Sleep Training????

Fourth you ask? Your body is still full of pregnancy hormones as you adjust to life sleep-deprived with your new baby outside your womb.

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Sleep Training????

Postby ladybearne2 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:01 pm

Just wondering when you started to sleep train your baby (if you did). Kaidence will be 2 months on Tuesday (5th Jan). She needs to be rocked to sleep and I want to get her to fall alseep on her own. Just wondering what is a good age to start this.
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Postby blue-eden » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:06 pm

Earliest, six months.

Leo is almost nine months, and I do have to do some methods to help him get to sleep. He sleeps well when out, but getting to sleep is his issue. I do patting, rocking, etc. Or let him cry a bit, then go back and shush, pat, etc. He doesn't scream though, he just kind of moans and gets up and rocks, really mad that I'm leaving the room. I think he's going through separation anxiety.
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Postby Syrahfina » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:14 am

Becky I decided to start trying to see if Zackary would respond to sleep training---he'll be 2 months on the 7th!

Last night was night number three. Tuesday night we implemented a routine: starting at 8pm we did a bottle, then diaper change, then story, then rocking until he was drowsy but awake. The first two nights he responded well and went to sleep on his own. Last night he cried!!! We went in every 4 to 5 minutes and shushed him and patted his chest for a minute just to let him know we were there....we did this four times---after 20 minutes of crying he stopped and put himself to sleep.

Let me tell you---that was SOOOOO hard to listen to him scream like that---but when he finally stopped and we had succeeded at the "training" we felt so happy and proud of him.

I say go with your gut in determining when to try to train him---I had asked this question myself and was told 3 months, 4 months---now the previous poster is say 6 months----but I did some reading on my own and found that some babies like routine right from the beginning, and others never do.

I say it doesn't hurt to try it out for a few days or a week, and if she's responding well you can continue---if not, maybe stop and try again in a couple of weeks.
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Postby randomacts » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:36 am

It is not really about routine, it is about the development of their brain. The reason 6 months has been talked about is because that is when the cortisol levels in their brain is established. Allowing a new baby to cry for 20 minutes at a time seriously effects the way their brain develops. They aren't self soothing, they are giving up on ever being comforted. A baby younger than 6 months old has no sense of object permanence, so when they cry and you don't come, they give up because they think you are gone forever. A baby younger than 6 months also can not self soothe, that is what a mommy or daddy is for at that age. If you read most of the literature out there, and not just personal experiences, they are all going to tell you not to "train" (is it a puppy??) before 6 months. Babies are not biologically made to STTN that early, they are supposed to be light sleepers to avoid SIDS.

Personally, my son made his own routines or rather, rhythms, and yes, he woke frequently at night for a while. Because I believe that the first year is a time to instill security and attachment, we waited to start trying to mess with his nighttime routines until he was a year old. Then, magically, without crying, or my heart being ripped out, he started STTN at around 18 months. I used to say that I wanted him to STTN because he knew I would always come, not because he knew I never would. However, this is a parenting call, and only you can decide how you want to raise your child.
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Postby KatieJo3 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:10 am

Not before 6 months, before that - just as Random mentioned - they just aren't wired for sleep training. Just be patient for now, go with the flow and get that baby sleep any way you can.

It's great to have bedtime/nap routines like a bath, story, song etc to start to "cue" them that sleep time is coming, but as far as actual training that early, I wouldn't.
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Postby mpwife » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:12 am

DD didn't STTN for the first time until she was over 13 months old. :? I panicked the morning I woke up on my own, rather than to her whining in her crib. I still had to rock her to sleep for a while, but I told myself that I need to just cherish the times that she wants to be rocked b/c all too soon, I'd be wishing she'd let me rock her. :( I did try to let her CIO right around the 6m point, but I just couldn't go through with it. I knew she needed me to comfort her and I couldn't stand doing that to her. I truly regret ever trying, at that age, b/c all the time that she spent crying was for nothing. It was pointless. :cry: If you're afraid you'll "create a monster", don't be. Now, I can lay DD down in her crib for a nap, or for bedtime, and she'll go right to sleep. If she's not too tired, I'll read her a book. She doesn't fuss anymore. She just gets it. :) Like random said, it's a personal parenting decision, but just make sure both you and your baby are ready for it. Don't have any regrets about it.
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Postby blue-eden » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:52 am

M didn't have a "sleep routine" until about 4 months, and even then despite my BEST efforts she was a royal mess at night until about 6 months. It got better - without having to do full on CIO - and by 7 months I could put her down in her crib awake and she'd gently go to sleep. By 9 months she was completely STTN. And her naps were the same way. She took 2 GREAT naps.

I think sleep should be a peaceful and healthy activity. Screaming to sleep is just not my idea of how sleep should be entered.
For babies, a little crying when they are old enough to know that it's sleeptime, and that you WILL return, is ok when they need some help to get over the hump. But that's certainly not anywhere near the newborn phase.
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Postby jadie_f » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:11 am

I agree, Di had horrible sleeping habits and barely slept at all the first 2 months. She started getting into her own pattern at about 7 weeks, and now she will go down at 11, wake to eat at 3, 6, and up for good at 9. We never tried to influence her sleep, and since she as gaining well I never wake her to eat. She will STTN on her own (6 hours) 2-3 times a week. Please let your baby find their own pattern, babies do want they need to do, they cry because they need to eat or be held. I wanted to give up so many times but one day she just started sleeping better, and it keeps getting better. We still struggle with fussy time at night but letting her call the shots makes us all happy...until shes a teenager :lol:
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Postby Syrahfina » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:59 am

Wow---I feel ganged up on!

Let me first just say that I do not encourage DS to sleep through the night at this point---when he wakes in the middle of the night I most definiely get up and feed him without letting him cry.

I am just establishing a bed time routine and that's the only time I will let him cry---but I most certainly go in and check on him. I don't think he feels abandoned---I think he just gets tired of crying---

As far as Random's comment about it being bad for a baby to cry for 20 minutes because of brain development---What about colicky babies who can't be consoled for anything!? Are their brains are less developed/have brain problems?
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Postby randomacts » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:11 pm

I am sorry you felt ganged up on, I just saw people disagreeing or offering their opinions. I am sorry they were not sharing your view and that made you feel badly.

As for colicky babies, it isn't a matter of the crying alone, but the feeling of abandonment. To put a colicky baby in a room alone to cry is MUCH different than holding said colicky baby, comforting him as much as you can, letting the baby know that you are there for them, etc. A baby left alone to cry is going to learn not to cry any more, not for anything. Not for hunger, not for dirty diapers, not for comfort.

Here is a bit more information on what I was talking about when I mentioned cortisol: http://fresnofamily.com/articles/aa040100c.htm Of course babies cry, and sometimes you can't sooth them, but that isn't what we are talking about. We are talking about letting the baby cry on purpose in order to get the baby to sleep. To the best of my knowledge OP does not have a colicky baby either, so that also doesn't apply.

Good question though! You make me want to do more research on the matter!! It is nice that the studies recently are backing up mothers who follow their animal instincts with dealing with their babies instead of trying to force the child into a form (sleeping, eating, etc on a schedule).
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Postby blue-eden » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:19 pm

I don't think you should feel ganged up on. We're just sharing our own personal experiences with newborn sleep habits, and what we feel comfortable doing and what sleep experts recommend doing for newborns.

Ferber is very controversial, and even he recommends waiting until six months to do any kind of "crying it out" to sleep, from what I hear (I've avoided his book).

I think a lot of it has to do with parental control vs letting the baby do their own thing and grow into their own habits in a healthy way.
Some parents like their babies to feed and sleep on parental schedule, and are attracted to "infant management" routines like Babywise.
Other parents let their babies set (to varying degrees) their own schedules and find ways to merge the needs of the parents to the needs of the baby.

It's just parental choice, as the PPs have said.
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Postby jadie_f » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:28 pm

my baby was horribly colicky, it was the worse month of my life. She never slept, really only about a total of 6 hours a day and not together. I was sacred for her health, I was literally hallucinating because I was so sleep deprived. I turned to the women here, learned about what random is saying. There were many hours many nights where Di was clean, fed, warm, dry and burped. She still screamed. I held her, all night sometimes and let her cry in my ear. I talked to her, told her stories and asked her questions. She cried, i couldnt console her, but i never left her to cry alone (except once for 4 minutes when I thought i was going to lose my mind, this was before i looked for help here). That 4 minutes of crying was worse on my ears than 4 hours of crying with her face in my ear. A few weeks later, she is a different baby. She rarely cries now, even when she wakes up to eat in the night, she gently coos until we get up. She is so happy now, a great sleeper for a 2.5 month old (i think) and developing perfectly. I dont want you to feel berated or ganged up on, I just want to help others the way I was helped by the ladies on this forum
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Postby manynums » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:53 pm

True sleep training starts far before the whole idea of STTN. It's about small steps.

For example, a baby can learn to put itself to sleep by paying attention at naptime. Newborns-3 months can take about 90 minutes or so before they go back down for another rest. You put them down while they're still happy...NOT when they're crying or crabby. When they can do this consistently, you're probably ready to start hoping for a longer overnight run (4-6 hours).

It's very well outlined in a number of books, my favorite is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

This is NOT to encourage crying. My window has always been 5 minutes. Sometimes babies need to fuss a bit (some call this "bitch it out) to finally fall asleep. But, if it's out and out crying, 20 minutes IS too long and doesn't TEACH or TRAIN a child to do anything except know that you're not coming back.

Babies aren't rational...don't rationalize with a baby. It's a waste of time. Just meet your child's needs.

Random said it perfectly...but if you need other resources, I highly recommend HSHHC. MANY mamas here have found their sanity through it. Pantly is another author (you can find her advice on mothering.com) who is a gentle mama in regards to sleep. Weissbluth (HSHHC) is very clinical, as he is a child sleep physican, but others have a different approach to implementing his research.

I cannot recommend anything by the Ezzos (Babywise), as their approach is an excellent way to meet your needs, but not your baby's.

First and foremost, understand that this is a process and will not change overnight. Best wishes in your sleep endeavors!
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Postby blue-eden » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:58 pm

I learned SO MUCH about infant sleep from Weissbluth, and his book is popular so I'm betting many mamas here have too. And he gives different ways to adapt to your baby's sleep needs. I highly recommend it too. :)
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Postby KatieJo3 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:13 pm

Another fan of Weissbluth checking in. It's worth looking into.....it has a lot of good information about sleep.
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