Monday, February 22, 2010

sleep training

{I feel like I could write about work meetings given the title of this post.}

Graham's sleeping skills seem to be going downhill. He's still the most wonderful baby in the world, but last night (after a late bedtime of 8:30--we were out late), he woke at 10:30, 11:40, 2:30, 4:40, 5:20, 5:30, and 8:30. It's getting to be quite common. That's just not okay.

SO, ladies and gents (Do any gents read my blog?), I'm taking a poll. What kind of sleep training did you do with your babies? Gradual cry-it-out? 'Extinction' cry-it-out? Other methods? Nothing? How early did you start? What would you recommend?

Yes, blog stalkers, I'm even talking to you. What did you do?

Helpful information that I totally left off the first time I posted this:

The babe is 4 months old (today!).

Sleeps in his own room.

Here's what we have been doing: He goes to sleep no problem at night. We bounce him a bit and then put him down in his crib. Sometimes he fusses and we have to do it again, but most of the time he goes down like a champ.

In terms of waking up during the night, if it has been about 3 hours, I feed him. I have a feeling he is often waking hungry, because if I only feed him on one side and put him back down, he wakes up a half hour later. If I feed him on both sides and really fill up his belly, he normally sleeps for another 2 1/2 hours.

If he wakes up and it hasn't been 3 hours, we try to sooth him back to sleep. First, we put the pacifier back in and shhhhush or talk quietly to him while rubbing his belly. If that doesn't work, we pick him up and bounce him until he falls asleep again. Doesn't seem to matter if I do it or Christian does. He seems to respond the same to both of us.

17 comments:

Julie Laughlin said...

i'm wondering what you're doing every time he wakes up? feeding him? rocking him? holding him? patting his back? just curious as to what you think he wants when he wakes up. mine always wanted food.

Jenna said...

how old is he now? that will change my answer.

jena wise said...

I can't tell you how much research I did on this topic after 6 months of my boys waking up every 2 hours (and not together, so every 1 hour). I'll send you my Google doc :).
BUT the best book that I found, followed, love, and still recommend, is "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth. Not mean, just effective.
In short I'd say that since he doesn't need to eat more than every 3 hours at this point in his life, let him cry/fuss inbetween feeds and just get him up to eat at your designated times (10, 1, 4, 7, etc. though that still sounds awful). Could be temporary - a growth spurt or getting first teeth already. Anyway, sending my doc now...

LJ, DC and ML said...

Oh poor mama! I'm so sorry.
As you know we've only done two things, stuff her belly full before "going to bed" and pray. Beg might be a better description, morning and night, twice. You are of a greater fiber than myself. I suck with no sleep. You are my idol.

Erica said...

I think you're doing well. My only suggestion at this point would be to have Christian always doing the soothing b/c Graham can smell milk on you. As for REAL sleep training, and getting him to stop waking up completely.. he's not quite old enough yet. Around 6 months he should be sleeping through the night completely and able to sooth himself back to sleep without your help if he does wake up. I read this great book that I highly recommend, called "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" that you should read over. It's fabulous and really helped us with Emily..

amandanbo said...

i totally agree with erica...i think you're doing a great job right now and probobly just the "babies night out" got his routine a bit out of whack. believe me, before you know it he'll be sleeping through the night no problem!
i loved the books the happiest baby on the block and The Baby whisperer...i kind of used a combo with my daughter when she was an infant and am about to start with my 6 month old son. he was such a good sleeper, but i started a bad habit of putting him in bed with me {never did that with my daughter}...so next week, he is in his crib and i'll be working out sleep training as well. will be curious to hear how things go, what works for you, what doesn't as you try some things out!
~amanda
{can't believe he is already 4 months! time flies!}

Mary Dawn said...

I love the baby whisperer. It takes a lot more effort then crying it out. But, it works. I think it's her second book 'Solving All Your Childs Problems' that we used in combination with Happy Baby Healthy Sleep Habits. Good luck and if all else fails hire a sleep consultant. I know of a great one if you need her.

Amy and Arthur said...

With Maya we had her in her own room by the time she was five weeks old. I don't know if you have that option or not....we'd let her cry herself to sleep from the time she was about Graham's age. And then once she reached six months, if she woke up during the night, I ignored her. I knew that she had had a proper feeding right before she went to sleep. But alas, every child is different. I'm sure with our second, it will be a whole new learning experience. Hope you get the advice that works for you and your sweet little Graham. I love the pics of him.

Dyan said...

He might be a little young for crying it out. I was probably too nice and didn't let Nora cry it out until she was 9 months. When I have a second child I might start at 6 months. Someone mentioned that he might be going through a growth spurt or teething and that always mixes things up. I found some weeks were good some were really bad. I also liked the Happy Baby Healthy Sleep Habits although I didn't follow it exactly. Good luck

Lindsey said...

I am a cry it out extinction method mom. What are his stats like? If he's not down on weight, I say he's not starving. Even a growth spurt doesn't warrant eating every hour at this stage to me. What's the longest he's gone without eating? If Kai went 8 hours a couple times and woke up before the 8 hours on another night- I let him cry because I know he had gone that long before. This may be worth a talk on a run. :) I know each baby is different, but both my babies were sleeping about 10 hour stretches at 4 months. Healthy sleep Habits is good. You can borrow it if you like.

The Bundys said...

Don't you love it. Their is always something keeping them waking up. Landon has been waking up at 5 and he is four - what can you do? The only think that has really worked for my three is letting them cry it out for a few nights (it is worth it but it is hard.) but at four months I would still feed him atleast once or twice. Cali is humongous and I fed her at night until 7 months (she is so cute I couldn't resist)
Good Luck!

Ella said...

You are going to get A LOT of comments. So I don't feel like I can add anything new. Read any sleep book and you'll learn some basic key principles, like sleep begets sleep, stick to your routine, etc. But their methods are all going to be slightly different. I think any of them will work, but whatever you choose to do you'll have to be CONSISTENT. I don't know if you know this but I did save Veronica when her little girl was giving them no sleep whatsoever. Have you ever tried letting him fuss for 5 minutes just to see what happens? Jack would cry for a minute but he was practically asleep and would fall back asleep if we didn't go to him. Or is Graham the type to get all worked up? Whatever you choose, good luck! It will get better! Oh, and like someone else said, it sounds like this is probably some sort of phase right now anyway. He might be teething, growth spurt, or whatever. I ususally find that I'll get all geared up for a plan of action just to find out it was something else and was going to fix itself anyway. Good luck!

whitney said...

i'm with lindsey... we do a cry it out method. it totally works, but FYI if you can't handle graham crying for more than a few minutes, this method is not for you... it will break your heart :)

a couple of people asked if he was sleeping in your room? if he is and you have the space to put him in another room, i would do that. sometimes babies wake up fussing for just a couple of minutes and then put themselves back to sleep and you would never hear it if the babe wasn't right next to you.

Amy Carter said...

wish i had the answer! luca is not a good sleeper at all. it sounds like you're doing the right thing though. i just think it takes some babies longer than others to get the hang of sleeping longer. and there will always be those random nights when they wake up ten times and you have no idea why.

i could never do the cry-it-out with diego. tried it for about 5 minutes with luca, and he was SCREAMING, so i probably won't have the strength to do it with him either. the other night, he woke up at 4:30am and i decided to let him put himself back to sleep. no crying, but he talked and fussed for an HOUR, after which i finally put him in bed with me and it took another 30 minutes for me to get him to sleep. not sure what my point is... other than sometimes the methods work and sometimes they don't. just know that one day he will eventually sleep well! does that help? ;)

sounds like a few people recommended 'Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child.' let me know if you have any tips once you've read it!
luca will be 6 months next week, and i feel it will be time for me to be the tough mom and try a little harder to get him to fall asleep on his own. we also need to get a bed for diego, so that luca can finally move into his crib and out of our room! i think that will help too. sigh...

Bonnie said...

Hi Molly - wow ... you have a TON of comments! Just goes to show that what works for one mama doesn't for the next. Maybe you won't even need this post, but this is what worked for me. The book is called "On Becoming BabyWise" and it's like other people have said, just be consistent.

I followed the principles like a freakin' NAZI and Ella slept through the night starting about month 4.

Basically it's schedule driven, or parent-directed feeding. You feed the baby every 3 hours, regardless of sleep or wake cycles. Their theory is that babies cry and wake up sporadically because they don't know or don't trust when they'll get their next feeding, so if you make it SUPER schedule driven, they learn to trust that process. Sometimes they wake up before the 3 hours, and you just comfort them until that 3 hour mark arrives, and it's HARD... but it works. I may not even be explaining it right. The book is awesome.Don't take my explanation literally - that feels like a lifetime ago already... good luck!

Samantha said...

blog stocker here and mom of two...soon to be three.

I have had a great sleeper and a crappy sleeper. The difference was this...

When my daughter (great sleeper) was 3 months (10 lbs.) if she woke up to eat my husband would go in give her her pacifier and rub her back until she was calm...and then leave even if she wasn't completely asleep...if she fussed he would do the same thing. He did this for a total of 3 nights. Each night she would go longer and longer in between waking up. Finally after 3 nights she was sleeping through the night (like 10-12 hours). My husband had to do it so that she wouldn't smell my milk. It was a long 3 nights for my hubby, but in the long run it was much better for us all.
Now, with my son (the crummy sleeper) he didn't sleep through the night until 18 months!!! Yes, 18 months. I too thought that he was waking up because he was really hungry. We finally had to do the "cry it out" method as he was too old to try to soothe. It took longer for him to sleep though the night crying it out because he was older and more aware.
Anyway...hope something helps for you. Good luck.

thislonglife said...

I was too lazy to read everyone elses post's- but we do cry it out, but not usually until my babes are a little older. Start trying to give him rice cereal right before bed now- It will help him feel fuller longer and help him sleep. Also how late his his last nap before bed? I don't let Peyton sleep past 4pm before putting her down at 830pm. Babies also start pre-teething around this time, and bedtime is always hardest. It can feel like it never ends. Sorry, hope this helps!