Need advice on sleep training! What worked for you?

Lindsay - posted on 12/21/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have decided it is time to remove our son from our bed. It was nice to have him sleep with us and it made night time breastfeeding very easy. The last few months he has gotten quite restless the entire night in our bed, kicks me in the stomach (want to get pregnant again soon) and just crawls around in our bed. He is now 15 months old. We don't know what to do. We tried the cry it out method and that just did not work. Instead it seemed after a few days of crying it out he became more attached during the day with me and feared his room. I feel like all the other moms I know there kids sleep 11 hours in their own crib which makes me feel so alone in this issue. My husband and I need help and are at a point we are not sure what to do? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Rachel - posted on 12/25/2010

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Check out elizabeth pantley's book the no cry sleep solution. Are you getting him out of your room entirely or just your bed?



You are not alone!!! My 21 month old still wakes up at night. Most babies that have been sleep "trained" have developed whats is known as learned desperation ir learned hopelessness. They have been trained not to show their needs at night. You sound like a good mama in that you recognize and respond to your childs needs instead of making your child show them only when it is convenient for you. Keep that philosophy through ths transition with your son. This is always a tough transition for toddlers.



I put our crib next to our bed with the front of it off. It was attached to the bed. That got my daughter comfortable with it. We did that for a long time. She still comes into our bed now and then but it was an easier transition for us.

Danielle - posted on 12/21/2010

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I made a sleep chart when I wanted our son to sleep in his own room. I put a chart on the wall and told him if he slept in his bed all night without getting up in the morning he would get a treat. So every morning I put a gold star sticker on the day on the chart and gave him a treat. A book or a trip to the park or a toy car. something that I knew he would like. It worked on the very first night and we did it every day for three months and then that was it. He hasn't gotten up in the night once since and that was a year ago. The only tricky part is that YOU the parent has to keep your promise with the treat and never forget in the morning. If it doesn't work you can also take a blanket and pillow and sleep on the floor of the childs room for a while until they are used to their bed... Don't sleep in the bed with them though. Good luck!

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Jenn - posted on 05/08/2012

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My baby slept with me for the first 3 months of his life. It was my mom who finally broke him of that habit. i don't know how, but she did! we went to visit one weekend, and he's slept by himself ever since! He will NOT sleep in his crib recently for some reason, but we do have him in a playpen in our room. I guess it's better than in our bed lol.

Angharad - posted on 05/06/2012

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I'd second the recommendation of Elizabeth Pantley's 'No Cry Sleep Solution', for anyone reading this thread. She's brilliant, and I the best bit is the fact that she explains why night waking is normal for babies - that made it a lot easier for me to deal with.

Becky - posted on 05/04/2012

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Are any of you stay at home moms? Does your husband help during the night, even if he has to work the next day? If not, does he help on weekends?

Lindsay - posted on 12/27/2010

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Thank you so much for taking the time out of all of your busy schedules to offer me suggestions and support. It has been 12 nights now and I think we are moving in the right direction. Here is where we are at:
#1 thing we needed to create is a routine. From 7:30-8pm we spend this time in his room- we get him in his pjs, read him a ton of books and have that Cloud B Turtle night light that be LOVES looking at!
#2- We found (and many of you have suggested) putting him to bed sleepy but awake and let him cry for 5, then 10, then 15 minutes. We have never gone over 15 minutes but we find that most nights he wakes up and cries for a few minutes at 10:30 and 3am. Hopefully with time these wake ups won't occur anymore or at least hopefully we won't need to go in his room to let him know everything is okay.
Great news is that he is sleeping better now then when he was sleeping in our bed and so are we! Thanks again for all your advice and support!

Ann Marie - posted on 12/27/2010

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I like Sapslucymom's idea.

I recently night-weaned our 13-month old, which isn't the same as ending co-sleeping (she was already in her own room), but it's not entirely different either!

What worked for me was going to her room in the middle of the night when she cried, offering her a bottle of plain water (which she took happily after refusing the first one), holding/burping her for a few minutes, then laying her back down with her favorite blankie.

The first night, she cried/screamed for two hours. I was in her room most of the time - she wasn't abandoned, just mad. I would lean over the crib rail to hold her, and pat her bed and tell her it's time to lay down and sleep. Then I'd lay down next to the crib. Eventually she got tired, and the next time I lay down next to her crib, she went to sleep too.

The next night she woke up twice in the middle of the night, and I repeated the bottle of water / blankie / hold her / lay her down and lay next to the crib routine, and she was asleep within 10 minutes both times.

The third night on, I was able to leave the room after laying her down at 8. She cried for about 1-5 minutes each time, then she was out. I heard her whine once or twice a night on the baby monitor, but she usually settled herself back to sleep within a few minutes. Once in a while I still have to go in, offer her some water, hold her for a minute, and lay her back down.

Most importantly, she stopped trying to wake up in the middle of the night. I went from nursing her every 3-4 hours every night, to her sleeping a solid 10 or 11 hours every night. Since I work full-time, cutting out the 2-3 night feedings every night has helped me a GREAT DEAL! And my little one is not scarred for life, she's just fine. She's just decided that if she's not going to get warm milk in the middle of the night, she might as well go back to sleep.

Sapslucymom - posted on 12/26/2010

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I made a pallate on the flood beside my bed. They could wiggle, twist and turn and I wouldn't know, but they were very close if they needed us. I made it super soft and more comfy than our bed. She loved that more. Eventually she decided the day when she was ready to sleep by herself. It really did work and everyone got some sleep!

Rhianna - posted on 12/26/2010

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Try putting him in his crib and sit/stand next by him til he falls asleep. Then after a few days sit by the door, then after a few more days he may be able to do it himself. Make sure he is sleepy but NOT overtired. Does he nap in his bed/room? That may be a good place to start if he doesn't already. Also, if he is having trouble sleeping through the night, try a noise machine or soft music to see if that helps. Mine won't sleep well if its too quiet so we use a sound machine.

Kimberly - posted on 12/25/2010

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Wow! Personally, I find Rachel's opinion of "most babies" who sleep through the night incorrect and very offensive! My son is now 24 months old and has slept through the night, in his own crib from the time he was about 4-5 months old, and he was not "trained not to show [his] needs at night". Don't think putting your child in his or her own room is telling them that at night their needs don't matter. My son sleeps through the night, unless he has a need from my husband or I, in which case, he lets us know through the monitor.

When we talked to our pediatrician about how long and where our son should be sleeping, he explained that he should be sleeping through the night and he could be in his own room. He explained that children have to learn to put themselves to sleep. If a child is rocked or pat to sleep every night, when they wake up and turn over, they will need to be rocked or pat again to fall back asleep. We tried really hard not to do this, so our son would learn to put himself to sleep, so that if he did wake up in the middle of the night, he would not need us to come into his room and get him back to sleep. I have no idea what yall's routine is, but if you do help him go to sleep by comforting him some way, you may want to try breaking that habit in your bedroom first before you move him into another room.

The method that worked best for many of my friends was to go into the child’s room and comfort them until they are sleepy (but not asleep!!!), then leave the room so they can go to sleep by themselves. If they cry, let them cry for a minute or two, then come back into the room and comfort them in the same way until calm and sleepy again. This way they know Mommy and Daddy have not abandoned them, but it is time to go to sleep in their own rooms. Our friends increase the time in which they wait to return to the room each time, giving the child more time to go to sleep on their own.

Also, my husband’s family and their 2 1/2 yr old daughter struggled with this for a long time. They tried the scream it out method, which failed miserably. Their pediatrician said that, once past a certain age, they are too old to cry until they fall asleep. They can keep themselves up, no matter how long. The reward system (like Danielle mentioned) work for them. Their daughter now sleeps in her own bed all night long!

Good luck! You will find the way that works best for you and your son. Don’t give up, and don’t think you are being a bad parent if you don’t have your child in bed with you. You can still tend to all of his needs from another room, and eventually, he will not need you very often in the middle of the night. Rachel’s opinion is not the only opinion out there, and you need to find the one that works best for your family!

Ashleigh - posted on 12/22/2010

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I gave my daughter some juice in case she got restless. And i got her attached to one of her toys so she wont be lonely. I also put a night light in her room and opened the toy box. I shut the door and put a baby proof handle on it so she could get out and soon she just got bored of crying and trying to get out and after 3 long, hard weeks.....she sleeps soundly in her bed:)

Kelly - posted on 12/21/2010

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I have been slow weaning my son from our bed I started about a month ago and what seems to work for us was having his day bed in our room so that he learns to sleep in his own bed but is still close to mom and dad. We will move him into his own roon once he sleeps all night. I found that he cried alittle but not much and is now sleeping most of the night (only waking about once maybe twice a night) so we are hopeful that in a few months he wil be in his own room as I am expecting agian.

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