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Sleep Training

Just thought I'd post this in case anyone else is considering sleep training. At 5 months, we hadn't had a night's sleep since Theo was born so I decided to do something about it. Basicaly I'd been holding Theo til he fell asleep as he always cried when I put him down awake plus he had a dummy. So during the night I'd be up every 1-2 hours to put the dummy back in and help him go back to sleep. So first of all one night he kept spitting his dummy out when he was going to bed and crying. He always cried when going to sleep anyway, even in my arms. So I decided to stop reinforcing the dummy and took it away. I thought this would be a disaster but he didn't seem to miss it too much. When he woke in the night I tried doing shh-pat in his cot and would end up doing this for abut 20 minutes til he fell asleep. After a couple of nights I tried doing pick up put down (Baby Whisperer) instead as I was even more tired than usual - before at least I could just walk in and put the dummy in and go back to bed! But the pick up put down was awful and i was up for 2 hours at a time with him crying every time I put him down and stopping as soon as I picked him up - I actually felt like I was teasing him and making him more upset.
So then I was so knackered that for a couple of nights I just held him in the night when he woke up and then put him down when he'd fallen asleep - eventually bringing him into bed with me earlier and earlier as I was so tired.
So I decided this couldn't go on and took drastic action - the Ferber method. I thought this was something I'd never be able to do as it basically means letting him cry and just going in to reassure him after 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes etc. The first couple nights were not very nice - it made me feel sick to leave him there crying, but we were only up once each night - although for 1.5-2 hours at a time! After that he would wake in the night and cryout but not really crying, jsut making frustrated noises and would fall back to sleep fairly quickly. Now we've had 3 nights in a row of him sleeping right through! And now I can put him in his cot when he's tired (yawning or rubbing his eyes) and walk out - he just falls asleep on his own. We also always had issues with naps as he wakes after 45 minutes but is still tired. Well this morning he woke after 45 minutes but was just babbling, not crying, so I left him there for a few minutes while I finished hanging out the washing and he's fallen asleep again on his own!
Just thought I'd tell my story in case anyone else is struggling with sleep issues. Its not for everyone this method as it is quite harsh, but it did work for us and after we'd tried other things we were ready for this.


  • aww glad theo is sleeping through now moomin lola-mae was an easy baby and slept through from 8 weeks but i remember when my oldest abbie was a baby she was exactly how theo used to be i wasnt clever like you and waited till 18months lol but i did the controlled crying too (same as the ferber method) and agree its hard for a couple of days (i sat outside her room crying with her lol) but it works really quickly and effectively
  • Hi girlies

    My 6 month old is the same he has 3 naps durin the day lastin 40 mins each time and costantly wakes durin the night for his dummy. I still have to feed him through the night to get him back to sleep.

    We used to have great problems with him crying when it came to daytime naps but done the controlled cryin and after the first day it worked however we did go back in every 5 mins to put his dummy back in.

    I am currently reading the Baby Whisperer which suggests the PU/PD method so was gonna try that instead of giving him his dummy. Do you think this will work?

    Moomin, was your LO still feeding through the nigt when you done the controlled crying?

  • Hi Princess Fi, sorry to hear you're still not getting any sleep! I tried PU/PD but for us it didn't work as it just seemed to wind him up even more. But it might be worth a go. I would say though that you need to not be putting the dummy back in or feeding him to sleep - the idea is that the baby can put himself back to sleep on his own - so there can be no conditions which he is reliant on you for - dummy, feed, even putting on his mobile or something as he can't do that himself when he wakes up. I was fortunate that I wasn't still feeding during the night when I started controlled crying so I knew for sure he wasn't hungry. At 6 months your LO probably doesn't need the feed at night but has just come to expect it. Not sure if it would be best to stop the feed first then try the controlled crying or just do it all in one hit. Sorry.
    Having said naps were good, we seem to have gone downhill on that front, but Theo is still sleeping through the night- in fact he's been asleep for over 13 hours and I don't know if i should go and wake him up!
  • I swear by controlled crying, it's brilliant!! Didn't do it for Alex until she was 9 months old - and she was a nightmare - she now sleeps through from 7pm-7am. Decided it was a must with JJ as I didn't want a repeat performance. Anyway, he has been sleeping through now since about 9 weeks. It is hard to hear your baby cry but at the end of the day - it's what's best for the both of you.
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