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Old 09-05-2006, 07:49 AM   #1
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? about putting your child to bed unassisted

I hope this doesn't end in a debate about letting your child Cry It out. My question is I have a three month old who is a pretty good sleeper. She has slept through the night since she was about 6 weeks old. she also takes fairly good naps. Usually a really long one (5 hours) as opposed to 2-3 smaller ones... we are working on this. Anyway, dd is 12 weeks old and although she is a good sleeper she only sleeps this way because we have a VERY long bedtime routine (at night and for naps). I rock her either in my glider or on my yoga ball- when she has been asleep for about 10 minutes I move her into her swing and let her swing for about 20 minutes then I move her into her crib. This has started because as a NB this was the only way I could get her to stay a sleep and you know when you have a NB you will do anything to get them to stay a sleep. If I take shortcuts she wakes up and we must start all over. I have tried putting her in the crib, drowsy but awake and have let her fussed/cried for about 15 minutes. A couple times she has fallen asleep but will only wake up 15 minutes later screaming.
I have read Weissbluth's book (can't remember the exact title but a very popular book) and he reccomend's putting them to bed unassisted at around 3 months but for SURE after 4 months when the child can create their own melatonin. I guess my question for you parents out there that can just put their baby in a crib and they fall asleep on their own is when didd you start this? How long did it take? Like all parents the thought of my dd screaming makes me want to poke my eye ball out and run in there. I believe children need to learn how to sooth themselves to sleep- trust me but for these first few months I also believe children have needs and you need to respond to them. Now that she is getting older I am worried I created a motion junkie and she won't go to sleep with out the movement? Am I destined for tons of screaming these next few months? Also, now that she is getting older she fights the naps pretty hard. she is obviously more social and I know she wants to be up but I know she NEEDS sleep.
Please tell me when you were able to establish some sort of routine and your child could go to sleep on their own.
sorry so long

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Old 09-05-2006, 08:04 AM   #2
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Re: ? about putting your child to bed unassisted

Well that is quite the long bedtime routine, but I do what works for my ds no matter how long it takes. My ds is 3 1/2 months and he still will not just lay down in his crib and go to sleep. Infact all of my sons would not even when they were older. If they did not want to sleep at that time or go to sleep on their own they would cry harder and harder instead of falling asleep.

I would try maybe cutting out the swing routine and just rocking your dc a little longer in your arms and then laying them down. I personally love to hold my ds and love snuggling so rocking him to sleep is no big deal.

On a side note does your DC do the same routine if your DH would put them to sleep? If I am not home my ds will let DH lay him in the crib and he will go to sleep. He might fuss for a minute and fall asleep on his own, but if I am here there is no way it is going to happen.
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:13 AM   #3
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Re: ? about putting your child to bed unassisted

I do not know if I have any advice but with my first he was an excellent sleeper all on his own from day one. He was acclimated to his crib at 2 weeksold and slept fine ever since.

With DD she insisted on sleeping on me but I had a 2 year old to take care of at the same time so at 3 to 4 months I let her cry it out for her naps since I co-slept at night. It didn't take very long...I never ler vry for more than 15 minutes. Once I did that she figured out how to sleep on her own even at night without crying! (I hated CIO). I do rember pitifully crying at the same time as her though!

With DS#2 I tried to get him to sleep in his crib at 7 weeks but he would not. I tried rocking, baths, babywearing, white noise, soothing music....you name it! To this day...at 22 months old....He will not sleep unless he is on me attached or in the car. I have no idea how to get him to sleep on his own. DH gets so angry about it too!
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:13 AM   #4
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Re: ? about putting your child to bed unassisted

HI. First I want to say that you can allow a child to cry sometimes and still not be a CIO parent. We started 'training" our babies to go to sleep on their own at 3 mos, which is actually 1 month adjusted for us. I went through a routine, but it was very short. I put them in their cribs, in a sleep sack, and turned on the sound machine. Those were their signals that it was time to sleep. Then I kissed them and left the room. 2 of the 3 took to that pretty quickly. My third litte one had a harder time. I would allow him to fuss for 5 mins and then I would go love on him(not pick him up) replace his paci and pat him. I'd leave the room. repeat.repeat....you get the idea!

my goal for this afternoon nap was 45 mins of sleep. they really needed 2 hours, but if they each slept 30- 45 mins in their crib, I would get them up and they finished their nap in the cradle swing. This worked for us, but I did it dilligently every day. At that time we had also stopped swaddling and began putting the babies in sleepsacks for bed at night. We also give baths every night and this has always helped mine sleep better.

now--about rocking. my babies get rocked before bed at night time, but not for naps--unless someone is sick/teething, just needing mommy time, etc. up until 8 months, my babies took 2 naps a day in the cradle swing and still had no problem with the long nap, and nighttime sleeping in their cribs. I dont think it has to be an either or type deal.

my thing is this...put the books away and do what works for you. if the current routine isnt working for you, do something different. it may mean that she doesnt go straight to sleep, but if you hold out for 3 days, she most likely will adapt. you arent a bad parent if you dont spend an hour rocking your child. I encourage you to decide what time (roughly) you want to try to offer a morning and afternoon nap, and then put her in her swing or in her crib at that time. and do it consistently for 3 days. if you find that she isnt adapting well, you can change your course or press on. I have foudn that my babies do well as long as things go in the same order. They dont seem to notice if it is 15 mins past time for a nap as long as things progress in order. FLEXIBILITY!

not sure if any of this helped or not. I encourage you to get a sound machine if you dont have one. they are great. G/L!!
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:57 AM   #5
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Re: ? about putting your child to bed unassisted

Sleep schedules vary from child to child.

DD1 and DS slept through the night from birth.

DD2 not until about a year old.

I don't personally subscribe to training babies in regards to sleeping and feeding when they are so young. God designed their little bodies to wake and eat often while young, because that allows optimal development.

As far as the long bedtime routine, the baby is in the habit of that long routine. You cannot expect to drop it very easily. I would drop one part of the routine and give her a week to ten days to adjust to that before trying to curtail it further. Just make sure to reassure her during this time as needed.

Good luck, mama! This too shall pass :hug:
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Old 09-05-2006, 09:58 AM   #6
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Re: ? about putting your child to bed unassisted

I agree w/ the post that said just because you let them cry doesn't mean they have to cry it out. And I agree that every child is different. MY ODD needed to be rocked until she was asleep or almost asleep from the beginning. My YDD was a champ sleeper, I could lay her down at night fully awake and I wouldn't hear a peep, not even a whimper, she feel right off to sleep. If I were you I would just slowly try to cut out part of your routine until it is something you feel is more manageable. That seems like a very long routine. Good luck mamma.
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:12 AM   #7
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Re: ? about putting your child to bed unassisted

Our DD was a co-sleeper until 6 months at 6 months she decided to wean herself and sleep in her own crib then also started sleeping through the night.

At first though we HAD to let her CIO. We tried everything else and it just didn't work with her, she was a DEFINATE ARM SLEEPER, as long as she was in our arms she slept but as soon as you put her down she would wake up screaming.

So against my motherly feeling and want to run in I just had to try the CIO. But we did it slowly and would start at 5 mins then get her and so on.

Anyway after 2 nights she was sleeping with VERY little crying in the beginning, maybe 5 mins at max but not really crying more whimpering.

Now she is 13 months and sleeps over 14 hours a night. If we get it right and catch her cues then she will go down and not cry at all just roll over and go to sleep, if we are off on when we put her down and miss her cues then she might cry for 3-5 mins maybe 10 at most but it's mostly just whimpering while she is laying down.

The times now when she wails and screams when you put her down are when something is wrong like her diaper gets dirty right away etc.

With the new baby we are going to start him in his own crib from the beginning, I am thinking but that could change to co-sleeping LOL.

But we will definately start with trying to get him to bed on his own earlier than with DD I think 3 months.

My husbands Aunt gave us the book "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" she is a mom of twin girls 3 years old now, and she said it was her saviour. It really has been a WONDERFUL resource for us and what he says seems to hold true at least for us and he seems spot on. Like all things you have to take what applies to you though and take bits and pieces etc.

I am pro whatever works for your child every baby is different and some will need CIO while others won't etc. It's all a matter of trial and error I think.

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