Gentle sleep training... Two steps back??(5 Posts)
For the past few weeks I've been gently teaching my 5 month old to self-settle. I don't let her cry but do let her shout and whinge a bit and go in every few mins or so to comfort her in her cot, or pick her up if she has begun really crying. Sort of a cross between spaced soothing and PUPD I think, although to be honest I've rarely had to pick her up in the past week or so.
The last couple of days I've moved from just putting her down whenever she seemed tired, usually around 2 hourly, to trying to have more defined nap times, specifically 9, 12 and 4. Yesterday she did really well and napped each time, albeit not for as long as she was supposed to.
I've also been trying to comfort her in the night rather than automatically feeding her (still doing a feed around 10/11 and 4am but trying to comfort inbetween), which has generally been working although it hasn't stopped her waking yet!
Last night my husband did a bottle feed at 10 and then when she woke again at 1 he thought he was doing me a favour by rocking her back to sleep. (He's not hugely supportive of sleep training as he doesn't see much of her in the week and enjoys rocking her to sleep.)
Today she went down fine for her first nap but the last two have been horrendous. She was really crying hard at lunch time which she hasn't done for weeks and I had to pick her up multiple times to calm her down. So my long winded question is... Is this just par for the course for sleep training? Does it sometimes get worse before it gets better?? We are going on holiday soon and won't be able to have a baby shouting for hours as we are sharing accommodation so I'm really hoping for an improvement soon otherwise we'll be back to rocking to sleep on holiday I think!! Could my husband rocking her to sleep just once have caused a set back? I hope not as he is liable to do it again when he thinks I won't notice!
I wouldn't say that your husband rocking her to sleep on one occasion changed things up massively - as I understand it, it's more if something becomes a habit.
If she's crying hard when you're trying to put her down, maybe she's overtired? Is it worth trying to put her down 15 mins earlier? Or how about the length of her naps? My little girl isn't four months yet, but when her lunchtime nap started to get very erratic, I cut her morning nap from an hour and a quarter to 45 mins which seemed to help.
Best of luck.
I think you might need to revise your expectations sorry! You can't really teach a five month old to self settle as the world is still such a scary place and they need your comfort to fall asleep. If she is crying please comfort her. Even if you succeeded it will probably all change again at every development milestone e.g. sitting up crawling etc. Just go with whatever is easiest and least stressful to get her to sleep and worry about sleep training when she is old enough. Honestly I am the voice of experience as I was exactlyike you and desperate for a solution for the first few months. Nothing worked and I was so stressed. Since then we have had two steps forward and one and a half back at regular intervals despite trying loads of different things. Sorry if that's not what you want to hear x
Have you tried a dummy?
The simplest of the gentle, no crying sleep solutions. Baby needs some form of comfort, sucking a dummy usually does it
Tried putting her down at all different intervals, doesn't seem to be any rhyme nor reason to it, sometimes I think she's overtired and she's out like a light and other times she seems ready for sleep and it takes ages!!
Pear; I don't let her cry, I pick her up if she cries (although often this doesn't stop her crying as she knows I'm still trying to get her to sleep! The sure fire way to stop her crying is to turn the lights on or take off her sleeping bag! ) I honestly feel like what we're doing, when it only take twenty mins, is the easiest way, as she will let my husband rock her to sleep but is very resistant to me doing it and I have often ended up with a more hysterical baby by trying to cuddle, rock her!
Fate yes she has a dummy but it's quite hit and miss if she takes it and since she discovered that she can grab things she will often grab it and pull it out of her mouth and then cry! it often seems like I have to wait for her to squirm around in bed for a bit and finish whacking her arms and legs for a bit and then she'll finally take it.
It's good to know anyway that it will be up and down, if I know that then I can just go with it! Thanks for your responses
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