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I *have* to sleep train my 4 month old? Those who didn't, come talk to me

(55 Posts)
HullabaLuLu Thu 04-Jun-09 16:01:25

DD is just over 4 months and we have gone from 2 night wakings to hard to settle and waking/crying lots etc.

I have decided to accept that this is how she is for now but I am truely exhausted. We co-sleep for part of the night which helps...a bit.

Anyway, I saw a friend today who is just horrified that DD wakes so much and even more so that we co-sleep.

She said to me today "you know you're going to have to teach her to sleep don't you?"

She then told me she left her son to cio at 7 months and it only took two nights before he "learnt to sleep through".

I told her I won't leave dd to cry, I don't agree with it and think it teaches her nothing about sleep. She accused me of being too soft and offered to do it for us while DH and I went out. The thought of my daughter crying herself to sleep, ignored by my friend while dh and I have a night out makes me feel sick.

My friend reckons that dd won't learn to sleep through without this and I'm setting myself up for years of co-sleeping and broken nights.

DD is my first so I have no idea how it will happen but cio/cc just aren't for us.

So, anyone who didn't do any kind of sleep training (I hate that expression) can you tell me how you went from being up several times in the night to dc in their own bed, sleeping through the night?

CMOTdibbler Thu 04-Jun-09 16:07:28

We didn't do cio/cc at all - even though some of our friends think that it is compulsory.

Time, and The No Cry Sleep Solution both helped. Maybe your DD is getting teeth ?

DS didn't sleep through the night totally until he was 18 months old. From then until now (3) he has woken in the night less than 10 times. Goes to bed like a dream.

Friends who did cc go through frequent patches when they go back to it

TheProvincialLady Thu 04-Jun-09 16:08:16

You know when someone says to you that you "have" to do something, what they really mean is that they want you to do it, because it's what they did/agree with. There are very few things you have to do in parenting - feed your child, keep them vaguely clean, give them a bed of some sort etc...the rest is personal choice. I think you can safely say that you and your friend have a different parenting style!

4 months is classic sleep disruption time as I am sure you know. With DS2 we coped by co sleeping and taking it in turns to get a lie in. A couple of weeks ago I did PuPd to get him to go to sleep by himself for naps during the day, which worked by the end of the first day with very little crying (and I am a real softy). It has also helped his night time sleep as he is more willing to self settle without a feed.

A good book for you might be The No Cry Sleep Solution, which has lots of kind suggestions including those for co sleepers.

A good book for your friend might be How To Keep Your Parenting Advice to Yourselfgrin

NoBiggy Thu 04-Jun-09 16:10:22

I looked on it as any other developmental thing - it happens when they're ready.

DD was 19 months when she slept through consistently. But a lot of that was just waking once in the night.

4 months is very young to expect to sleep though the night isn't it?

Tamarto Thu 04-Jun-09 16:14:25

Babies wake through the night, it's in their design. I'd have pointed out that there is a big difference between a baby of 7 months and one who is 4 months. What works for one wont always work for the other.

LOL @ the thought that she'll never learn to sleep through without it. I don't know of many adults who have never been able to sleep through the night wink

McDreamy Thu 04-Jun-09 16:14:35

I have a 4 month old and she generally wakes once sometimes twice in the night. She is my third and I know that sleeping through is something that will eventually happen. My other 2 were sleeping through by 6 months without any "training".

Some-one once said to me "listen to 100% of the advice offered and then decide which 10% you are going to follow!" wink

cyteen Thu 04-Jun-09 16:16:23

I understand that sleep regression is very common around the 4-5 month mark; in fact, there is or was a thread for all those slogging through it, to which I was a grey-faced bag-eyed participant for some time. My DS has never slept through the night as such but isn't problematic with it, iyswim - generally settles well and doesn't make much fuss. However, between 4-6 months it all went completely tits up and he was waking every 2 hours (and only daytime napping for 40 minutes at a time, maximum).

We didn't do any sleep training - I was too knackered! Didn't want to do CIO/CC as I think at 4 months babies are too young to 'learn' anything - I figured he would work it out for himself in time. And he did. Around 6 months he went back to being his old, easily-settled, no fuss self, and also began sleeping for longer stretches at a time. Now, at 9mo, he happily spends all night in his cot, is learning to self-settle really well, has even been having some long naps in the day (a total shock to me).

I'm sure your friend means well but she needs to remember that babies are just small people, as individual as the big ones. She cannot possibly predict what effect your decisions will have on your DD. The most important thing is to do what is right for you and your DD.

HullabaLuLu Thu 04-Jun-09 16:27:12

Thanks everyone for the speedy replies.

I did say I thought that at 4 months waking was to be expected so training wasn't for us and she said "Yes, but you don't know how crap you're going to feel in a few more months" implying that I'll be biting her hand off to come round and listen to my child bawl the house down.

So, what most of you are saying is that you didn't really do anything, it just happened when it happened. I like that, it fits nicely with my lazy parenting style!

The thing I hate is that she looks at me with a bit of a patronising smile, like she's the more experienced parent and knows best and all I have to say back is that I won't let dd cry. She comes from a position of knowing that cio worked for her (well, until teething kicked in again and now she is co-sleeping and planning her next cio session) and I can't say anything back from a position of experience (if that makes sense?).

LisaJasper Thu 04-Jun-09 16:41:04

I think the most important part of a baby beng able to sleep through (apart from being when they are ready!) Is them being able to settle themselves back to sleep so I think it's probably wise to try to do that - however you certainly do not need to leave your little one to cry - poss a bit of grumbling but 4 months is far too young to do that! Like most others said it sounds entirely normal what you are going through - if I have learnt anything from having 2 children it's listen to your instinct as t will usually be right!! What's right for you may not be right for anybody else!

HullabaLuLu Thu 04-Jun-09 16:44:26

Thanks Cyteen, I have joined that thread to have a moan! It helps.

My SIL uses cio on my niece. She stayed over at my mums recently on an airbed. My mum woke in the night and could hear my niece crying (not loud, just sniffing). It turned out that dn needed the toilet but wouldn't ask because her mum didn't let her get up in the night for anything. My heart broke for her.

And actually, my friend calls me soft for not leaving dd to cry but she came to my house this week and let her 2 year old bounce on my new sofa like it was a trampoline. She didn't say anything to him. I didn't accuse her of being soft on discipling her son.

Ooh, mini rant. Sorry.

LisaJasper Thu 04-Jun-09 16:45:15

Sorry I should have said 4 months is far to young to do cio or cc - I personally think cio is a bit harsh for any age!

funnypeculiar Thu 04-Jun-09 16:47:12

4 months is certainly too early - even Feber (who initialy 'designed' the classic cc method) suggests now that it shouldn't be done until 1 year.

Fwiw, I did try cc with one of mine (much later than 4 months) following similar pressure, and feeling like a sleep-deprived failure. It didn't work. I was firm, I kept to the 'plan' and ds still didn't sleep through. In fact, it had no effect on the number of night wakings. He finally slept through reliably a few months later at 18 mths.

With dd, we did 'nothing' - she just came in with us & co-slept when she wanted to. She started sleeping through reliably at (go on, guess) 18 mths.

NCSS, as recommended by TPL is great for making you feel normal - really recommend it.

funnypeculiar Thu 04-Jun-09 16:48:17

PS Sorry for including the 18mths figure - I know that's not the sort of age you'll be hoping to hear right now smile

cyteen Thu 04-Jun-09 16:53:24

HullabaLuLu, for your niece.

Personally I'm not a fan of CIO/CC at all. We visited a (very nice) friend of DP's who has two boys and she casually dropped into the conversation that she let them both CIO at 6 months so they would learn there was no point waking up at night; I must admit, it really shocked me. Why wouldn't young babies wake in the night? They are so new to the world, they need to know that their parents are nearby and that they're safe.

But I didn't say anything to her, obviously wink

MrsMattie Thu 04-Jun-09 16:57:08

We never left either of our two to cry. One was a pretty crap sleeper for the first 2.5 years, the other slept through 7pm-7am from 8 wks. I really do think sleep comes down to nature a lot, lot more than nurture.

I have no idea of controlled crying works or not, but if you don't feel comfortable with it, don't do it.

HullabaLuLu Thu 04-Jun-09 17:33:00

If she'd just sleep longer than 2 hours between feeds at night I'd be happy! All night is too much to wish for at the moment.

I think I might just tell her that dd has started sleeping through. She won't know any different will she?

Oh my, funnypeculiar, if dd gets to 18 months and is still waking at night she'll definately be an only child! smile

Well she might be able to tell from the bags under your eyes, I did do CC but not until LO was 7 months. I think the recommendation at 4months is just go with the flow and do what works best for you.

Ignore your friend and if you are feeling particularly uncharitable know this, karma will come and bite her on the butt one day.

HullabaLuLu Thu 04-Jun-09 18:09:18

Lol! You've seen me then. grin

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 04-Jun-09 18:27:44

Message withdrawn

HullabaLuLu Thu 04-Jun-09 19:31:28

starlight, you always speak such sense smile. I'm off for my two hour stretch of sleep then!

LeninGrad Thu 04-Jun-09 19:56:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sfxmum Thu 04-Jun-09 20:06:02

you have had lots of good advice here so I will not go on much
we never did CC, not for us, but we followed NCSS ideas which was a great aid to confidence and sanity
dd started having more nights sleeping through than not from about 10-12 months old

kalo12 Thu 04-Jun-09 20:12:25

my ds is worlds worst sleeper waking up every hour and a half, he is 151/2 months. we co sleep and bf to sleep all night, keep meaning to sleep train but too tired.

anyway read on here that some mns had experienced at 16 months they just sleep and its developmental. well guess what last week he just started sleeping more and there was one night when he only woke up once at 11.30 when i went to bed.

its a miracle. it has been 10 times a night for last 15 months .
i tried ncss many things nothing worked i gave up, resigned to it and hey presto!

go with the flow

feralgirl Thu 04-Jun-09 20:25:36

Hey Hulla. I've certainly not got anything like the experience that the others here have and you know from my whinging on the 4-5 month thread that my DS is also a little heller at night but he is getting better by himself.

It's certainly a case of 2 steps forward, 1 and seven eighths steps back (and last night was a killer) but he's managing at least one four hour stretch every night now and this week has done a couple of fives and even a six shock.

He only wakes for one feed now he's on solids but still needs a quick cuddle a couple of times a night as well. I read somewhere that babies don't distinguish between physical need and psychological need and I certainly don't feel comfortable withholding either.

I can't sleep when I need a cuddle and some comfort so I don't expect DS to either!

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 04-Jun-09 21:51:56

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