Sunday, December 11, 2011

sleep training?

Well, Liam's sleeping has been getting worse and worse. He wakes up frequently throughout the night and it's not always because he's hungry. Sometimes he just doesn't feel like sleeping, I guess. We've been trying to be consistent with a bedtime routine and for about a week we've been successfully getting him to bed before 8 o'clock with no fussing...except for last night. He was not wanting to go to sleep. And when he finally went to sleep he kept waking up every two hours like clock work. ::SIGH::

I'm wondering if we should do some sleep training...maybe try transferring him to his crib to sleep at night. Here's the thing...I'm not into the "cry it out" method. I'd like to try a gentler approach. I will only resort to "cry it out" if absolutely necessary. I'm also not going to start him on cereal until six months of age. I know a lot of people say to give your baby cereal at night to make him sleep longer...but I've read that this is a myth. Is it? Either way, our pediatrician suggests exclusive breastfeeding for six months and I am in full agreement.

I'm not expecting him to sleep 12 hours straight right away. The fact of the matter is that he is exclusively breastfed and that means he digests his milk faster than formula, which means he gets hungry sooner. I'm okay with a night feeding or two until he starts solids but this is getting ridiculous. I know he's not always waking up because he's hungry.

So let me hear it, mamas and papas. How have you helped your little one sleep better at night? I'm so nervous about doing any kind of sleep training...but I need my rest! Thanks, friends.

Check me out in my doggie jam jams!

Such an angel when he's actually asleep. ;-)


Michelle said...

Sigh...I'm so sorry. I feel for you. Lane didn't wake every two hours, but she certainly didn't sleep more than five or so straight for a LONG time...I think she woke twice a night until about 7-8 months old and then at least once a night until 9-10 months. So I feel for you.

Giving cereal at night to make them sleep longer is a doesn't work for all babies. We gave Lane rice cereal at 4 months but only because she'd been eying our plates, spoons, and food for at least a month before that. She took to it like a champ and has always loved food. We think she was ready.

I don't have any advice for you about sleep training other than CIO...if he's waking every two hours, he is certainly not hungry that often. I think that you could let him cry for five minutes before you go in, then let him cry for seven minutes the next time, and so on. Pat his back and then leave again. Make sure he's not going through a growth spurt and then don't feed him more often than every 3 hours at night. Then stretch it to 3 hr 15 min. Then 3.5 hr, and so on. If he cries for more than 20-30 minutes, he probably actually IS hungry. Otherwise, letting him cry for five or ten minutes is not going to hurt him at all.

Good luck...I know it stinks! It does get better!

Megan said...

My neighbor recommended the no cry sleep solution for us. She said it worked for her boys and she uses some of the techniques on Sarah Grace when she puts her down for naps (she's our babysitter, too).

I haven't looked at it or tried it yet, though, so I can't speak for myself.

yulyney said...

Hey Kristel, I have a 4 month old who is 3 days older than Liam. What really worked for us was putting her to sleep in her room. As soon as we did that she started sleeping 6 hours on a row. Maybe you can try putting him in his crib and see what happens. She(Fiorelle) now loves sleeping in her bed and sleeps 11 hours straight on some nights.

PammyK said...

I breastfed my daughter until she was 18 months - exclusively until 6 months. She didn't start sleeping through the night (12ish hours) until she was 9 months old - and even after that there were plenty of nights she woke up for no reason.

I breastfed her pretty much every time she woke up. After 9 months it wasn't very often, after 12 months it was extremely rare.

I always fed her in bed with me...we would both fall asleep during the feeding. I'd almost always wake up shortly after and transfer her back to her bed.

It was annoying sometimes and people thought I was doing it wrong, but she's 2 years old now and has been pretty much sleeping 12 hours a night since she was one...and...I already miss those cozy moments in bed together. :)

Clara said...

harper never wanted to sleep in my room, so he was in a cradle in his nursery from day one. however i slept in there for two or three nights... but he was exclusively breastfed for four months but started sleeping through the night at 4 weeks and has been ever since. i keep a strict nighttime routine, and have done the same thing, the same way, every night since he was two weeks old and got his first bath... it boils down to and hour and half-two hours before bathtime, he gets a light dinner of cereal and tasty snacks... 30 min before bed, he gets a bath, and all lotioned up and dressed in jams, then he reads for 10-15 minutes and i nursed and then eventually bottle fed him down in his own room and he's been doing it like a champ ever since. he woke up once at 3am when we were on vacation, the first (and only) time i ever tried to sleep in the same room with him. i think the most he's ever "cried it out" was three or four minutes of fussing and nothing more. but this is just what works for us..... i definitely sometimes wish we had coslept so i could get baby cuddles, but he's always been independent in that way... :) good luck!

Kortnie Wertzbaugher said...

We put our kids in their rooms in their own cribs by one month. I would wake up at every little squeak when they sleep in our room. I know Liam's room is far from your master, so it's a lot bigger of a decision. We swaddled our kids from birth until about 4 months and we would put them in their cribs while they were drowsy, not totally passed out.
With Levi we are just now at the point where we don't swaddle him and when I know he's sleepy or at night when he's finished eating I can lay him in his bed and he goes to sleep on his own.
We have let our kids cry it out. Every 10 minutes we go in and pat their bellies and give 'em their paci's and then leave... we don't pick them up (unless they get totally hysterical). I honestly, haven't had to let him cry it out often. At this age they just have to learn that their cribs are for sleeping.