 20:20:18

Finally bitten the bullet and am sleep training 15mo DS.

We're following an established bedtime routine, then rather sit with him until he eventually falls asleep (which was increasingly not working as mummy is better than sleep, apparently) I am saying goodnight and walking out the door. Popping back in to comfort of crying stays intense, otherwise leaving him to it.

In some respects it's working brilliantly - sleeping through from the first night (he had been waking lots in the run up). But the time taken to settle is not really coming down quickly. We are on night six and we are still dealing with half an hour of crying. I was sticking with it on the basis that it'd be a short sharp shock, but night after night of chewing my nails trying to stop myself from going back in to him is horrible.

How long is it going to take to get happy bedtimes? I know we need to do this (increasingly nothing else works and he his sleep had gone to pot) but I am finding my resolve cracking every night the wailing continues.

Plateofcrumbs Sun 06-Dec-15 19:45:58


Anyone? DS is wailing in his cot and I am desperately holding my nerve...

We're 7 nights in, surely it should be getting easier?

queenofthepirates Sun 06-Dec-15 19:57:37

I should be-which method are you using?
I used the Good Sleep Guide by Angela Henderson which worked really well for us and wasn't too bad on my nerves.

Plateofcrumbs Sun 06-Dec-15 20:06:24

I'm not really using a method - going back in after 15 mins if he is still howling and giving him a quick cuddle and a rub on the back then leaving the room. 30 mins again tonight - it has been 30 mins every night after the first couple which were longer. Only took 5 mins for him to fall asleep for his nap using same method (he was dog tired though).

queenofthepirates Sun 06-Dec-15 20:25:27

Okay, try this maybe?
Leave the room and let him cry for 1 minute. Go back and give him a cuddle.
Leave the room and let him cry for 2 minutes, go back. Then 4, 8, 16.... That way he knows you're there, you will be there but you're extending out the period by defined lengths. I know he can't count but he should be able to feel the gaps lengthening and there being a pattern.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Dec-15 20:56:13

I did CC and I definitely think you are leaving him to cry for too long. I did increments of 1,2,4 and 8 minutes. He was never alone for more than 8 minutes.

I would go in to him, lie him back, tell him it was bedtime, say goodnight and then walk out again.

I was told to never lift him out of the cot because when you put them back in it just a triggers off a whole new cycle of anger and crying.

I found it hard at first but I was so utterly exhausted after months and months of no sleep that I knew sleep training was my only option.

Thinking of you flowers

mupperoon Sun 06-Dec-15 22:05:49

Plate We're in the same boat more or less so I'm really glad you posted. I need a kick up the arse to start sleep training our 16mo. She has never slept through, not once. She still wakes about every 2 hrs and comes in with us by around 11 or midnight. She's really wriggly and kicky and it's doing my head in. I was just about coping at 1 yr but the constant fatigue is really getting to me now. She will go to sleep in her cot with me sat next to her, usually holding hands or stroking her hair, but it takes up to 45 mins and I end up stupefied myself before I've even had my dinner.

So it's good to hear that you have made progress with the sleeping through even if the falling asleep bit isn't ideal. Even there, 30 mins is a lot better than some babies I've heard of!

Anyway, you have given me hope. Fingers crossed it goes better for you tomorrow. 💐

Plateofcrumbs Mon 07-Dec-15 02:13:42

Mupperoon we've gone through good patches and bad patches but it had got into a deteriorating cycle lately where he was waking up every couple of hours and I was sleeping in his cot with him half the night.

And YY to being stupefied by 45 mins+ of hand holding etc.

The sleeping through is working brilliantly - 100% uninterrupted nights! He sometimes wakes, has a little cry and is straight back to sleep before I have time to really think about going in. Just need to get the going to sleep but sorted.

I will try starting with shorter periods and increasing the length, although leading up to this I'd been trying leaving the room for short periods and it just seemed to be stimulating him. Maybe it's the gradual lengthening that will help?

Nanofone Mon 07-Dec-15 02:31:54

Please don't do this. If you left an elderly relative to scream in distress you'd rightly be accused of abuse. Children have less understanding and are more vulnerable - your DS needs your unselfish love and care.

MingZillas Mon 07-Dec-15 07:19:55

I agree with Nanofone.

OP your resolve is wavering everytime you hear you ds cry because it goes against your instincts as his mum to leave him to cry.

Read the Continuum Concept. Can you not co-sleep with him?

Plateofcrumbs Mon 07-Dec-15 08:12:04

Appreciate your input Nano and Ming but I have reached a point where I don't I am helping him any more by taking the easy way through this. He needs sleep too.

The lightbulb moment was after spending over an hour and a half trying to get him to nap and with him having absolutely none of it, I left him for five minutes whilst I recomposed and he put himself to sleep. I'm not helping him, I'm hindering.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Dec-15 08:19:29

Exactly plate - once I had sleep trained DS he was getting 4-5 hours more sleep in every 24 hour period than he had been getting and he was such a happier baby for it.

Sleep is so vital for a baby's development that it's important they have enough of it.

mupperoon Mon 07-Dec-15 08:50:28

Ming co-sleeping isn't a magic bullet for all situations. I say that as someone who chose to co-sleep from the first night home. 16 months later it's not working for anyone, including my daughter.

CoodleMoodle Mon 07-Dec-15 09:15:35

You're doing the right thing for your family, OP. I agree about changing the timings to shorter intervals, but other than that you're fine.

My DD was a horrendous sleeper. We did CC (1min, 2, 3, etc, up to 10) at the same age and it worked wonders. She went from being a miserable little gremlin to an absolute cherub! We still have our issues but six months later all three of us are ao much happier and better rested.

And cosleeping just doesn't work for everyone. It is not the miracle some people think it is. Some DCs hate it, want their own space. Others thrash around and keep everyone awake. Mine just wanted to play. And then, funnily enough, was a right grump the next day!

Nobody enjoys CC. But it works and can improve your lives to an unbelievable extent

jazzandh Mon 07-Dec-15 09:19:36

Can you adjust bedtime slightly. Now you Lo is getting a better night's sleep, perhaps he is not as tired when he is put to bed.

My DS2 used to go through phases of crying at bedtime and once I had pushed bedtime back by 5 or 10 minutes - he would settle very quickly.

Plateofcrumbs Mon 07-Dec-15 10:55:13

He does often cry when trying to get to sleep even when I'm there. And the crying I'm getting from him whilst we've been sleep training is more 'I want to sleep!' than 'where is my mummy?' (plus he is laying down the whole time, not standing up).

Will try faster return tonight!

Nolim Mon 07-Dec-15 17:00:44

I decided to sleep train my baby and have not regretted it, he is now a very good sleeper and we are sane.

We did the method when you increase the length of the intervals, first 2 mins then 5 and so on until 20. It took more than a few days but yes it worked.

Good luck tonight OP.

Plateofcrumbs Mon 07-Dec-15 18:28:29

We had a pretty good nap time - took about 20mins but very little real crying (mostly a bit of 'mantra cry' whinging) and was either quiet or chatting to himself for at least half the time. Fingers crossed bedtime is OK....

Do you keep going in if they are awake but not crying? Wasn't sure what to do earlier!

queenofthepirates Mon 07-Dec-15 19:32:59

If they're not crying, leave them be, he'll be content.

Sounds as though you've cracked it though! Don't be too worried if you get a regression, it happens and you have to start again. My 4yo DD is a terrific sleeper now but we've had ups and downs. When she's upset about something (like when my dad died) she regressed enormously, up and down, out of bed constantly but I tackled it gently and pulled her close. Obviously no sleep training there.

The great thing about sleep training is it gives you the space to breathe and recoup and become human again. And the parent you want to be not the rat bag (me, not you) that a lack of sleep turns you (me) into.

spillyobeans Wed 09-Dec-15 21:37:20

Im just about to start cc so hopefully it works! And totally agree about the fact that you only try cc as a last resort, no one wants to leave their baby crying, but when your on month 4 of literally no sleep, you start feeling like a shit mum because your so pissed off all the time through lack of is your only option!

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Dec-15 21:57:12

Exactly Spilly, I was starting to resent DS, I felt angry with him all the time, I stopped enjoying him and I almost stopped wanting to be near him. That scared me more than the thought of doing CC did sad

CC is a last resort for many - but essential in most cases unfortunately.

spillyobeans Wed 09-Dec-15 22:28:54

Writer, thats where im at right now sad. I had a chat with my hv and she strongly advised cc, she had to do it herself. And ive tried everything. Plus my presence seems to actually make ds worse!

Purpleboa Thu 10-Dec-15 04:00:34

I think I'm at the point of having to do cc. Really don't want to but I'm worried about how little sleep my DD is getting. It just can't be good for her. Yes, I'd like more sleep too but mostly so I can be a good mum to her. Right now I'm an angry weepy wreck, find it hard to get the energy to play with her and am concerned I'm slipping into PND. Can anyone really argue that this is an ideal state of affairs for my baby?

I'm waiting until she is 6 months then will try it. Right now I feed her downstairs and then my DH settles her. Right now he's putting her to bed asleep. I guess with sleep training, we'd need to put her down drowsy but awake and take it from there?

CoodleMoodle Thu 10-Dec-15 09:10:23

You're doing the right thing too, Spilly. I was the same as Writer, I started resenting DD for how exhausted I was. Did CC, it worked, I adore her like I should because I'm not a zombie any more! Good luck with it.

Purple, good luck to you as well. As your DD is still tiny I'd go as gently as possible, but do what you feel is best for YOU and YOUR family. Some DCs can't stand the gentle, shh/pat way, I know mine is one of them! Drowsy but awake is a good way to do it, with very regular comforting. I've never done it with a baby that young, but I did seriously consider it when I was in the same position as you.

CoodleMoodle Thu 10-Dec-15 09:14:40

Oh, and you say DH puts her to bed? Will she go down for both of you (however long it takes)? I was doing all of the bedtimes and DH struggled (not his fault, DD just wanted to know where I was).

When we did CC, we took turns. Still do now, so I put her to bed last night, DH's turn tonight ('putting her to bed' = singing her song and saying goodnight, and shushing if she needs it). Just means we can leave her with the other if necessary without worrying she won't go to sleep!

Just a thought smile

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