What sleep training did you use for your LO?

Suma - posted on 07/23/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My DD is a little over 6 months old and isn't STTN yet. She is usually nursed/bottle fed/rocked/with a paci to sleep. She used to wake up every 2-3 hrs but is waking up earlier now (hoping it's a growth spurt or something like it, haven't started solids yet). Sometimes she Wants to be nursed (she's a determined little one), sometimes rocking works. I know the sleep training you use and the success depends on your LO but just wanted some input on what worked for you.

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Renae - posted on 07/23/2010

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OK hubbys "emergency" aka ebay bid ending soon, is over and I can apparently have the computer back.



It is important to know that 75% of babies will automatically sleep through the night when they are physiologically ready REGARDLESS of anything the parents do or dont do. Also, 50% of babies continue to wake for at least one night feed until they are 12 months old. In some cases, and I'm not saying this is the case with you, but in some cases, the problem is simply that mothers are being given unrealistic expectations that babies sleep through the night at ridiculously young ages (many mums contact me who have been told their baby will sleep through at 8 weeks!).



However, I do agree with the behaviourists who say that some babies need sleep training. And it is possible that yours is one of these babies. Getting up 2-3 hourly at 6 months is considered more frequent than "normal", so your baby is a candidate for sleep training. But ONLY if you believe it is in the best interests of you, your baby and your family,



Back to choosing a method. Personally, I believe that the crying methods sometimes have their place, but only in very extreme circumstances, and in these rare cases I encourage the parents to learn some basic cry interpretation so that they can listen for a distress cry. I do not condone crying methods without cry interpretation, which is why I dont like control crying.



You also have the option of combination methods which include a little bit of crying like those in Tizzie Hall's book. And there are other methods of similar authors like Tracey Hogg (secrets of the baby whisperer - I'm thinking "pick-up.put-down" method) or Elizabeth Pantley's no-cry sleep solution, which claim to work. But these methods are not recognised or used by behaviourists (that doesn't mean they dont work, it just means noone has properly researched them). Or there are the old parental presence methods that dont get used as much any more, mostly because people dont know about them.



My personal opinion is that you should try gradual withdrawal first, and if for some reason you are unable follow through with it, then you can consider a combination or crying method if you think it appropriate. I will PM you instructions for a basic gradual withdrawal plan for an infant and you can tailor it to suit you.

Jennifer - posted on 07/23/2010

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jennifer:
i really didn't mean to come off as hostile, if that is how you interpreted what i said. i was also just sharing the information i was given, and collected since having my son.

all of the research i have done shows that breastmilk changes to adapt to your baby's needs perfectly. i am not saying that "solid" (pureed) food should not be given, merely that they do not have to be at 6 months of age. i think it is important to follow the cues a baby gives to signal that they are ready to eat. many, many babies do not take interest in food until they are well past 6 months and i believe it is because their bodies know what they need.

i honestly was not meaning to argue, my son is breastfed and we started purees at 6 months. i commend you for doing your own research, and not just blindly following along with what everyone else does. i think we may just have to agree to disagree on this one :)

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Jennifer: The World Health Organization recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding should continue for at least 2 years with weaning foods added at 6 months of age. A weaning diet should consist of:

a staple (a complex carbohydrate) such as cereals, roots, or tubers,
an energy rich supplement (fats, oils and sugars),
protein rich supplements (legumes, animal products, meat, eggs), and
vitamin and mineral rich foods (fruits and vegetables) ( WHO, 2001 ).
these complementary foods should be low cost and prepared locally ) WHO, 2003-3 ).

Weaning becomes particularly important after 6 months, due to your baby's changing needs. Babies are born with a supply of iron but by 6 months the store is running out and they need extra iron from foods other than their usual milk - breastmilk and formula. Contrary to popular belief the amount of iron does not change to adapt to your baby and this is why starting solids is important. Another reason weaning is recommended to start at 6 months is that between 6 and 12 months babies are less likely to refuse foods and it gives ample time to allow them to try everything which will reduce the chance of them being fussy eaters in the future. Plus working the muscles needed to chew are vital in speech development.

I don't know where you live but just thought I'd share the information I was given - I live in the UK.

Jennifer - posted on 07/23/2010

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for a breastfed baby, solids don't need to be introduced until 12 months, or whenever baby is ready to chew real food.

the only nutrient breastmilk "lacks" is vitamin D and that can easily be gotten from sunshine. many people think that after 6 months, because a baby has used up its iron stores that cereal needs to be introduced but as long as baby is getting mainly breast milk, baby gets all the iron he or she needs from that. the nutrients in breastmilk change as a babies needs change and is perfectly designed to be a babies only source of nutrition for the first 12-15 months of life.

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Belinda - posted on 08/03/2010

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I have no advice for you on the sleep thing sorry, my lil girl is an awfull sleeper. But on the solids note, my little girl is formula fed, she has to have a prescription formula for malabsorbtion problems but thats another story. We were told to introduce solids no later than 6 months old. We did this at 6 months and she took to them well she was a little pig. Anyway that only lasted 2 weeks and now she refuses to eat any and our paediatrician isnt concerned so it cant be that big of a deal.

[deleted account]

I basically offered him less milk each night e.g. the first night I offered him 8oz, then the next 7oz and so on until he was offered no milk and just given his dummy. He soon settled and the following nights he didn't wake for a feed. Another method you can try is offering water instead of milk.

Suma - posted on 08/02/2010

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We're working on the sleep training with slight success. My baby still wakes up every 1-2 hrs in the night wanting to nurse (else she cries and we've chosen the "going to sleep battle" first and then are going to try to get the night-wakings to stop) and I try to get her to stop when she's almost asleep but she almost always wants to latch on again until she's fully asleep. Any tips?
Jennifer Morritt: How did you reduce the amount of milk your DS drank?

[deleted account]

Ah right =] Hope she's feeling much better now! I didn't consult a book, but read in a Tesco Baby magazine from their baby club about it. A baby sleep guru helped a family to get their 8 month old son to sleep through the night using it. The main thing is being consistent. The first night we had to go into his room about 8 times, the second about 6, the third 3 and the fourth he settled himself. Obviously it can vary but generally it takes no more than a week or so for the method to take effect. We did this when he was put to bed. When he woke up for a feed we gradually reduced tha mount of milk he drank so that after a week or so he didn;t bother waking.

Suma - posted on 07/23/2010

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Forgot to add: DD was never a good napper or sleeper. She has to be rocked/nursed to sleep for naps/bed. She will wake up 25-40 minutes into her nap and take 2 such naps if I don't intervene and rock/nurse again or sleep holding her. I know it isn't enough since she still looks sleepy for some time after she wakes up. She will sleep 10-12 hrs in the night waking up many times in the night.

Suma - posted on 07/23/2010

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Mommies: Thanks soo much for the messages.

Amanda, Luschka, Jennifer Laur: I am probably making a big thing of this sleep issue but DD is very hard to get to sleep sometimes even if she is sleepy and Needs her sleep. I saw dark circles under her eyes last week (when she was waking up every hr) and that freaked me out. And no, I don't try to get her to nap/sleep when she's over-tired. I try as soon as I see the first signs of sleepiness.
Jennifer Morritt: DD's 6 mth appt was this week and she had fever from her shots so was waiting for it to subside. We start tomorrow (yayy!). Did you consult any book for the controlled crying? How long did he cry each night? We tried letting her cry coupla times when she woke up but was really hard. But if it gets her to sleep well, I am willing to try it again :(
Renae: I would love any help you can give. I tried the pull-off method from No cry sleep solution (Elizabeth Pantley) but hasn't worked. I am yet to go into the phases though.

Amy - posted on 07/23/2010

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My daughter is 4 months old and is primarily bf, she sleeps through the night. I have never done any sleep training and feed on demand, if she does wake up in the middle of the night I feed her. I firmly believe that when they are ready to sleep through the night they will. Besides even when they sleep through the night you're still going to get up 2 to 3 times to check to make sure they're ok, lol or at least I do!

[deleted account]

Jennifer: It's ok we'll just have to agree to diagree because advice in different places varies so differently and yes babies are ready for solids at different times too. The 6 months is just a guide. In the same way over here 6 months is when most babies can sit supported - some will and some won't =]

Renae - posted on 07/23/2010

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I have used a few different methods. Generally, the crying methods have higher success rates and always work faster. The no-cry methods take longer and require some patience and persistence. If you use a crying method I recommend you use cry interpretation along with it. The no-cry method used by most sleep consultants is gradual withdrawal, there are different variations of it.

Basically, most methods will work on most babies. The difference is really more in the family situation. Mums who are very tired from over a year of being woken every hour sometimes cant cope with being up at 3am doing a gradual withdrawal method, they just dont have the stamina left. Then there are factors like returning to work, other kids in the house being woken up, all these things come into play. I have to get off the comp now but happy to provide more info if you need it.

[deleted account]

I used controlled crying with my son. At around 5 months old we started a proper bedtime routine since we had started him on solids. We got him ready for bed, fed him his last bottle then put him down in his cot, with his comforter (Cuski) and dummy and left the room. If he cried we left him for no more than 2 minutes and returned to reassure him. We continued this until he fell asleep. We repeated this and after 3 days he could settle himself to sleep. He's npw nearly 8 months old and settles himself to sleep and sleeps 7pm-7am.



Just curious...why havn't you started solids yet? I was told that solids should be started no later than 6 months.

Jennifer - posted on 07/23/2010

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i completely agree with luschka...i trust that my son will sleep on his own when he is ready to. any method that involves crying i believe is a violation of the trust your baby has for you to respond to his needs.

all babies are different so what works for one will not work for all. even if you aren't breastfeeding, i recommend reading this...
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070700...

also, the following link is very informative and helpful...
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070200...

Luschka - posted on 07/23/2010

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I don't sleep train - I think it's someting that will come naturally and to my understanding, sleep training involves ignoring your child and leaving them to cry. If we did that during the day, it would be cruel. Why is it okay to do it at night?

Perhaps start looking at solids (look at baby led weaning) as she may just be growth spurting/hungry. My daughter grew TONNES at six months, and started sleeping longer too (till 8 months, then she woke up loads again for a few weeks).

Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 07/23/2010

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I have never sleep trained, all three of my children on their own were sleeping through the night by 1 1/2 years old. Btw 6 months is a major growth spurt time.

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