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Experience of mums who didn't sleep train

(22 Posts)
Carta60 Thu 08-Dec-16 08:32:09

Hi after hitting the change of sleep at 4 months we have had wake ups every 1/2/3 hours for the last 10 weeks with very gradual improvements.
We have decided not to sleep train but to resettle DD when she wakes either with a cuddle or breast feed which minimises crying and awake time so survive the night with some albeit disrupted sleep. DD is 20 weeks and happy Healthy. I have read all the info on sleep associations, self settling and so on but wonder if any other moms have experience of their children eventually learning to sleep longer by themselves? Does it come with age? We have realistic expectations and don't expect sleeping through, just wondered if stay your dc slept say 4 hours for example (or through numerous sleep cycles) when they were frequent wakers previously? TIA

ChocChocPorridge Thu 08-Dec-16 08:44:48

Yep - we've never sleep trained - we co-slept.

DS1 didn't sleep through until he was 18 months (he was still having a night feed at that point), then we had occasional waking periods (we used to have to keep a snack for him - he'd wake up in the middle of the night famished), until he was 3, when something seemed to click, and he just started sleeping 7:30 to 7, no hassle to put to sleep - read story, tell him to roll over, turn the lights off and he switched off until morning.

DS2 was a different baby, he gave up night feeds at 5 or 6 months, and BFing entirely at about 8. He slept through from 7:30 till 7 from about 7 months and went in with his brother at 9 - it was fantastic.

Unfortuntately, now at 3, he's being more of a problem - refusing to go to bed sometimes, appearing at my bedside at 4am and snuggling in etc. Nothing terrible, but it does seem to suggest from my sample of two that you can't have everything when it comes to kids and sleep.

louise987 Thu 08-Dec-16 08:49:07

I didn't sleep train at all, and like you I breastfed to settle her is she woke in the night (even thou my other mum friends made me feel like a mad woman for doing so!)

My DD is 15m now. From 6-10 months she was up once a night, then from about 10 months on she slept through (12hrs). (FWIW I stopped bf'ing at 14m)

Obviously things change is she's unwell/teething and I may be up more often but thats rare.

Naps were always feeding to sleep, with a blanket to cuddle. She now has a cup of cows milk and a cuddle before being put down (awake) then self settles.

I got so stressed as I always got the impression that feeding to sleep/sleep associations were bad. But this has worked for us and tbh it's been easier than I expected.

They need to feel safe and the comfort of bf'ing is naturally the quickest way for them to relax, so although exhausting for us it's the way they are designed. Hoping things improve soon for you, which I'm almost certain they will. Best of luck!

SnotGoblin Thu 08-Dec-16 09:07:20

If you're breast feeding, the reason they wake up during the night is because they need/want more breast milk. Both my children were co-sleeping breastfeeders (not ideal with a partner around but I'm a single mum so it was the best way forward for me). Night waking really only involved rolling over latching the baby on to the breast.

My youngest is now 18 months and I have just started putting him to bed in a separate bed/room (patting to sleep without a breastfeed). He still wakes up twice in the night and the first time he toddles into my room and climbs into bed and is fed back to sleep. He wakes again around 4am for another comfort feed.

Best of luck with it. I honestly don't think sleep training can really work with a breastfed baby because they need to wake so often to feed (that's just my opinion though and not based on anything but an instinctual guess for whatever that's worth).

perfectlybroken Thu 08-Dec-16 09:08:14

With my first baby I sleep trained, I was quite fanatical about it, and tried it all, including controlled crying. I really regret it, it was difficult for all of us, and I was very tired because rather than just getting him back to sleep if he woke up, I was trying to teach him to do it himself.
Then at 2, he started sleeping through 7pm-7am, so that was great, but I still regret the sleep training and no idea if that what's helped him to sleep 12 hours once he got to 2.
We kind of co-sleeped, he was mostly in a cot witht he side off next to my bed.
With the second I took a totally different approach, he is 2.5 and we have never done any kind of sleep training. He sleeps next to me, he is breast fed to sleep (still!) and if he wakes he is breast fed back to sleep. He can sometimes be patted back to sleep if he is not very awake. At 2.5 he goes to bed at 7, wakes around 11 and then once again around 3-4am. Gets up7-8am, There used to be another waking until he was about 2. So that probably doesn't sound great BUT, I have almost NEVER been overtired with him, as he goes back to sleep after a few mins and so do I, and I assume there will be some magical moment where he suddenly sleeps for 12 hours!
I don't want to sound dramatic about it, I know everyone has to do what they feel is best for their child, but I worry that the kind of sleep training I did with DS1 is quite damaging, they are just so little!

perfectlybroken Thu 08-Dec-16 09:11:13

For info both mine were exclusively BF.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Thu 08-Dec-16 09:20:12

I did the same as you OP, and sleep did come with age.
Ds (4) sleeps right through in his own room
Dd (20mth) has just gone into her big girl bed. She currently needs Bf to sleep and some help to settle if she wakes during the night.
At 4 months, Bf and a cuddle every time she wakes is totally appropriate. It won't be this way for ever.
I think the closest we ever got to "sleep training" was when Ds was a young toddler and we used to leave him sitting behind a baby gate in his bedroom, looking sad, because he refused to stay in bed. I don't even think I would do that with Dd tbh. I've got more soft hearted as I've gone along.

CatsCantFlyFast Thu 08-Dec-16 09:21:43

Didn't sleep train. Coslept and breastfed. Eventually (around a year) I was being woken every hour as she rooted for the breast and we started to try and settle her without it. No luck, so around 18 months I think, I night weaned. She started to sleep better but would still end up in our bed half way through the night. At 2.5 she still wakes a couple of times a night wanting to be in our bed and we have to put her back. I can't say whether she's just a creature of strong habits or whether she's just a rubbish sleeper regardless. With dd2 I'm doing everything I can to form better habits early

perfectlybroken Thu 08-Dec-16 09:22:18

Agree with previous poster that the phased you are in now won't last long OP, and you will soon be getting blocks of at least 4-5 hours sleep.

MrsDustyBusty Thu 08-Dec-16 09:25:46

I didn't sleep train. We had an idea that we should do the controlled crying but it was too awful. We couldn't bear it. So we did what came naturally to us, let her sleep when she's tired and wake if she's not. We just comforted her back to sleep at night. She normally sleeps through now at 18 months and we haven't really had too much stress about it.

Having said that, she's got a pretty easy temperament generally and we arent a schedule driven family so it worked for us but might not be for everyone.

oldbirdtree Thu 08-Dec-16 09:28:07

My un-sleep trained 6 year old has slept through in her own bed since 2.5. She is a very easy sleeper and bed time is drama free every night. I breastfed her till she was 2.5 and she started sleeping though when i got pregnant and we weaned.

My un-sleep trained 3 year old sleeps in her own bed most night. I night weaned her during the summer and she is mostly sleeping though since but hops in some nights for a cuddle. We are still feeding to sleep.

Honestly I never considered sleep training, i just rolled with it. Anecdotally I think my friends who sleep trained their kids have run into problems with their kids with sleep and in other areas. I personally believe not responding to your childs needs creates long term attachment issues.

Every single issue I have ever worried about with the kids has resolved itself given time - potty training, fussy eating etc. So i tend to just wait till they are ready for stuff and it happens easily

Kel1234 Thu 08-Dec-16 09:39:50

I didn't really. I've always put lo down and gave him 10 minutes to settle on his own. Usually if there's nothing wrong he will settle himself to sleep and be asleep within this time. He may moan or even cry a bit, but he's always okay.
I've done this since he stopped falling asleep while having his bottle. And he's slept through since he was 3 months old.

tiredybear Mon 12-Dec-16 12:20:33

No sleep training here. LO is now 20 months and is starting to occasionally sleep through (8.30-6ish, quick feed then back to sleep til 8.30). Sometimes he wakes around midnight/1, sometimes not. It's definitely age. My LO wouldn't nap for longer than 30 mins at a time and was reliably up (at least) every 2/3 hours until he was well over a year old. It's slowly but surely got better and I never thought it would. I'm still breastfeeding but in the last week he's even shown some signs of weaning, something else I never thought would happen.

Lireal Tue 13-Dec-16 20:03:06

I didn't except when I gave up bfing at 14mo. I just refused to feed him to sleep. He whinged about it for an hour then fell asleep on my lap. I then transferred him to his cot. Did this for about a month. Then stroked his back to sleep. He now goes to sleep in his own bed from 8pm to 7am unless he has a bad dream, etc. Hes 2.8yo.
Ds2 is 8mo and feeds to sleep too. He didn't to start with but has fallen into it. He does sleep much better than ds1 who was awake hourly.

AlwaysDancing1234 Tue 13-Dec-16 20:10:43

We didn't sleep train with either of ours.
MIL gave me hell over it "you'll make a rod for your own back" "mine slept through at 8 weeks just leave them to scream" and others such gems.
DS was a 'good' sleeper and was going longer periods by about 6 months.
DD would wake more often to comfort feed and go back off. I was much more relaxed with DD and we co-slept a lot. Everyone was happier, more relaxed and slept more.
Both children now older and sleep for 9-10 joys uninterrupted.
Go with your instincts and do whatever works for you and your child.

sianihedgehog Tue 20-Dec-16 16:03:59

I've not done any sleep training at all. DS is 16 months, breastfeeds to sleep and if he wakes I feed him back to sleep. We bed shared on and off until around 3 or 4 months, and he was in a co sleeper cot until about 4 months, when I put the side up and moved it away from my bed. He was a TERRIBLE sleeper as a tiny baby, but has gradually improved and now goes down around 8pm and stays asleep until about 6:30 with usually one waking. He keeps on getting slightly better at sleeping without me doing anything at all.

mouldycheesefan Tue 20-Dec-16 16:10:32

I did sleep train and dt1 sleep through from 4 months every single night for ever more. Dt2 did still sometimes wake about 5 am until she was 1, mostly teeth related. With twins there is no way you can do with being up constantly in the night it is a killer.

Coffeerun Tue 20-Dec-16 20:39:19

We didn't sleep train. I started cosleeping at about 6 months because I couldn't take the constant wake ups. He didn't just wake for feeds he just stayed up all night to torture me.

This worked for a while and we all got some sleep and then he naturally stopped cosleeping at around 11 months and would usually sleep through.

At 18 months he does tend to sleep through but any little disruption like illness and it all goes tits up.

Christmascheerful Tue 20-Dec-16 20:50:57

Another non sleep trainer here!!!
Dd nearly 1 we've just kind of gone with it.

bed routine is bath song story bottle cuddles and bed.

we do not co sleep as it wouldnt work for us as a family but dd sleepa in a cot in our room still. 99% of nights she gets put in her cot and straight to sleep same with daytime naps
we have (recently) tried to put her in her own room and she hates it. Screams and cries and causrs hours of upset so keeping her in with us for a while yet!

I know some people get loud objections from mil/dm etc about rods for backs et al...but mil co slept with dh till he was 5 and my dm never sleep trained me and siblings so they support us when they have dd overnight

sorry this is long but ive just recently realised what im doing is NOT sleep training

Lydia1988 Tue 20-Dec-16 20:56:57

I feel like this post has been written for me!! Have a 9 month old DS who is EBF sleep 2-3 hours wakes needs a feed or a cuddles then goes back to sleep usually starts in his cot and then ends up in my bed! Luckily DH approves!! Spoke with the HV last week and she suggested night weaning and some sleep training also suggested it time DS went in his own room for "independence" I'm not for sleep training and happy to breast feed and have DS with me and feel happy and secure than make us both ill by letting him CIO. I'm glad other people have been in this position and it has worked out in the end! Not babies long enough to push them to grow up faster grin

Kennington Tue 20-Dec-16 21:01:41

I never sleep trained but I breastfed to sleep for ages and co-slept from about 6-8 months. This worked well and was easier for me.

Acorncat Tue 20-Dec-16 21:22:20

Didn't/wouldn't sleep train and mine reliably started sleeping through at 2.2years. However this was the same time that my milk dried up so while I'd like to think it was coincidence I suspect he just stopped as there was no point waking up for no milk. He only woke once or sometimes twice from about 11 months apart from the odd growth spurt. We still cosleep as I get a better sleep than being in with DH it works for us tho I do plan to move out of his room soon.

I have no regrets about how we've done it.

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