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Please tell me it's not.

I have everyone around me telling me I have to teach my 4-month old DS to self-soothe. He's not a terrible sleeper, but it could be better. I have to walk/rock him to sleep, and he doesnt always stay asleep (especially for naps). He was sleeping for 6-8 hour stretches until his teething got bad a few days ago and now he wakes at night every 2-3 hours. He does sleep in his crib though, except when I bring him to bed with me after his 6am feeding when DH has already left for work, or when he's fallen asleep on me for a nap, and I decide to just stay that way and take a nap too.

Now, I just don't like the idea. I feel it's unnatural. But, what is natural? I can't seem to find an answer when everyone tells me they let their child CIO in some shape or form. That they had to "train" them. But come on... if a baby was never "trained", we'd have some reeeeallly sleep-deprived zombies walking the earth, right?! I just cant accept that a human being does not know how to instinctively sleep. I've never heard a dog have their puppies CIO.

But. Here I am, holding my babe as I type with one hand because I nursed him to sleep. Not counting these days though (he's in teething pain so he gets whatever will make him feel better), but if I continue down this path of soothing him to sleep, when could I expect to see a time when he'll no longer require my assistance? I want him to just shut his eyes and fall asleep like normal people do! It's not too big a deal right now as I'm not working, but it will become more necessary when I do go back to work (which could be 6 weeks or 6 months from now, I have no idea). It'll also get harder as he gets heavier... I'm already getting back pains carrying around his chunky 16lb butt! lol
 

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Mammals usually nurse to sleep and sleep with their mothers until they can safely sleep alone, humans included. Most of the world knows this. Sleep training and CIO are only practiced in parts of the industrialized west. Here are some articles on natural sleep research and the permanent neurological damage that that CIO causes: http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/li...n_palmer2.html , http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/...enNeedTou.html , and for natural sleep research http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/ .

As for your question about when your DS will need less parenting at night. Each child is abit different, but still similar. With my DD I could nurse her to sleep and then roll out of bed after she turned about 9 months. She stopped most night waking after all her teeth came in at 2.5. She continued to nurse to sleep and when she woke in the morning until she weaned herself at a couple of months before her 4th birthday. She decided to sleep in her own bed right after her 4th birthday. So we read stories to her in bed, she falls asleep and then sleeps 10 uninterrupted hours. No fear associated with sleep, no getting back up out of bed, no issues. She's basically up for 14 hours then sleeps 10. If we have a very busy day with extra physical activity she sometimes falls asleep earlier and sleeps up to 12 instead of 10 hours.

With CIO you often see a recurrence of sleep issues especially anxiety related ones, including adult insomnia.
 

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Yes.

Training is required for all things humans do that don't come naturally. If you expect a 4 mo to put themselves to sleep, in their own bed, with no other person around, you have to train them.

So those people are right about training, but I think you know better and are doing what is right.
 

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I'm a first time mom, but I say absolutely not! Just even *thinking* about DS having to CIO makes me feel ill.

You are doing the right thing for your little one, if he needs to nurse to sleep, and youre doing it, then great!! I nurse my DS to sleep too, at night and for all his naps.

And I could give a rats you-know-what about peoples opinions that it is 'wrong' and that I should, in fact let him CIO. But I also ignored all their other advice and comments, like, natural birth is too hard and no one really does it, cloth diapers are too much work, and breastfeeding is too much work, etc. I just smile and tell them that may work for them, but this is MY way of doing things.

I know its hard to be the black sheep sometimes, but it sounds like you are giving your baby exactly what he needs Mama
And I know they get so heavy too lol!! My DS is already over 14 Ibs and he is not even 3 mo yet! I just think about how when he is older, and I wont be able to carry him and hold him in this way, so I should treasure it now even if my back or arms ache.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Mammals usually nurse to sleep and sleep with their mothers until they can safely sleep alone, humans included. Most of the world knows this. Sleep training and CIO are only practiced in parts of the industrialized west. Here are some articles on natural sleep research and the permanent neurological damage that that CIO causes: http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/li...n_palmer2.html , http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/...enNeedTou.html , and for natural sleep research http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/ .

As for your question about when your DS will need less parenting at night. Each child is abit different, but still similar. With my DD I could nurse her to sleep and then roll out of bed after she turned about 9 months. She stopped most night waking after all her teeth came in at 2.5. She continued to nurse to sleep and when she woke in the morning until she weaned herself at a couple of months before her 4th birthday. She decided to sleep in her own bed right after her 4th birthday. So we read stories to her in bed, she falls asleep and then sleeps 10 uninterrupted hours. No fear associated with sleep, no getting back up out of bed, no issues. She's basically up for 14 hours then sleeps 10. If we have a very busy day with extra physical activity she sometimes falls asleep earlier and sleeps up to 12 instead of 10 hours.

With CIO you often see a recurrence of sleep issues especially anxiety related ones, including adult insomnia.
same story here, my dd is 3 and sometimes she nurses to sleep and sometimes she will just snuggle up next to me or dh and fall asleep. sleeps soundly for 10 hours (unless sick). my ds is a good sleeper so far too, i can usually sneak away from him during naps and his first stretch of sleep at night. he usually wakes a time or two at night but i dont think either of us fully wake up
i love not having bedtime battles or huge rituals
 

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Our 27 mo. old still needs help to go back to sleep if he wakes during the night, which is less frequent now than ever- maybe twice per week. Our eldest needed several-times-nightly help until he was 4.5 yrs old, ds2 twice-nightly until he was 3.5 yrs old and ds3 was happily self-soothing to sleep at 14 months when he announced to me that he wanted to sleep in his brothers' big bed with them. Our night-time experiences have been very different with each child. They do sleep together though, so I'm sure that has a significant effect on their sleep as well.

I am always suspicious of any child 'training' and especially if it is purported to 'work'. I always imagine my dh receiving the same sort of advice for how he might manipulate me and my needs for his benefit or convenience. Creepy. Imo, no less than the same perspective for children.

Sleep has been by far the most difficult and ongoing issue in our family life- far above adhd, insane work schedules, moving 9 times in 7 years (covering 4400kms and moving cross-country), etc.... Those other things are easy-peasy in contrast with our family's sleep until this past year when we have finally seen our boys capable of sustaining periods of sleep that actually refresh them and in the latter part of the last year, my body has begun to allow the same, finally. Of course I'm pg, so I don't know how long this sleep bliss will last.

If we did not cosleep and nurse at night, soothe at the breast, etc..., I cannot even imagine how we would have survived. It was nurturing our dc at night that made it possible to rest at all. CIO is not a live option for us, and I know that others claim to have more sleep as a result of doing it, but it is for me, in the same dead option category as putting the dc in a closet so I can have quiet time ('cause everyone needs some QT right?), or filling their bellies with candy so that I don't have to make dinner. I guess I just don't think human beings are supposed to be treated like machines that can be made to 'work' a certain way according to the convenience and benefit of the 'operator.' I don't want that relationship with my dc, so I do what we need to have the loving, secure, all-day-all-night (non-clock-dependent) relationship that we enjoy presently.

I nearly died (several times) from endocrine complications due to sleep deprivation, but still, the only regret I have is that I didn't require more respect for myself from other adults in my life, not that I didn't 'train' my dc.

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fuamami View Post
Yes.

Training is required for all things humans do that don't come naturally. If you expect a 4 mo to put themselves to sleep, in their own bed, with no other person around, you have to train them.

So those people are right about training, but I think you know better and are doing what is right.


If you want your DS to do something unnatural, like fall asleep by himself when he is not ready (this age is different for all babies/children) you will have to sleep train. But, if you are willing to help meet his needs until he is ready to sleep on his own, you will not have to train. And, if you do CIO, you will have to keep doing it continuously when teething, developmental milestones, sickness, etc affect his sleep. And you say he is teething now and you want to comfort him, I hate to say it but he is going to be teething for a long time. My DS is 17 months old, and he is almost done (only waiting on the 2 year molars) but he has been early with teething.

Realisticly, your baby will probably not fall asleep on his own and stay asleep all night for some time. Maybe 6 months, a year, but I think for most children it is around 2-3 years old.

If you would like some gentle sleep training advice (which takes a lot of hard work and doesn't always work) I would read The No Cry SLeep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.
 

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There are some great articles about the 4-month sleep regression, which is especially common in breastfed babies. (Essentially, they are more alert, realize there is a whole world out there to check out, nurse less often or throughly during the day and then try to make up for it at night -- among a host of other developmental milestones going on.) Check out www.kellymom.com under nighttime parenting if you want more info.

Also, there are some well-researched, well-written books about child development and sleep. The Science of Parenting and Sleepless in America come to mind.

As far as when, anecdotally, DS only started STTN at almost 4, but DD first did it at 10weeks. Same parenting. They are just different. Their personalities are totally different. Their sleep needs are different. He fights sleep like crazy; she asks to nurse and go night-night.
 

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No. No, its not


Quote:

Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post

Realisticly, your baby will probably not fall asleep on his own and stay asleep all night for some time. Maybe 6 months, a year, but I think for most children it is around 2-3 years old.

and even at 2-3 years, many kids STILL wake up and want to sleep in mommy and daddy's bed.

actually, now that i think of it, my cousin was still climbing into her parent's bed when she was 5 - every single night!

I actually couldn't imagine my ds, at 8 months old, falling asleep on his own. (i.e. ok, sleep time, here's a crib, SLEEP!) i have to nurse him, or rock him, or at LEAST make him feel like i'm right there(i.e. falling asleep on my lap, or right next to me, all cuddled up) around 6-7 months, ds was able to stay asleep in his crib(next to our bed) on some nights for the whole night, but usually wants to sleep right next to mommy and daddy in our bed. he does stay asleep for the whole night now though usually, and when he wakes up, we just nurse back to sleep.

a 4 month old can not self soothe, my 8 month old(who is way ahead on many milestones) can't even do that yet, and YES, many of his naps last for only as long as i hold him. i spend all of my time with him sitting "indian style" and when he falls asleep, i will sometimes try to put him down, but he wakes up. many of his naps are only 5 minutes long, but others are 2-3 hours long.

actually, the closest my 8 month old has gotten to falling asleep in his own is being put in our bed, in between me and dh, with a paci, and sitting up and falling down until he falls asleep. its STILL not SELF soothing because of the paci, and because we are usually patting his back. for the record, he just recently developed this love for the paci
he found one in his toy box
and has since(about 2 wks now?) been attached to it. we haven't used them since he was 2 months old!

when kids get older, they often still need their parents to soothe them to sleep. night lights, bedtime story, good night kiss, and even checking for monsters can be external soothers. it depends on the kid. its healthy


so, what i mean to say is, trust your mama instincts!!!
 

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I just wanted to chime in because my kids are all great sleepers, in their own beds (well, my twins still squeeze into one bed together
)...and I never, ever, not once, not even with the twins, "trained" them or made them cry it out, or forced them. (dd1 will be 7 in a couple of months, my twins will be 5 in a couple of months).

They all were co-sleepers who nursed to sleep (dd 1 until she was 2, the twins were closer to 3). We still have an open bed policy. But they prefer to sleep in the bunk beds in dd1's room. Before the fascination with the bbeds, the twins slept in their own room.

So, don't listen to people who say you'll regret sleeping with and nursing your babe to sleep. Of that they'll never get out of your bed. Or that you're ruining your baby, or spoiling the baby. Hogwash! You baby will tell you the bed's too crowded way before you're ready to move him/her out. Enjoy this time. It's sweet, warm, precious, cuddly for both of you!
 

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I don't understand our society's obsession with babies falling asleep on their own. What is so WRONG with parenting your child to sleep? Why have children if you just want to dump them in a crib at 8pm and expect them to fall asleep on their own? Is being a parent really that inconvenient? Do people just have misguided expectations?

There's nothing wrong with nursing or rocking your baby to sleep. Do what feels right.
 

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Thanks for this link. I just posted it to my Facebook. I am hoping my BIL/SIL and other assorted IL's see it and actually read it. My 6 month old nephew is being left to CIO and my BIL and SIL were just thrilled when he slept for 11 hours straight without waking, after CIO for who knows how long.
 

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i was wondering the same thing...not really about CIO but about when babes would just "fall asleep." i thought it would never happen. it must just happen naturally at different times for different people.

honestly, although i do always nurse my 5 month old before sleep there are many many times now that she's still calmly awake and puts herself to sleep. i even remember the first time she really slept through the night. i woke up at our normal feeding time and i heard her wake up as well, move around a little, and put herself to sleep. it was amazing!

it's funny b/c now i still wake up at the same time each night and I'm the one who has trouble putting myself back to sleep.
 

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Ugh, my MIL did that same "he needs to learn to self soothe" thing with me! Who comes up to you and says, "you need to teach that baby to walk now!" Like if you don't make that baby walk, s/he'll never do it!

The other day I got another one of those "well we did the 'no more nursing at night' thing with our kids, and I hated the crying, but my husband helped me through it, and it just took one night" and bam they were sleeping through the night schpeels. Well, I'm glad your kids were so easy. I explained that my child would be the one who cries until he pukes. You know why? Because I've tried patting him back to sleep so many times. He just gets more and more upset some of those times. That's when he needs a breast. And he gets the breast. (No, I don't let him cry, I'm talking about subtle signs of agitation...though there were times when I was so sleepy and he was so miserable, he cried easily before I got the breast to him).

Yes, I make things conducive to the time when he can "self soothe" when he's ready. I make his nap and bed times consistent, in the same place, with the same white noise, with the same routines. But for all naps, I have to breastfeed him to sleep, and only some of the time does he flop himself to sleep at night while I am there beside him.
 

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I'm actually quite impressed with my 11 month old's sleep. She really takes responsibility for her own sleep, and I don't think she could have done it if I had tried to get her to fall asleep on my schedule. (I do have to admit that sometimes, I distract her to put off her sleep until we can get somewhere where she can have a better rest, but she can and does override me.)

DD is very good about asking for my attention when she wants to nurse, is tired, needs a clean diaper, wants to play, or just needs some cuddles. I don't limit nursing, and sometimes, she just falls asleep during a nurse and cuddle scession. Sometimes, when I'm trying to get stuff done, she won't be happy on the floor, and I'll put her in the carrier, and she'll fall asleep. (We also have many times that she's in the carrier and enjoys some good on Mom time before wanting to get back on the floor.)

At night, DH and I go to bed at our bedtime, and DD comes with us. All three of us go to sleep eventually, when we're ready. Sometimes I need to talk. Sometimes DH needs to check on one more thing. Sometimes DD needs to crawl around the bed a bit or drum on the wall, but when she's tired, she always comes looking for the boob. There's no crying involved (unless, of course, she bonks... or Mommy won't let her hit or scratch). She knows how to get herself to sleep, using all the resources (parents) available to her.

I expect that when she's old enough to stay up later than us or move out of the house, she'll need to be able to put herself to sleep. If she's 16 years old and still wants a backrub before bed, I'd happily give it to her.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SusanaLaLoca View Post
I want him to just shut his eyes and fall asleep like normal people do!

It'll also get harder as he gets heavier... I'm already getting back pains carrying around his chunky 16lb butt! lol
I just wanted to add, that I understand your frustration, but your child is doing what normal BABIES do.

Also, do you have a good sling or baby carrier? This can really help with lugging around heavy babies, sleeping or awake
(my 7-month-old son has always been on the heavier side, too, and often still naps on me-- either in my lap or in a carrier as I do other things).
 

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In answer to what's wrong with wanting your baby to sleep....we'll I'd say that sleep deprivation is one of the oldest, simplest and most effective forms of torture that there is. Lack of sleep can induce psychosis. That's a scientific fact.

So I completely understand where people are coming from when they try and get a sleep schedule going. I think CIO is too much and I don't plan to do it. But I'm not going to be able to earn a paycheck and not sleep at night. It just can't happen. My family will have to walk a middle road, with me and hubby switching off etc. I'll figure out the rest when I get there.

It's one thing if a parent can stay home and nap on the baby's schedule. That really does make a lot of sense. But it's not the society we live in in the US. Hence, the American obsession with STTN.
 

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I think the American obsession with STTN ought to come with another, new obsession: co-sleeping!!!! I mean seriously people, your baby - your little baby - is in pain from teething and he or she is meant to self soothe? Oh come on! I mean seriously, if you had the worst migraine in the world and were crying and crying from it, and your partner strategically ignored you, shut the door and let you "cry it out" would that be the right thing to do? Wouldn't that be awful? Can you imagine?

Gosh - this is normal baby behavior, as other mamas have said. Ignore the people who tell you you ought to be training a tiny baby who hasn't even been in the world six months: these are little PEOPLE, people! They're just as smart as the adults around them, and are just learning to communicate. Personally I'd rather scoop my Bella up and cuddle her to sleep any day than leave her to cry, all alone and scared, in a crib. And hey presto, it comes with a really fab side effect: I get more sleep too!

And I work freelance during the day, so I also make a living AND raise a baby without being some kind of freaky supermom. We can do it, mamas!
XxX
 

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I posted earlier about how frustrated I felt after a really bad night last night, and then I read this thread, and feel sooo much better. OP: I also nurse my little man to sleep (he's just 10 months) and we don't let him CIO, it gives me the creeps.

I think you should go with your gut. And know that there will be bad days, but I think in the long run, I would rather have a couple of bad days then wonder if I did some real damage by using CIO, you know?
 
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