Give me reasons why I should NOT sleep train my baby!

(84 Posts)
Peridotty Fri 08-Jan-21 20:24:23

Hi! I have a 7 month old baby girl. She only sleeps whilst being held or being in the stroller. For every nap and every bedtime, I have to walk and jiggle her for about 5 mins to get her to fall asleep (this used to be much longer). She is down to 3 naps so it's doable now.
She sleeps 11 hours at night and wakes up a few times a night but settles very quickly back to sleep (comfort feed). Half the night I will sleep with her in my arms because I fall asleep myself but if I am awake then I will put her back into her cot.
Anyway she is 7 months old now and I thought that this was the best time to sleep train?
However, she cannot sleep by herself. I have tried. She will roll and get up, sit up, crawl about, bang her head on the sides, wail hysterically etc etc. It's just much quicker and kinder to just hold her for a few mins or feed her to sleep.
BUT sleep training sounds soooo good in theory. I just want someone to talk me out of it. It doesn't always work does it?

OP’s posts: |
tiredqueen Fri 08-Jan-21 20:26:42

There is no such thing as sleep training that continually works. Children's sleep changes as they develop. That will continue for some time

My advice would be to do what you need to do. Don't read the parenting books. They make you feel like shit. Do what comes naturally. Sleep does get better

Wantabub Fri 08-Jan-21 20:27:02

Why would you not try it?
Sleep training doesn't mean leaving your baby to cry. There are so many methods. Find one that works for you and your family.

User415373 Fri 08-Jan-21 20:27:05

Following with interest! Have you tried swaddling?

Dollywilde Fri 08-Jan-21 20:27:08

Watching as our 5 month old is the same - not planning on doing it until after 6 months and I actually don’t mind the rocking now but I feel like I’m doing her a disservice by not teaching her how to sleep IYSWIM

GlitterBiscuits Fri 08-Jan-21 20:27:49

My son was 9 months, took us 3 agonising days/nights. Worst 3 nights but it worked. He's now a well developed, intelligent, kind young adult showing no sign of being traumatised by what we did.

Your baby may be a bit too young yet?

ShirleyPhallus Fri 08-Jan-21 20:30:05

User415373

Following with interest! Have you tried swaddling?

Do not swaddle a mobile baby. Once they’re rolling over they can get stuck if their arms are swaddled. OP’s baby crawling will get really stuck if she’s swaddled.

OP, sleep training is amazing and she’s definitely old enough for it. You might want to look at if she’s ready to transition from 3 to 2 naps also.

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ShirleyPhallus Fri 08-Jan-21 20:31:13

tiredqueen

There is no such thing as sleep training that continually works. Children's sleep changes as they develop. That will continue for some time

My advice would be to do what you need to do. Don't read the parenting books. They make you feel like shit. Do what comes naturally. Sleep does get better

Sorry but the OP is falling asleep with the baby in her arms. This is unsafe. Recommending her to do what comes naturally would be unsafe here.

HavelockVetinari Fri 08-Jan-21 20:35:15

Please don't fall asleep with your baby in your arms, it's one of the leading causes of infant death (suffocation or SIDS). If you think you're falling asleep or are at risk of doing so, get up and walk about, or take off the duvet so you're cold and can't nod off.

Scubalubs87 Fri 08-Jan-21 20:56:15

I resisted sleep training my son as I just needed to hold his hand until he was asleep. It didn't seem too much of a hardship. Then he started waking up for hours on end in the middle of the night and then we spent months bed sharing. Then it starting taking an hour + each night to get him to sleep and I was wrecked after almost 2 years without solid, uninterrupted sleep.
Finally sleep trained at 20 months. It took a few nights and he now sleeps 12 solidly every night. My only wish is that I'd done it far, far sooner. I really thought my son couldn't be sleep trained. That I had to just accept it. I was wrong. We are both much happier for sleep well. Sleep training gets a really bad rap on here but it can work wonders.

Keha Fri 08-Jan-21 22:16:41

I've not done it, baby is 10 months and not a great sleeper.

The main reasons-

Not feeling we'll be able to be consistent enough, especially with me being at work and sharing bed time with Dad and naps with grandparents

I've looked at a couple of programmes but they seemed really strict on things like all naps in cot which I can't do anyway bit want more flexibility

Not wanting it to be another thing to be stressed about i.e panicking that I'll ruin everything if I pick her up even though she might be teething etc

Knowing of people who have done it and it's worked for a bit but then something changed and they had to start again

Losing my fallback of basically boob gets her to.sleep in pretty much all circumstances.

Possibly ending up in a worse situation for me. Eg at the moment DD gets up late and I can nap with her easily in the day when not at work. I'll take that over a baby who doesn't wake at night but starts their day at 5:30am.

Basically I feel am managing as is, so I'll carry on.

I know you'll get some responses saying sleep training is not all CIO and you can do slow, gentle approaches. Tbh, I think a lot of the really gentle approaches are common sense of just slowly reducing your input with sleep and I do that any way e.g I don't make her to cosleep on the nights she stays asleep in her cot.

User415373 Fri 08-Jan-21 22:21:09

@shirleyphallus sorry I know nothing about babies! I just always see you tube videos/ads for swaddling but obviously they are much younger 🙈

jazzandh Fri 08-Jan-21 22:28:25

One of mine, I faffed about with - he'd wake up, I'd sit with him. He'd take ages to go to sleep etc......he got there - sort of - eventually. Still takes ages to go to sleep (16)!

The other, I decided I wasn't going to mess about again, and I sleep trained him at 12 months - as soon as I realised that he wasn't waking up for hunger anymore. (I'd sit and try and feed him back to sleep prior to this).

I was harsh - I did cio for one night. That was all it took. He's gone to bed with no trouble (and loves his bed) ever since - no regressions - he's now 10.

...but...my two are different personalities - so who knows whether what worked (or not) for one would have worked for the other.

All, I know is that first time round, I found it very difficult indeed, to deal with the sleep issues.

BananaPie Fri 08-Jan-21 22:43:25

Two reasons:

1) sleep training is entirely for your benefit, not the baby’s. From an evolutionary perspective, human babies are not supposed to fall asleep alone in a darkened room. The idea that they should is a recent one. It’s not surprising that babies become distressed. Instinctively they feel they may be in danger.

2) pretty much all kids learn to self settle and go to bed by themselves once they’re old enough. It’s difficult now, but I’m sure you won’t be cuddling her to sleep when she’s 15.

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 08-Jan-21 22:46:14

Have a look at the beyond sleep training group on Facebook.

shhsecretsquirrel Fri 08-Jan-21 23:04:27

Personally, I'd wait. If that's what's working now, stick with it. It doesn't sound like a massive ordeal. Save sleep training for when the cuddling to sleep doesn't work. My ds went through stages of being able to self settle and needing help and we only resorted to sleep training when a cuddle to sleep consistently no longer worked at around 13 months I think. It took 3 nights and he's gone to sleep on his own reliably ever since, In fact at 16 months he'll now often go to the door and wave night night now when he wants to go to bed. But if we go through another patch of him needing help to go to sleep again then that's what we'll do.

BathroomWork Fri 08-Jan-21 23:11:48

Sleep training is one of my biggest regrets with both of my children. I wish I could have my time again, now I see the world with different eyes. Back then I was told by my health visitor it was the right thing to do for all of us, but it didn't work and it felt so unnatural. Now I see it as an attachment need that I, as the caregiver, am not meeting. If it only takes 5 minutes to get off to sleep you're bloody lucky! Mine took much longer than that. To me, sleep training just trained the child to stop teaching out for the assistance they need. But I know for as many people who see it the way I now do, you'll find an equal amount that don't. All I can tell you is it's one of my biggest regrets and I wish I could have my time back to do that differently.

RandomMess Fri 08-Jan-21 23:14:15

I "sleep trained" using pick up put down, no crying or distress involved. Just gradual teaching that they needed less jiggling and could lay safely on their own and go to sleep took 3/4 days.

It's basically gradual treatment of their current sleep prop.

june2007 Fri 08-Jan-21 23:15:27

Becase it,s stressful. because it raises Courtisone levels in baby,s brain whuch are indications of stress. Because bayby,s routine changes. Because one doesn,t need to. How about the graduel retreat method?

RandomMess Fri 08-Jan-21 23:16:46

With pick up put down you are actually reassuring them that you will be there if they need you, as soon as they start being unhappy you pick them up and cuddle/rock until reassured and relaxed.

I very much saw it as my babies knowing they were safe on their own in their cots but if they wanted me I would be there pronto!

jdy123 Sat 09-Jan-21 09:24:24

@BananaPie I have no idea about sleep
Training I'm a FTM considering doing it.

You say it has no benefit for the baby but my DD is waking constantly through the night needing my help to get back to sleep which is taking a long time. Surely if she knew how to do this herself , and if she can do it quickly, that it is for her benefit as she's getting more sleep at night.
My daughter is so tired in the day cause her night sleep is affected and I just don't know what else to do.

BathroomWork Sat 09-Jan-21 10:05:55

* Surely if she knew how to do this herself , and if she can do it quickly, that it is for her benefit*
The thing for me, about that, is how do you know whether they're crying for their caregiver to soothe them, and 'learn' that crying for the caregiver to soothe them doesn't work anymore, like it used to. How do you know somewhere there isn't an unconscious sense of abandonment and having to survive on your own then?
A baby who stops crying could be a baby surviving on their own emotionally in that moment. Maybe the question is whether you think it's okay for a baby to be surviving emotionally on their own or better for them holistically to have a trusted caregiver to reach out to and have their needs met?

Even adults reach out to other people to help them get through. I regret trying to expect my babies to have that level of independence, when I’ve since discovered meeting their attachment needs is what gives them strength to begin to trust in themselves more. They have a safe base from which to explore the world more freely emotionally.

Would you, as an adult, survive if you had to go-it-alone when you feel the need to reach out to someone else to help you for a moment? Yes you probably would. But we are there for each other, creating support networks and relationships to have our needs met, so we don't have to live as an island emotionally. So if that's expected from an adult, why do we expect babies to have an emotional independence foisted upon them like that?

OP, I'm saying all of this because you asked for people to tell you that it's not okay to sleep training your baby, not to guilt trip anyone, but to honestly give you what you asked for in your thread.

ShirleyPhallus Sat 09-Jan-21 12:33:59

The thing for me, about that, is how do you know whether they're crying for their caregiver to soothe them, and 'learn' that crying for the caregiver to soothe them doesn't work anymore, like it used to. How do you know somewhere there isn't an unconscious sense of abandonment and having to survive on your own then?

The study this was taken from was a Romanian orphanage where babies had been left to cry for months with none of their needs met. You cannot break the bond of a baby who has had every single need met with a parent over what amounts to a very short period of time crying.

When we sleep trained our DD, she had got to a stage of crying every time she woke up out of frustration at not being able to sleep herself. She had bags under her eyes in the morning (as did we). A few nights of controlled crying where she cried for probably 60 minutes in total, compared to hours spent crying over the previous months was all it took.

Now, when she wakes up crying I know there must be something wrong. So I pick her up, soothe her, give her calpol etc. I’m not just wondering if there’s something wrong or if she’s frustrated because she can’t go to sleep on her own. It’s nuts to think anyone would think that’s a bad solution at all.

InTheLongGrass Sat 09-Jan-21 12:47:02

If you are asking for reasons not to train, it sounds like you dont want to. So dont.
DH talked me into it. It was 2 weeks of absolute hell. He mainly slept through DS1 (and me) crying for 2 hrs each night. Previously it was "only" an hour to get him back to sleep. I stopped. 3 years later, he started sleeping through occasionally. He wasn't ready. Aged 11 years he STILL doesnt sleep through - difference is he now doesnt need to disturb everyone else.

BathroomWork Sat 09-Jan-21 15:09:17

* The study this was taken from was a Romanian orphanage where babies had been left to cry for months with none of their needs met. You cannot break the bond of a baby who has had every single need met with a parent over what amounts to a very short period of time crying.*

I wasn't referring to this study, or any other for that matter, but since you mention studies, there is no study to prove what you're claiming is anything but incorrect.

I also think you can't legitimately claim it's impossible to adversely affect a baby or disrupt their bond if other needs are met. You speak of it lightly when you say: "*what amounts to a very short period of time crying*".

What tool do you use to assess the level of distress being left alone at night, to 'learn' how to sleep by yourself, causes? And how do you know it's not about quantity but about the quality, as in; a very short time of deep emotional anguish could be more disruptive to a child than a long time of much less distress, like crying over a nappy change or hunger, while the caregiver is visible and is working their way round to it in a moment.

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