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pacanova 12-04-2012 04:42 PM

Sleep training
 
How young is too young? My 5 week old won't fall asleep unless held and will sometimes wake up upon being set down (no matter how gently). I was reading an article that suggested waiting until they're sleepy then putting them down awake. So I swaddled her, fed her and as her eyes were starting to close - put her in the bassinet in our dark bedroom. She immediately started wailing. I guiltily slunk out of the room. Article said it's ok to check every 5 minutes so after 5 minutes of crying I went in, rubbed her belly and shushed her until she settled down. Sure enough, as soon as I was done she started screaming again. So I kept it up, every 5 minutes going in and calming her. Article said most babies cry for 15-20. She was still going strong at 25. It was breaking my heart (not a big fan of "cry it out") and seriously stressing me out (though part of that might be the <4 hours of sleep last night....and part is definitely my high energy toddler) so I broke the cardinal rule and went and got her. I know, I know :~

Any helpful tips, advice, etc? Am I just trying too soon? Should we just keep snuggling her to sleep? Part of the sleeplessness at night is because she wakes up when I put her down and starts crying again. We were up for 2.5 hrs straight at one point last night. :banghead: We have a small house and I worry that her crying is going to wake up ODD (who's not the greatest at staying asleep as it is... :headscratch:) I go back to work next week. DH will be watching her for a couple days then it's off to daycare and she won't be able to be held all the time. I didn't have this problem with ODD, she hated to be held... Please help a sleepy mama out.

*ETA: Thank you to the ladies who posted articles etc about sleep training, CIO, etc. I'd read an article (maybe misguided) that indicated it was important to establish healthy sleep habits from the start. One of the first things recommended was putting baby down to sleep while still slightly awake. My LO will only fall asleep if held and doesn't always stay asleep once set down. Neither of us is getting much sleep because of this. I was only looking for tips on getting her to go down/stay asleep better. I think my question was poorly worded and I take responsibility for that (but blame sleep deprivation a little). Sorry if I offended anyone. I wasn't looking for controversy and honestly didn't realize that even the 5 minutes constituted CIO. Our ped had said at our last appt that sometimes babies just cry and it's ok to walk away and let them cry for a bit as long as they're safe (assuming they're not crying because they're hungry, in pain, etc). I obviously do not want to do harm to my child. For those who offered suggestions, thank you as well. Have a wonderful night mamas!

kanga1622 12-04-2012 04:53 PM

Ummm...sleep training is generally not recommended for babies less than 6 months old.

DS was an extremely touchy feely child and had to be held constantly until he was about 6 months old. I slept sitting upright on the couch holding him until I wised up and started cosleeping.

Some kids just need that constant touch. Your baby is still a newborn and needs your reassurance to feel safe.

Sent from my iPod touch using DS Forum

BellaPepper 12-04-2012 05:04 PM

Please do not sleep train your baby. Infants need to have their cries answered its how they learn to trust people and to have healthy emotional attachments. They do not yet need to sooth themselves asleep, you have many years to teach them that and I promise they will learn to sooth themselves eventually. Usually this happens naturally during toddlerhood in a gradual way.

Follow your instincts and pick that baby up. Love, cherish and nurture them that is what they eed.

my2sweets 12-04-2012 05:05 PM

Way to young! 6mos is what is recommended but definitely not before 3mos.

My girls were really picky how they slept. For ex with dd2 I had to feed tyen rock her to sleep while patting her bottom. When I laid her down she had to be swaddled(with one arm out), laid at the top of her bassinet with a blanket rolled up beneath her feet. Took me a while to figure all that out!

Ive had friends who have had to raise the head of the crib/bassinet, babies who slept in a swing until a yr old, babies who needed certain sounds/songs/white noise.

If you havent already try swaddling and white noise to go with your nice dark room. Hang in there mama and give your little one more time to adjust to the outside :hugs:

BellaPepper 12-04-2012 05:05 PM

If you need further evidence that sleep training is bad I urge you to google the dangers of sleep training. There are many studies that urge against it.

Melinda29 12-04-2012 05:10 PM

Re: Sleep training
 
Be forwarned that people on DS seem to have very strong opinions about sleep training. Hopefully everyone can keep it civil, but this thread may turn into a CIO-bashing. Let's try to just help this mama politely :)

Yes, I think she is too young for the type of sleep training you are describing. Most sleep experts say no younger than 4 months for cry it out (CIO), simply because it is pretty ineffective. However, the "evidence" that a lot of parents cite about the psychological harm of CIO is, well, simply not there. A lot of websites and books, including those by Dr. Sears and others, are citing studies that cite experts that cite studies....and on and on. It all looks very legitimate, but the actual peer reviewed studies themselves (found in published journals, not websites or parenting books), if one takes the time to sift through them all, have NOT found psychological harm from CIO in a loving family with otherwise attentive parenting.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, I have found a couple of pretty useful tips that I refer to as "sleep training" that I use straight from birth:
-I try as much as possible to put baby down when sleepy but still awake. But sometimes I snuggle them to sleep anyway. They are so squishy and yummy :)
-I try to wait about 5-10 minutes after baby starts fussing at NIGHT before rushing in to nurse. Very often baby is just being noisy (sometimes very noisy, eyes open and everything), but really just transitioning between sleep cycles. Rushing in to soothe her may actually be teaching her to fully wake up between cycles, instead of learning to ease between them on her own.
-If baby is all-out screaming, I of course rush in the soothe her.
-I NEVER let a newborn go more than 3 hours between feeds during the DAY (4 hours starting around 4 months). Meaning, if she takes a 3 hour nap during the afternoon, yes, I will wake a sleeping baby. I try to make them take as many calories during the DAY. Baby only needs so many calories to thrive. If she gets most or all during the day, she has no need to wake at night :)
-The limiting of their naps to no more than 3 hours during the day also ensures that they don't do all their sleeping during the day and waking at night. They are good and tired at night.
-I breastfeed, so I also try to stretch the time between feeds during the day, so baby is good and hungry. Then she will eat more and get to the fatty hindmilk, which is where most of the calories are.
-I try to feed every 1-2 hours during the day for the first months, 2-3 hours during the second, 3-4 during the third, and aim for every 4 hours by 4 months. Again, the goal is to get baby hungry enough to eat a LOT at one time. It's not hard and fast, I am not a slave to the clock. I just keep it in the back of my mind during those times.
-I try to feed baby upon waking, rather than nursing to sleep. Like your article said, babies tend to sleep best when they fall sleep on their own.
-I try to limit awake time to 90 or so minutes at a stretch during the day, between naps. Beyond that, most tiny babies get overtired and do like you describe, can't fall alseep on their own and get really fussy when left alone to sleep.
-When my babies got into a sleep regression (when they were a bit older, after they had already learned to STTN), I sometimes used the swing for a few nights to get the, back into the routine of sleeping all night. It often "retrained" their internal clock, and then we could go back to using the crib.
-I try to not worry too much about waking older kids. It is hard to not jump up to quiet them at night, but truly, most kids will learn to sleep through it. Plus, older kids are easier to put back to sleep IME. A white noise machine or fan may help block the crying for your toddler.
-I don't cosleep or co-room. My babies seem to smell me and wake up to nurse more when we tried that. We all sleep better in our own rooms.
-Flexible routines are my friend, but it didn't happen until 3-4 months at the soonest. By then we were usually doing 3 naps a day with feeds every 3-4 hours, with a total of 4-5 feeds in 24 hours.

Three of my four kids were sleeping through the night (totally and completely, no feeds at all for at least 10 hours) by 12 weeks. They did this on their own, without any CIO, and two of those three were totally breastfed. My fourth child was a spitfire and woke at night until she was almost 2 years old. Nothing works perfectly for every child.

Good luck!

mibarra 12-04-2012 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melinda29 (Post 16005861)
Be forwarned that people on DS seem to have very strong opinions about sleep training. Hopefully everyone can keep it civil, but this thread may turn into a CIO-bashing. Let's try to just help this mama politely :)

Yes, I think she is too young for the type of sleep training you are describing. Most sleep experts say no younger than 4 months for cry it out (CIO), simply because it is pretty ineffective. However, the "evidence" that a lot of parents cite about the psychological harm of CIO is, well, simply not there. A lot of websites and books, including those by Dr. Sears and others, are citing studies that cite experts that cite studies....and on and on. It all looks very legitimate, but the actual peer reviewed studies themselves, if one takes the time to sift through them all, have NOT found psychological harm from CIO in a loving family with otherwise attentive parenting.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, I have found a couple of pretty useful tips that I refer to as "sleep training" that I use straight from birth:
-I try as much as possible to put baby down when sleepy but still awake. But sometimes I snuggle them to sleep anyway. They are so squishy and yummy :)
-I try to wait about 5-10 minutes after baby starts crying at NIGHT before rushing in to nurse. Very often baby is just being noisy (sometimes very noisy, eyes open and everything), but really just transitioning between sleep cycles. Rushing in to soothe her may actually be teaching her to fully wake up between cycles, instead of learning to ease between them on her own.
-I NEVER let a newborn go more than 3 hours between feeds during the DAY (4 hours starting around 4 months). Meaning, if she takes a 3 hour nap during the afternoon, yes, I will wake a sleeping baby. I try to make them take as many calories during the DAY. Baby only needs so many calories to thrive. If she gets most or all during the day, she has no need to wake at night :)
-The limiting of their naps to no more than 3 hours during the day also ensures that they don't do all their sleeping during the day and waking at night. They are good and tired at night.
-I try to feed baby upon waking, rather than nursing to sleep. Like your article said, babies tend to sleep best when they fall sleep on their own.
-I try to limit awake time to 90 or so minutes at a stretch during the day. Beyond that, most tiny babies get overtired and do like you describe, can't fall alseep on their own and get really fussy when left alone to sleep.
-I try to not worry too much about waking older kids. It is hard to jump up to quiet them at night, but truly, most kids will learn to sleep through it. Plus, older kids are easier to put back to sleep IME. A white noise machine or fan may help block the crying for your toddler.
-I don't cosleep or co-room. My babies seem to smell me and wake up to nurse more when we tried that. We all sleep better in our own rooms.
-Flexible routines are my friend, but it didn't happen until 3-4 months at the soonest. By then we were usually doing 3 naps a day with feeds every 3-4 hours, with a total of 4-5 feeds in 24 hours.

Three of my four kids were sleeping through the night (totally and completely, no feeds at all for at least 10 hours) by 12 weeks. They did this on their own, without any CIO, and they were totally breastfed. My third child was a spitfire and woke at night until she was almost 2 years old. Nothing works perfectly for every child.

Good luck!

These are great tips. I agree with PPs sleep training is for older babies, closer to 6 months. The first 8-12 weeks are rough, but things start settling down after that. IMO it's totally normal for a 5 week old to still need mama that much. I like the concept of the 4th trimester, it really described my kiddos :)

firemommaof1 12-04-2012 06:02 PM

Re: Sleep training
 
your baby is to young. It is not even recommended until after 6 months ( I still don't agree with that). Babies need comfort and care. I don't agree with the CIO method especially at that infant age.

kharvey92611 12-04-2012 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melinda29
Be forwarned that people on DS seem to have very strong opinions about sleep training. Hopefully everyone can keep it civil, but this thread may turn into a CIO-bashing. Let's try to just help this mama politely :)

Yes, I think she is too young for the type of sleep training you are describing. Most sleep experts say no younger than 4 months for cry it out (CIO), simply because it is pretty ineffective. However, the "evidence" that a lot of parents cite about the psychological harm of CIO is, well, simply not there. A lot of websites and books, including those by Dr. Sears and others, are citing studies that cite experts that cite studies....and on and on. It all looks very legitimate, but the actual peer reviewed studies themselves (found in published journals, not websites or parenting books), if one takes the time to sift through them all, have NOT found psychological harm from CIO in a loving family with otherwise attentive parenting.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, I have found a couple of pretty useful tips that I refer to as "sleep training" that I use straight from birth:
-I try as much as possible to put baby down when sleepy but still awake. But sometimes I snuggle them to sleep anyway. They are so squishy and yummy :)
-I try to wait about 5-10 minutes after baby starts crying at NIGHT before rushing in to nurse. Very often baby is just being noisy (sometimes very noisy, eyes open and everything), but really just transitioning between sleep cycles. Rushing in to soothe her may actually be teaching her to fully wake up between cycles, instead of learning to ease between them on her own.
-I NEVER let a newborn go more than 3 hours between feeds during the DAY (4 hours starting around 4 months). Meaning, if she takes a 3 hour nap during the afternoon, yes, I will wake a sleeping baby. I try to make them take as many calories during the DAY. Baby only needs so many calories to thrive. If she gets most or all during the day, she has no need to wake at night :)
-The limiting of their naps to no more than 3 hours during the day also ensures that they don't do all their sleeping during the day and waking at night. They are good and tired at night.
-I try to feed baby upon waking, rather than nursing to sleep. Like your article said, babies tend to sleep best when they fall sleep on their own.
-I try to limit awake time to 90 or so minutes at a stretch during the day, between naps. Beyond that, most tiny babies get overtired and do like you describe, can't fall alseep on their own and get really fussy when left alone to sleep.
-I try to not worry too much about waking older kids. It is hard to not jump up to quiet them at night, but truly, most kids will learn to sleep through it. Plus, older kids are easier to put back to sleep IME. A white noise machine or fan may help block the crying for your toddler.
-I don't cosleep or co-room. My babies seem to smell me and wake up to nurse more when we tried that. We all sleep better in our own rooms.
-Flexible routines are my friend, but it didn't happen until 3-4 months at the soonest. By then we were usually doing 3 naps a day with feeds every 3-4 hours, with a total of 4-5 feeds in 24 hours.

Three of my four kids were sleeping through the night (totally and completely, no feeds at all for at least 10 hours) by 12 weeks. They did this on their own, without any CIO, and two of those three were totally breastfed. My third child was a spitfire and woke at night until she was almost 2 years old. Nothing works perfectly for every child.

Good luck!

This mama gave good advice !

pacanova 12-04-2012 06:29 PM

Re: Sleep training
 
Ok, I think I used the term "sleep training" wrong. Thank you ladies for not jumping all over me.:) I'm not trying to get her to sleep for a long/extended time or even at certain times/routine, etc. I just want her to be able to be laid down to sleep without her screaming. The daycare lady has 3-5 other kids at any time and won't always be able to hold/rock her to sleep.

Melinda - What you're saying is pretty much what I meant by "sleep training" - laying her down to sleep while still awake and soothing every 5 minutes or so if needed. Moreso just developing good sleep habits I guess. The problem I'm running into is that when I try that route, 25+ minutes after I lay a sleepy baby to bed, she's still crying. Obviously that's not working for any of us. I am not a fan of cry it out - we didn't do it with ODD and I don't plan to with this one.

She is swaddled and her bassinet is inclined. She wakes to feed every 1.5-2 hrs. I think the most she's ever slept was 3 hrs, so that's not a concern. We play during the day and keep the nighttime dark/quiet to help her differentiate the two. It's that "putting to bed awake" that's the problem. Last night, for example, she woke at 3:30 to feed. Ate well then fell asleep in my arms. I held her for 5-10 extra minutes to make sure she was asleep. 5 minutes after I lay her in her bassinet, she was wailing again (and I'm not talking about fussing, squiggling around - those sounds I ignore - this is loud, face turning red screaming). So I rocked her back to sleep... same thing. Over and over. 5:30 rolled around and it was time for another feeding. It wasn't until 6 that she finally stayed asleep when I lay her down.

I'm personally not comfortable with co-sleeping. We may have to try moving her to her own room and see if that helps. And get a white noise machine for big sister. I'm really just trying to figure out how to do the "put to bed while still awake" without stressing us both out. We have a mobile over the crib in her room. That may hold her attention until she falls asleep but then would she rely on that for falling asleep?


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