Do babies *need* sleep training

(30 Posts)
Amazonmulu Sun 14-Aug-16 09:08:35

Hello,

Can a baby learn to sleep through the night and self settle without being put on any routine?

I have a 11w old baby and since 6w we've meddled in all sorts of schools of thought on sleep training / structured days & nights. As a result she tends to sleep 7/8-10/11 then 11/12-3 then 3-5.30/6. Which is fab I think. Meaning we get about 6h sleep. She is much much happier since we started structuring stuff and we never ever let her cry down. She does use a dummy sad which is good / bad for all the obvious reasons... Though the nights are good during the day we cannot fit any routine. We've tried everything but she is sleepy when she needs to be awake, hungry when she should be sleeping etc etc so we just freestyle it and do what feels right at the time.

I feel like I'm failing to get this right for her - failing at sticking to any daily routine sad And I'm worried it will mean we have a baby that does not learn to self settle or sleep through the night.

It doesn't help they we know a few of "oh my baby sleeps 9h a night straight and has done since 2w" angry Grrrrr

Are there any parents out there that followed no plan or routine and have babies that learnt to sleep through and self settle?? Give me hope please! grin

TeaBelle Sun 14-Aug-16 09:12:06

Yes - dd established her own routine at about 4/5/months that we stuck too loosely as it's what she liked but we have never been rigid with it. She's a great sleeper now

DownWithThisSortaThing Sun 14-Aug-16 09:14:45

Please don't sleep train an 11 week old baby
Any methods are designed for much older babies and toddlers
At the moment your baby just needs her needs to be met and there might not be an obvious 'routine' for a while, unless you introduce one, but eventually she will find her own pattern.
p.s a dummy is fine smile it is said to reduce the risk of SIDS. If it works and settles her, use it. You can work on limiting its use later.

Batteriesallgone Sun 14-Aug-16 09:16:01

No. They don't. Nobody ever needs to be sleep trained.

MilesHuntsWig Sun 14-Aug-16 09:16:52

IMO it depends on the child, some will need help learning to self settle, some will sort themselves out.

11 weeks is too young to do this though. Sleep training is usually designed for a bit older (prob not what you want to hear, sorry!).

MyBreadIsEggy Sun 14-Aug-16 09:19:03

They do sort out their own rough feeding/sleeping schedule in time smile 11 weeks is still so tiny, I wouldn't expect much of a routine yet - and I would be genuinely flabbergasted by an 11 week old sleeping through the night (I know some do, but I don't thing it's the expected norm!)
My daughter stopped feeding in the night at around 7 months, and is now consistently sleeping (probably 5-6 nights out of 7) 7pm-7am at 15 months old. We tried a bit of gentle sleep training and it did work to a certain extent, but we didn't strictly enforce "rules" around sleep, and she learned to sleep by herself. We do milk, cuddles, story, more cuddles and put her down awake and usually by the time j get downstairs and turn the video monitor on, she either crashed out, or having a wiggle to get comfy and is asleep within 5-10 mins - she didn't start doing that until a couple of months ago though!!
You are not failing.
Having a baby is a learning experience - you'll learn in time what works for you and your baby smile as long as you are happy with your set up, then sod the "mine has slept through since he sprang from the womb" kind of people hmm

DownWithThisSortaThing Sun 14-Aug-16 09:19:54

Also you are not 'failing' at anything. I never had a routine with DS I just did what I felt like and what fitted around him. He's nearly 2 now and goes to sleep fine. All babies are different - some of them prefer routine but some don't.

JasperDamerel Sun 14-Aug-16 09:21:20

No baby needs to be sleep trained. But in some cases, sleep training (for an older baby) improves the life of the parents significantly.

Amazonmulu Sun 14-Aug-16 09:22:17

Thank you TeaBelle! Reassuring to know!

converseandjeans Sun 14-Aug-16 09:24:40

Put both mine in a routine from day one - first one did it exactly. Hardly cried, slept through from six weeks. Second one used to want to sleep all afternoon and then be up til midnight. So carried on trying to get him into a routine and by eight weeks cracked it.
Both were happy to go to bed and self settled without any tears and had long naps at lunch. Never had to let them cry alone.
Only on MN have I heard of people not wanting a routine. Babies like a routine and feel safe. You can then guess more why they are crying as you know whether they are likely to be tired.
Go for it!

Stevefromstevenage Sun 14-Aug-16 09:24:42

No sleep training here. One slept through from about 7 weeks, one a bit earlier and one aged about 2.5 years. The luck of the draw I guess.

Daytona79 Sun 14-Aug-16 09:26:36

No I don't think so, I don't agree with any kind of controlled crying and think the only person who benefits is the parents.

Babies cry for a reason, hungry, dirty or want to be close to parents. Leaving them to cry in my eyes isn't right at all.

crayfish Sun 14-Aug-16 09:29:23

Mine didn't. By four-five months he was able to self settle (put him down awake and never interfered unless he cried, which he seldom did) and reliably slept through the night 7pm to 7am. There have been a couple of bumps in the road, like when he was ill or when I went back to work, but he's 13 months now and still a great sleeper.

That's the good news - it does happen. Bad news? It was absolutely nothing we did. Nothing at all. It's just pure luck and we were very very lucky. I don't doubt that if we are lucky enough to have another they will be a nightmare sleeper!

Amazonmulu Sun 14-Aug-16 09:30:07

Actually thank you all <3

Really helpful to hear how you did it with your little ones! I think I'm going to put the books away and just follow what she wants. She is such a happy lovely baby I don't want to wast this precious time with her thinking "I must keep her awake till x" or "she must eat at y".

Thank you!

crayfish Sun 14-Aug-16 09:30:17

Oh, and don't try to 'train' an 11 week old baby. They are still tiny and won't 'get' it, it could do serious harm.

EnquiringMingeWantsToKnow Sun 14-Aug-16 09:32:43

You can move more in the direction of a daytime nap routine, and work on putting DC down while still awake at that age, and think about developing good sleep habits.

But sleep training in the sense of letting them cry if necessary isn't suitable until much much later - until you can tell the difference between "Waaaaahhh! I don't want to be stuck in this cot I want to get out and play! How dare you disobey me mother!" and "Waaaahhhh! My mother has gone away and deserted me and I'm scared and lonely!" maybe 8 months.

MyBreadIsEggy Sun 14-Aug-16 09:33:00

Amazon best thing you can do is make a huge bonfire and burn all the baby books in sight!!! grin
Babies don't fit into a one-size-fits all mould like the manuals want you to believe. You'll learn what works for your baby smile I was a slave to "the baby book" at first and genuinely used to stress myself out and would say crazy things like "why is she doing that?! The book doesn't say anything about that!" hmm Then I threw the fucking book away....and everything fell into place in its own time smile

crayfish Sun 14-Aug-16 09:34:02

Cross posted there. Yes put the books away! We did vaguely follow the 90 minute sleep programme for daytime naps, as DS was a bit of a nap refuser, but that just involves putting down for a nap after 90 minutes awake time. So not a 'routine' at all really, because it varies depending on when they wake up. I have recommend it for friends with babies who won't nap too, I think DS was overtired and this helped stop that happening.

Amazonmulu Sun 14-Aug-16 09:34:34

MyBreadIsEggy I'm so with you there ... I've just been worrying about how to fit her in to stuff and why o why she doesn't fit.

WindInThePussyWillows Sun 14-Aug-16 09:34:50

I don't think you need to do sleep training.
My 4 month old twins started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and now at 4 months they have established their own really good routine, our days like this:

6.45 Wake Up
7 Get Up
730 Bottle
930 1 Hour Nap
1030 Playing/Songs
11 Bottle
1130 Playing
12 Walk around the park
3 Bottle
4.30 2 hour Nap
7 Bottle
730 Playing and songs
830 night time routine
10 Bottle and bed

No matter what changes in our days (day trips, friends over..etc) they get hungry at the same time and always nap at the same time give or take 15 mins

Always fast asleep by 1030 and don't hear a peep until 645 next morning.

Amazonmulu Sun 14-Aug-16 09:36:42

And as stated above I'm referring to sleep/feed patterns NOT controlled crying or letting a baby cry whatever you choose to call it.

She doesn't sleep through but she also cries less than any baby we know. Occasionally if she is over tired. But we just never give her a reason to cry and we are lucky that she doesn't have colic.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Sun 14-Aug-16 09:38:08

Disclaimer: I am a sahm so haven't had to worry about having to get to sleep for work etc.

DD was an incredible newborn and slept through 11-7 for the first 4 months, then woke at least once a night (often 2-3 times) until about 18months. She's now 20 months and we might have a few nights sleeping through then a few where she wakes in the night for a drink.
She has done all this on her own time and we've never left her crying.

If you have the time and the opportunity to let them learn to do it, they'll learn.
I think official advice is not to sleep train before 6months anyway.

For daytimes we followed a very loose pattern of Eat Activity Sleep, as I had been BFing to sleep day and night, and wanted to stop that for naps.
Good luck OP.

Amazonmulu Sun 14-Aug-16 09:39:40

WindInThePussyWillows that sounds like a great structure - something that naturally came to them.

I do agree with some posts above that babies do like predictability so that food eg comes at the same time etc etc

Stevefromstevenage Sun 14-Aug-16 20:20:26

I do agree with some posts above that babies do like predictability so that food eg comes at the same time etc etc

You see the second you have an older child this becomes really obvious, they go nuts if they miss a meal or their sleep gets out of whack. By the time you have a second child, especially if the older child is in school/nursery you are guaranteed to have a routine firmly or more loosely established and baby 2 just falls into this because they have too.

You are a mile ahead of the game having this figured out on your first smile

Heirhelp Sun 14-Aug-16 20:30:05

Baby is 13 weeks old as was sleeping through but now she wakes up for milk durring the night but then goes back to sleep afterwards. It was great when she slept through but if she is hungry she is hungry. She generally goes to bed about 6 and gets up about 7.30 but this varies lots and may contain one or two night feeds.

We have sleep trained in the sense that I have always not talked to her durring night feeds and kept the lights low. Since sorting out day time sleeps she has slept alot better on a night time. For day time her routine is wake, feed, change and play. Then after about 90 mins sleep. any longer and she gets upset.If we are in the house I put her in the cot with her dummy and Ewen the dream sheep. If she is upset I will rub her tummy until she sleeps. If we are out and about I push her push chair and give her Ewen comforter. It takes much longer to get her to sleep in push chair.

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