Parenting & Family

Difficulty with sleep training

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  • Oct 22nd, 2018 12:06 pm
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[OP]
Member
Jan 29, 2006
423 posts
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Difficulty with sleep training

Just wondering if anyone has had any difficulty with sleeping training their kids. I have a 5 month old who we tried a the Sleep Lady Shuffle, but it did not seem to work. We had tried the Baby Whisperer, Pickup/Put Down earlier and it only seems to make her cry even more. We were holding and rocking her to sleep before this, but she started to cry while trying to be put asleep. The fussing and crying started to get longer each night, by the time we reached about 1.5hr of fussing any crying, we were ready to try some sleep training.

It took over 2hrs the first night of the shuffle, we continued along with it, but there never was any noticeable decrease in crying. After a week, we thought we would try just leaving the room as some people say that your presence may just get your baby worked up. We tried the "3-day solution" where you let your baby cry for 1 hour before doing checks. She cried for the hour and then through a few checks. That didn't seem to work either.

The average baby supposedly cries on average 45minutes before they fall asleep. Our baby can seemingly cry for hours.

We were leaning on a more gentle way of sleep training, but as it stands now, it still takes 1-2hrs for her to fall asleep with holding, patting, shushing. We stopped rocking a few weeks ago and do not want to start again (it also was starting to not work, which was why we started the training).

We are at a loss of what to do. It only seems like the Cry-it-Out method may be the only thing left.

Anyone have any insights or ideas? We already have a bedtime routine, black out blinds, white noise. Her daytime schedule is pretty consistent, on a 3 nap day. The naps are however in a sling that is the only way she sleeps more than 30 minutes.
Last edited by naxos98 on Oct 10th, 2018 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
34 replies
Sr. Member
Mar 24, 2015
781 posts
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Ottawa, ON
My son was like that. We tried all the methods you mentioned,even the cry it out method, which worked for a few weeks, then he started to wake up earlier and earlier and was wide awake, didn't go back to sleep. He didn't nap much either, if I put him in his crib, he would only sleep 30 mins max, so he was in my arms for an hour or two, while I watched a movie. When he was around 9 months, I decided to co-sleep. He slept much longer and my quality of sleep was better too. He was a high need baby, colicky, cried a lot. Attachment parenting is what worked for us.

It was much easier with my second. I would put him down half asleep and he would sleep by himself. Slept through the night when he was around 6 months. All babies are different and what works for one doesn't work for the other. You can give the cry it out method a try see if it works.
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Nov 9, 2005
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5 months is a tough sleep time for babies. They’re too old (grown out of newborn sleep-anywhere joy) but often too young to be sleep trained, and to have the kind of self-calming skills sleep training helps develop.

Just do your best each day and know it will get better. Stay positive. It will get better! Hang in there.
Newbie
Jun 7, 2007
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Scarborough
We started with our boy at 4 months with the cry it out method. Did his bedtime routine which consisted of a bath, feed and story time, then we turned on his nightlight/music and placed him down. Made sure in the beginning that I (dad) was the only one to check up so he didn't associate mom checking up on him with feedings (we were also weening him off night feeds). Went back every 1 min, 5 min and then 10 min. He got the hang of it in about a week.

My only suggestion is to make sure they're really full off the last feed before they sleep.

Now is a different story since he learned how to roll.... =\ but we expected some regression.
[OP]
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Jan 29, 2006
423 posts
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I didn't think our daughter was a high needs until we tried the sleep training. During the day, she seems quite content and rarely cries, but we did notice she did get frustrated or bored easily. Not sure if it is the next stage of development, but she seems to be a little more patient now. Nights are a completely different story. Everything we had tried to get her to sleep doesn't work. The only thing that works is to feed her to sleep. But that leads to more night wakings as that is the only way she knows how to sleep.

ckay1980, you mentioned that you started co-sleeping. Just wondering how long you co-slept with your son? If you have stopped it, how was the process of getting him to sleep on his own? My wife doesn't want to start that, and we don't know if it would even work, since while being held she can still cry quite intensely.
[OP]
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Jan 29, 2006
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Ricearonie wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 12:25 pm
We started with our boy at 4 months with the cry it out method. Did his bedtime routine which consisted of a bath, feed and story time, then we turned on his nightlight/music and placed him down. Made sure in the beginning that I (dad) was the only one to check up so he didn't associate mom checking up on him with feedings (we were also weening him off night feeds). Went back every 1 min, 5 min and then 10 min. He got the hang of it in about a week.

My only suggestion is to make sure they're really full off the last feed before they sleep.

Now is a different story since he learned how to roll.... =\ but we expected some regression.
That is one of the things that we are trying to a grasp on. My wife still wants to feed her twice a night. Our daughter does have a feed to sleep association. Even when my wife would feed her and put her back in bed awake (sometimes drowsy), every time she woke up, she would want to feed. When we had attempted to get rid of the association, she would cry/fuss a very long time. Too many times we gave in and fed her, as sometimes the crying went into the next feed window (3-4hr window). I know babies at this age don't need to feed that often. There are times where she hasn't woken up to feed in 5-6hrs, so we know she probably doesn't need to feed so often.

I just don't know how easy it would be to break the feed to sleep association, when she gets fed at night. Would my daughter be able to make that distinction as to why sometimes she gets fed and other times not?

How did you manage to wean your son off the night feeds?
Newbie
Jun 7, 2007
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Scarborough
naxos98 wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 2:45 pm
That is one of the things that we are trying to a grasp on. My wife still wants to feed her twice a night. Our daughter does have a feed to sleep association. Even when my wife would feed her and put her back in bed awake (sometimes drowsy), every time she woke up, she would want to feed. When we had attempted to get rid of the association, she would cry/fuss a very long time. Too many times we gave in and fed her, as sometimes the crying went into the next feed window (3-4hr window). I know babies at this age don't need to feed that often. There are times where she hasn't woken up to feed in 5-6hrs, so we know she probably doesn't need to feed so often.

I just don't know how easy it would be to break the feed to sleep association, when she gets fed at night. Would my daughter be able to make that distinction as to why sometimes she gets fed and other times not?

How did you manage to wean your son off the night feeds?
It was rough at first, we'd give in and maybe feed him once at night before deciding that he'd have to go cold turkey. He'd essentially just cry it out and fall asleep from all the crying. But during those time I would do the 1/5/10 min check up if needed but by the 3rd or 4th night he was sleeping 5-6hrs at night.

What we did (and still do) for his feeds is by 7:30pm we would give him his oats, 4oz formula and my wife would top off with breastmilk (my wife does not produce enough). This seems to get him to about 11:30pm where we would feed him one last time with bottle and breast (about 5oz total) which will sustain him till 6am in which he would wake up for a morning feed (breastmilk for the rest of the day at that point on). We could probably wean him off the 11pm feed but my wife and I are both comfortable with the routine so we're keeping it for now. But I think once he can eat real solids that will stop.

what might seem like a long time in your head might really only be 5-10 mins. just keep at it. but of course all kids are different.
Sr. Member
Mar 24, 2015
781 posts
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Ottawa, ON
naxos98 wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 2:30 pm
ckay1980, you mentioned that you started co-sleeping. Just wondering how long you co-slept with your son? If you have stopped it, how was the process of getting him to sleep on his own? My wife doesn't want to start that, and we don't know if it would even work, since while being held she can still cry quite intensely.
We co-slept until he was about 1.5 yr old, then we gradually moved him in his own bedroom. We had a convertible crib so we made it into a double bed. I would lie down next to him for a few minutes until he was asleep then would leave. Did that for a few weeks, then I didn't have to stay long until he was fully asleep. I would tell him I have to go to the bathroom and will be back in 5 mins, then when I came back he was sleeping already. He woke up a few times a night because of nightmares. Sometimes when he's had a day full of activities, he didn't sleep well (agitated, nightmares, etc).

Once you co-sleep it's hard to break the habit, I would say try the other methods first. Not sure if 1.5 yrs old is too long for you, but I didn't mind at all because we were both sleeping well. I was breastfeeding while lying in bed as well. So the frequent night waking for nursing didn't bother me that much, There are some precautions that you need to take if co-sleeping. My husband slept next to me, not the baby. At first I was scared of being too much into deep sleep that I would roll on him, but I was always aware of his movement. Also should not take sleeping pills, and make sure there isn't soft toys or pillows. https://www.askdrsears.com/topics/healt ... ing-safely

Like the above poster said sleep training might not be for you and the baby. It wasn't for me and we never tried with our second. With my second, I co-slept until he was about 10 months, but he was a better sleeper, still is. No trouble getting to sleep by himself in his own bedroom.
Jr. Member
Jun 11, 2006
149 posts
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I used to a bit obsessed with getting my first to sleep. I read various sleep books (healthy sleep habits, Baby whisperer, no cry sleep solution etc), and tried all the usual suggestions...white noise, routine, swaddling etc, and eventually just realized babies oftentimes just don't sleep well! And well, most of the time, kids will eventually just learn to sleep through the night no matter what you do.

I would leave mine to see if they would settle on their own which they did sometimes, but I never did leave them to cry it out. If I had to, I would bounce/rock them to sleep.

I did cosleep with my last and found it much more relaxing and less frustrating. We both were happier I think. I am not a heavy sleeper so did not worry about rolling on to her. I can't remember when we moved her to her own room (2/3?), but should would come to our bed in the middle of the night sometimes (didn't mind that either)....she still does occasionally at 6. But she can go to sleep on her own.

I know baby sleep problems seem so frustrating and horrible at the time, but now that they are behind me, it didn't seem so bad. (Probably the sleep deprivation killed some memory cells haha)!
[OP]
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Jan 29, 2006
423 posts
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Ricearonie wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 3:14 pm

what might seem like a long time in your head might really only be 5-10 mins. just keep at it. but of course all kids are different.
If only it were 5-10 minutes of crying we would be so happy. It was definitely hard to hear initially, but we have gotten use to it in a sense. Our daughter can cry on and off for hours. We are still trying to figure out what works, it really seems like a matter of trail and error, before you find something that works. We are hoping for a softer and gentler approach that minimizes crying, but have yet to find anything that works.

Thanks for your input.
[OP]
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Jan 29, 2006
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ckay1980 wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 5:04 pm

Like the above poster said sleep training might not be for you and the baby. It wasn't for me and we never tried with our second. With my second, I co-slept until he was about 10 months, but he was a better sleeper, still is. No trouble getting to sleep by himself in his own bedroom.
How did you introduce co-sleeping? I mentioned this to my wife, she wonders how our daughter would learn to settle.

We are still considering all potential solutions. So far we haven't found anything that works.
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Jan 29, 2006
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stack1 wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 8:35 pm

I know baby sleep problems seem so frustrating and horrible at the time, but now that they are behind me, it didn't seem so bad. (Probably the sleep deprivation killed some memory cells haha)!
My wife and I were just discussing this earlier. We really do think with the sleep deprivation you forget the difficult times, and then down the road you decide to have another kid because you forgot how hard it was. My wife thinks it is a survival mechanism for the human race, if we remembered how hard and difficult it was, we probably wouldn't have that many children. :)

Case in point, I had a two different friends who had kids that they had a really hard time getting to sleep. When I asked them about it, they say they don't remember what they did. (Their kids are 12yo now). In both cases, it was their first born that had the sleep trouble, both friends ended up having two more kids later on.
Sr. Member
Mar 24, 2015
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Ottawa, ON
naxos98 wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 9:04 pm
How did you introduce co-sleeping? I mentioned this to my wife, she wonders how our daughter would learn to settle.

We are still considering all potential solutions. So far we haven't found anything that works.
Usually after breastfeeding I would just put him down on the bed next to me. He would usually fall asleep while breastfeeding if it was his bedtime. Then when he woke up during the night, I would breastfeed again, while lying down. He would be half asleep so the breastfeeding didn't last long, he'd fall back to sleep pretty quickly. I would say it was more for comfort than actually feeding. He slept for longer periods with time, but he woke up more often when he was teething.
I was definitely less exhausted and sleep deprived. Often when I was back to bed I had a hard time falling asleep and when I did, he would be up again in the next hour or two.
I think I only started to co-sleep around 5-6 months. Before that the crib was in our bedroom. I was breastfeeding in bed and would put him in his crib but he really didn't like the crib! Just like he hated the stroller. I used a sling until he was too big and heavy :P

Also, I think I read somewhere that babies can sense if their parents are stressed out and that it affects them in certain ways. Anyway, that would explain why first born are like that. Parents tend to be more relaxed with seconds. I remember being very stressed with my first and felt hopeless at times. But I found that once I slept better at night, I felt more rested and better in general, even if it meant co-sleeping for god knows how long and breastfeeding on demand.
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Mar 31, 2008
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It's bad, but bottle right before putting them down. Close lights, just walk out. Quick. The first one, took longer due to creating separation anxiety (the longer you hold, coddle, etc., the bigger it gets).

2nd one, by 4-5 months, I just dropped her in bed, and walked out since I started that almost immediately at around 4 months mark. Turn off lights, close door. Now she would wake up multiple times, but that was more due to her being a fidgety baby and therefore not really eating enough and therefore always hungry. The important thing was just literally walking out with lights out. Now I highly recommend swaddling if possible with the swaddle blanket.

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