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Old 01-09-2008, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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being chronically fatigued seems to me not to be healthy. is it just me or is chronic tiredness and nightwaking the gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about when promoting co-sleeping?
i love sleeping with my daughter and think it is good for her--but sometimes I wish I had known the possibilites that lie with it. I look at all the threads on here and for every one good one there seems to be 5-8 ones that are desperate. I wonder sometimes if I am doing the right thing.
I'm not trying to start a huge argument here, but I feel like the more I read sleep books of every kind that there is research to back everyone's theories up.
Which makes me crazy in the head and unsure again if I'm doing the right thing since we are both chronically tired.
Thoughts?
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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It seems to me that if the baby is sleeping in another bed or another room that I would get even less sleep, as I'd have to be more wide awake to physically get up to tend to the baby. Cosleeping with each of my ds's has allowed me to have relatively unbroken-up nights of sleep the last 3 years! I don't see how cosleeping causes more fatigue for the mom.

I am guessing the desperate moms would be just as desperately trying to get their babies to sleep better, whether or not they were cosleeping. They would just be even more tired if they had to get up out of bed during the night.

Edited to add: DS1 woke a lot during the night - so, while he's not the *worst* sleeper, I did put in lots of time, muscle, and wakefulness helping him sleep, and he slept best ON me for a long time! Cosleeping was great for us.
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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I think you have to consider too that it's natural that a lot of the posts would be ones about problems or negative aspects. People who are sleeping well and loving cosleeping don't have anything to post about, ya know?

I kinda agree, that I'd be getting even less sleep if I had to get up every time my kids woke up. Maybe it's not the difference between cosleeping and separate sleeping. I think it's more the difference between responsive nighttime parenting and the different variations on CIO.

But I also think that there's a real tendency to decide that cosleeping is the answer for everyone, and a real tendency to dismiss mamas who are having trouble and not getting any sleep--- if it's not working, it's not working, and something needs to change, and often we're too quick to say "oh, just hang in there and it'll pass." And some of us wear our lack of sleep like a badge or a medal-- like oh you think you have it bad, well let me tell you how little sleep I got. Like it's some kind of virtuous thing to be a zombie all day. I know I do it sometimes.

I dunno. It's something I gotta think about some more before I can decide what I think.

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Old 01-09-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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You have take into account that people who are doing well with cosleeping tend not to post about it. That said, i know of almost no one else who cosleeps, but i still hear all the time about sleep deprivation and motherhood.

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Old 01-09-2008, 01:27 PM
 
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I think that those of us who have non-sleepers, the ones who are "desparate", would still be getting too little sleep no matter what we did. I don't think that having my dd in a crib, letting her cio, or anything else would have made things much better. I think that dd's sleep "problems" are a part of who she is, and there's really nothibg to be done about it.

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Old 01-09-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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My first DD woke relatively infrequently and slept still. She didn't thrash about or try to kick us out of bed. I wondered why some people had trouble cosleeping.

My second DD woke a lot! She squirmed, kicked, thrashed. I'd think she was settled down, and I could remove my boob and get comfortable myself, but, no, she wasn't really asleep. It was hell. I was miserable, resentful, had a headache all the time, etc.

She had repeat ear infections which had a lot to do with our sleeping problem. At 18 months she ended up getting tubes placed in her ears. After I was sure she was recovered from the surgery and was otherwise healthy I sent DH to sleep with her in her room. She night-weaned relatively easily, and we're all happier. The thrashing doesn't bother DH.

I remember feeling like you when I read blissful posts about cosleeping.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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People without problems don't post

My dd has coslept with us from day one. Never had a crib, etc.

We had some rough runs for sure, but it has CLEARLY always been the best for us.

Dd is almost 3.5 and sleeps well between us still. She will move to her own bed when she asks.



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Old 01-09-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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I kinda agree, that I'd be getting even less sleep if I had to get up every time my kids woke up. Maybe it's not the difference between cosleeping and separate sleeping. I think it's more the difference between responsive nighttime parenting and the different variations on CIO.
I think this hit it on the nail for me. If I were content to let my daughter CIO when she woke at night in another room, then I would certainly be getting more sleep (although at what cost to my soul??), but I think cosleeping definitely gives me at least a little more rest than I would get by trying to be equally responsive to a child all the way down the hall.

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Old 01-09-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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I think if you are chronically fatigued, then something isn't working and it's time for change

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Old 01-09-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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I think this hit it on the nail for me. If I were content to let my daughter CIO when she woke at night in another room, then I would certainly be getting more sleep (although at what cost to my soul??), but I think cosleeping definitely gives me at least a little more rest than I would get by trying to be equally responsive to a child all the way down the hall.
:..especially considering the real price of ignoring a child's needs.

I also think of the long term-- to raising teenagers/adults who have trust in their instincts and their families; who feel secure in who they are as individuals (I would say that is pretty darn rare these days). That, to me, is the whole point of All This. However, if co-sleeping isn't working, there are other alternatives that don't sacrifice the needs of your little one's.
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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Well, I've been posting on a mainstream board lately. Most of the moms there think cosleeping is wacky. And most of them, even those who proudly have used CIO don't get sleep either. So I think it's just the way it goes. Most babies don't sttn. If you are going to be tending to your baby at night anyways, why not be right there in the same bed. That's how I see it.

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Old 01-09-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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I definitely think I'd get more sleep if my 2yo were night weaned and slept in his own bed. He keeps me up at night because he sleeps across my neck, like a cat! But that's like saying, If only I'd win the lotery, I'd be rich. I can't just snap my fingers and make him comfortable in his own room.

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Old 01-09-2008, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so far I have truly enjoyed the comments. they are helping me work this all out in my muddled head--especially what you posted Magali. The moms aound me that all did cio have perfect little sleepers or so they have me thinking..
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:00 PM
 
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And if you look at the flip side of things, babies who never have been left to CIO, are sleeping all night. The more and more I read etc...I realize that the whole sleep issue is just like a big circle. And by the time I ever figure it out, my little baby will be all grown up and we won't be cuddling all night anymore. Of course ds didn't wake up his usual 10 times last night, I think it was more like 5, so maybe that's why I am looking at my sleep deprivation with those rosy colored glasses today.

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Old 01-09-2008, 07:35 PM
 
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i agree, the issue is not so much co-sleeping as it is responding to your child at night. if you didn't co-sleep but still answered all cries and calls for you--assuming your child still woke about the same amount--you would almost definitely be more tired.

you seem to be maybe thinking that if you did not co-sleep, your child would not wake as much. i sometimes wonder if DD would wake less if she were in her own room, but so far i've been too lazy (yes, really--i am too tired and consequently lazy ) to try that arrangement. some nights are okay, which refresh me and keep me going with the co-sleeping arrangement for now. the rest are not as okay, but are interspersed with the okay ones, so at the end of the day i am always resigned to continuing co-sleeping because it's kind of sort of working.



and i don't know if maybe you were implying that, had you CIO'd you would be getting more sleep, but i think about that too. and well, i just can't figure how i'd get more sleep if i had to listen to DD cry every time she woke up at night

i know the theory is that they stop crying, but most CIO babies i know about still wake up and cry sometimes. (ask your CIO friends if their babies ever cry during the night; i bet they do!) DD crying her head off would definitely wake me up, and then not only would i be awake, i'd be awake and distressed and guilty and miserable over my crying child who i'd decided to ignore. which would be decidedly worse than the current situation, where i just feel tired and miserable without the guilt

the more i think about it, the more i think there is no better way. this sleep-deprivation part of being a mom just sucks and there's no way around it

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Old 01-09-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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My ds slept in a bassinet next to our bed for the first 4 months of his life (something I very much wish had been different, but I didn't know then what I know now). Every time he woke up he would have to cry to get my attention and wake me up. I took him into the next room to avoid waking dh with all the getting in and out of bed. I nursed ds until he went back to sleep. Then I waited for him to get in a deep enough sleep to transfer him back to the bassinet. Then I very carefully put him back in the bassinet and sometimes he would still wake up and I'd have to do the whole thing again. By the time all that was done I was wide awake and it took me a while to settle back down to sleep. I was very sleep deprived.

When ds was 4 months old I went to visit my parents without dh and co-slept for the first time. It was so, so much better I've never gone back. Ds never cries at night anymore because I wake up before he gets to that point. (That is the part I feel really terrible about--that for the first 4 months of his life he had all that upset that really could have been avoided.) I slept way better because my sleep was far less disrupted. I am not one of those mamas who can sleep while nursing, but by the time ds falls back asleep I am relaxed and in bed and can fall right back asleep too.

Unfortunately this hasn't worked as well for dh who does get woken by the movement. We've tried many solutions, the best is him in another bed in the same room (where I can visit). But I think my better sleep and ds's lower stress make it worthwhile. I trust there will be lots of years in the future when dh and I will get to sleep in the same bed. In addition I'm guessing that I am raising a person that will more easily be able to sleep with his own partner and children someday.

I hope this is helpful and that you find a way to better sleep.

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Old 01-09-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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We've coslept with our 2yo since birth. I definitely think that, for the first many many months, we all got more sleep because i wasn't having to get out of bed. I've noticed recently though, that on nights when I can't sleep and am out of bed on my own she sleeps for MUCH longer stretches. Then as soon as I get back in bed she rolls toward me mumbling "I want some nummmmmies" We have a twin up against our queen, where she starts the night, and I've found that if i nurse her the first time she wakes up and then I move into her bed and leave her cuddled with dh, everyone sleeps longer. I'm convinced she can smell me or something.

Anyway- I would never CIO and I still can't imagine being able to sleep with her in another room- BUT, I am seeing that she wakes more frequently when we're sleeping up against eachother and I will admit that I'm getting tired and grumpy with the all-night nurse-a-thons. So we're trying out variations-- like me moving into the twin or sleeping so that dh is in the middle. We all still get the benefit of being near eachother, and our sleep is only disturbed 2-3 times a night (normally she would roll into our bed to nurse around 1 am and then want to nurse every hour or so for the rest of the night)

So I guess what I'm saying i sthat I think a lot depends on the kid. I do believe that it's best for them to be very near at night, but I also think that it makes sense to observe your own changing situation as the kids grow, etc. and be open to modifying things if you find that what you're doing is no longer working.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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It seems to me that if the baby is sleeping in another bed or another room that I would get even less sleep, as I'd have to be more wide awake to physically get up to tend to the baby. Cosleeping with each of my ds's has allowed me to have relatively unbroken-up nights of sleep the last 3 years! I don't see how cosleeping causes more fatigue for the mom.

I am guessing the desperate moms would be just as desperately trying to get their babies to sleep better, whether or not they were cosleeping. They would just be even more tired if they had to get up out of bed during the night.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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I agree that people without problems don't post as much, which gives a skewed view of co-sleeping, but regardless you are chronically tired and that's not good for you or your baby.

When my dd was a baby she slept in an Arm's Reach Co-sleeper attached to the side of our bed for the first 6 months of her life and that worked reasonably well for us. Then we went through kind of a transition when she grew out of the co-sleeper and could not sleep in a crib as I had expected. We were all horribly sleep-deprived and it was awful. We ended up co-sleeping. At first I did not sleep well because I was very tense and uncomfortable. Then I started to relax and sleep better, but I was waking up every couple hours or more when she nursed. It was better than no sleep at all, but still not great. Eventually I adjusted and I started sleeping through her nursing. From that point on co-sleeping was heaven and dh, dd, and I were all well-rested. I never had any desire to night wean because it made no difference to me how many times my dd nursed.

We all know every baby is different and has different needs and desires for sleeping, but we sometimes forget that every adult is different too. I sleep perfectly fine with a child wrapped around me like an octopus, but my dh does not sleep well at all this way, so my dd has always slept between me and a wall or bed rail, not between the two of us.

I'm not sure from your post how long you have been co-sleeping or how old your baby is. It can take a few weeks or even a month to get totally comfortable with it so you are getting a good night's rest. But I would definitely suggest trying different things to make yourself more comfortable. Maybe a side-car arrangement with a crib or bassinet would work better for you at least for now. No arrangement has to last forever. We changed little things many times even after we started co-sleeping. Do you have warm pajamas with easy access for nursing? Comfortable covers that keep you warm and an arrangement that does not stress you out worrying about your baby's safety? Is your bed big enough? Is the room a comfortable temperature? If your baby is very young, would one of those co-sleeper nest things help you sleep better?

I do think a certain amount of sleep deprivation is unavoidable for parents, but it is definitely not healthy to be chronically sleep-deprived. I think you will eventually be able to find a solution that gives you all a good night's rest (and does not involve CIO). Good luck!

ETA: I went back and checked the age of your dd in your sig. I think the 6-7 month period is often a time of transition and even previously "easy" babies when it comes to sleep might become more wakeful. This can be a really hard time, but you'll make it through!

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Old 01-10-2008, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Vivian is 61/2 months old. We have co-slept since she came home from the hospital.
She tries to nurse herself to sleep these days and is unsuccessful. She ends up rolling off and fssing and wriggling and crying until she gets really tired and then wants to nurse again. This time (usually #3) generally works and she stays asleep for at least 1-2 hours or so before waking up to nurse down again. Lately she is just a huge restless sleeper and the nursing doesn't seem to have the same effect. Also, if I go upstairs after the initial bedtime she seems to stay asleep longer....We are all stressed out around here and that is probably affecting her.
She is also on a two week napstrike. She nurses and as soon as I try to put her down she wakes up and cries or starts cooing and playing....
arrghh.
I am considering a plan that will combine ideas from the NCSS book and the BW book. Since we are moving I'm not sure whether I want to implement them now or once we are settled.
The reason I posted this is because I feel like a failure and am a short fused mama that is losing her mind. Someone gave me the baby wise book and there were a few things that made sense and whole lot that was crap. Perhaps there are just too many cooks in the kitchen of ideas. When you are stressed and sleep deprived its hard to make choices--especially hard ones like this. Why can't God just call me on the phone and tell me what to do? lol
BTW I'm the one doing all the packing while my husband will be working on the house after bedtime many nights till we move hopefully in a month. oh and I'm having surgery in April to boot.
soooo I'm crazy and crying everyday and spinning in a circle of solicited and unsolicited advice trying to figure out what's best for Vivian. it sucks.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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She tries to nurse herself to sleep these days and is unsuccessful. She ends up rolling off and fssing and wriggling and crying until she gets really tired and then wants to nurse again.
My dd started doing this at 4 months. I guess she didn't want to / wasn't able to nurse to sleep anymore, AND it seems she wanted her own space. After I finally figured it out, I started putting her down in her crib, on her tummy, when she got like that. She'd then suck her fingers while I rubbed her back and fell asleep.

I tried it both ways (nursing to sleep vs. putting in crib and rubbing back), and at first she fussed either way. But she fussed more quietly in the crib, and fell asleep more quickly, AND if I picked her up and tried to hold her, nurse her, or rock her after putting her in the crib she would absolutely scream. A few months later, she now sleeps just beautifully and goes down with no fussing whatsoever, and about 3/4 of the time doesn't even want her back rubbed anymore at bedtime (although she still does sometimes when she wakes in the night).

Does your dd suck her thumb or do any kind of self-soothing thing? Have you tried putting her in a crib or cosleeper? Just one more thing to think about, if you haven't experimented along those lines yet. I know some people don't like the idea of crib sleeping, but some babies really do seem to want their own space.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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ETA: I went back and checked the age of your dd in your sig. I think the 6-7 month period is often a time of transition and even previously "easy" babies when it comes to sleep might become more wakeful. This can be a really hard time, but you'll make it through!
OK I have no idea your baby was so young! I just posted too fast. I think all parents, CIO and otherwise, are fatigued at that age. It's just the way things are. It'll get better!

..and now I just read more about your situation. Did you recently start solids? She sounds uncomfortable.

Around 3 mos Ds wouldn't nurse to sleep anymore and I did the pantley pull off (from NCSS) and that worked. He would put himself to sleep and babble away. It worked great for a while. Then he went back to wanting/needing to nurse to sleep again (and still does at 19 mos).

I know it's easy for me to say but try to just breathe. Vivian is a person just like you are. You are getting to know each other. If nursing to sleep isn't working..... then what might relax her? Can you tell based on spending time with her? Does she like music? Dancing? Would she enjoy just lying next to you in bed? Would she like some time alone?

Remember all you are doing is helping her relax so she can fall asleep. Forget sleep crutches, associations, self-soothing etc. All that will evolve with time.

Just what does Vivian need to relax. Try to come up with a half hour or so of things that make her happy and comfortable.

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Old 01-10-2008, 02:46 AM
 
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i wish that i could just reach out and give you a hug (plus a reprieve for a couple of hours!). i'm in a similar boat as you (napstrikes, waking when i put dd down, not sleeping well when co-sleeping) so i can understand where you are coming from. i know it's easy for me to say and hard to believe but you are the best mommy for your little girl. she loves you. i'm just not sure what else to say. you and your family are in my prayers.

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Old 01-10-2008, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you know this started at 4 months, then wained, then strted again so hat totally makes sense she might be ready for more space. she rolls away alot and tries to roll onto her tummy in her fussing and tries to sleep on her side away from me alot lately. I'm keeping that in mind for when we move as we are going to sidecar the crib and start moving her slowly out of our room---s-l-o-w-l-y for both our sakes....
you guys have really helped me alot so thanks so so much. you have all helped me maintain sanity really.
My DH and I had a long talk and decided that I'm just gonna let her take naps in the Ergo and tough out the nights until we move. She might just be going through a phase of serious mommy needing so until she gets a little more normal at night and when we move after we settle I'll start doing the PPO at night (with all that ood back patting and sleepy words and such) and switching the routine in the day to more of a wake eat play snack wind down nap routine. We've started using a lovey and using cue words and the bedtime routine is set set up well already. Does that makes sense to you all? Whaddya think?
I'm holding it together and it is all thanks to alot of prayer and support from folks like you.
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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My experience very much parallels SweetPotato's (though my babe is much younger). I've found in the last few days that maybe I'm actually being TOO responsive, and that sometimes when I wake up to baby's rooting, I can just move us further apart and she goes back to sleep! Duh!

I agree with everyone else that it's the responsiveness, not the where the baby sleeps that really counts, and that if I was similarly responsive to now but put the baby in her own bed, I'd basically get no sleep at all. I also agree with the poster that said it takes a while to get used to it, and the poster who said that grownups vary as much as babies. I generally take a long time to get to sleep (incidentally, or not, I was CIO ), so there's been a real learning curve for me--it's taken me more like three months to adjust. But it's been GOOD for me, as a personal growth sort of thing.

Nobody seems to have mentioned this, but I thought I'd throw in that I've heard VERY bad things about Babywise, and when I read a few pages myself, I was disgusted. Much of the advice in it flies in the face of research, and it is a religiously motivated work...though condemned even by coreligionists, as far as that goes. I would think VERY carefully and do some supplementary reading before I employed anything from that book.
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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Nobody seems to have mentioned this, but I thought I'd throw in that I've heard VERY bad things about Babywise, and when I read a few pages myself, I was disgusted. Much of the advice in it flies in the face of research, and it is a religiously motivated work...though condemned even by coreligionists, as far as that goes. I would think VERY carefully and do some supplementary reading before I employed anything from that book.
You have to be really careful when judging things on what others say, or on a partial reading. I've heard only "horrible" things about Ferber, too, but now I'm reading it. And you know what? There's a lot of good information, and it is all based on research. He's a sleep center director, for crying out loud! I'm not a fan of CIO, but DH and I disagree, so I'm reading Ferber, he's reading the Sleep Lady book, and we'll compare notes.

If you only read the "progressive waiting" section of Ferber's book, you'd be horrified. But he has lots of helpful information about solving problems that interfere with sleep, and advocates examining all of those items first before even considering CIO. I've also heard people say Ferber advocates leaving kids alone to cry until they stop, which he doesn't. He wants you to check on them and reassure them every few minutes to start.

Sorry to get so rambly, I'm mostly just frustrated at myself for listening to heresay about Ferber and forming an opinion without reading it myself!
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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I think that those of us who have non-sleepers, the ones who are "desparate", would still be getting too little sleep no matter what we did. I don't think that having my dd in a crib, letting her cio, or anything else would have made things much better. I think that dd's sleep "problems" are a part of who she is, and there's really nothibg to be done about it.
Me too.

Dd's sleep patterns have only changed with time - nothing we have or haven't done has had a significant impact.
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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You have to be really careful when judging things on what others say, or on a partial reading. I've heard only "horrible" things about Ferber, too, but now I'm reading it. And you know what? There's a lot of good information, and it is all based on research. He's a sleep center director, for crying out loud! I'm not a fan of CIO, but DH and I disagree, so I'm reading Ferber, he's reading the Sleep Lady book, and we'll compare notes.

If you only read the "progressive waiting" section of Ferber's book, you'd be horrified. But he has lots of helpful information about solving problems that interfere with sleep, and advocates examining all of those items first before even considering CIO. I've also heard people say Ferber advocates leaving kids alone to cry until they stop, which he doesn't. He wants you to check on them and reassure them every few minutes to start.

Sorry to get so rambly, I'm mostly just frustrated at myself for listening to heresay about Ferber and forming an opinion without reading it myself!
I can say, unequivocally, that Babywise is very very bad. It has been linked to failure to thrive, breastfeeding problems, dehydration, etc.

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