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Sleep training plan for 1yo - does it look ok?

(20 Posts)
Schwanengesang Mon 13-Nov-17 02:15:33

Ds is just 1. He has been a terrible sleeper since about 2mo, with reflux, CMPA and lots of "bad" habits instilled by me like feeding on demand, cosleeping, feeding to sleep etc. With hindsight I would have tackled things differently, instilling fewer dependence-promoting habits and trying somewhat earlier to introduce a dummy and a routine. But what's done is done and it's not clear that anything would have worked when CMPA and reflux were dominating everything. DS has just turned one, I am exhausted, and for my own mental and physical health to barely function I need more sleep.

The plan is:
Thursday-Monday of this coming week, DH will sleep in the bed next to DS' cot where I have slept for the past year (mostly with DS on me, feeding). DH will offer water and cuddles as needed, I will do a feed at 12 ish.
Subsequently I will refuse night feeds other than that midnight feed. I will offer water and cuddles, but keep putting him back in the cot and cuddling there rather than on me.
Second week of Dec (one last crack at it before all the disruption of overseas Christmas) I will move my bed out of DS's room and try a speeded-up gradual retreat, ie spend the nights on a chair patting DS through the cot bars while he screams.

Is this feasible? Too fast? Too slow? What would success even look like, for a kid who really hasn't learnt to sleep properly?

DS has two soft toys who join in feeds, we have a good bedtime routine, and bedtime generally is fine, the issue is the waking up every sleep cycle and wanting to feed. After his initial sleep (1-3 hours in the cot), I usually get a couple of times per night where I get him to cosleep next to me rather than lying on me and feeding.

Thoughts most welcome...

Schwanengesang Mon 13-Nov-17 02:21:48

Btw daytime naps are fine. Usually 8.30-9am and 12.30-3pm; bed by 7pm.

johendy Mon 13-Nov-17 02:37:16

It's definitely not too fast, sounds like a good approach.

We just had a night nanny come in to sleep train our 8 month old and she did most of it in 5 nights, usually it's take 3 at his age (more days for older babies). I night weened him about 6 weeks ago but he was still waking 5 or 6 times a night and i was cosleeping out of exhaustion (i have 2 other small children too). We've had 3 nights since she left and I'm still training him (hence the time of this email) but i know he can do it - he did 11.5 hours straight last night, previously never more than 3!

From what I learnt from her she would say stop the feeds altogether, he doesn't need it. Otherwise he'll be wondering at every waking, is this the one where i get milk. And don't get him out of the cot at all, you need to teach him to self settle and getting him up completely prevents that. She took the approach of letting him cry for 5 minutes, going in and laying him down, waiting to hear him start to calm, then leaving again for 5 minutes. It could take over an hour of this. Its not for the faint hearted. Obviously if he got too distressed she'd stay on the room a bit longer, or wait less than 5 minutes. When going well she stretched out the time between visits. Good day naps white sleep training are essential, as its very tiring for them.
Most importantly be consistent, its usually 3 nights of the same approach before you see improvements. Stick with it!
Good luck.

piggleiggle83949 Mon 13-Nov-17 02:49:15

I think you need to go cold turkey with milk at night. It will cause confusion and frustration if he gets milk sometimes and not others.
He needs to learn its water and cuddles and that’s it.

Threenme Mon 13-Nov-17 02:57:18

Op I wouldn't give water I'd give cows milk. Mine were bottle fed but still had loads of milk at 1! They slept though from very young but would still have bottles in the night during growth spurts up to about 3! They can obviously hold and feed themselves so shouldn't affect you getting sleep to much!
For the record I'm not one for co-sleeping but I fed to sleep and whenever they wanted. Don't beat yourself up with talk of bad habits! You made your child's first year nice and they're secure and loved!!! You've done well- now you deserve some sleep!

Schwanengesang Mon 13-Nov-17 06:21:43

Thanks all.

(CMPA means definitely no cows milk, so I guess it is expressing or water... will try the water first as that is the more ideal outcome. Still planning to breastfeed another year ish, just not at night if poss)

chloechloe Mon 13-Nov-17 13:54:32

Hi swansong smile

I've just night weaned my just turned 11mo who was waking 7/8/9 times every night and usually BF back to sleep so thought it might be interesting to know what worked for me. I went completely cold turkey on the night feeds. I too was tempted to maintain one late night feed at 10pm but then decided against it. It's important to be consistent and it's not comprehensible to a baby why he gets a feed some times at night but not at others. I just offered water, cuddled baby then put her back in the cot and patted her back to sleep. If she was really worked up I held her and put her down asleep.

This first 2 nights were tough but no where near as bad as expected. She quickly understood that it was night time and there would be no milk. On the 4th night she slept 4 solid hours for the first time in her life! Then in the coming days that went up to 5 to 7.5 hour chunks of sleep. This in a baby who was waking every 30 to 90 min all night. In hindsight I think having a boob next to her from midnight onwards when I went to bed was probably encouraging her to wake up. I was amazed how quickly she adapted.

I would be minded to give water - I think it's good for the babies to give their digestion a break. My LO was waking at 5am then filling her nappy due to all the milk she was having. Now she's sometimes sleeps until 7.30. In the first few days I did offer additional BFs in the day but now she's back to feeding as before. If they need additional calories they will get used to taking them during the day. I think offering milk in the night is just setting up another habit that will need to be broken.

Good luck. Your baby may surprise you just like mine did and take it really well. I genuinely think I've done her a favour in helping her to get better quality sleep,

Schwanengesang Wed 15-Nov-17 07:20:33

Fell asleep fine, but woke at 8 and totally lost it when he realised he was with Dad and not Mum. So far 20 minutes of completely hysterical crying, choking, flailing... he clearly realises something's going on, as DH having him is NEVER this bad normally. Poor bub. sad

EgremontRusset Wed 15-Nov-17 07:38:01

How was the rest of the night?

Schwanengesang Wed 15-Nov-17 08:20:59

Not in UK, night just starting... 8-8.35 crying on DH/ in cot with DH patting. 9.20 now and both are asleep.

FATEdestiny Wed 15-Nov-17 17:51:18

How did it go?

Schwanengesang Wed 15-Nov-17 20:12:08

We had DH sleep in DS' room (I've been in there since DS was born. with DH doing a few hours there once every week or two). I'd been planning to do the final feed on the sofa then hand him to DH for cuddles, water, in-cot settling.

He fell asleep on the boob to start with as the tradesman we'd been waiting for all day finally arrived with no notice at 7pm and DH had to help him.

Woke at 8, totally lost it when realised he was with Dad & not Mum, 35 mins screaming, choking, flailing. But then slept til 10.30, cried 15 mins, slept til 12.30, cried 20 mins, slept til 2 cried a bit, woke up about every 30 mins thereafter until I went in at 4.30 to feed him and let DH get some rest (I couldn't sleep, hand expressing wasn't working, and I had forgotten to get the pump out of DS' room). Happy little DS had a big big feed and then slept on the bed next to me for 2 hours without moving, other than to smile and chat in his sleep. Then woke up and was very happy smile

So all in all he got WAY more sleep than he usually does, even if there was also a lot more crying.

He's now fallen asleep on the boob (9am), but hasn';t looked tired this morning as he often does.

Schwanengesang Thu 16-Nov-17 07:29:20

Night 2, messed up communication with DH so I ended up doing bedtime. DS had a feed, then went into the cot pretty calmly. I recited Peepo, then a version making up what he could actually see, then got through 278 little ducks going out to play (he was so nearly asleep after the first 50 or so), then DH came in to see what was going on, so we swapped, and DS cried very briefly, then went to sleep, in the cot. Fingers crossed we might be getting somewhere.

WhatInTheWorldIsGoingOn Thu 16-Nov-17 07:41:15

HAs he been tested for allergies other than cows milk? DD was originally thought to be cows milk only but after still be very unsettled it turns out she was just as allergic to gluten, egg and soya!

Schwanengesang Thu 16-Nov-17 07:58:42

Allergy testing is only relevant for Type I allergic reactions. His CMPA reaction was/is a type IV and he clearly doesn't have Type I reactions to anything. So no we haven't done a recent elimination + challenge for soy, egg, etc (eliminated them early on with no useful outcome) but in any case paediatric immunologists now don't recommend cutting things out if the reactions are Type IV, because apparently cutting food out in the first year or two puts the child at risk of more permanent Type I allergies that persist. The advice from the cutting edge of immunological epidemiology is feed kids everything.

Thus we have persisted feeding him yoghurt until the past couple of weeks, but cutting it out has made no difference to the reflux.

Type I allergy is obviously not to be recommended (I have quite a lot of Type I allergies) but at least it's easier to distinguish than all the vague delayed unidentifiable stuff you get with other types of allergy...

TheSleeperandTheSpindle Thu 16-Nov-17 09:16:09

I’m currently doing a gentle form of sleep training with my 12 month old DS. We’re following advice from the thread called ‘What worked for us.’

The thread advises sitting in a chair next to DC’s cot and doing all settling in-cot and by using your voice etc. We’ve been doing it for around 2-3 weeks now (although the first few weeks we were bringing him into our bed when he got distressed blush) but have been doing it ‘properly’ for about a week.

My DS goes up to bed around 6.50 and is given 5-10 mins to roll around in his cot while I sit in my chair reading to him or singing. I find he needs that time to get himself prepared for being sleepy. I then tell him it’s sleepy time and that he needs to lie down. If he doesn’t lie down then I lie him down and repeat that it’s sleepy time. I sometimes put my hand on his back and shush. He sometimes needs a hand hold through the bars but he has gone to sleep within 15 mins for the past week.

Last night he slept 7.15-10.30, quick resettle, 10.30-2.30, about a 15 min resettle, then slept until 6.30. He has been waking sometimes at 5.30ish but I’m hoping as he gets better at resettling he will sleep a little longer.

He has a dummy and a comforter but hasn’t had a night feed for about 2-3 months so this has probably helped. It’s lovely to watch him on the monitor briefly wake, grab his dummy and teddy, roll over and go back to sleep grin

chequeplease Thu 16-Nov-17 09:37:15

If definitely recommend the No cry sleep solution. It's slow paced but helps set boundaries with night feeds. It could work for you.
I don't think your plan sounds too fast, and you're being realistic about it taking a long time to be gentle. I hope it works out for you!

Schwanengesang Fri 17-Nov-17 20:20:45

Thanks for the recommendations - have read both What worked for us - and the Pantley book several times. Both very useful.

Night 3: Slept 6.30-8.30, quick cuddle; 10.30 drink of water, cuddle; nappy and drink 12.30; resettled 2; up for feed 4.45 (up for the day after feed). Definite improvement!

Schwanengesang Sun 26-Nov-17 06:19:54

And DS seems to have learned to sleep!

Night 4 we switched to disposable nappy, which definitely helped.

He's been going to sleep about 7 and sleeping til 5ish, with 2 or 3 very short wakes/drinks/resettles. I feed him at 5 and he's up for the day.

We can work on the early starts, but for the moment they mean he will have a nap at 8am, which then means he's not too tired to enjoy playgroup 9-12, which then means a good nap after lunch (12.30-3).

DH will also move back to our bedroom in a week or so, and I'll see if DS is ok just sleeping on his own, with DH or me going in to resettle him when he wakes.

So really all it took was him being old enough, the reflux being under control enough, and DH sleeping in with him. Simple. grin

Schwanengesang Tue 12-Dec-17 07:20:22

And here i am back again about to start a thread about children who fail sleep training again and again....

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