Sleep training..which method & when?

Jennifer - posted on 12/26/2011 ( 22 moms have responded )

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My baby girl is coming up on 12 weeks. When do you start sleep training and wondering what methods people use? We've read about numerous methods- no cry, CIO, baby wise, etc- basically too much info out there. What works? I am on information overload and confused. Appreciate any tips!

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Kellie - posted on 12/27/2011

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I have heard Elizabeth pantly's no cry sleep solution is fantastic, even the peaceful parenting etc sites love her. Personally I've never read her.

I don't do training children as they are children not pets. I allowed my daughter (granted this wouldn't necessarily work for everyone) find her own routine/rhythm. She settled into an awesome one all without any training.

Relax, take it as it comes, feed your bubba when they're hungry, change them when wet/dirty, cuddle them when they 'ask' you to, put them to bed when they're tired, play with them when they're awake.

Stop reading books and start listening to your bub, your bub is the best expert on what she needs, you just need to listen to her and trust yourself.

Tine - posted on 12/29/2011

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Babies are really not suited to routines, especially as young as 12 weeks! Anything you try to impose at this age is going to cause pointless stress for you and her, and is unlikely to achieve long term good outcomes for you.

The only sleep 'training' kids need is to learn a peaceful and safe association with sleep,so that they can in time (years, not months) get to sleep and stay asleep.

For babies and young children safety means knowing that you are there. Both my children co-sleep with us and I have never once had a problem with getting my 3 year old to go to bed or stay there. Sleeping in the same room as parents is now recommended by SIDS authorities for at least the first 6 months.

Please don't use any kind of 'cry it out' technique. This is not just stressful for you and bub, the research also shows that the extremely high levels of stress hormones it creates cause long term emotional and cognitive harm. It rewires the brain and vagus nerves to be super sensitive to stress and is associated with higher incidences of depression and anxiety as well as IBS and lowered intelligence. Here's a link to one paper on the subject; http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mora... .

Your loving mum's intuition is all you need to guide you to helping your baby learn to associate sleep with nice things! She will form her own natural sleep patterns in time, when she is ready. You just have to let her!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/27/2011

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I think 3 months is a little to young to engage in any sleep training. Babies that age wake up all night long for feedings and diaper changes. Also, they could use the extra cuddle time. The first year is the toughest as far as sleep for parents go. Don't worry, you will make it through. Usually after they start solids they tend to sleep longer through the night.

That being said, my son started sleeping through at about 6 weeks. My daughter on the other hand, is 20 months and STILL wakes up MANY nights. She is not a very good little sleeper.

Melissa - posted on 01/06/2012

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My daughter is almost 4 months old and really I wasn't ready for sleep training with her until this past month. Really the first 3 months I was in survival mode but recently she is somewhat coming into her own little routine so I found it easier to take what I knew about her routine and what I thought was in her best interest and we are kind of working together to get the best system going for her. I know her better now and can really read her signals, knowing early signs of when she is getting tired, etc. and this has helped with sleep training greatly. I had tried it earlier on (around 6-12 weeks) and I found myself rushing the process and going too much by the books, and not giving myself time to get to know my daughter and her needs first.
I am just kind of rambling but hopefully my experience helps :)

Kirsten - posted on 01/02/2012

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I would listen to your baby girl and she will let you know when she is ready. Our baby girl just turned 1 and she has always developed and changed her own "routine" to her changing wants and needs. If your girl is not showing signs of being tired at night at all, maybe try lowering the lights, reading to her, and calm cuddly time. Playing and such might just keep her up and changing the type of interaction according to the time of day may be helpful in cueing her to understand when it's time to settle down.

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Kellie - posted on 01/13/2012

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This is from Baby Centre



Age Nighttime Sleep Daytime Sleep * Total Sleep

1 month 8 8 (inconsistent) 16

3 months 10 5 (3) 15

6 months 11 3 1/4 (2) 14 1/4

9 months 11 3 (2) 14

12 months 11 1/4 2 1/2 (2) 13 3/4

18 months 11 1/4 2 1/4 (1) 13 1/2

2 years 11 2 (1) 13

3 years 10 1/2 1 1/2 (1) 12

*Note: number of naps in parentheses



Keep in mind all babies are different and may need a little more or a little less than the above chart.



Your 3 month old sound perfectly normal!!!



http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-much-sle...

Chantal - posted on 01/13/2012

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How many hours during the day should a three month old be sleeping. My baby was waking up midnight and then at 5am and now its changed from midnight to 3:30 am.

Lydia - posted on 01/07/2012

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I recently found "The 90 minute baby sleep program" from Polly Moore. My daughter is now 21 months old but as I look back everything this woman says makes sense. It's based on the observation that a baby will be tired after 90 minutes of being awake, and that with better naps they also start sleeping longer stretches during the night. My daughter at 3 months was never up for longer than 90 minutes at a time, took 3-4 naps during the day and slept a 9 hour stretch during the night. Here is the website to the book http://www.pollymoore.com/

Sharon - posted on 01/01/2012

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Our youngest is 8mths and a few weeks ago I started putting him in his cot, awake, but with tired signals. Before that I'd rock him to sleep, or time his sleeps to coincide with a walk to the park for our 26mth old.
Personally, I can't handle cry-it-out. I put our man in the cot, if he makes a couple of sounds, that's ok, but if it's a cry or sob then I'm in there.
What worked well for us was routine routine routine. Not neccessarily a bedtime routine, but a daytime routine, and feeding routine, that way they had a full belly whenever it was sleeptime. I let them guide me, my eldest liked to feed 3hrly, my youngest is 4hrly, so I just make sure I get to them BEFORE they get whingey. This had them sleeping through the night at very early ages. Worked well for us anyway.

Oh, and get to know her tired signs. If she gets overtired she'll most likely become a nightmare to put to sleep and only sleep in short spurts. At that age my boys were awake about an hour, maybe 1.5hrs max before needing sleep, although they thought they could stay up much longer. At 8mths, he's up 2-2.5hrs before it becomes a fight to put him to sleep.

Jennifer - posted on 12/30/2011

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@Kelina- that was a great article. Seems like here in the US we are a bit rigid and Type 'a' when it comes to raising kids. I'm living learning about how different cultures are- it's so helpful and jut reinforces trusting the mom gut!

Katherine - posted on 12/29/2011

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babies will and can do routines...no matter their age. My son started his routine and followed each and everyday from the time he was released from the hospital. just follow your baby.......but I will never recommend to anyone to bedshare., some health units will suggest having baby in your room within arms reach for the first year, we did 8 weeks and had to move him out as he outgrew his bassinet and was so fidgety he kept us both awake all night long while he slept through his nights

Lise - posted on 12/29/2011

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@Joy - that's funny! I always say my dd's light sleeping is a joy and a hardship. She was potty trained at night around 14 months, because she woke to use the bathroom.

Joy - posted on 12/29/2011

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I forgot to mention in my above post that one of the reasons my daughter also wakes at night now is that she needs to use the restroom. So her waking up in the middle of the night is not always a bad thing. Its actually worse if she sleeps too soundly - then she has a night-time accident like she did last night and prompted this addendum to my post. So maybe lighter sleepers are easier for night-time potty train when you get to that point? Dunno for sure since I only have the 1 child, but its what I can offer to you in hope.

Joy - posted on 12/28/2011

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I would do what feels right to you. Trust your 'Mom-gut.' Also, AAP has warned parents against using Babywise methods: http://www.ezzo.info/resources/timeline/...

I did try the method around 3 months and just couldn't do it after a few weeks. It was too heartbreaking to hear my daughter's cries and not help her. I'm not spoiling her, I'm nurturing. My daughter's now 2 years old and I can see the results of the early nurturing in how she responds to me and to her playmates.

As for sleep... well, I admit we still don't get a lot of sleep around here. But my daughter's out of the crib and still teething on her last 2 molars. My husband & I take turns to let the other get enough sleep. And we still use the advice we got at our parenting classes before our daughter was born: "Sleep when baby sleeps."

Kelina - posted on 12/28/2011

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12 weeks is too young for sleep training. IF you are going to try sleep training of any kind wait until AT LEAST 8 months old and have a routine well established first. Then do what feels right to you.

Jennifer - posted on 12/28/2011

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Thanks you guys for great advice and encouragement. As a first time mom it's been tough with every friend and family member having an opinion. Feels good to have other Mom support! I like the idea of trusting my gut and getting rid of the books. :)

Kristy - posted on 12/28/2011

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With my children i just started a routine and stuck with it. I did it from when they were about a week old but children soon learn the cues and know when it is bedtime. I would just change my kids clothes or suit even if it was clean, change there bum and if hungry give them a feed and then put them in their bassinette. When my daughter was young she would be awake an hour or so later for a feed but it didn't take long for bub to know it was bedtime. My son soon realised it was bedtime and would feed every half hour or so until he decided he was full and passed out but he still went to bed at the same time, 8.30 each night and once he started fussing i would just go and feed him again and puthim back in his bassinett. He took a little longer to settle and fall asleep but that was because he was hingry all the time and would drink 300mils of formula before passing out at night from when he was a week old! Once the kids got a bit older i did bath, feed, change there bum and then bed time. Good luck, i hope you find a way that works for you.

Lise - posted on 12/27/2011

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Totally agree with Kellie. I want my dd to have good sleep associations, not pair sleep with being alone and crying.

Katherine - posted on 12/27/2011

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I agree with Kellie - TOSS THE BOOKS!!! I read everything I could get my hands on....stressed myself out!!!! Once I tossed the books I was basically stressfree (as stressfree as a new mom can be at least) and my baby was alot happier

Kimberly - posted on 12/26/2011

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I could never handle letting my daughter cry to sleep and has gotten into the bad habit of nursing her to sleep which worked great when she was younger. Only to then have the problem that I could only put her to sleep no one else!!! We ended up going to a clinic that has you live in for five days and addresses a bunch of issues, sleep, feeding, behaviour. Now they actually taught me how to get my daughter who was then 18 months to do self settling but also gave us the info on how sleep works and what things can become sleep aids etc. Now she cried at first but I had a nurse there the whole time to help assure me that she wasnt hurting and was actually able to think with my head instead of my heart. It was hard but within the four days she was sleeping through the night and still having great day sleeps. She is now two and she will sometimes still cry but only for a few minutes and then go to sleep. I totally loved that clinic and would go back if I ever needed anything.

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