This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Sleep training 6 months old?(8 Posts)
Please no judgement. I am beyond exhausted.
My beautiful daughter has always been a terrible sleeper relying on rocking or feeding to sleep and then needing these things an hour or so later to get her back to sleep. She is FF and had 3 bottles during the night last night which I absolutely know she does not need. She waking every hour during the night and her naps are even worse. She is miserable. I am miserable.
So to cut a long story short I NEED to do something. I am considering the Ferber method, has anyone had any experiences of this? Success? My little girl has a dummy so if this falls out do I immediately go in and replace or wait until that interval is finished to do it?
I just need sleep xx
I did CC, so i'd wait a few minute seach time before going into resettle, i used to listen to DD cries and could tell the difference between a whinge or an actual cry.
If you know she doesn't need the milk then don't make up or offer any bottles
I did the Ferber method. Literally took one day and night to go from waking 5 times a night to just once or twice and self settling within a few minutes. We still have the occasional bad night (waking twice or more) but in general she will do an 8 hour stretch first and then 3-4 hours once fed.
You do have to be committed though as if you give in, you send mixed messages to baby which may set you back even further.
My little girl has a dummy so if this falls out do I immediately go in and replace or wait until that interval is finished to do it?
You cannot realistically do Ferber or controlled crying on a young baby with a dummy, for exactly the reason you highlight here.
I am not suggesting stopping the dummy. But suggesting a different method would be more appropriate.
Firstly - up your daytime feeding. You need to be absolutely certain that hunger isn't a factor at night. Even if just for the phase of sleep training, up your daytime bottles to every 2h through the day so that you can be very certain baby is getting enough calories.
Also daytime, aim your feeds for when baby wakes up, not when baby goes to sleep. This breaks your feed to sleep habit. To get good naps in, reduce awake time between naps to avoid over tiredness. I'd go for 60-90 mins awake time. Then your day becomes repeating cycles of:
2) Full Feed until bottle refused. Then wind and nappy check.
3) Awake playtime of about an hour (Or until clinginess starts)
4) Top up feed giving what is left in bottle from when waking. Wind well
5) Settling to sleep in cot
And wake up and return back to 1) and repeat the whole thing over and over again.
All of that should then sort your daytime. Settling method will be tough, but just be consistent.
- make sure baby is not hungry, has a clean nappy and is well winded. Don't give a full feed immediately before sleeping. A top up ounze or so is fine, but not a full feed. At bedtime do the night feed before getting night clothes on, not after.
- put baby into cot. Don't leave.
- hold baby's hands in yours (to help baby learn to be still). Bend close over the cot. Eye contact. Have a calm, caring, compassionate persona. Like you love DC and know that their crying isn't nice but are trying to help them feel better by telling them learn to sleep.
- put dummy back in every time it comes out. Stay bent close, eye contact. Then just wait, stay there. Don't move, don't go to leave until she us fast asleep.
- if crying escalates you might want to do some shushing and maybe stroking her face. But the aim is to be still and silent as much as possible. Wait and be patient. Don't get frustrated that it takes a long time, just stay calm, stay caring and wait.
Over time, it gets gradually easier.
Thank you so much for your replies. It’s nice to hear some positive responses. I just know what we are doing now is not a sustainable plan.
. @FATEdestiny thank you for that very detailed reply and also offering another method and tips for daytime too as we have zero consistency at daytime and over tiredness is absolutely an issue for us xx I think it seems no matter what I go for consistency seems to be key xx
@FATEdestiny sorry to hijack thread, but the method you've described, I assume it would be same for a bf baby? You say it will take a long time...but are we talking 20mins or 3 hours? Then do you do that for each wake? Thamks
Sorry for the delay. Yes and no, is the short answer.
Breastfeeding in the night for an older baby serves two specific purposes, both equally important. It is for calories and it is for comfort. Do not underestimate the need baby has for comfort - it's not just a want, it's s need.
In the OP, the poster was using a dummy for comfort. That comfort is therefore unaffected by stopping feeding at night. You should not, in good conscience (imo), just remove comfort sucking from a baby - is consider that unnecessarily cruel because comfort is just as important as calories.
So while you could take a similar approach to night weaning a breastfed baby, you have the additional issue of needing to replace the comfort sucking with something that is adequately comforting for the baby.
As for how long it takes, I wouldn't go for more than 15 minutes before picking baby up for extra comfort (not to get to sleep) If baby was constantly crying, but then putting back down. It varies from child to child, but not usually more than an hour in total if don't correctly.
@FATEdestiny thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.