Has anyone done the Sleep Lady thing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 09-06-2011, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm convinced that my 19 month old isn't getting enough sleep. Plus she doesn't show any sign of stopping night nursing anytime soon (she nurses 2x/night). I've read the Sleep Lady's book and have specific questions about how to do certain things. Has anyone tried her approach? Thanks!!! 

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#2 of 15 Old 11-08-2011, 04:26 PM
 
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Yes yes yes!! Let me tell you how it has changed my life.

My daughter slept through the night 12 hours at 6 weeks old. She was also napping 2+ hours during the day in the morning and 2+ in the afternoon. I thought "I got this!!". When she was 6 months old almost to the day she started waking up again. Friends had warned me about this.I was hesitant to let her cry because my mo in law was visiting and my husband had to get up for work so I would sneak in, feed her, and return her to her crib.  This went on for 2 months before I had even realized it had been so long!!

 

I got Good night sleep tight and was insistent on making it work. I did take her to visit our chiropractor (she has been going every few months or so since birth) and got her adjusted and in top shape before we started. I also cut off the nursing at 5 pm until the next morning. It was not only because I wanted a break but so she would stop associating nursing with sleep. At about 6 months babies no longer need feeds at night. They get enough during the day.

 

SO off we went on our Good night sleep tight journey. The first night she cried on and off for an hour and a half. She fell asleep sitting up. It was awful and I didn't think I could go on. It took a good few weeks but we powered on. By night 2 she was only crying about 20, then it got less and less and now she hums (her way of soothing) for about 10 min.

It is very very important to start a routine, down to the same book every night. Your baby will learn that the routine means bedtime.

We never did the shuffle because us being there made her more irritated. She needed to do this on her own. So we let her.

We now get a 12 hour stretch at night. She is in bed and ASLEEP by 7 and we don't get her out of the bed until usually 6:30-7. When she fusses in the night which is rare, we don't go to her and it only lasts sometimes 1-2 minutes.

 

During the sleep training, my husband went to her when she cried out and helped her get back to sleep. This only took about a week and she finally realized she was not getting milk and stopped waking up. She dropped wake ups one at a time, the 11pm first, 5 am second and 2-3 am third. It wasn't so bad, but we are so glad to get sleep!!

 

Her naps are still short during the day, most of the time less than an hour for each but at least she naps and is asleep by 7pm. It is glorious.


Good luck, press on, discuss with your significant other nightly what the "plan" is for wake ups. continue supporting each other and encouraging the other. This really really helped us! A few nights he would come back to bed so stressed from the 10 min. crying (felt like an hour laying in bed listening to it) but we would snuggle and hold each other and the next morning high 5 that we got through it one more day! The first day you see the sun and your little one has not awakened all night you will be so happy!!!!!!!

Good luck,

AMY

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#3 of 15 Old 11-08-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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Well if she cries for an hour and a half (on and off) and you're not in the room while you follow this "method", how is that any different from Ferber or the other CIO techniques?

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#4 of 15 Old 11-09-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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I have the books and although I admit I haven't read them, I was under the impression that the Sleep Lady Shuffle was not CIO. I could certainly be wrong, and if I am, we won't be taking that approach.  It is really important to DH and me that we resolve DD's sleep problems without abandoning her and making it clear that her needs are not important to us. This forum typically does not advocate cry it out techniques.  I also disagree that 6 month old babies don't need to nurse at night.  Not ALL babies need to nurse at night, but I would avoid making such sweeping generalizations. Of the ones who don't need to nurse to get calories, many of them do it for comfort.  At 6 months old, I wanted to give my child as much comfort as possible. 

 

It is time for DH and I to make some changes to DD's sleep habits, and our plan at this point is to read "The No Cry Sleep Solution" as well as the Sleep Lady books.  I am always interested to hear other people's stories of success in whatever technique they use with the one exception that we are not interested in CIO. 

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#5 of 15 Old 11-09-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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I see that Brighetta is a new poster, and I hope I didn't scare you off. I am not trying to be harsh, but there are a lot of places on the web to talk about cry it out techniques, MDC is one of the very few places that CIO is not advocated. 


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#6 of 15 Old 11-09-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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Even Weisbluth (Healthy Sleep Happy Baby) who is a fairly traditional sleep guy takes the position that babies may need to nurse at night through the 9th month...I would NOT nightwean a 6 month old.


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#7 of 15 Old 11-09-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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Definitely not scared off! I have a baby sleeping all night:0) Just trying to give some advise. We went in every 10 minutes or so that night she cried for an hour and a half. She was not abandoned and she had eaten a full meal and had a bottle before bedtime. Her needs were met, she just needed to figure out how to get herself to sleep on her own. The subsequent nights it was much less and after realizing that us going in and soothing her by patting her back and shh-ing her was actually negatively impacting her, we stopped. At that point the crying/fussing was less than 10 min.  and still is. Last night she was crying when I was holding her and was reaching for her bed. She didn't even make it through her book. The sleep lady book helped us tremendously, but each parent has to do what works for his/her child. The shuffle would never work for us because she needs to be alone!

Good luck to you all. I hope you get some sleep soon one way or another.

 

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#8 of 15 Old 11-09-2011, 12:28 PM
 
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Kinda sorta. We tried it with dd when she was about 18 mos. (For those that don't know, the Sleep Lady encourages starting off comforting your child to sleep and then gradually increasing first the distance you are from your child (so starting off sitting next to them, gradually moving to the door, then out the door and into the hall, and gradually increasing the amount of time between going in, all in the hopes of teaching them to fall asleep on their own. If the baby becomes hysterical, I think she recommends backing up a step, but it's been a while since we read the book).

 

It failed completely with dd at 18 months. She simply was not ready to fall asleep on her own. She wasn't nursing to sleep. My kids both stopped nursing to sleep at about 10 months. They still nursed, they just didn't fall asleep while doing it! What we did instead was to stay in the room with the kids until they fell asleep. I would bring a book and a book light, dh would bring his laptop. We'd get a little downtime and the kids had our presence in the room. in reality, it was usually only about 20-30 minutes that we had to stay. When I was feeling stressed about what I had to do, I resented the time. When I could get into the right frame of mind, it would be a pleasant way for me to get a break and to bond with the kids at bedtime.

 

When the kids hit about 4-5, then they were better able to go to sleep without us and were much more rational about it. What we did then was set the timer for increasing 5 minute intervals and go check on them. So, we'd set the timer for 5 minutes and check. Then 10, then 15, then 20. Some nights it took getting up to 30-40 minutes before they fell asleep. But we always went in a checked on them, even if we were pretty sure they were asleep. That trust that we would check is what helped them fall asleep. We had to do that for maybe 6 months and then we gradually kept forgetting and they were fine.

 

Nightweaning was also a complete disaster for our strong willed girl at 19 months. (It was a snap with ds at 16 months, because he'd get up, nurse for 30 seconds and fall back asleep. All it took was dh going, giving him his pacifier back and rubbing his back for 30 seconds and in 3 days he quit waking up.) Dh spent about 2 weeks trying to comfort dd back to sleep in the middle of the night. He wanted her out of our bed because she'd fall asleep in her own crib, then get up and come into our bed about 1 am. She is a restless sleeper and kicks off the blankets, so she wasn't not a comfortable toddler to co-sleep with. After 2 weeks, it was clear it wasn't working. Dh  was up for an hour or more and dd was screaming the whole time in his arms. She actually remembers that time and describes she wanted me and how mad she was that I wasn't coming. i don't regret trying since her major emotion there was anger not abandonment. (Dh was there the whole time.) Again, she just wasn't ready. I didn't night wean her until 3. I weaned her completely at 4.

 

I think it really depends on your child. I don't think I'd do the full blown Sleep Lady at 19 months. I might try putting her to bed and comforting her to sleep without nursing, and then staying close by (I stretched out on the floor next to the toddler bed) so you could comfort her if she needed it. If she tolerates that, you can try moving closer to the door. But if she starts crying, I don't think it's a good idea to wait before coming in.


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#9 of 15 Old 11-10-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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It was my understanding that the Sleep Lady method was the shuffle.  You assist the baby in calming down but you don't do it completely for them.  What you describe (walking in at intervals, needing to do it alone, ect) sounds exactly like Ferber to me.


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#10 of 15 Old 11-11-2011, 10:34 AM
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I would like to remind everyone that we do not wish to host promotion of CIO or other harsh methods of sleep training here on MDC.  The forum guidelines clearly state this.  Welcome to the new members, and please have a look at the forum guidelines regarding CIO.

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#11 of 15 Old 11-12-2011, 04:13 AM
 
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All of that above being said, I had the best of intentions writing what I did and certainly stand behind it. I don't think the sleep lady book will be appropriate for any of you so I would advise against reading it. First off she is an advocate of early night weaning, by 6 months even if I am not mistaken. Second she is a huge advocate for babies sleeping in their OWN beds alone. Third she says from the very beginning that there may (and most likely will be) some crying, so for all of you who won't let your babies cry this method probably isn't for you. I believed in her book because she is such a huge advocate for MOMMY and DADDY getting sleep too and feeling rested so we can be the very best parent we can be. That is so important to me. This morning I woke up from 10 hours of beautiful warm uninterrupted sleep after cozying up to my hubby last night and talking about our week. We are all hanging out this morning with smiles on our faces, no one is snapping at the other and the baby is super happy after her 12 hour stint of sleep. There is something very glorious and fulfilling knowing that putting my family first and teaching my daughter how to sleep was just as important as teaching her how to feed herself, ride a bike, and socialize well with others. It is a process. In life there will be crying- and knowing she can soothe herself is priceless.

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#12 of 15 Old 11-12-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by brighetta View Post

All of that above being said, I had the best of intentions writing what I did and certainly stand behind it. I don't think the sleep lady book will be appropriate for any of you so I would advise against reading it. First off she is an advocate of early night weaning, by 6 months even if I am not mistaken. Second she is a huge advocate for babies sleeping in their OWN beds alone. Third she says from the very beginning that there may (and most likely will be) some crying, so for all of you who won't let your babies cry this method probably isn't for you. I believed in her book because she is such a huge advocate for MOMMY and DADDY getting sleep too and feeling rested so we can be the very best parent we can be. That is so important to me. This morning I woke up from 10 hours of beautiful warm uninterrupted sleep after cozying up to my hubby last night and talking about our week. We are all hanging out this morning with smiles on our faces, no one is snapping at the other and the baby is super happy after her 12 hour stint of sleep. There is something very glorious and fulfilling knowing that putting my family first and teaching my daughter how to sleep was just as important as teaching her how to feed herself, ride a bike, and socialize well with others. It is a process. In life there will be crying- and knowing she can soothe herself is priceless.



To each his own.  Every parent has to find their own balance.  Some people can tolerate a bit of crying if the baby is being held. Some people can't tolerate any, others are fine with hours of letting their child cry all alone to teach the child that they must give their parents 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  For me, I want to get enough sleep to be a happy mom, but I won't be a happy mom if I need to sacrifice my child's emotional well being to do so.  I've had DH take DD downstairs to give me some uninterrupted sleep when I desperately needed it so that5  I don't sacrifice my well being.  It's not all or nothing.   One big problem with CIO is that any time the child goes through a growth spurt, teething, vacation, change in schedule, the child reverts and needs to be "re-trained."  I would rather work with my child so that the transition is a happy one for everyone. 


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#13 of 15 Old 11-12-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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This link very succinctly describes why CIO isn't for us (and probably why its promotion is not welcome on MDC):

 

http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/07/05/no-cry-it-out/#.Tr7AdXEZA7A

 

The crux is that even if it appears to "work," CIO has lasting consequences for a baby's emotional, social, and intellectual development, and those things are serious enough for me personally to not be okay with doing it. 

 

In addition, it does the opposite of promoting attachment, which is why we don't allow CIO promotion on MDC.  The emphasis in this community is on gentleness and attachment. 

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#14 of 15 Old 11-25-2011, 10:38 PM
 
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Hi Isasmom,

 

I have the book too, but I got it to use with our new baby.  I'm not sure how it would work with a 19 month old.  I am not following everything to a T, either.  I think nursing at night is ok, as long as everyone is ok with it, you know? We just have had a really hard time with sleep issues with my daughter and wanted to take a more proactive approach with this one.  He has a different temperament than her though.  Anyway, if the night nursing is getting hard for you, I don't think a 19 month old really "needs" to nurse at night for nutrition, you know?  Maybe you could try the Dr. Jay Gordon thing for nightweaning? My DD was 21 months old when I nightweaned her.  I just couldn't do it anymore.  And it really helped her sleep better, if I recall correctly.  I think I explained to her that she would not have any "milk snack" at night anymore, and the first night, she cried, but I comforted her.  The second night she wanted to nurse, but didn't get too upset when I told her no, not until the sun comes up.  The third night she didn't wake up.  I think if I had known that she would do it so quickly and easily, I would have done it sooner!  Of course, every child is different, but I guess that's what I'd try doing.  Or maybe No Cry Sleep Solutions for Toddlers by Pantley would have some ideas. 

 

I hope you find some ideas that work for you.

 


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#15 of 15 Old 12-04-2011, 08:12 AM
 
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What worked for us when my son was 14 months old was this:

 

He was being nursed, then rocked to sleep and waking almost every hour some nights and being nursed back every single time! Nothing else worked. I hired a sleep consultant (babysleepsite.com) and she really respected my attachment parenting philosophy. We started by lying on his floor until he fell asleep, it took about 2 hours the first couple of nights:( But I was there and i held his hand and I reassured him. After about a week and half it was taking an hour for him to fall alseep and he was starting to play and throw his soothers at me and he was still waking a lot at night. I started leaving his room after the hour with is door open and we went about our evening so he could hear us and be comforted by that. He started to fall asleep with no crying within 10 minutes of me leaving. We determined that i was too distracting so I started leaving his room right away but leaving the door open. He still took an hour to fall asleep most nights but very little to no crying at all. If he cried, we just went back in and settled him and left again. After another week or so, we decided to try closing the door as it was still taking an hour for him to fall asleep and we figured we were still a distraction. Over a week or two he started to fall asleep anywhere from 1 hr to 10 minutes after we put him down, with zero crying! 4 months later he is 18 months and he happily goes into his crib, kisses me goodnight and lets me cover him with his blanket. He rarely makes a peep. My son is wild and loud and determined so he would put up a fight if he weren't comfortable in his own bed. He loves it now and I love that he usually only wakes to nurse at 4 am and sleeps for 12-13 hours. Now to wean him off the 4 am feeding. I know it's for comfort but I am trying to get pregnant and I know I'll need my sleep as i teach kindergarten everyday and I'd like for him not to night nurse to keep his little teeth healthy.

 

Best of luck to everyone who is struggling with sleep. A gradual approach is the least stressful on the whole family and if we could do it with Callahan, then anyone can do it!


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