Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sleep Training

We are starting some sleep training with Carson. Like all babies, he is ever-changing. After 3 mo of age when we discovered he had reflux and got that under control, it was like a switch flipped and he slept great; he would sleep anywhere from 4-6 hours, then feed then sleep for 3-4 more hours. Then came the bronchiolitis and ear infections at 3.5 months where he needed constant comfort and could not be put down, so he slept in our bed for a couple of weeks. Then came the holidays where there were spiders in pack-n-plays and I thought my husband was going to die, so we all slept together to be close to each other and didn't care about sleep training at the time.

So with all the drama behind us for now (knock on wood) we are trying to get our bed back. For about 4 nights now we have been very firm with him sleeping in his bed from bedtime (7:30 to 8:30 ish) until 5am. We still give him a bottle in the middle of the night (I have read that he can go 8 hrs, but we only make him go 6 or 7 hrs between the last p.m. feeding and the wee hour a.m. feeding). We have gotten so frustrated and exhausted from the MANY wakings at night that we have considered using a cry-it-out method. But I can't do it, it breaks my heart.

I have done the research on different methods and what I read is that it doesn't matter what method you use, you just need to be consistent with it. HERE is the problem: 2 working parents, with commutes, nightly daycare prep, cooking and cleaning = exhaustion and an attitude of "just get it done." So when I saw the word consistent, I knew that the Ferber method was not for me- I knew I would break down and go in to comfort him ALL the time. Instead we have chosen a "no-tears method" which simply enough is doing what we were already doing: going in his room and comforting him by giving him his passy, rocking him, feeding or holding him until he calms down and then leaving him in his crib; also this method involves the "bed-time routine (another thing we have yet to establish due to exhaustion: ours will be bath, bottle, book and rocking). This method takes more time but I am fine with that. There is a little amount of time I get to spend with Carson at night and I don't want it spent hearing him cry.

So... we have been doing this for a few days now and have noticed a little progress - I am going to attempt to write down the number of times we have to go in there to soothe him and see if it actually works over time. I read that one person had to go in 126 times the 1st night, hopefully it won't be that bad.

Any moms out there with babies 5+ months old with any advice (other than CIO or putting baby in bed with us) I would love to hear it. Seriously...I would love some comments on this, I have been hearing crickets on my postings :)


Carrie said...

The only thing that worked for me was to put Cade in his bed every time he went to sleep so he would get used to the noises and scents in his room. I would lay him down right before he fell asleep so he knew that he had to fall asleep in his bed and not in mommy's arms. It has worked wonders. Our bedtime routine is bath, one cartoon show, then book and bed. Now we just put him in his bed and he goes right to sleep. Also, we bought the aquarium that bubbles and plays music. I used that a lot when he was little to soothe him to let him know mommy isn't going to run in at every time. He will actually turn it on now in the middle of the night if he wakes up and he never cries. Just be consistent. Bedtime is so easy now!

Courtney said...

Just wanted to say that I'm right there with you! Henry is getting up like 4 times a night so I'm trying to start sleep training too. I agree that CIO is just too much. I will let him fuss for a few minutes, but I can't just let him cry hard for long at all (can't stand it!). So I'm going to stop trying to feed from 12 to 5 AM (starting tonight!). I'm also going to try the baby whisperer's method of just going in and calming with paci and patting. She says to put them right back in their bed as soon as they calm and before they fall asleep so they still learn how to fall asleep by themselves. I hope it works!! I think she had to do it like a hundred times with a baby one night. I remember reading that in her book. I think I'm going to count tonight and see how we do! Keep me updated on your progress. We can keep each other accountable.

Crystal said...

When we decided to put Maddie in her room, we bought a humidifier. It has been wonderful for us. It drowns out all other sounds, and keeps her asleep longer. He will quickly learn that everytime he cries you will come comfort him. At some point, he has to learn how to soothe himself. It just takes time and patience.

Courtney said...

ugh! how did it go? We didn't do so great last night. He did sleep from 11 to 3 but then we were up two times in the 3 o' clock hour, 4 AM, 5 AM, and I finally just put him in our bed during the 6 AM hour. I ended up feeding him every time except the first. The first time I got him to finally go to sleep in his bed, but he woke up 5 minutes later. I just don't know how I'm going to have the energy to do this!! Tonight I'm going to feed again at 11 and then if it has been 3 hours or longer I will feed him again. I'm soooooooo tired!!!