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Sleep training confusion

(15 Posts)
Lauren Wed 13-Jun-18 13:48:31

My little boy is around 14 months now and we've finally given in and are trying to also train him. The past two nights we've been controlled crying but my oh and I feel like we're doing it wrong as the first night after an hour and forty minutes of crying my partner laid him down and patted him for a minute, second night after forty minutes of crying I put him down and shushed as I walked backwards out the door. I'm also trying with his naps but today but as my partner was out after half an hour of his crying I sat on the bed and didn't look at him until he fell asleep as it seemed like he just wanted me in the room as every time I was out of sight he'd get up and scream. I'm not sure what to do here as I know if I tried sitting with him at the start without him crying he would just get up and play in the choir instead of trying to sleep. Just need a bit of guidance here.....

InFrance2014 Thu 14-Jun-18 15:00:37

I can't support any form of crying sleep training personally, but I don't even understand what you're doing, do you mean left him crying continually for an hour and forty minutes before you went in?

I'm sure those who do support CC will comment, but as I understand it the method is based on leaving for very short periods, then gradually lengthening it (until baby cries themselves to sleep out of exhustion). Otherwise it's just the extinction method where you leave them and don't come back in at all. Which is dangerous as they can become distressed enough to vomit and choke.

I think it's not a surprise that he is wanting you close by much more now in the day because he's experienced being left alone for long periods without being comforted, and also you being there yet ignoring him. That will be extremely distressing and confusing to a 14 month old.

You say you've "given in" but to what? Why did you want to sleep train in the first place? I know others will vehemently disagree but you don't have to take that route, there are gentler ways to cope with getting babies to sleep and nap. It's always hard work, but tears don't have to be involved.

FortheloveofJames Thu 14-Jun-18 16:34:21

I can see you’ve said you are doing controlled crying so I’m assuming you’re leaving to cry for intervals and then going in to comfort? I’ve never done anything like this personally but from what I understand it’s better to choose your method and stick to it. If you choose CC then you need to be consistent with it. You’ve tried it for almost 2 hours the first night and then you’ve patted to sleep? I do think that’s confusing for your little one and if you ended up doing that you might aswell have just done that to begin with? What is the issue that caused you to try sleep training? Is it that he won’t settle himself, wakes a lot.. etc? There may be other ways to tackle it if you’re struggling with CC

Lauren Thu 14-Jun-18 17:21:01

We were originally rocking our lo and he was getting progressively worse to the point he'd wake up at 8 and not go back to bed until 3.

I apologise for not being clear but we've gone in at regular intervals to put him back down and tell him it's bedtime. The first night my husband patted him a handful of times (like five or six) after we'd repeatedly gone in for 1h 40m just to calm him down and he accidentally fell asleep.
We've tried to be consistent but it's been hard as we have a creaky door and every time we leave he knows we've gone so he jumps up and erupts into screams

Lauren Thu 14-Jun-18 17:25:19

Currently what's working for us is letting him cry for a bit on his own and then laying him back down and sitting on the bed with no talking or eye contact until he's dropped off but I've never heard of a sleep training method like this as it seems like punishing him and then rewarding him if that makes sense. With this we're not touching him to comfort him so he is self settling in a way but he just doesn't seem to be getting a clue that we're putting him in there to sleep unless we let him cry first

riddles26 Thu 14-Jun-18 20:07:03

The lack of consistency is confusing him. The first night, he learnt that if he continues to cry for more than 1h40mins, you will come in and stay with him. So he will continue to do that and potentially cry for even longer.

Sleep training doesn't mean you have to leave the room and let them cry alone. Training him to fall asleep while you pat him, then gradually reducing the amount you pat him, then withdrawing your hand and then slowly moving further away from the cot as he falls asleep is a well known successful method. It takes a lot longer than cc but if you're more comfortable with that and hate him crying then I would definitely go with that instead.

You mention a creaky door - you need to decide if you want him to fall asleep alone without you there or not. If the former, then creaky door makes no difference, you should be saying goodnight, kissing and leaving - he knows you're going and he has to sleep. If the latter works, then you probably want to go down gradual withdrawal (as I described above) and not leave the room until he's fast asleep.

A sleep routine also helps - follow the same ritual every time you put him to sleep and he will learn that it means sleep time.

Lauren Thu 14-Jun-18 20:48:20

Thanks, our routine hasn't changed from when we were rocking him which is why I don't understand why he hasn't clocked on. We're consistent with his dinner then bath then story's it's just how we send him to bed that's changed. He's tired before dinner but after he has it he's super energised and wants to run circles it's hard to keep him still for a story. So I think that's why he's having a hard time

mockorangey Thu 14-Jun-18 21:06:55

I understand what you mean - he is not lying down and trying to go to sleep at bedtime. I used to rock my son to sleep when he was a baby, until he got too big at around 11 months (and it stopped working). So we started putting him in his cot and sitting next to him until he fell asleep. There was crying, but I don't know how else we could have transitioned him from rocking to going to sleep in his cot. We did try and calm him by shushing/patting/singing etc but tried to avoid picking him up as in our case it was making things worse. I can't remember how many nights it took, probably just a couple, until he started going to bed calmly, with us in the room. We remained in the room at bedtime until he was about 2.5.

InFrance2014 Thu 14-Jun-18 23:05:13

If you do stories, how about trying reading him to sleep? If you're already spending over an hour on trying to get him to sleep alone, then maybe just stay in there with him and have quiet close time, rather than trying to leave or ignoring him, when it sounds like he's not ready (and you're not enjoying it either)?

riddles26 Fri 15-Jun-18 05:21:46

Oh ok, so your problem is getting him to calm down and accept it is bedtime. If you can achieve it with staying with him and patting him, that would be my preference personally. But when my one used to mess around by jumping in cot etc at bedtime, we have just walked out for a couple of minutes for her to learn that we won't wait around all night for her to lie down and try to sleep. We would go back in pretty soon after she started crying and she got the message very quickly

Magpiefeather Fri 15-Jun-18 05:54:15

I had a similar issue - DD had always been rocked to sleep but she was getting too heavy and it was no longer working, so we decided to sleep train at 11m. Tried one little stint of CC out of desperation but it was clear after about ten minutes it would not work for her, she just got too distressed. So we did gradual retreat (aka disappearing chair). Sitting by the cot in a chair til they are asleep, using voice and touch to soothe them (but no picking up) then creep out when they’re asleep. They may mess about in the cot, play, stand up, walk around, have a chat, but if you stick to it and keep repeating “it’s time to go to sleep, lie down” they do eventually get it. Gradually move the chair away over however many weeks it takes til you are out of the room.

We are now at the stage where we can put our DD down, then go and wait outside the door til she is asleep. She still needs a bit of reassurance- talking or singing through the door for a few mins!- to let her know I am still there. But she is consistently going to sleep on her own and sleeping through now. Naps as well.

This is the thread I found that helped me MASSIVELY because it spells out the method and has lots of success stories:
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/sleep/1394888-What-worked-for-us-Hope-this-helps?pg=1&order=

One thing I would say at this age whatever you do, explain loads to your LO what is going to happen. This has really helped us as DD definitely understands and is then more prepared. Good luck!

Magpiefeather Fri 15-Jun-18 05:57:22

PS also should have said... they may cry, especially first few nights, but it is out of confusion as they have always been picked up, it is not out of feeling abandoned as you are right there comforting them and explaining.

Lauren Fri 15-Jun-18 07:37:15

Thanks Riddles, that's what I've been trying to do but I wasn't sure if it was a good idea as I didn't want to confuse him.
At bed time after our routine I try and lie him down and when he keeps springing up I say "if you're not ready for bed right now you can have some independent play and we'll be back in a few", leave and of course he starts crying and we wait a bit and then go in and it's been working so far.
I just needed some reassurance so thanks again

FATEdestiny Sat 16-Jun-18 22:17:08

Does he follow instructions Lauren?

In the daytime, with things like take this to the kitchen, put that in the bin, bring the ball to me, put Peppa Pig on the sofa, sit down please, etc etc.

I would start working on following instructions with lots of instruction-following in the daytime with big praise when he follows the instruction.

Then at bedtime, stop lying him down. Stop completely. So put him in the cot standing up, tap the matreess and tell him to lie down. Wait expectantly for a few moments and repeat if needed. Praise when he does lie down himself and give him some close attention in the cot (leaning over, giving a kiss or cuddle if you can reach) and retreat to your normal position where you stay as he goes to sleep.

If he makes any move to stand up or sit up, be completely on the ball and ready to set your expectations - that he needs to lie down in order to go to sleep. So go to him immediately and without any faffing around give the instruction to lie down and tap the mattress.

This can only work though if you have spent some time playing instruction following games beforehand, with lots if praise. You need your child to want to do something when you ask him to, or it won't work.

LoveMyPeanut Sun 17-Jun-18 13:55:58

If it helps at all, this is our experience ... I tend to give my DD a cuddle with lights off after our bedtime routine. It's usually just a minute or so because, even if she was clearly tired just moments before, she squirms and 'sings' and generally acts wide awake. I then put her down and leave. These days, she generally has a little chat and a roll about and then falls asleep herself. In the early days, she would cry when I left. I would wait for a minute or so, just to check that she wasn't going to wind down herself, and then go back in and pick her up and give her a cuddle. This time, she would snuggle in for a cuddle and as her breathing got more regular and slower, I would put her in her cot and she would drift off.

Its truly bizarre that 60 seconds can make such a difference but it's like she realisesd it was actually bedtime and then decided she wanted her bedtime cuddle after all! Then no bother. For full disclosure, I should say she has never slept through the night - as in, we always have to get up at some point during our night sleep - and has just turned one. But a good night is now just up once for the time it takes to have some milk and be put back in her cot. Hope that helps a bit! It's so hard, isn't it?!

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