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Alternative sleep training.

(13 Posts)
ImSoUnoriginal Tue 15-Nov-16 09:54:06

Have posted on here a fair bit under my previous name, about my (now) 9mth old boy.
Currently, my other half and I have come to the arrangement that he does from when I get baby settled to 11 or 12 and I get some sleep. I do 11/12 till morning. Baby now has bf to settle, once after midnight and then after 4, when he sleeps on me (and keeps waking and twitching) till 6/7.
This is ok ish. However baby still wakes frequently and needs jiggling back to sleep. He averages somewhere between 4 (if we are lucky) to 9 (when he's teething) wake ups a night.
I want him to settle himself and I want to be able to sleep in my own bed. Currently we stay in the room with him as he's easier to settle that way and he wakes so frequently at times there is no point leaving the room.
So now you have the rather boring background, here is the question. Are there any techniques other than cc or pick up put down for sleep training? I'd love to try something to get him to sleep longer and preferably settle himself. My problem is that my OH hates it when baby cries and gets v stressed by it. If baby gets to that real sobbing stage where they sound like they are gasping for breath, OH is convinced he can't breath properly and might suffocate or something. I don't know, he's a real worrier.
Is there any sort of sleep training that won't make baby sob his little heart out. I tried pick up put down and he didn't stop crying, just worked himself up more and more till OH came in and told me to stop.
Any ideas anyone?
If I were on my own I think I'd consider cc just to get some bigger chunks of sleep.

FATEdestiny Tue 15-Nov-16 12:57:13

The dummy is the dimplest of the no crying sleep solutions. You're late to be introducing one at 9 months old and having it accepted, but I assume you've tried?

In terms of gentle sleep training ' you first need to set yourself some realistic expectations. Yes, it's possible. But it will not be quick. In fact t it will take a long, long time. We are talking many months, possibly a year or more if you want to do this very grafuskky to not create and distress.

So not a quick fix. But if you can gain some perspective and acceptance, you'll feel less stressed about the wake ups and just accept they will happen but af least things are ever improving.

Then have a look at The Pantly Pull off. It's a gentle sleep training method to stop breastfeeding to sleep. You pull baby off the breast progressively earlier until you are cuddling to sleep rather than breastfeeding to sleep.

Then you spend many months nakibg tiny gradual changes so cudfling to sleep becomes cuddling in the cot to get to sleep. Then just reassurance in the cot. Then just reassurance from in the same room. Then self-comforting us in the child's own comforting mechanism.

So I did this with my youngest. No crying. I would not ever tolerate any amount if distress and always gave her all the comfort she ever needed. We stared this ethos from birth. So the difference in my case is that there were no sleep associations, it was a clean slate (dd is my 4th child, I learnt from very many mistajes). She was settling in her cot by 6 months, occasionally sleeping thro by 9 months and by 12 months could be placed in the cot standing and would get herself to sleep (with a dummy and blankie).

So from birth it took 12 months. You are starting from much older and with sleep associations already in place. Therefore its reasonable to expect if you want to do this the no-distress way, it may take 18-24 months.

If you could speed the whole thing up. This will involve some dustress but you will be tgere there to comfort her. It depends on if you truely want to do this gently and slowly enough to cause no crying or upset.

user1474026214 Tue 15-Nov-16 14:22:21

I just want to say that I am looking for answers too. I did gradual retreat with very little distress. But recently, because I can't bear the gasping for breath cry, dd has learnt that if she cries like that, I will give in. So we are on a slippery slope. I have always found the 'just accept it' advice difficult. Yes, i can just accept it if my baby only wakes a couple of times a night, but what if they wake upwards of five times during the night like my DC did? What if they never nap for more than half an hour? What if you miss sleeping in bed with your husband? What if you miss LIFE?! Should you just accept that?! Fate, HOW do you accept that?! I welcome advice on this as sometimes I think this is my only option, although I fear it may send me miserable and possibly depressed ...

ImSoUnoriginal Tue 15-Nov-16 14:33:34

Thanks Fate. I will look this up for more info and to share with my OH. Baby is mostly jiggled to sleep now but it's getting harder, as he gets heavier, as he fights and bucks for a few minutes sometimes.
We tried a dummy when he was tiny but he used to spit it out. Weirdly he seems keener to accept one now. I wasn't going to buy the 6-24 months dummy but have bought some today in the hope that it would make weaning off the breast easier. Thanks for the advice, will see how I go.

FATEdestiny Tue 15-Nov-16 16:37:17

I have always found the 'just accept it' advice difficult.

I haven't said 'just accept it'.

I don't generally advise 'just accept it', since that is no solution to anything.

I wouldn't 'just accept it'.

So I'm not sure why you posted that it where you are coming from?

Sometimes an op comes along with a specific set of expectations that they
don't want to budge on: I won't give a dummy, I want to breastfeed to sleep, I won't cosleep, I want baby in his/her own room, all naps must be in the cot, I want little/no settling time, I wont tolerate my baby being distressed (understandable), I need to solve this quickly...

So I read the specific op and answer accordingly. If what the parent wants is not compatible with the set of expectations they have, I tell them that. Sometimes, I read an op and find that the most useful advise I can give is either change your expectations or accept that the situation you have. There is no magic answer. That is not the same as saying 'just accept it'. It is about unrealistic expectations.

Given this, should I answer the rest of your questions, user1474026214?

FATEdestiny Tue 15-Nov-16 16:38:23

Good luck ImSoUnoriginal!

Nottalotta Tue 15-Nov-16 18:57:55

I've been doing a gradual withdrawal method with ds. Previously would only sleep on/with me, in sling, moving pram etc. Failed to get him to take a dummy, possibly created bad habits..... Had lots of great advice from Fate.

I have to some extent accepted it, as I really don't want to distress or upset ds if I cam avoid it.

But, at about a year I started the Gw method. Ds was bf to sleep, it stopped working, and I was pregnant so a bit of a deadline to solve the problem. Introduced cilup of cows milk, took three nights for him to prefer that to bf. Also in the weeks leading up, made sire bedtime was routine - bath, pj's, two same stories, musical lightshow thing.

Then put him in his cot with his milk (which I am not sure is 'right' but works for us) and for the first three nights stood over patting, singing etc til he slept. Some complaining from.him. Had I not patted and sung there would have been crying. Gradually moved to (laying in a nauseous heap with morning sickness) sitting bu the cot and patting, holding hand etc. Then just reading. Then moving gradually away.

He is 15 months now, and goes in his cot awake with milk and is asleep between 10-25 minutes. Just lays there. Doesn't stand up and parade around anymore. I leave the room but stay outside but he doesn't know I'm.there.

So not much advice, but what I consider a success story.

Still waiting to cracking the naps......

ImSoUnoriginal Tue 15-Nov-16 19:13:28

Thanks nottalotta. It helps to hear about others successes.
We will have to take little steps I think. He hates being cradled and rocked to sleep, hates being put down in his cot to sleep, babbles for a bit then works up from a grizzle to a scream. So, I will continue as we are for a few weeks and hope that maybe the fact that his Dad is settling him will help encourage him not to wake as often. Then we can maybe start to introduce some other steps to get him to settle himself. I wouldn't mind continuing to feed him to sleep at bedtime. Unfortunately i think if I do that he expects it all night too.

OohNoDooEy Tue 15-Nov-16 19:20:02

I would do gradual withdrawal.

Do bedtime routine in the order of pjs, milk, teeth, gro bag, book, cuddle and into bed awake

Then pull up a chair and sit there. No eye contact or resettling. He knows that you're there but he's learning to fall asleep without you doing it.

Every few nights move the chair further away until you're out the room

Nottalotta Tue 15-Nov-16 19:57:01

Tbh imso I only stopped feeding to sleep because it stopped working. I would feed him for half an hour, no sleep. So I started giving him the milk after, and he spent a few nights alternating between boob and cup then happily just chose the cup.

I have never been able to put him down awake, and put off the GW for ages because I wasn't sure it would work, and I just cant cope with real crying.

So I was, and still am really, utterly amazed at how non distressing it has been. We've had some nights where it was hard work, with him doing tired grumpy almost crying, but that I can deal with.
I didn't do the no eye contact, no resettling thing. I think if you read up it says it can be done that way in ten days. We are at about 3 months, though the the last month has been the same, put him in cot, mobile on, sit outside. I sit outside so I can reactivate the mobile as if it switches off before he's properly asleep he wakes up.

A handful of times I've picked him up. A couple of times I've cuddled him to sleep. But in this time he's had about 7 teeth come through, 12 months injections etc.

I don't mind, we are getting there, it's working, and no one is upset.

He does resettle himself in the night quite a lot too since starting this.

KP86 Tue 15-Nov-16 20:05:47

How do you feel about controlled crying?

I ask, because if you are somewhat comfortable with the concept, then you could send DH away for three or four nights and get it mostly sorted while he's gone.

We did a fairly gentle version of CC when DS was 4.5 months old (his sleeping was absolutely terrible) and he was fine within a week and our lives have all greatly improved. Max. crying time was two minutes.

But it really does depend on whether you're willing to do it. I wanted my sanity back so yes it was worthwhile for us. DS was a million times happier afterwards as well because he was getting more than one hour of sleep per day.

ImSoUnoriginal Wed 16-Nov-16 02:08:50

KP, I might be able to cope with controlled crying but there is no way my OH would go away and let me do it. He would just worry from afar knowing what I was doing. wink

ManaFleet Wed 16-Nov-16 04:33:51

Reading with interest as my DS' sleep pattern has dramatically changed at 4.5 months (am writing this at 04:33). Thinking about all aspects of sleep at the moment.

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