Sleep training - when did you start and what approach ... - NCT

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Sleep training - when did you start and what approach did you use?

Amanda86 profile image
Amanda86

Hey all,

Just looking into ideas for sleep training. My little boy is 4 months, I’ve read not to start before 6 months so that’s fine.

At the moment he doesn’t sleep great, he’s up a lot through the night (he is teething though and suffers with colic and reflux so not had it easy). He will sleep in his crib but usually after midnight he just won’t settle in it, from pure exhaustion I then co-sleep - something I said I’d never do until sleep deprivation hit!

So at around 6 months I’d like to start sleep training and just wondering for anyone who has done this when did you start and what approach did you use? Did it work? How long did it take?

I know it’s going to be difficult and probably co-sleeping has made the situation worse but I’m keen to get him into his own room and hopefully into a better sleeping routine as soon as I can and would like to start around 6 months.

Thanks 😘

14 Replies

Not sure if this will be helpful but at around 4-5 months I was able to establish a routine with my little one. Now he basically shows me all the signs of wanting to go to bed at the same time each day, so I don't have to coax him into bedtime mode.

Our routine is bath, followed by a little massage, getting dressed and lullabies while I nurse him to sleep. I don't always want to bathe him so sometimes I just wash his face and head, and I don't always do the massage but just put cream on his face, so he still has the smell association.

It's amazing because it's mummy time after 7:30 pm! He still wakes for night feeds but I get a few hours to myself and he is clear that it's bed time now. He rarely plays up because he's ready and tired.

So my advice is to just start to the same thing every night (or roughly the same thing) at the same time, and see how it goes. Apparently it takes 10 days to form a habit, so if that's true you could have a workingroutine within 2 weeks.

I know for some nursing to sleep is not ideal, but it works for us as I'm usually done within 20 minutes (and I can catch up on my email correspondence as I feed!!). I'm hoping to introduce stories into the routine as he gets older, and eventually be able to leave him burped and settled to send himself to sleep (rather than nursing). But right now this works for us.

When other people look after my little one, or when daddy is on duty, they do roughly the same routine then just give him the bottle, then hold him to gently burp. Takes a bit longer but still works.

Good luck and I hope it works for you quickly!

Amanda86 profile image
Amanda86 in reply to Kempton

Hey,

Thanks for the reply 😊 my little boy has quite a similar routine, bath, change into night clothing, bottle and bed. He hated baby massage so I stopped that, but he’s in bed around 7-730pm every night. The only issue I’m having is a couple of hours later he’ll wake for his feed (say 2-3 hours) goes back down and again wakes again a few hours later (after midnight) and as soon as it’s after midnight I have difficulty getting him to sleep in his crib 1. Because he wakes shortly after each time I put him down (say 15-30 minutes) 2. I’m so exhausted at this stage I just end up co sleeping to let us both sleep.

I’m just wondering how how I’ll ever get him to sleep in crib the whole night, and worse how we’ll transition into his own room. I guess I need to work on him spending a full night in his crib first, just becomes so exhausting by 2/3am when your so tired 😩

I’ve made sure he’s no wind, make sure he’s warm enough etc but nothing sleeps to help. Feels like he’s maybe got into his own little routine of not sleeping in crib after midnight because of me giving up getting up constantly when I do try. xxx

Kempton profile image
Kempton in reply to Amanda86

I totally know what you mean about the tiredness! I have days when it's worse than others. My little one has never done a full night either for the same reasons.

I set up a cot in the baby's room (bed side crib is in my room) and I started putting baby there for day time naps. Seemed to help familiarise him with the room so he likes being there - but I haven't managed a full nIght. Feels closer though.

Hope you can work it out.

Amanda86 profile image
Amanda86 in reply to Kempton

Thank you. I’m going to work on trying to get him to spend full nights in his crib, even though the tiredness will be horrendous but I’m hoping by doing this that the transition into cot in his own room might be a little easier 🤞

Last night he was up every 3 hours which is better than usual xxx

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Colic is an over used term when doctors arent sure what is upsetting them. Has your little one been assessed for tongue and lip ties? Quite often colic is caused by them taking in excess air that is difficult for them to bring back up.

As for sleeping, AAP and WHO recommend feeding every 2-3 hours with one 5 hour stretch over night until their solid intake is more than their milk, which usually happens around the 1 year mark. This ensures that theirblood sugar levels remain stable and is a good protection from SIDS.

A good routine, is key to getting them to do longer stretches in their cot, we co sleep and have done since birth, but make sure to put him down in his cot when we can which has naturally led to him spending longer stretches in there.

I do the last feed downstairs then daddy takes him up for a wash, nappy change and into pyjamas, he then rocks him to sleep and transfers him to the cot. 40 min later baby will wake so daddy goes back up to settle him, and then on the next wake I go up to feed, thats normally when we go to bed too, and when baby does his long sleep. Its about 50/50 whether that is in the cot or in bed, he then cluster feeds for the next few hours until he is up for the day, usually around 12 hours after he went down for the night. We started the routine around 6 months and he is now 10 months xx

Amanda86 profile image
Amanda86 in reply to Hidden

Thanks for the reply, he was checked for tongue tie and that was fine. He’s not been checked for lip tie but we use colief drops which have stopped the colic completely, I tried to stop the drops and it came back. They breakdown the lactose in milk so seems maybe a lactose intolerance? I’ll continue using the drops until 6 months and then see if I can reduce them and stop.

I just worry how he’ll settle in the cot in how own room, my friends little one co slept from birth and she put him into his room at 7 months but the only way she could get him to settle in his cot and room was to let him cry it out, she said it took a couple of weeks but then he settled but I don’t know if I could do that 😥 xxx

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Hidden in reply to Amanda86

Lactose allergies are pretty rare, like 0.5% rare, it can be diagnosed through stool samples and blood tests.

Cry it out method isn't recommended by most professionals as it has been proven to have long term mental health damage, yes some babies are fine and grow up to not have any problems, but personally I wouldnt want to take that risk. Crying is babies only way of communicating, and if they aren't hungry, dirty, too hot, too cold, etc, they may just want a cuddle and that closeness and that's ok. You can't spoil a baby with too much love.

Last year the recommendation for having baby in the same room was 6 months, this year it is now 12, but regardless of that, if they arent sleeping in their cot then its going to be harder to move them into their own room! We all learnt to sleep on our own eventually, just like walking, talking and feeding ourselves, babies just do it at their own pace, no point in rushing something they arent ready for, it would be like us trying to swim the channel after only just getting the pool for the first time.

Amanda86 profile image
Amanda86 in reply to Hidden

Not too sure, Doctor has never suggested any testing just happy for me to continue with colief because it’s the only thing that ever worked and when we stopped them it returned so must be doing something.

I didn’t realise the recommendation had changed to 12 months, will have a read into this. Thanks xx

Kempton profile image
Kempton in reply to Amanda86

I didn't realise it was 12 months either! My little one seems happy to be alone for at least part of the night.

Oh and I was just reading one of your earlier comments about you being worried about him being in own room..I was told to put the baby to sleep in the room s/he will sleep in, so when you do eventually get to that stage, do the last feed etc in the baby's own room.

Amanda86 profile image
Amanda86 in reply to Kempton

Perfect! Thank you 😊 xxx

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Have you got a next to me crib? Could that help with the transition from co sleeping to going in his own crib? Xx

Amanda86 profile image
Amanda86 in reply to Hidden

I haven’t, just a swing crib which he does sleep in but for some reason after midnight wakes more regularly. His first tooth is almost through and I’m hoping once it’s through this will help him settle a little, so hoping with some persistence I’ll be able to get him to go back into crib after each wake - I do think I give up too easily when I’m tired which I know isn’t helping.

We’re away this weekend for a short break but after that I’m definitely going to make an effort to try and get him into his crib 😊 xxx

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Hidden in reply to Amanda86

Aw poor him my LG has suffered this time with her teeth and would wake early but thankfully not middle of the night and I did bring her in with us. Also could he be going through a sleep regression? I mention the next to be because the side can go down so it’s sort of co sleeping but you could slowly move him to be on his own although the next to me cribs are expensive.

Hope you have a lovely weekend away though! Xx

Amanda86 profile image
Amanda86 in reply to Hidden

Thank you 😊 xxx

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