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Questions & confusion about sleep training

Posted by on Jun. 19, 2012 at 7:54 PM
  • 19 Replies
Going to start sleep training with my 8 mth old, again. I'd like to transition her from bedsharing to sleeping in her crib. She has slept in her crib for naps, but only for 20-30 minutes. After a few days I give up because she is so sleep deprived I feel horrible! Also, after doing a lot of reading, I guess it's time to get rid of pacifier.. She wakes up all nite for it. I was also reading about some sleep training technique where u sit in room with baby, don't pick up, can pat and my questions are: do I keep at the sleep training regardless of her sleep deprivation? Do I take away the binky at the same time I start the sleep training? And if I sit with her til she falls asleep..and she cries, aren't I neglecting her if she sees me but won't pick her up?? Help!! (also, no negative comments either.. I've heard it all and read it all).
by on Jun. 19, 2012 at 7:54 PM
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by Bronze Member on Jun. 19, 2012 at 8:00 PM
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I think these are questions only you can answer.   She WILL outgrow the need to co-sleep and move to her own bed when she's ready... so if you feel her getting sleep deprived is bad, and that refusing to pick her up is neglectful, then don't do it.

I will say that whatever you decide, I wouldn't lose the paci.  She still needs a lot of oral comfort at this age and too much change can be even more stressful on her (unless she's nursing and can nurse instead?).   If you want to ditch the paci, I would continue co-sleeping and take it away and then do the transition to her own bed later on... but not both at once.

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by Mariah on Jun. 19, 2012 at 8:32 PM
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I believe what you are describing is "crying it out". I practiced this with both of my kids. It's not for everyone, but it is not neglect. After your bedtime routine (fed, bathed, changed, etc), you put baby down for the night. If she fusses, go in every so often, rub her back, of you need to, and then depart. They learn how to soothe themselves, basically.
My kids went from waking frequently to Sleeping through the night & taking longer naps. It takes some time, but it really worked for us.
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by on Jun. 19, 2012 at 8:33 PM

I would deal with the binky first, and then deal with the sleep.  Don't do too much at once.  She will be o.k. with sleep deprivation.  Eventually if she's tired enough, she will sleep.  You are not neglecting her if you pat her and comfort her until she goes back to sleep.  Eventually she will learn to put herself back to sleep.  But if she is used to sleeping with you, some little pats might help the transition.

by on Jun. 19, 2012 at 8:33 PM
by on Jun. 19, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I would strongly, strongly recommend that you read Marc Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Even if you decide not to do cry-it-out, he does such a great job of explaining the biology of infant sleep and how it develops--that naps take longer to develop than night sleep, how many naps babies of different ages typicall need, optimal wake times, etc. Knowing these things makes it so much easier to come up with a plan that really works and makes the whole thing a lot less overwhelming.

Sleep training is not something you want to go into uninformed, so before you start, you need to research all your options, decide which is best for you, and be prepared to stick with it no matter what. If you start cry-it-out, then give up, you'll only make the problem worse.

He also addresses the issue of maximizing sleep/minimizing crying during the day to keep baby from getting too over tired.

Personally, I think 8 months is plenty old enough to get rid of the paci, especially if it's causing her to keep waking up. I would be inclined to do it all at once, but that's just me.

Good luck!

by on Jun. 20, 2012 at 8:01 AM

I agree, definitely don't remove the paci and sleep train at the same time. I would try to get rid of the paci first because that will buy her some more time sleeping with you and give you both a break to start fresh with the transition again. 

Is the crib in your room? Is it in another room?

When I transitioned my son (at about 6 months) we moved him into the crib for naps first but the crib was in our bedroom just a few feet away from our bed. Then about two weeks later I started putting him to sleep in the crib at night too and when he woke up (at about midnight) I would bring him back into bed with us for the night. Then after a while I stopped bringing him into bed then, and I would sit up and nurse him back to sleep and then put him back into the crib and bring him into bed after the next wake up at about 3am. Then after a while cut back again until it was that I was only bringing him into bed once his dad got up for work.

We then did this for a while and about 8 months we moved his crib into another room and gave him a while to get used to being in a new room and then started sleep training to get him to sleep through the night. I dropped his 3am feeding first, which was stressful because I had to get up and walk with him for about a half an hour to put him back to sleep. But after he dropped that feeding and only got up at 12 it was a lot easier to drop the 12am one by initiating the same method. By the time he was 9.5 months old he was sleeping through the night in his crib in his own room. We then worked on getting him to fall alseep on his own for the night. I would nurse him and then when he looked like he was about to doze off I would read him a little story and then put him into bed. I tried getting up and leaving but as soon as I put him in bed he would cry so I would give him a few minutes to try and fall asleep without me but after 5-10 minutes I would  end up singing to him and patting his back until he stopped crying, and then I would just leave my hand in contact with him until he fell asleep and I would ease away. Grudually there was less patting and less crying. We just kept taking it back a notch until he fell asleep on his own for the night and then we used the same technique for his naps too.

You just have to come up with a plan and really stick to it. Make sure you give every stage of whatever you decide at least two weeks to work before you decide it's not working and throw in the towel.

by on Jun. 20, 2012 at 8:07 AM
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I completely agree with this. I think the biggest mistake parents make when sleep-training (especially an older baby, like yours) is trying it for one or two nights, then when it doesn't work right away, they throw up their hands and give up. In the long run, that just makes the problem worse. New habits take time to form, especially for babies since they're so driven by habit and routine.

You just have to come up with a plan and really stick to it. Make sure you give every stage of whatever you decide at least two weeks to work before you decide it's not working and throw in the towel.

by on Jun. 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I thought I would look for the book about sleep training and give you the link, but there are soooo many books, that I can't find the right one!  So I will try to answer your questions myself. 

1) set bedtime earlier than you think - many times babies are over-tired and get their "second wind" - which will make falling asleep harder.

2) do not take away the binky yet... you want her to feel safe, secure and relaxed in her crib, and taking away her comfort zone will make the task take longer.  HOWEVER - if you feel that taking away the binking in the near future will result in more sleepless nights, you might want to just do it now and not have to do it over again later... this one is your call!

3) You sit with your baby, pat her back, etc, until she falls alseep.  If she looks at you, but cries, continue to pat her back.  If she stands up, then you gently lay her back down and pat her back.  If she's just laying there, looking at you and crying, she's ultimately saying "I'm tired.  I'm not happy about it, but I'm tired..."  so picking her up would actually be helping her to stay awake.  It's only if she already gets up on her own, that you need to gently and firmly put her back down.  Even if you have to put her back down 100 times the first night, this is what sleep training is all about. You are teaching her that you love her, you are there for her, you will always be there to protect her from things that go bump in the night, but it is time to sleep!

Let us know how it's going for you! And remember - you will not get much sleep in the beginning, but you'll be able to catch up soon.  This is sleep training - maybe two months of it - and then you should have a child that sleeps well through the night forever.  Try to nap during the day when she does, for now.

by on Jun. 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

thats your problem dont give up shell sleep when she realizes your not giving in

by on Jun. 20, 2012 at 2:00 PM
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you have to listen to her needs. I dont think its a good idea to sleep train and take away binky it might be to much for her all at once. The thing is they tell you to put them in bed then say good night and walk away. while they are still asleep from there if they are still crying after 15 min dont pick up but go into the room confort her then walk away. I sat by the door and said its ok im still here or i would sing or read a book out load so my boy could still hear my voice.

You have to do what feels right to you

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