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I think we are going to do sleep training. Is it really that bad?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

We have a 4 month old and have been going with the flow, only adjusting things that become problems. I co-sleep for most of the night, but like her to go down before I get to bed and then have a few hours to stretch out, read, and cuddle with my husband before she comes into bed with me (she is in a co-sleeper). 

 

Around 2 1/2 months she stopped nursing to sleep and dh has been wearing her down in the Moby (starting at 8pm) and then putting her in the co-sleeper until she woke up around 12 -2. At about 3 1/2 months old she started waking up about 30 mins after he put her down and won't fall back asleep unless I take her into bed and nurse her. (She hasn't even been staying asleep if I nurse her and then move her to the co-sleeper.) I know there is a 4 month sleep regression, so we are going to wait a few weeks to see if this changes, but I think we are going to do some sleep training, which will involve some gentle cry-it-out.

 

The thing is, she often cios for naps in her swing and even in the baby carrier (which we wear her for most of her naps). She almost seems to need to cry a little before she falls asleep. 

 

I just can't help but feel a little guilty about it. Is it really so awful? 

post #2 of 38

IMO, if you leave her to cry alone unless circumstances are desperate (like you have to walk away because you are going to lose your cool), it's cruel. If you stay with her while she cries, I think that's normal bedtime stuff. 

 

There's a growing body of evidence that CIO is damaging to babies' brains.

post #3 of 38

You know what "sleep training" really is?  Learned helplessness.  As in, no one comes when I cry, so I'm going to give up trying.  Not a trait I want my kids to learn, personally.

 

post #4 of 38

what is "gentle" cry it out?

 

the baby is waking up at night to nurse because she needs you. i'd suggest that you cherish this time. it goes quickly.

 

it's all well and good to want to cuddle with your husband, but your baby needs you now. any reason she can't be included in the cuddle?

 

if you are feeling guilty... there's a reason why. think about it

post #5 of 38

I was a nanny for years and had to sleep train several babies (per the parents demands). The biggest reason I never did it with my own dd is because I had to emotionally distance myself from the boys and I saw how their personalities changed. Our bond suffered and they became more needy and clingy during the day and I became more impatient. One kid cried 24 hours a day for 2 weeks, I literally almost quit my job. I didn't want to risk any kind of distance with my own child or lose her trust. I know being a nanny is totally different and the love is obviously nothing like your own child, and it still hurt like crazy to hear those sweet babies cry and cry and cry, day after day after day.

post #6 of 38

Why don't you nurse her to sleep all the time? I don"t get it. Is it somehow more desirable to have her fall asleep without nursing?

post #7 of 38

4 months is very young for any sort of CIO.  Dr. Ferber himself advocated that his method not be used on kids under 30 lbs.  It was first done to address a behavioral situation...as in, toddler who USED to go to sleep and stay asleep on his own , no longer did - then that might be a time to try 'ferberization' or CIO.  But at 4 months old - this baby cant be expected to sleep through the night just yet.  I have a 5 month old and a DH who works 14 hours a day ...so i understand what you mean about time to stretch out...do your own thing, cuddle with your husband (or jump on the computer)  but 4 months is just too young - IMHO

post #8 of 38

I understand your frustration.

 

However, there are a bunch of developmental stages your dd will go through. Each of these may cause her to wake more at night. If you do sleep training, you will be doing it again, and again, and again - each time she reaches a new milestone.

 

Could you try -

-leaving her in the moby

-staying in bed and reading

-getting her to sleep and having tea w/ your dh on the couch

 

My ds did often fuss to sleep. Some children need to do that to release stress. But *I* feel that I enhanced our bond and trust by always being there with him.

post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sssheri View Post

We have a 4 month old and have been going with the flow, only adjusting things that become problems. I co-sleep for most of the night, but like her to go down before I get to bed and then have a few hours to stretch out, read, and cuddle with my husband before she comes into bed with me (she is in a co-sleeper). 

 

Around 2 1/2 months she stopped nursing to sleep and dh has been wearing her down in the Moby (starting at 8pm) and then putting her in the co-sleeper until she woke up around 12 -2. At about 3 1/2 months old she started waking up about 30 mins after he put her down and won't fall back asleep unless I take her into bed and nurse her. (She hasn't even been staying asleep if I nurse her and then move her to the co-sleeper.) I know there is a 4 month sleep regression, so we are going to wait a few weeks to see if this changes, but I think we are going to do some sleep training, which will involve some gentle cry-it-out.

 

The thing is, she often cios for naps in her swing and even in the baby carrier (which we wear her for most of her naps). She almost seems to need to cry a little before she falls asleep. 

 

I just can't help but feel a little guilty about it. Is it really so awful? 


Yes, it is.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8636950.stm

 

 

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/linda_folden_palmer2.html

 

Here are some websites that explain what normal human baby sleep looks like:

 

http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html

 

http://www.drjen4kids.com/soap%20box/sleep%20stuff.htm

 

 

post #10 of 38

Hi, everyone! Just a reminder of our User Agreement: MDC doesn't wish to host the advocation of CIO or harsh sleep training: 

 

 

Quote:
Mothering.com is the website of natural family living and advocates natural solutions to parenting challenges. We host discussion of nighttime parenting, loving discipline, gentle weaning, natural birth, homebirth, successful breastfeeding, alternative and complementary home remedies, informed consent and many other topics from a natural point of view. We are not interested, however, in hosting discussions on the merits of crying it out, harsh sleep training, physical punishment, formula feeding, elective cesarean section, routine infant medical circumcision, or mandatory vaccinations.

 

This forum's guidelines are located here.

 

Once we become parents it is easy to blame ourselves when our children's behavior seems out of control. The pervasive idea that we should be able to control sleep habits leads us too quickly to call night waking a "sleep disorder" and to wonder what we are doing wrong to cause it. Research gives no indication that anything parents do causes night waking. Babies whose cries are responded to rapidly are not more prone to it. Assuming that there is some method out there to treat sleep "disorders" undermines a parent's confidence. Despite the notion that "healthy, normal" babies sleep through the night, surveys of parents show that most babies do not sleep through the night, at least until all their teeth are in.

While waiting for our children to develop physically and emotionally to the point where they can realistically soothe themsleves to sleep, we need to work on our own development toward tolerance, patience, and acceptance of those aspects of parenting that are beyond our control. What remains in our control is the ability to continue to care for our children even though they are keeping us awake at night; to continue to hold to our own integrity as feeling people.

To embrace a philosophy that takes into account the individual needs of each child is not to ignore the unfortunate reality that we need sleep. We need to nurture ourselves in this process of raising children. The key to tolerance, and the natural passge through the nightwaking years, is to observe, accept, and work with your child's own inner rhythms and timetables, which can lead to the understanding that nurturing your child and nurturing yourself are not mutually exclusive enterprises.


Natural Family Living by Peggy O'Mara

 

 

Please feel free to PM me or a forum moderator with any questions. You're also welcome to email me at administrator@mothering.com. Thank you! 


Edited by georgia - 2/9/11 at 4:00pm
post #11 of 38

My quote function isn't working at the moment. These quotes are both from the original post

 

"The thing is, she often cios for naps in her swing and even in the baby carrier (which we wear her for most of her naps). She almost seems to need to cry a little before she falls asleep."

 

There is a difference between crying alone in the swing and crying while you hold her in the carrier. Some babies do seem to need the stress release of crying before they are able to sleep *but* the stress hormone levels of babies who are held to do this are significantly lower. Gently, if you are leaving her to cry in her swing then you are already practicing CIO and I urge you to reconsider this.

 

"I just can't help but feel a little guilty about it. Is it really so awful?"

 

IMO, yes it is and age doesn't really make it any less awful. A few people have mentioned that 4 months old seems a bit young but I can't think of an age where I would be ok with it. I also get the desire to have your own time and I have sighed many a heavy sigh when my LO has needed resettling every 30 mins when I just wanted to sit down with my DH and watch TV. But, "this too shall pass" has become my mantra :-)

 

And, as for snuggling, DH often comes in and spoons with me while I feed J. It's lovely. I can also read while she feeds, once her eyes are closed, and sleeps. Would that be an option?

post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sssheri View Post

 I know there is a 4 month sleep regression, so we are going to wait a few weeks to see if this changes, but I think we are going to do some sleep training, which will involve some gentle cry-it-out.

 


My personal opinion is that there is no thing such as gentle crying it out, because crying it out does not mean putting her to bed and letting her fuss a bit and then picking her back up if it is clear she is not ready to sleep.  It also doesn't mean holding her and or being with her and trying to comfort her even though she is crying.  It means letting her cry until she is so exhausted she has no choice but to fall asleep.  I suppose gentle crying it out could mean letting her cry for a period of time until her cries become frantic enough that you can't take it, but honestly, that's not gentle and doesn't accomplish anything good.

 

I had friends who sleep trained their child, put her to bed awake and sometimes she'd start to fuss, and they'd let her cry for a bit standing outside her door, but if the crying became loud and they realized it wasn't just a bit of fussiness before she fell asleep they'd get her back up again.  When they did put her to bed when I was there, she'd usually cry some during a minute or two, but it would start to taper down right away. That's kind of what we did with babies when we were growing up, and I don't consider it CIO, but I know some might call it that.  

 

I will admit that my own baby would cry quite loudly at bedtime when she was lying there next to my husband and I was brushing my teeth, or if I was changing her diaper before bed.  I tried nursing her first, but then when I got up to go away, she'd cry, so I just kind of gave up and hurried through my nighttime routine.  She was never an easy sleeper, though, and I think when crying it out seems to work, it's because they end up having emotional issues during waking hours, or they are easier going babies to begin with, like my friend's baby who didn't cry much at bedtime, or my second child who loved to sleep and would nurse, fall asleep, and I could get up and leave.  

post #13 of 38
Thread Starter 


Wow. Maybe I should have been a little more clear in my posting! I know that walking away from a crying infant is not something I could do and don't think is beneficial for anyone. I plan on still co-sleeping, I just need a way to get dd to go to sleep in the begining of the night and stay asleep for at least 1 hour, when I can join her and we can co-sleep. She cries herself to sleep for every nap, whether she is in the baby carrier, or with us sitting right next to her, rocking and shushing her in the swing. Basically we would be doing the same thing, putting her in the co-sleeper drowsy and then shushing and patting her until she falls asleep. If she wakes in the next hour and I can't come to bed, then we would repeat the shushing and patting. Dh is currently wearing her in the Moby for 2 hours and his back is killing him (she is a BIG baby). Sorry that I wasn't more clear. 

 

So my question is, is what I just described still terrible? 

 

 

I would love if she would still nurse to sleep, but she stopped on her own. She only does it when she wakes at night.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by soso-lynn View Post

Why don't you nurse her to sleep all the time? I don"t get it. Is it somehow more desirable to have her fall asleep without nursing?

 



 



 

I meant that we wouldn't leave her in the room to cry, but would be right next to the co-sleeper as she fell asleep. I love sleeping with dd, but I don't want to go to bed at 8pm when she does. She can't handle a later bedtime and I work, so I need more than 3 hours in the afternoons to get stuff done and unwind before I can sleep.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post

what is "gentle" cry it out?

 

the baby is waking up at night to nurse because she needs you. i'd suggest that you cherish this time. it goes quickly.

 

it's all well and good to want to cuddle with your husband, but your baby needs you now. any reason she can't be included in the cuddle?

 

if you are feeling guilty... there's a reason why. think about it

post #14 of 38

I wouldn't do it, but I was never "comfortable" with anything other than in-arms crying unless I had to sit on the toilet or drive somewhere vitally important. 

post #15 of 38

Thanks for clarifying. I guess I don't really understand the benefit of shushing and patting compared to holding or feeding. It still requires you to be present with your child but is a ?less effective way of soothing her. If you're not planning to leave her to CIO (and I'm really glad you're not) then why not just pick her up and cuddle her or lie down and feed her? I mean, if you're not getting to read or relax either way then one of you may as well be getting their needs met KWIM smile.gif 

I'm not sure if the research has been done on this or not but, it seems to me that if the baby is crying to be held or fed and get patted instead then their stress hormones are likely to go up.

 

Oh, and if your husband's back is hurting wearing the Moby then she may have grown too heavy for a stretchy wrap. Do you have a woven wrap or SSC? Even though the stretchy wraps are tested to 20kg or so, most people seem to find that they stop providing enough support well before that weight. We stopped using ours at around the 7kg mark I think. 

post #16 of 38

It's been a while since my dd was a babe but if I were you I would keep trying to nurse baby to sleep.  Just because she quit at 2.5 months dones't mean she can't go back to nursing to sleep.  Patting and shooshing are going to be such a pain to do in the long run, compared to nursing to sleep.  Baby will get used to all the patting and shooshing and you'll be doing that forever.  I nursed dd for 2 yrs and never would have made it if nursing didn't work so well to soothe and get her to sleep.

post #17 of 38

I think 4 months old is way too young.  For an older baby (12 months plus), and you've tried everything, and still nobody is sleeping, you do what you have to do.

post #18 of 38

She is four months old mama. I see what you wrote to try and explain and yes this is still CIO. She is four months old.

 

 

 

Quote:
I meant that we wouldn't leave her in the room to cry, but would be right next to the co-sleeper as she fell asleep. I love sleeping with dd, but I don't want to go to bed at 8pm when she does. She can't handle a later bedtime and I work, so I need more than 3 hours in the afternoons to get stuff done and unwind before I can sleep

 

I guess if you are still there why not comfort her? I am a bit confused. And as a working mama I totally understand needing time to unwind but 3 hours is really a lot of time at that age.I would have killed for that! :)

 

I also want to remind everyone of what georgia posted above:

 

 

 

Quote:
We are not interested, however, in hosting discussions on the merits of crying it out, harsh sleep training

 

This is not the place for it and please let's keep the conversation away from defending CIO, not that it is ever ok... but especially for an infant as young as this. 

post #19 of 38

i really don't think that what you are suggesting will be that helpful.

 

the problem you are having is that she won't stay asleep if you put her down? so at 8pm, she falls asleep, but when you try to put her down in her cosleeper, she immediately wakes up unless you are right there with her? is that the problem?

 

your current solution is to have your DH wear her in a moby until when? when you all go to bed? and this is no longer working because your DH's back hurts.

 

if all that is correct, you have two different solutions:

 

one is to get your DH a carrier that can actually support her weight and is comfy for him. since he is already good with the moby, i'd suggest a woven wrap. they are meant to support much more weight and are more comfortable for the wearer. plus, you can try out some back carries, that allow your dd to feel close and secure, but give your DH a bit more freedom to do different things. a carrier like a mei tai, ergo or something similar might work too... the best thing would be to go to a store that sells different types, and try them on, or if possible, go to a babywearing meeting.

 

the second is to go to bed at 8pm with your baby. set yourself up comfortably with a couple of books, a cup of tea, a laptop with headphones, etc. i know how you feel about wanting some space before going to bed, but at 4 months, that just might not be in the cards for you. anyway, do whatever you do to get her to sleep, nursing (keep trying, babies' habits and desires do change over time), rocking, swaddling etc. then, get comfy. read or whatever... do this for a few nights, just enjoy the downtime. DH can join you and you can watch something on a laptop or whatever. now, here is where you have to remember that nothing stays the same forever. when she is deeply asleep, you can try getting up. at first this might only mean you get up for 15-30 min, until her sleep cycle is over. but some days you might get lucky and get an hour or two, or even more. 

 

the most important thing is that you identify what things she needs to sleep best, and provide the best sleep environment you can. for my dd, she needed swaddling (still does!) and sucking to stay asleep. white noise, motion, etc weren't so important to her... so we were always able to get good stretches of sleep out of her in the evenings before my bedtime just by swaddling her well, nursing down and then giving a paci. this all does pass... it might seem daunting now, but it will pass.

 

 

 

post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

 

the second is to go to bed at 8pm with your baby. set yourself up comfortably with a couple of books, a cup of tea, a laptop with headphones, etc. i know how you feel about wanting some space before going to bed, but at 4 months, that just might not be in the cards for you. anyway, do whatever you do to get her to sleep, nursing (keep trying, babies' habits and desires do change over time), rocking, swaddling etc. then, get comfy. read or whatever... do this for a few nights, just enjoy the downtime. DH can join you and you can watch something on a laptop or whatever. now, here is where you have to remember that nothing stays the same forever. when she is deeply asleep, you can try getting up. at first this might only mean you get up for 15-30 min, until her sleep cycle is over. but some days you might get lucky and get an hour or two, or even more. 

 


Yes. I got rid of a ton of parenting stress when I realized and accepted that "this is just how it's going to be for a while". I remind myself a LOT that in 20 years I will be crying to not have a cuddly baby to hold and rock to sleep. Sleep changes so quickly for them - it seems like forever when you're in the middle of it - but it's not. I've forgotten so much of what my ds1 was like to put to sleep as a newborn. He sleeps fine now at 4 y.o. and everything else is moot.

 

I also agree it may be time to get a different carrier or a non-stretchy wrap. I'm not comfy with my kids in those after they hit about 15 lbs - too much sage.

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