Sleep Training

Did I ever go through sleep training?  I doubt it.  My mom was 26 when she had me and had a little toddler, my brother, running around at 9 months (we both walked early).  She didn’t read books.  She just nurtured.

Why do I feel so much pressure that by 6 weeks our little bundle of joy needs to be in some sleep training program? 

I know it will only help us in the long run.  We long for the 7-8 hrs sleep we used to get.  But, it seems like an insurmountable task.  Plus, there are so many opinions out there, running the gamut between “cry it out” to baby directed sleeping using props/aides to make them sleep. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining…I just feel a bit overwhelmed.  I think we will be somewhere in between.  I’m about to read Baby.wise and may order one that Cassie recommended, too, called “Hea.lthy S.leep Ha.bits He.althy Ch.ild.    My SIL said she read both and used what she thought was good from both books.   A few other people also recommended Baby.wise. 

Right now he is in his little Rock-and-Play sleeper (which I love) in the next room, sleeping away after a good feeding.  Per Babywis.e he, should be playing for a bit after feeding prior to sleep (my bad?).  He’ll get his bath when he gets up and we’ll drag the rock and paly thing upstairs because he seems to like it much better than the bassinet.  He is a bit stuffy and is starting to spit up a bit, so it seems to help him.  My ped says it’s ok for him to sleep in there.  In a few weeks we’ll transition to the crib (I think?). 

I am a nervous nelly.  I wish I wasn’t.  I’ve called my ped and the “war.m lin.e” that is offered by my hospital (nurses on call to answer any baby or mommy related questions post partum) several times.  Since the stuffiness and grunting (trying to clear) is bothering me, we may take him to have his lungs checked tomorrow.  

It’s funny, as you all know, I spent so much time thinking about staying pregnant and about the health of my baby that I didn’t spend much time preparing for actually being a mom.  I know it will come in time.  I know that I will do well.   It’s just new territory and I want to make sure I’m doing the best I can for my son.  

In between the worry and sleeplessness, we get our moments.  The moments that fill my heart with such love.  This morning I was singing to him while holding him and he looked so relaxed, contented, and was smiling at me.  Maybe he’s trying to say, “Mom you are doing ok”

Edited to add:  just noticed I hadn’t posted since he was 2 weeks….he’s almost 5 weeks (on Tue) and is growing and gaining weight well.  At his 4 wk appt last Mon he had gained 3 oz/day on average from the last time.  He was 8 lbs 6 oz.  I bet he is well over 9 lbs now.   We are taking him in today to have the stuffiness checked so we’ll see then.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. PBJmom
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 22:39:16

    Ugh. Sleep training. DD was a terrible sleeper. I was honestly afraid I would never get to sleep again. And there are blogs etc. with people (who never sleep trained) with toddlers and older who still need to be rocked to sleep, etc. I didn’t want to end up like that. I read almost every book out there. I would avoid anything by Dr. Sears (he claims studies show sleep training and crying damage a kid for life, etc. but his citations are misleading (ex.: cites to study that supposedly shows crying causes neurological damage; study actually said babies with neurological damage cry a lot)), plus other “kinder gentler” methods like the books by Pantley and the Baby Whisperer—they just don’t work. For the early months I recommend tips in Weissbluth’s HSPHC (i.e look for signs, try to start regularish nap times once baby is a few months old). For actual sleep training I highly recommend Ferber’s book/method. It really made sense to me (you want the baby to be able to soothe themselves to sleep and not have unhealthy sleep associations—i.e. need pacifier, rocking, mom’s boob, etc.). I would recommend reading Bedtiming for info on when to sleep train—it goes over what months are good/bad based on developmental stages. 6 month is supposed to be one of the best times, which is when we did it, and it worked GREAT. It only took about 3 nights and really only the first night was bad, with at most 10 min of crying at once. I was really stressed about it but DD has been a great sleeper ever since, and hasn’t regressed even when sick, teething, etc. You may read some bloggers who are like “I would NEVER do that—cry it out is not for me” implying that those of us who did/do it must be evil, but really it was not that bad and it does not harm the child. And the Ferber method is progressive waiting, so you go in every 2-5-10 etc. minutes. They are not crying all night for hours. You need to stick with it though I think a lot of people who claim it didn’t work probably didn’t follow it the way you are supposed to. DD’s temperament actually got much better once she was getting some quality sleep. Meltdowns and fussiness became rare.

    Sorry to get on a soapbox, but this was a HUGE issue for us and I did a ton of research and I was extremely pleased with how it turned out.


  2. someday-soon
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 11:27:44

    I read Babywise when I was pregnant and also felt pressure to sleep train. At about 6 weeks I gave up…and for us it all turned out just fine. She started sleeping 6-7 hours at night around 7 weeks on her own, with no help from me =) I think some of it just depends on how long they can hold on to their food without being hungry and that changes as they get bigger. Some of my friends swear that 10lbs is the mark of where they make it longer at night. Those first weeks are so hard…just try to sleep when your LO does and my advice is to not even consider sleep training until 12 weeks or later.


  3. Kelley
    Aug 01, 2012 @ 12:36:45

    Sleep training is hard! I have 3 “good” sleepers but it took some time. The one thing (likely not to last too much longer!) is my almost 4 month old sleeps really well for 6-7 hr stretches as long as he is swaddled. He is almost getting too big for swaddling (he is also in a Arms Reach Mini cosleeper still) and he can roll halfway or all the way over during the day unswaddled. We will most likely be switching to Halo sleep sacks in the next few wks. We will see how that goes! Just remember you are doing the best you can and he will eventually sleep! 🙂


  4. soulshine
    Aug 01, 2012 @ 13:45:11

    yes, mom, you are doing ok 🙂
    he is so adorable. 9lbs of complete sweetness!

    we didn’t read any of the books, i really can’t remember any details from those first weeks and months… he was up alot eating, then sleep for a very small amount of time, then more eating. eventually the times sleeping got longer, and it was more enjoyable on my end of things in terms of getting some sleep myself… it took WAY longer than 6 weeks, though. i don’t think he was anywhere near “sleeping thru the night” until he was 6 MONTHS old. 6 weeks, he stills needs a lot of feeding round the clock… you can read the books now and make a plan for when he starts being able to sleep for longer stints at a time between necessary feedings. i was too tired to make a plan, or read!

    our big issue was trying to get him out of our bed. he got bad eczema and the only way to stop him from scratching his poor cheeks was to sleep with him right next to me in our bed so i could keep his hands at bay. so, he developed a love of sleeping next to me in our bed. but that was giving me NO sleep, so we moved the crib next to our bed, and gradually put him to sleep in the crib. it took a few days of unhappiness and crying, but it was ok because i knew all of his needs were met (well fed, dry diaper, much loved, sleepy), the only need not being met was his inability to understand that the crib was his new bed. so, now he sleeps in his crib for half the night. something that helped me was my dad telling me that ‘he doesn’t like getting into the car seat either, but that’s where he has to sit when he is in the car- eventually he stops crying in the car seat, and the same will go for the crib- he won’t like it at first, but sleeping happens in the crib, so that’s where he has to be’. that helped me get thru the crying for the first few days, and then he just went right to sleep in the crib, no fuss no muss. he is almost 2, and we haven’t figured out how to get him 100% out of our bed. it is ok though. it will happen eventually.

    thanks so much for updating!
    when are you returning to work? how is daisy? your mom? your husband? i hope all things are going well, and you can get some naps in!


  5. LisainSK
    Aug 31, 2012 @ 22:20:31

    Sleep training…know it well! We Ferber-ized LN10 when he was 6 months old. In hindsight, wish I tried it at 5 months. “They” meaning Ferber and Weisbluth, say a baby is ready to try sleep training at 4 months old. Sleep training changed our lives!! Rather saved it actually?!!


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