The doctor said that now that Keane is four months he needs to learn how to fall asleep on his own, on his back, in his crib and be able to self sooth if he wakes up so that he can put himself back to sleep. He said the only way to accomplish this is the cry it out method because we waited so long. He sleeps in his bassinet by the bed and sometimes with me, he also eats every two to three hours at night. The doc said he should be doing six hours at night without eating. Help! I know I have to do this but this is the hardest thing I have ever done. Has anyone else had success with this method? Are then any other ways that aren't so hard on parents and baby?

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Katie - posted on 02/22/2009

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That is the silliest thing I've ever heard a doctor say! The research that has been done on kids that 'cry it out' and are left to 'self sooth' shows that those kids are even more clingy in awake hours with their parents, and have more attachment problems later in life. Oh, and co sleeping is just fine. For every child that has had a co sleeping accident (most of which were do to the parent being intoxicated) many more have been victims of SIDS (and even that is only 1-2 per 1000). Here is an article on it: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/t071000... and another one on infant sleep in general: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/t070200...

Read "The Baby Book" my Dr. Sears and Martha Sears. I've also had lots of luck with "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. "The Happiest Baby on the Block" is also really good, but it isn't so much about sleeping as soothing your baby. Go to the website www.askdrsears.com

The best advice I can give any parent is if someones advice doesn't feel right (even the doctor's) then don't use it. Doctors can be wrong and often are due to inexperience, bad information, or old information. That's not to say yours is incapable of being a pediatrician, just question anything that doesn't sound right to you.

Brenda - posted on 02/25/2009

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Hey, I am telling you from an experianced mom, my first son we lived in a one bedroom sweet his crib was by my head,, it was the biggest mistake ever he would wake up see me and cry wanting me to put him back to sleep or feed him. he is now 8 and he still wakes up at night for no reason. Do not make the same mistake if you have the option of putting your baby inanother room DO IT! He will have trouble sleeping for a long time and not be able to have a normal sleeping patternand not get enough sleep it will effect his behavoir in the day and at school and his eating habbits.Now with my 2nd thankfully we moved and were able to afford a 3 bedroom when i delivered her and was coming home i mentioned to the doctor and nurse what happend with my son and didnt want the same thing happen to my daughter they both said that the first night when i go home put her in her crib in her own room, of course have a baby monitor or even better the ones with the camera ( a very good investment). and when she cries at night if you know in your heart that shes fed and changed and nothing is wrong with her just tuck her in giver her the soother and let her cry herself to sleep. Of course if you hear your baby doing an unusual cry like a painful cry youll know to go and pick him up. follow your mothers inctenct. i have 3 children my last 2 were the easist even today they are 5, and 2 and they sleep with the doors shut and lights shut no problem, not a word but my son like i said started off bad and has affected his sleeping habbits till today.. So my advice to you, you need to be STRONG do not let the baby blues get to you and start feeling like you cant do this because YOU CAN! You are in charge and no one loves your child more than you and you want nothing but the best for him so set him up for a healthy normal sleeping pattern for the rest of his life. And of course than you can get the REST that you definetly neeeeeed!

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I can totally identify w/your pain. My son is 8 months old and has been sleeping through the night for a few weeks now. We went through the same thing when Caleb was about your son's age...he would cry the second we would lay him in his crib. Then ONLY thing that worked for us (and i tried everything, including no-cry methods) was to let him cry it out. The first time is terrible but instead of sitting there listening to it, go to another room or somewhere you can't hear and check back every 5-10 mins. By the 3rd night Caleb would go to sleep w/no cries or very little crying. We kept him on a very solid routine at night prior to bed time. And this worked great. We would still get up w/him in the middle of the night when he woke up for his bottle and then when the Dr said he was old enough to go w/out a bottle we took it away cold turkey!! Again, the first night or 2 was terrible and we would get up w/him and rock  him but wouldn't give him a bottle and would lay him back in his crib still awake. Now, he goes right to sleep when we lay him down and stays asleep until the morning. It's hard to do, but it is even harder on you and them in the long run if they never learn to fall alseep by themselves. They will sleep much better if you teach them how to go back to sleep when they wake up b/c everyone wakes in the middle of the night...even adults. If you don't give them the chance to learn, it could take them years to learn. The hard part only lasts a few nights but the reward will last much longer!!

Haley - posted on 02/25/2009

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I thought the same thing you are thinking. How can I just let my baby cry, well let me tell you that from the time we put our son in the bed we started when he was about 5 months putting him down before he was awake. An it took us about 2 weeks of Landon just crying and crying. But now he is 1 1/2 and all we have to tell him is that its bed time and he walks to his bed and waits on us to put him in and then goes on off to sleep. He does the same with his afternoon nap. So it dose work you us have to be very strong for the first few weeks while they are going through it. Best of luck and you can do it.

Tiffany - posted on 02/24/2009

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I didn't read through the other posts to see if this has been suggested or not, but buy the book "Babywise" by Gary Ezzo. I'm following it with my son and he is sleeping through the night at 2 months old. Good luck!

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Cherie - posted on 02/25/2009

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Have you tryed cereal before bedtime? As soon as we put our baby in her crib that's when she slept through the night.

Viki - posted on 02/25/2009

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I've raised 6 kids, and I could never let my babies "cry it out". I rocked and fed my babies for a long time, and enjoyed every minute. They grow all too quickly, I would never rush these things, the time with them while they're young is too precious. My kids are all very independent and they all know that their mom loves them tremendously for the time I've spent and continue to spend with them.

Viki - posted on 02/25/2009

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I've raised 6 kids, and I could never let my babies "cry it out". I rocked and fed my babies for a long time, and enjoyed every minute. They grow all too quickly, I would never rush these things, the time with them while they're young is too precious. My kids are all very independent and they all know that their mom loves them tremendously for the time I've spent and continue to spend with them.

Kristy - posted on 02/25/2009

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I have a 7 year old son, and have been dealing with this issue for 7 years. My son does not know how to put himself to sleep, and everyone has told me he needs to learn. If you do it now, you will be a much happier person. My marriage and my sleep suffer tremendously. The biggest regret I have is that I never had the strength to listen to him cry, and now I have only 1 child, a grumpy husband, and an erratic sleep pattern. 



 

Kimberly Gillim-Wiggins - posted on 02/25/2009

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I know the cry-it-out method is uncomfortable you at times, however it works. My son is now 2 days shy of 7 months and we went through it with when it came to sleep. He would sleep 4 to 5 hours at best. Finally I had to buckle down because started back to work and needed to sleep badly. Try to limit his naps to once or twice a day. If once limit to 2 to 2-1/2 hrs, if twice a day limit to 1 to 1-1/2 tops. try to do it every day the same time. This will take about a week or so (Give or take a few days). When it is time for over night sleep give the baby a bath and feed him/her a thicker bottle.

put a little cereal (1 or 2 tablespoons per 8oz bottle) or add baby food to the formula (like Bananas-about 1 to 1-1/2 ounces). This combination is what worked for us.

I still continue it today and for the past month his afternoon nap last about 2-3 hrs and his night sleep last about 7 to 8. Needless to say my husband and I are very happy.

Hope this helps> ;)

Meagan - posted on 02/25/2009

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I'm with Jill. I have eight children. I tried the "crying it out" with my first two but never felt comfortable with it. I let the rest of our children sleep in our bed until they stopped nursing so frequently. The age for this differed with each child. Once they were only nursing out of habit, we had them sleep next to my husband instead of next to me. Once they consistently slept all night, we let them fall asleep cuddling with us then moved them into their own room. Our youngest is now two and has been sleeping in her room for quite a while now. Our kids are very secure and happy. They know our bed is always open to them. This method has been wonderful for us and like Jill said, you have to find what works best for your family. I can't tell you how many times we have disagreed with advice given by professionals. We simply tell them we want to try another way and they usually back down. Remember, ultimitely, you are the only authority for your children and you do know best. Follow your instincts and be willing to change methods depending on the situation and child. Our oldest is now 14. We are approached by neighbors and school families constantly asking what we did with our children to make them such wonderful people. I always tell them we asked other families what worked for them, used what worked for us, and do a lot of praying and family time. Good luck- enjoy parenting- this is the best time of life!

Jennifer - posted on 02/25/2009

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you don't say if the issue of sleeping together is a problem. Just that its the doctor's prefference. Yes I beleive that self soothing is an important key for peaceful nights, but this can be taught later on. (This is MY opnion) If you don't have a problem with him co-sleeping then don't worry about it. If your trying to move him to his own room, these ladies have some great advice. Its important to find what works for you. Thats what will save your peace of mind. You need to be consistant with whatever you decide so your child can feel they can depend on you. The cry it out method works for some, as for me I beleive it teaches the children a way to release their emotions....thier frustrations. Children who are not able to realse thier emotions sometimes move to more physical releases such as biting. Its also important to know that the cry it out method is only a mer few minutes, not like half an hour. Going in to reassure the child that you have not left, and covering them back up worked for me. Gentle back rubs worked for my kids too, but we did fall into the routine of a back rub before bed. My 5 year old still asks for his back to be rubbed! As busy as I am during the week we hardly see eachother, so a 5 minute back rub provides us time to talk quielty and catch up. I know it sounds weird and sometimes they don't even last..its more the reassurance that I am there for him. and I think thats what it all comes down too.



You need to do whatever you feel works for you.

Selena - posted on 02/25/2009

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The transition from bassinet to the crib in it itself will be difficult but it can be done. Your child has to get used to being alone in the crib and away from you. You can try adding a night light to his room and play soft music in his room or rock him to sleep first and then put him in the crib. As far as eating every three to four hours. That usually stops between 3-4 months. That means that once your baby goes to sleep you don't wake him up and feed him. You let him sleep. No nursing or anything. It is better for him to go to sleep shortly after a meal and after being properly burped. Warm milk can soothe him and a warm bath. With practice and "consistency" it will work out. Otherwise, you may end up having a five year old still sleeping in your bed! LOL

Selena - posted on 02/25/2009

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The transition from bassinet to the crib in it itself will be difficult but it can be done. Your child has to get used to being alone in the crib and away from you. You can try adding a night light to his room and play soft music in his room or rock him to sleep first and then put him in the crib. As far as eating every three to four hours. That usually stops between 3-4 months. That means that once your baby goes to sleep you don't wake him up and feed him. You let him sleep. No nursing or anything. It is better for him to go to sleep shortly after a meal and after being properly burped. Warm milk can soothe him and a warm bath. With practice and "consistency" it will work out. Otherwise, you may end up having a five year old still sleeping in your bed! LOL

Selena - posted on 02/25/2009

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The transition from bassinet to the crib in it itself will be difficult but it can be done. Your child has to get used to being alone in the crib and away from you. You can try adding a night light to his room and play soft music in his room or rock him to sleep first and then put him in the crib. As far as eating every three to four hours. That usually stops between 3-4 months. That means that once your baby goes to sleep you don't wake him up and feed him. You let him sleep. No nursing or anything. It is better for him to go to sleep shortly after a meal and after being properly burped. Warm milk can soothe him and a warm bath. With practice and "consistency" it will work out. Otherwise, you may end up having a five year old still sleeping in your bed! LOL

Jill - posted on 02/25/2009

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All I want to say is that each family has to figure out what works for them.  When I was pregnant with my first, I was totally against co-sleeping.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would end up doing that.  4 kids later & they have all slept in our bed.  I will admit that I probably didn't get as good of sleep as many of the advocates of the baby sleeping alone.  But I still think it worked best for us.    So my point is, think about what you want.  You do not have to make the baby cry it out.  My oldest is 9 now & sleeping with us when he was little did not have any kind of negative effect on him.  So do what you think feels right.  If you want to sleep apart from the baby, then you will find a way that works.  Just remember, at that young age, you mean everything to that baby.  I think there is nothing wrong with post-poning the 'crying it out' even 2 or so months longer.  Good luck.  Just remember no matter what you do, it will all work out fine! 

Jill - posted on 02/25/2009

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All I want to say is that each family has to figure out what works for them.  When I was pregnant with my first, I was totally against co-sleeping.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would end up doing that.  4 kids later & they have all slept in our bed.  I will admit that I probably didn't get as good of sleep as many of the advocates of the baby sleeping alone.  But I still think it worked best for us.    So my point is, think about what you want.  You do not have to make the baby cry it out.  My oldest is 9 now & sleeping with us when he was little did not have any kind of negative effect on him.  So do what you think feels right.  If you want to sleep apart from the baby, then you will find a way that works.  Just remember, at that young age, you mean everything to that baby.  I think there is nothing wrong with post-poning the 'crying it out' even 2 or so months longer.  Good luck.  Just remember no matter what you do, it will all work out fine! 

Deanne - posted on 02/25/2009

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it definetly is something hard to do, but I think its true...The doctors told me the smae thing and so did my husband! One night my mother came to our house around bed time, I put my son in his crib, and my mom sat on the floor outside his bedroom door.  He cried LOUD, but having my mom there helped me not go in after 10 minutes he fell fast asleep and after that night slept right through! Its not for all moms though, try other things to black out blinds!, spinning night lights, sleep "N" sounds...



Hope you find a easy tansition for the both of you

Katie - posted on 02/25/2009

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I am big on having a routine and it has helped tremendously. It doesn't hurt anything and I think that it makes the baby more content to know what to expect. Even at 3 months - they know! We always did things with our daughter in this order: eat, play sleep, eat, play, sleep - and before it was bedtime (7:30) we would give her a bath and read her a book, then off to bed. By doing this she was sleeping 6-7 hours a night at 8 weeks and by 11 weeks was sleeping from 7am-7pm. At 8 weeks I started adding in an extra bottle right before we put her down to try and eliminate the middle of the night feeding. She continued to still wake up at first (always at the same time within minutes) and I was told that she was probably waking out of habit, not hunger, and to let her go and see what she did. The first two nights she cried for about 30 minutes. The next two for about 10-15 minutes and by night 5 she didn't even wake up! Don't worry, you will know your baby's cries and if she is crying because she is hurting/upset or just fussing. It will be hard but give it a week - it is worth it, EVERYONE, INCLUDING BABY, is happier when the get a good night's sleep!

Also, try spacing out meals longer during the day more and just feeding more at a time. I fed our daughter every 3-4 hours. Also, sometimes being in the same room with you can cause the baby to wake up. Try putting him in his crib in his own room with a monitor of course and see what happens. Again, we put our daughter in her own room in her crib at 7 weeks and that is when she really started sleeping well. When she was in our room in the bassinet she would wake up about every 4 hours. It is hard at first and you will probably stay up half the night watching the monitor but one morning you will wake up and realize you slept great, and the baby is fine and he slept great! Do yourself a favor and give it a try!

Sara - posted on 02/25/2009

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Wow, I would have to disagree with your doctor. The reason he is crying is because he needs something. If he is in a bassinet, it shouldnt be to hard to feed him during the night. He might be small and not have enough sustinance to go more than 2 or 3 hours a night. When babies cry and dont get their needs met they may learn not to trust that you will come and give them what they need. Just think it's really only a couple months out of your life. Trust your instincts, if they say get your baby he needs you, then get him. The cry it out method is really only appropriate for older children in my opinion.

Sara - posted on 02/25/2009

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Wow, I would have to disagree with your doctor. The reason he is crying is because he needs something. If he is in a bassinet, it shouldnt be to hard to feed him during the night. He might be small and not have enough sustinance to go more than 2 or 3 hours a night. When babies cry and dont get their needs met they may learn not to trust that you will come and give them what they need. Just think it's really only a couple months out of your life. Trust your instincts, if they say get your baby he needs you, then get him. The cry it out method is really only appropriate for older children in my opinion.

Sara - posted on 02/25/2009

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Wow, I would have to disagree with your doctor. The reason he is crying is because he needs something. If he is in a bassinet, it shouldnt be to hard to feed him during the night. He might be small and not have enough sustinance to go more than 2 or 3 hours a night. When babies cry and dont get their needs met they may learn not to trust that you will come and give them what they need. Just think it's really only a couple months out of your life. Trust your instincts, if they say get your baby he needs you, then get him. The cry it out method is really only appropriate for older children in my opinion.

Angela - posted on 02/25/2009

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Hi! All has been great advice! Here's something I did that worked soooo well! We started to put light music on for him at night...we played worship, but you can play anything you believe will be soothing to your baby....and we also put a humidifier in our son's room. The noise in the room really helped to sooth him to sleep and it's also great because he got use to the noise so he can sleep pretty much anywhere now in any environment :) Also, once my son was a able to eat rice cereal, 3 months, I started giving it to him at night mixed with breast milk or you can do formula. This is my son's last feeding of the day and it keeps him full and satisfied allllll night!!! He sleeps 10-12 hours for us. Hope this helps!

Nancy - posted on 02/25/2009

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your doctor may need a lesson in bedside manner. maybe not the best doctor experience for your child to grow up with.  my advice is just don't do anything you're uncomfortable with, the same things do not work for every family, or there would not be a circle of moms, there would be a handbook, and we'd all be sunshiny happy people.

Alana - posted on 02/25/2009

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At four months old he should be in his own crib in his own room. It will be harder on you than him. My daughters were both preemies and by four months old they were in their own rooms. The best advice is make sure you have a routine. Never tiptoe around babies when they are sleeping the more noise the better. Remember when you were in the hospital the nursery is very noisy and noise is comfort. He spent 9 months inside you listening to your heartbeat. i'm sure it's not real quiet in there. I could vaccuum under the crib and they still slept. Now my girls are 8 and almost 11 and we all survived. Good Luck to you.

Heather - posted on 02/25/2009

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Wow, what a tizzy this one stirred up!.....



I did the cry it out method but not until my little one was 9 months or so. It was the hardest thing I'd done at that point, nearly killed me to let him cry!



However, it worked. and I will say this - you will have to do much harder things as your child gets older, punishing them will never be easy, but that's why pare - nting is hard. Easy doesn't usually get very good results in my experience.



BTW - I have two of my own, two stepchildren, and have done daycare for many many kids from ages 6mo-12yrs.....so I have LOTS of experience!

Heather - posted on 02/25/2009

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Wow, what a tizzy this one stirred up!.....



I did the cry it out method but not until my little one was 9 months or so. It was the hardest thing I'd done at that point, nearly killed me to let him cry!



However, it worked. and I will say this - you will have to do much harder things as your child gets older, punishing them will never be easy, but that's why pare - nting is hard. Easy doesn't usually get very good results in my experience.



BTW - I have two of my own, two stepchildren, and have done daycare for many many kids from ages 6mo-12yrs.....so I have LOTS of experience!

Veronique - posted on 02/25/2009

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Hi there. It appears to me that your son is probably using you to self-sooth.  How is his sleeping habits during the day. If he uses you to fall asleep, I would suggest that you don't breastfeed him to sleep during the day and at bedtime nor rock him to sleep. You simply want to remove the sleep associates of falling asleep at the breast or on you.My son was the same way and he is now 5 months. I stopped nursing him in his room.  Before his bedtime, I would nurse him in the living room before his bath, then give his bath, read a story/songs and then put to bed. It is also important to have a routine. THat helped us alot. We started his routine at 2.5 months but removed the nursing before bed in room at about 4 months because he kept waking up needing me to fall asleep and he started waking up once he was no longer in my arms after nursing. I tried every soothing method possible and nothing worked or if it worked, it was only temporary. I would be in his room soothing him for 4-5 hours at times. I tried to let him cry it out for 3 nights and stopped because I couldn't understand why he would cry for 1-1.5 hours since he was able to fall asleep on his own during the day without a peep. I figured that there was something missing at night to make him feel comfortable and secure. The difference between the day naps and bedtime was me. As mentioned, he is used to falling asleep without my help during the day for some time now but he always had me at night. Two days ago, I decided to put one of my t-shirts in his crib so that he would have my smell near by for comfort. That didn't work. He still cried for about 40 minutes and couldn't settle. I put my sweater in his hand and it took 5 minutes and he was out. He started sucking on it and it soothed him like magic. He didn't wake up during the night. I did the same thing last night, and he sleep from 7:30 until 5:30 and didn't even cry when he was put to bed awake. So that being said, before you do decide to let him cry, try this approach since this may be all that he needs. You know your baby. I knew my son was crying for a reason as he is not a crier and he simply needs his mommy or the perception of his mommy near by for security. Babies this young are sensitive to their environment and remember, he is attached to you since birth. Your smell is maybe all that he needs.

[deleted account]

Hi Tiffany, I must say at 4 months old that is way too young for a child to cry it out. The first thing you should do is stop putting him in the bassinet and start making him sleep in his crib that includes daytime naps so that he can begin the adjustment period. Everytime he cries you should just go in there, don't pick him up out of the crib, just console him by rubbing his tummy and telling him that it's ok...even if you have to do it 100 times he'll give in. My son had that issue when he was about 8 months old and everyday he cried less and less and understood that he needed to sleep in his own bed. My newborn (2nd son) also feeds every 3 hours, but at night he does sleep about 6 hours without milk. Try giving him a few ounces more so that it will last him those few hours, that's what I've been doing and it works. Hope this helps and good luck!

Jenny - posted on 02/25/2009

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Do you know why there are so many responses to this?  So many moms/dads struggle with sleep and naps.  I am surprised at your doctor's advice; sometimes I think they say things like that because they think babies CAN do that at this age, but that doesn't mean your baby will. 



I personally think every child is different; I'm always amazed at the people whose kids "sleep through" at really young ages.  My children were/are breastfed and my daughter had a few random "sleep through the night" moments under 4 months, but they weren't consistent.  My son slept for 5 hour stretches once in a while, but not regularly either.



I would highly recommend "The Baby Book" by Dr. Sears as well as "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth.  Weissbluth discusses the research that supports that children are not neurologically able to regulate sleep until 3-4 months after the due date. At that point, he offers several methods of helping your child get the sleep he/she needs.  He discusses "cry it out," "graduated extinction" (aka controlled crying), always soothing your baby to sleep regardless of how long it takes, and co-sleeping.  He actually says that if you are co-sleeping, night feedings do not disrupt sleep for the baby (although they may for mom).  Weissbluth talks a lot about how children at your child's age can do about 2 hours of wakefulness at a time (during the day) before needing to be soothed to sleep, so he recommends timing the sleep schedule based on when the child wakes up for the day and from naps.  This helped me a lot because my kids were just not consistent in when or how long they slept at 4 months.   He says that the common pattern according to research and his recommendations is starting the day between 6-8 a.m., 1st nap by 9 a.m., 2nd nap by 1 p.m., 3rd nap varies, and bedtime between 6-8 p.m.  He says there is usually a waking around midnight, sometimes 2am, a waking at 5 am and then starting over again.



These are some of his suggestions and he is very specific about there being a need to recognize and respond to baby's cues and needs.  My son was so hard to get to sleep that I seriously read every book the library had and bought several also.  I found that these two books gave the most sound research-based advice and they resonated with my personal maternal instincts. 



Weissbluth does say,



"At about three to four months of age, daytime sleep is organized into two or three long naps instead of many brief, irregular ones...One common mistake is keeping bedtime at exactly the same hour every night.  Usually the hour is too late and is based more on the parents' wishes than the child's sleep needs.  It is important to have a fairly regular routine of soothing events before putting your child to sleep, but it makes biological sense to vary the bedtime a little.  The time when your child needs to go to sleep depends on his age, how long his previous nap lasted, and how long his wakeful period was just before the bedtime hour...  Obviously, the bedtime hour is not fixed or unchanging.  If your child is unusually active in the afternoon or if she misses a good afternoon nap, then she should be put to sleep earlier."



If you want support for "cry-it-out" working, it's there, but he also explains alternatives and totally gives validity to other methods.  He does claim that it is harder to be consistent with graduated extinction and I have found that to be true. 



One more thing  - my kids would finally "sleep through" and then something would happen - an illness, a tooth, a vacation - and we would have to "start over."  Bear this in mind when choosing what you want to do.  :) 



Best wishes!  Go with your instincts over all else.  You know your baby and his needs more than anyone else. 

Jennifer - posted on 02/25/2009

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You really don't have to do it. My very best advice to any parent is that you should follow YOUR instincts. t just depends on YOUR parenting philosophy.

I have a five year old and a seven year old. I never let them cry in their crib alone. Ever. I didn't always pick them up, but I always went to them, patted their backs, and talked to them. I believe that it's a critical part of parent-child attachment for the child to know that when they "talk," his/her parents listen. We had a very soothing bedtime routine (bath, book, song, bed) and a slightly shorter nap routine to signal when it was time to go to sleep. It worked well for us. My children didn't sleep all night until they were about a year old, but I have absolutely no regrets about my approach. I loved the middle of the nighttime with them and they knew they could count on me to be there. They've been great sleepers since then.

If you do decide to use the Ferber ("cry it out") method, look into the details because it doesn't just involve letting your child cry. The Ferber method encourages you to start with soothing your child when he cries, but not picking him up. You stand progressively further away and let the child cry a little longer each time until he understands that he can soothe himself. This takes place over a week-long period (or more if you have to start over again). You should read up on this though because Ferber is now questioning the use of his own method--saying that children need to know that their parents are there for them and that parents have mislabeled his ideas as "crying it out."

Also, keep in mind that when infants go through growth spurts they need more food, so there really isn't a constant rule about how long they can go without eating.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends never letting a child under three months old cry without attending to him/her, so you certainly shouldn't feel like you "waited so long."

Go with your gut, and remember that they're only this tiny and cuddly once. I actually miss the middle of the night cuddling!



 

Elizabeth - posted on 02/25/2009

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OK so I did the same thing with my son, and our doc said to do the same thing. We tried to let him cry it out but I couldnt do it. So Cole slept in the bed with us until he was around 14 mos. Our full size bed was way to small. So instead of trying to get cole to sleep in a crib he never been in, we gave up our bed to him and bought a new bed for us. The first night that we layed Cole down in his "new" bed he went right to sleep. Ever since then we have had no problem with him falling asleep in his own bed. I know it sounds crazy but it worked!

Nicholette - posted on 02/25/2009

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Your baby is a little too young to make him cry it out. We did this with all 3 of our children, but waited until they were at least 6 months old to do it. It only took about 2-3 nights with all of our children and then they slept through the night, unless they were sick or something. I also put my babies in there crib in their own room. I had them in my room a few times and thought, how the heck does anyone sleep like this full time. I was up all night. People may have ideas about other ways, but honestly, I have tried everything with my 3, and this was my last resort and the only thing that was at all effective. I think in 2 months if he is not sleeping all night, you should consider this. Good luck, hope you are all sleeping through the night soon.

Jessica - posted on 02/25/2009

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Four months is too early!  They say that a baby younger than six months can never be too spoiled because they are building attachment at this age.  You should introduce him to his crib (my mom put the bassinet into the crib, so there was comfort and building familiarity with the crib at the same time - my cousin and I did some naps in the crib abd some in the bassinet so the baby got used to waking up in different places).  By six months you want to start sleeping him in his crib regularly (he'll be too big for the bassinet by then anyway most likely)  It sounds like you should read Dr. Sears.  There are also some others but there are "no-cry" methods of getting them used to sleeping through.  I did eventually go with crying-it-out - it really does work fastest - but you have to be tough and willing to do it or you make things worse by giving in.

[deleted account]

I do not kknow if you are a working mother or a stay at home mom but it sounds as if your baby needs to boost your milk production.  It is rather normal if you are working for the baby to nurse every 2-3 hours at night in order to boost the milk production.  If you are a stay at home Mom I would wonder if he is eating as often during the day.  If you are an at home Mom my advise is to increase feedings during the day.  If you are a working Mom you might want to pump and give a bottle in addition to breast feeding at night to try and stritch the time.  My children were all different and my oldest was a real sleeper but still did not sleep through the night until she was about 4 months old.  When I say through the night I mean a 5 hour stritch.  My youngest son slept through the night almost as soon as born.  Each child is different on this but 2-3 hours is still extremely often at the age of 4 months.  I would boost my breast milk production.

Cara - posted on 02/25/2009

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at 6 wks my daughter wasnt sleepin thru and i was exhausted breastfeeding the so when she woke up at 12 i offered her water - she didnt want it so i left her she cried for 1/2 hour then fell asleep it was really hard to listen to but she never woke again - i did the same with my boys and none of them woke up before 8 and would sleep from 10 now i have to drag them out of bed!!! you have to be disciplined and put them in their own room otherwise you just disturb each other......u do get used to it though I agree with last post dont give in otherwise they will learn to use ur weakjness against you

Lisa - posted on 02/25/2009

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This method does work. Around 3 months old, I put my daughter in her bed and waited through the crying. After a couple times, she became the perfect nap taker, so much so that her daycare tagged her as the "best napper". Everything is hard during parenting. My mother told me once that if it isn't hard, then you are not doing your job. I will always remember this and it has allowed me to get through extreme times when I would cry at night because I felt I was too hard on my daughter who is now 12. It is hard at first, but the hard work is worth it in the end.

As for sleeping through the night, my daughter never slept more than 3 to 4 hours for the first 9 months, and even after that, she was always up by 5 am. So much for sleeping in. It wasn't until she was 7 or 8 until I was able to sleep in myself. You jsut get used to it. Every baby is different, so Dr.'s have to keep that in mind. Take advice, and then weigh it in to your life and see what is right for you, but my advice is never to take the easy route, it will just make it harder in the long run.

Good luck,

Karen - posted on 02/25/2009

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I don't think that is an issue for the Doctor - that's a parenting issue. There will be no health repercussions if your baby is still being soothed to sleep for quite a while now. Of course it is more work in the long run to do it that way... But that's your choice to make, not something a Doctor should be telling you about.

Cathleena - posted on 02/25/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

Remember too that babies can't tell time or read a schedule! A Four month old has no idea what cause and effect is either, they don't begin to learn that until around 9 months. He just needs you. The right way to raise a confident child is by showing him that people do care and will help him if he's in a bind! He'll take a chance on crawling across the room one day because he knows that someone will help him if he gets lost or scared! Respond to your child, let him know you are there for him, he has no idea how to "tough it out", he's a baby, treat him like one!


I totally agree.  You can't spoil a baby, especially at four months. A baby will have more self confidence if they grow up comforted and supported. They can learn to be independent when they are more aware of their surroundings, but a 4 mo old is not. they just want you. And they are more likely to feel have the confidence to go out into the world with a strong sense of self because they know their parents will always be there.  While there are certain times when a child will need to learn by making their own mistakes and falling down so they can get back up, this is not one of those times.  They don't understand.  They are trying to communicate in the only way they know how and the two people they want the most have disappeared into the darkness.  That must be the scariest thing for a little mind to not be able to understand.  Sorry, maybe I'm coming down a little hard on this issue.  It's late.

You know your child and how he can fall asleep best. How I have been putting my daughter to sleep is that she has a very warm bottle between 8 and 9pm depending on when she wants it (i believe in routine as a guide but not a minute to minute schedule) then I slowly rock her to sleep in the rocking chair, either singing or playing music. once she closes her eyes, I wait 2-3 minutes then put her in her crib. But when I lay her down I put her head down last to avoid her waking up too much and I hold her hands together and release them very slowly and this works for us. When I can, if she falls really deep asleep right away, I swaddle her.  If she doesn't then I tightly tuck a blanket over her and into the sides of the crib matress with her hands slightly pinned underneath.  Sometimes she wakes up a little, and i just pat her bottom a little and let her know I'm still her and she can go back to sleep. And she does.

She was a preemie...6 weeks early.  So we thought she would be behind in every way. But she started stretching and squirming around in her bassinet so much by 2.5 mo. we had to move her to her crib.  by 3.5 mo she was sleeping 5 hours, halfway through the night the the balance of the night till 9 am. just from swaddling her.  Now that she's drinking more, she sleeps from 8-9ish to 6-7am. which is when my husband wakes up for work anyway.

She is our first baby and so far has been too good to be true.  And I don't know if you are breastfeeding or not or if that makes a difference.  But I was not able to breastfeed due to complications from the delivery.  But perhaps asks the doctor, and I know it's a topic with arguments for many different opinions, if he's not already eating solids, if a little right before bed may settle him a little more or enough to fall asleep while you are in the room. Perhaps singing to him which could later transition into music played on a stereo or a night light toy or something. just an idea.




Hope any of this was helpful and you find a way that makes you and Keane happy.  Best wishes.

Susan - posted on 02/25/2009

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try using a white noise machine...when i was trying to get my first to sleep through the night i just could not stand to hear them cry...i read that white noise was soothing for babies...i did not have one so i tried using a radio that was off of the station so all you could hear was very light static...it worked like a charm...something about that noise seemed to soothe her...she didn't even really cry...fight the urge to go back in and check on them...the best thing you could ever do is give them the independence to sleep on your own

Jeadan - posted on 02/25/2009

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Hi There, yes I used this method on my daughter from about 8 weeks and I totally agree it is so hard at first but it is so worth it, it probaly took a couple of weeks but once she had learnt to self sooth it was fantastic. She would sleep right through. Sometimes it is best to go somewhere where you coulld not hear the crying I would only leave her for about 15mins, if the crying was really intense I would go to her but if I could hear that there was longer intervals in between her crying I knew she would be off to sleep soon. I honestly recommend this method and I could take her anywhere and she would put herself to sleep. However in saying this I think it is important to remember that all babies are different and what works for some doesn't for others but it is definately worth a try.

Renata - posted on 02/25/2009

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Hi tiffany, i was just reading all the responses to your question, there is alot of strong opinions out there of what you should and shouldn't do!  good luck with it all and i really hope you do whatever you feel comfortable with as every parent is different as is every baby!

Carolyn - posted on 02/25/2009

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Hey Tiffany I agree with Natalie.... routine routine routine childern thrive on it. You may have to go through the crying stage but it will come. If you have watched the Nanny she has the parents do the same thing but with the baby she has them stay in the room but not responding unless needed. We had to do this with our son at about 18 months he wouldn't stay in be at night and go to sleep it was awful but within 1 week he was finally staying in his bed and going to sleep on his own!

Sharon - posted on 02/25/2009

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I would trust my gut on this one. I couldn't do it with my son. I do it somewhat with my daughter - but only for a few minutes. If she is crying really hard I have to go in and at least talk to her. Then I will leave and come back. 4 months seems way young to start this to me. I say do what feels right to you. I answered my sons every cry and he is a very well adjusted 7 year old today. In fact, he is very attached to me! With my daughter, she gets more overstimulated if I stay in her room or hold her. That is why I am having to try to get her to self soothe. She can't really sleep any other way. Good luck - I know it is absolutely heart wrenching. I have learned to take my Pediatrician's parenting advice with a grain of salt!

Sharon - posted on 02/25/2009

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I would trust my gut on this one. I couldn't do it with my son. I do it somewhat with my daughter - but only for a few minutes. If she is crying really hard I have to go in and at least talk to her. Then I will leave and come back. 4 months seems way young to start this to me. I say do what feels right to you. I answered my sons every cry and he is a very well adjusted 7 year old today. In fact, he is very attached to me! With my daughter, she gets more overstimulated if I stay in her room or hold her. That is why I am having to try to get her to self soothe. She can't really sleep any other way. Good luck - I know it is absolutely heart wrenching. I have learned to take my Pediatrician's parenting advice with a grain of salt!

Katrina - posted on 02/25/2009

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Im sure Ill get a backlash from some people...but I gave my little girl a little bit of pablum before bed at that age.Of course It MUST be a very fluid mixture and he wont need much at all.It worked great for my girl cuz she was so hungry all the time and constantly up to eat.A full baby is a sleeping baby.Now if you have to let him cry it out a little atleast you can have the total piece of mind that he is not hungry.Also make sure you have a bedtime routine.It is soothing for them to have consistancy

Amanda - posted on 02/25/2009

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Quoting Claudia:

I let all three of my kids "cry it out", and it wasn't really all that bad. Start with nap times in his room in his crib. I would let the kids cry for 5 minutes, go in, check on them, make sure there wasn't a reason for the crying, pat them on the tummy/back to let them know I was around and then leave again. No verbal contact. Just a quick in and out. Keep that routine up, increasing the time just a little bit between each visit. Usually, it didn't take very long before they calmed down and fell asleep. Pretty soon, no crying at all.
Now, all three of them fall asleep like champs, no matter who puts them to bed. I don't have a lot of middle of the night visits from them either.
Just be persistent and patient.


 



This is what i did with my daughter and she was around the same age, and it worked like a dream! Yes she still woke up 1 or 2 times durring the night to eat but i would get up and feed her and change her and put her right back to bed in her own room. The first night she slept in her own room she cried for about 15 mins. then fell asleep the 2nd night she only fried for about 7 mins. and by the third night she fussed a little and went right to sleep. and when she would wake up in the middle of the night and i would feed her and lay her back down i would give her a pacifier and she fussed a little the first 2 nights but after that she might "talk" to herself and make noises but she would go back to sleep on her own! and if he is waking up that much maybe you should try giving him a rice bottel b4 bed and that ussually makes the stay full longer. and yes my daughter started eating rice bottels at 3 months, and when i have my next child i will do the same thing! cause thats the only way me and my daughter were going to get good sleep!

Ashley - posted on 02/25/2009

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When my son was 4 months old, my husband actually suggested the cry it out method. I was getting no more than 2-3 hours of straight sleep a night, and was getting too tired to function during the day. He told me, if you don't take care of yourself and get some rest, it will hurt you and the baby; you won't be able to take proper care of him during the day. So we tried it, and i hated it at first. I hated hearing him cry. But it did get easier for all of us after only a few days. He got more rest at night, and was happier during the day. And I got more rest and was taking much better care of him.



This is what worked for me and my baby. It is completely up to you what you do! He is your baby and you are the mother. Do what you think will work best for you! There are endless opinions and options. Different ones work for different people. There is no right answer except what YOU think is best.



Good luck with whatever you decide!

Stacey - posted on 02/24/2009

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Hi Tiffany, my bub is two and a half months old and i started putting her to sleep in the cot just before she was two months old. I understand how you can be confused about which way is best and that everyone thinks that there is a yes and no way around things. I no some people say to never let them fall asleep on you but kate sometimes falls asleep during her last feed, If i was to put her down when she was starting to get tired then she would miss out on a feed... and i would prefer her to go to sleep at night with a full belly. But if she doesnt fall asleep during her last feed then i would put her down in her cot awake. i dont believe in letting your baby cry them selves to sleep.... so what i did when kate was learning how to go to sleep on her own was make sure it was a positive experience for both myself and her. I would put her down with her dummy then walk out. if she starts crying i would let her cry for just a little n if she doesnt settle then i would go in and check her dummy if she still wont settle then i wont get her out of her cot but just sit on the ground next to her and just gently rub her back or forehead. i only had to do this a couple of times and now when i put kate down when she is awake she usually goes off to sleep by her self. i was talking to my health nurse about going straight to a crying baby or let them cry for a certain amount of time and her response was that before the age of around six months they are crying simply because they need something after this age they start crying because they want attention and for being left alone.. when babies are this young they need to feel safe and earn your trust and this happens when you comfort them when they are upset this is why i dont believe in letting them cry themselves to sleep when they are so young. if kate is just making noises then i leave her but when she really starts crying then i comfort her. i have done it this way all along and have had no problems with it so far but thats just my opinion you will be able to find a way to comfort your baby and get him to sleep on his own in a positive and carm way. if you dont feel comfortable with a method dont do it!! im also a person that doesnt believe in a strict routine, kate usually goes to bed around half ten but if she gets tired before that then im not going to keep her awake n if she is wide awake at half ten im not going to force her to sleep. it all depends on what sort of day she has had.. i also found teaching kate the difference between night n day by letting her sleep on a matteress in the lounge room during the day and in her cot at night this method didnt take long at all n at night she sleeps at least 7hours straight but again thats just my opinion. i wish you all the best and would love to hear how you get on xxx ps sorry about the message is so long n if it doesnt make sence.

Stacey - posted on 02/24/2009

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Hi Tiffany, my bub is two and a half months old and i started putting her to sleep in the cot just before she was two months old. I understand how you can be confused about which way is best and that everyone thinks that there is a yes and no way around things. I no some people say to never let them fall asleep on you but kate sometimes falls asleep during her last feed, If i was to put her down when she was starting to get tired then she would miss out on a feed... and i would prefer her to go to sleep at night with a full belly. But if she doesnt fall asleep during her last feed then i would put her down in her cot awake. i dont believe in letting your baby cry them selves to sleep.... so what i did when kate was learning how to go to sleep on her own was make sure it was a positive experience for both myself and her. I would put her down with her dummy then walk out. if she starts crying i would let her cry for just a little n if she doesnt settle then i would go in and check her dummy if she still wont settle then i wont get her out of her cot but just sit on the ground next to her and just gently rub her back or forehead. i only had to do this a couple of times and now when i put kate down when she is awake she usually goes off to sleep by her self. i was talking to my health nurse about going straight to a crying baby or let them cry for a certain amount of time and her response was that before the age of around six months they are crying simply because they need something after this age they start crying because they want attention and for being left alone.. when babies are this young they need to feel safe and earn your trust and this happens when you comfort them when they are upset this is why i dont believe in letting them cry themselves to sleep when they are so young. if kate is just making noises then i leave her but when she really starts crying then i comfort her. i have done it this way all along and have had no problems with it so far but thats just my opinion you will be able to find a way to comfort your baby and get him to sleep on his own in a positive and carm way. if you dont feel comfortable with a method dont do it!! im also a person that doesnt believe in a strict routine, kate usually goes to bed around half ten but if she gets tired before that then im not going to keep her awake n if she is wide awake at half ten im not going to force her to sleep. it all depends on what sort of day she has had.. i also found teaching kate the difference between night n day by letting her sleep on a matteress in the lounge room during the day and in her cot at night this method didnt take long at all n at night she sleeps at least 7hours straight but again thats just my opinion. i wish you all the best and would love to hear how you get on xxx ps sorry about the message is so long n if it doesnt make sence.

Stacey - posted on 02/24/2009

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Hi Tiffany, my bub is two and a half months old and i started putting her to sleep in the cot just before she was two months old. I understand how you can be confused about which way is best and that everyone thinks that there is a yes and no way around things. I no some people say to never let them fall asleep on you but kate sometimes falls asleep during her last feed, If i was to put her down when she was starting to get tired then she would miss out on a feed... and i would prefer her to go to sleep at night with a full belly. But if she doesnt fall asleep during her last feed then i would put her down in her cot awake. i dont believe in letting your baby cry them selves to sleep.... so what i did when kate was learning how to go to sleep on her own was make sure it was a positive experience for both myself and her. I would put her down with her dummy then walk out. if she starts crying i would let her cry for just a little n if she doesnt settle then i would go in and check her dummy if she still wont settle then i wont get her out of her cot but just sit on the ground next to her and just gently rub her back or forehead. i only had to do this a couple of times and now when i put kate down when she is awake she usually goes off to sleep by her self. i was talking to my health nurse about going straight to a crying baby or let them cry for a certain amount of time and her response was that before the age of around six months they are crying simply because they need something after this age they start crying because they want attention and for being left alone.. when babies are this young they need to feel safe and earn your trust and this happens when you comfort them when they are upset this is why i dont believe in letting them cry themselves to sleep when they are so young. if kate is just making noises then i leave her but when she really starts crying then i comfort her. i have done it this way all along and have had no problems with it so far but thats just my opinion you will be able to find a way to comfort your baby and get him to sleep on his own in a positive and carm way. if you dont feel comfortable with a method dont do it!! im also a person that doesnt believe in a strict routine, kate usually goes to bed around half ten but if she gets tired before that then im not going to keep her awake n if she is wide awake at half ten im not going to force her to sleep. it all depends on what sort of day she has had.. i also found teaching kate the difference between night n day by letting her sleep on a matteress in the lounge room during the day and in her cot at night this method didnt take long at all n at night she sleeps at least 7hours straight but again thats just my opinion. i wish you all the best and would love to hear how you get on xxx ps sorry about the message is so long n if it doesnt make sence.

Brittanie - posted on 02/24/2009

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I just went thru the same thing with my daughter, and I know it's so hard because so many people are telling so many different things, but this is what worked for me... First I started giving her about two Table spoons of cereal as her last feeding of the night so that her belly was nice and full, than I moved her to her crib in her own room and when she woke up in the middle of the night instead of me going in to sooth and nurse her my husband went in and only put her pacifier in her mouth but never picked her up, even though she was fussing, he just waited until she settled down. After only one night she slept through the night. I think the main thing that made the different is that Daddy didn’t have the ability to give her what she wanted so she just stopped trying to get it. I hope this helps, but if not I think the best advice that I’ve been given is every child progresses at their own rate so just follow your instinct and everything will work out. Good Luck!

Lyndsy - posted on 02/24/2009

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Fortunately my son slept through the night, but He wouldn't take naps, which made him very ckraky all day.  My sister-in-law told me about sleep traing, and I finally at 5 months gave it a try.  It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but it is only hard for the 1st week.  The 1st day my son cried for 1 h and 45 min.  I had to just clean the house and not think about it because it broke my heart.  The 2nd day he only cried for 45min, and the 3rd day only 10min.  It took a couple more days of 5min cries, but he finally started just going to sleep.  Babies have to learn how to fall asleep by themselves just like anything else.  I am so glad I did it, it has made my life so much easier.  My son is 3 years old now and still takes really good naps and I don't have to fight him to go to bed or take naps.  I highly recommend doing sleep training, because the week of torture is worth it for the rest of the bennifits for you and for your child sleeping well in the future.  I know parents who didn't do it who still struggle with there kids sleeping through the night at 4 and 5 years old.  You need to tach them young that they can't get up in the middle of the night, so they don't learn they can and will get food or attention if they do.  It's better for them and you physically to get a full nights sleep.  I hope that I helped.  :)

Danielle - posted on 02/24/2009

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I will tell you your doctor is right about the sleeping. feeding I think when there hungry there hungry. He is still young. How I did this with my children is I would put them to bed. If they cried then I would let them for about every  15 to 30 minutes and I would go in without taking them out of the bed and talk and reassure them that mom is still there and they are safe. until they fell asleep.  It took some time and patience and a couple night lack of sleep for me. But it turned out great. I would never get angry at them through this process. I am a firm believer that children should stay in there own rooms. Mom and Dads room are for them not children. IT will be worth it

Heidi - posted on 02/24/2009

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I have a 3 year old and 9 month old twins. All that I can add is "routine, routine, routine". My husband and I are also of the opinion that kids should sleep in their own beds - I'm not into co-sleeping. (We need our rest - and I think the baby gets better rest without us snoring right next to them).

Anyway, we've always had a bedtime routine for all the girls - bath, lavender lotion, bedtime bottle, diaper change, kisses, and into the crib. I keep their room dark. No nightlights. Although there is a mobile that displays little images on the ceiling while it plays soft music. Usually, they're asleep by the time it turns itself off. If there was fussing, my husband or I go in, give a pacifier, rub their tummy, whisper goodnight - sometimes repeat this a few times - and they're good to go. Too much fussing usually means gas - Mylicon to the rescue! The only other thing to add maybe is swaddling. I found that the twins slept well in their first few months if we swaddled them and kept them in a sleep positioner. Made them feel snug like in the womb I guess. But after a few months, I converted to the sleepy sacks vs blankets.

Anyway - good luck. I know I'm lucky that all my kids have slept through the night from just a few months of age. But I swear it's all about the routine. Babies feel content if they know what's coming. And I can't stress "routine" enough. Not just at bedtime, but all day. Wake up, feedings, nap times, all of that leads to better nights.

I'll keep my fingers crossed!

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