Big Chickens

Murray and I chickened out. I feel I need to reread the sleep books before I decide to do anything drastic. Plus, everything says that I can follow his sleep patterns at least up until 4 months, or something like that, and our little baby is not four months old. He will be tomorrow. So tomorrow I can start to think about changing his sleep routine. After I read the sleep books. But every time Murray and I are faced with a decision like this, we ultimately decide, "Oh, that's not our parenting style." We're all about the love and the no crying.

I do legitimately have concerns about his ability to self-soothe, though. I mean, I want little Gulliver to develop that talent, for sure.

Last night I tried having him sleep in bed for the whole night. He still woke up about 6 or 7 times. This is so not typical. Any ideas?


hannah said...

I think every parent has to do what is best for them. I, for one, let my E cry it out for 2-3 nights at 9 weeks...and then she start sleeping through the night. was harder with C. He seemed so little when I had a big sister to compare him to. I waited until 3.5 months with him...and I couldn't stand hearing him cry.

Do what feels best for you and your baby. It is hard for them to sleep on their own when they are used to snuggling with a warm mom. It'll take some time, I am sure, but he'll get it!

JackJen said...

No one knows your baby better than you do. I read lots of sleep methods/books on the recommendation of others....and it was really easy to quickly diagnose that most would NEVER work with the combination of my baby and my husband and me.

Once we found something that we DID like, we knew! We knew it was a good fit.

I have no doubt you three will find your sleeping niche!

bedelia said...

I know I said it in my last post but I'd really recommend "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg even if you just read the chapter on sleep. Some of my favorite things she says are, "Start as you mean to go." ie do you want ta 2 year old sleeping with...if you are ok with that then go for co-sleeping. She talks about the cry it out method. She talks about bedtime and naptime rituals and how kids learn by repetition. I like her book because she does understand that no method is going to work for every child/parent combo and gives options and ideas on how to make things work for you personally. We had great success with both of our boys using this book.

I don't think anyone ever sees a miraculous change overnight. (If they do they are really lucky.) It is a process that can take several nights or weeks. And then you will always have setbacks of sickness, shots, teething, traveling...

Good luck.

Mike and Debbie said...

Totally feel your pain. Being a new mom myself (I think I'll always refer to myself as that because every age will be new...) I don't know that I have advice, or expert knowledge on the subject, but he may just be going through a growth spurt. I don't think you're spoiling him. Baby D slept through the night fabulously and then she didn't...then I noticed she gained some weight and inches. Then slept through the night again...then didn't and she got teeth. From what I hear it's an ongoing thing for the first part of their little lives. But then again...I'm either rocking her to sleep or putting her in bed with me to fall asleep and then she sleeps in a crib next to my maybe I'm spoiling her!!

Dr. Sears doesn't think so...but then his book also makes me depressed that I'm not as compassionate as I should be...

Sarah said...

The sleep book our friends have used, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" say 4 months too. He says the fastest way is to let them cry it out, but if you can't do that then do this: After 5 minutes of crying go in, comfort, then leave. Wait ten minutes next time, then 15 etc. You aren't supposed to pick him up, just comfort, pacifier, etc. He says it will take longer to get him to not cry himself to sleep (like a week rather than a couple days) so if you want to try that...? You are the mom - you will find what works. Good luck!

FoxyJ said...

We're also big chickens, and neither of our kids slept through the night consistently until they were about 1 year old. Something magic seemed to happen then and they finally were able to sleep on their own. For me, the most important thing was their being able to fall asleep on their own, early in the evening. Babies that are breastfeed do tend to wake up a bit during the night, so I was OK with still waking up once or so until they were weaned.

Anyways, I used ideas from a lot of different books. One I like is the "No Cry Sleep Solution", which actually has a lot of different ideas and tips. I've found that my kids go to bed and sleep better when we put them down earlier rather than later, so we still usually have them in bed by 7:30 (they're almost 6 and 3 now). What we started doing, even as babies, is having a set bedtime routine by about 4 or 5 months. Bath, lotion, jammies, stories and in bed by 7:00. Even if they woke up a few hours later, I wanted to start a routine and get them used to it. I tried to work them into a routine where I put them to bed while they were still sleepy, but not totally asleep. This worked better for one of them than the other. I guess I did a bit of 'modified' crying once they got to 8 or 9 months or so--I'd put them down and if they weren't hysterical I'd let them cry for 5 or 10 minutes to see if they could work it out themselves. With a longer term perspective I feel OK with how we did things, my kids go to bed by 7:30 each night and sleep all night until about 7 each morning, so I'm pretty happy with how things turned out. Like others have said, you have to figure out what works well for your whole family.

My husband and I are both big on routines so that worked for us. He's also a morning person, so putting the kids to bed earlier and waking up earlier works out well for us too, and over the last 6 years I've slowly become a sort-of morning person. I figure that the sacrifice of waking up earlier is worth those evening hours without kids, and my kids don't sleep in even if we keep them up late. It really does all depend on your kid and your family.

Azúcar said...

I'm glad you're waiting.
When even Dr. Ferber revised his awesome sleep book to wait until the baby was 6 months old, I was extra convinced.

My theory is that they all eventually do it on their own, but that you can help. I started him out with the routine and in their own bed, and then brought him in with me when he started crying. They start moving their big sleep time earlier and earlier as they get older (no more 1am!) but you can help by moving the time you put him down back by 30 minutes every couple days. By the time they start going to sleep at about 11, they start sleeping until 5. Awesome.

When he gets bigger he'll take in more milk (especially the fatty hind milk that is more abundant in the evening hours--so especially important to nurse then) and sleeping later.

Good luck, and whatever you decide is right.

Missy said...

We allowed our first to cry it out at 5 months. I cried outside his door on the floor too - but after 4 nights he was blissfully sleeping through the night.
We waited to allow #2 to cry it out until he was 10 months - and although it was hard he only woke up 3-4 times by night #2. The first night is really the hardest.
Really, I think it is harder for parents than it is for little guys. I'll cross my fingers for you.

brinestone said...

Some thoughts:

1. The best advice I was given before Lego was born was to go with my instincts. Instead of trying to be the parent you think you should be (based on everyone else's opinions), be the best version of the parent you are.

2. The late bedtime is probably the culprit. When is his latest nap, and how long is it? I would try putting him down for that nap slightly earlier, if you can, and if you can't, try waking him half an hour earlier. Work backward by half an hour every few days this way. Use a bedtime routine to convince Gulliver that it really is bedtime, no matter what time it is.

3. If you are not willing to Ferberize, as I am not, plan on waking a few times a night until he's older. I'm still up 2-3 times most nights with Duplo, and he's almost one.

Kristeee said...

If something's changed lately, I'd put my money on pre-teething or the onset of a cold. Or a growth spurt. I'd try Tylenol before bed and see if it makes a difference.

The Lee's said...

This same thing happened with my little guy, 8 months now. He refused to sleep in his bassinet from day one and slept in my bed. By about 3 months he was so big and I was so uncomfortable and getting no sleep, I put him in his bed. The first night he did well, fell asleep and only woke 2 times. The next night however was a nightmare. He cried and he cried. After about 25 minutes or so I couldn't handle it anymore and went and got him. I noticed he was a little more clingy and fussy the next day. I'm not a fan of the "cry it out". We noticed that in the early evening he would start to get tired so we started to put him to bed earlier. He would sleep for a few hours wake up, eat, then go back to sleep. He's been sleeping through the night for a while now with the occasional bad night. We've noticed the nights he hasn't slept so well was the start of the teething process and just plain growth spurts. It's the endless game of sleeping and no sleep. Good luck, you'll find a way that works best for you.

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noelle said...

Around 4 months is when we tried the Gina Ford schedule with Noémie. I don't like her writing style and understand why people hate her, but I did find for this age, that if we woke Noémie at 7am, she fell into the pattern in the book on her own, which helped us a lot as far as figuring out a good rythym (or however you spell that word). We just used the awake, sleep, eat times she gave as guidelines and ignored the rest.
We also felt the need to have our bed back around this age. For us it worked best to do it gradually. First she came out of our bed into her little bed next to ours, then that little bed got put into her crib, then the little bed disappeared and she was sleeping alone in her crib. We still always bring her into bed with us most mornings tho. She wakes up around 7 and she hangs out with us for awhile, it's nice! :-) Good luck, I'm sure you'll figure something out. Personally we didn't do cry it out until about 6 months, they still seem so little at 4 months. Another thing I've heard works for people is a hot water bottle in the bed, if they are used to the heat of other people, it can be reassuring.

Annie said...

i'm seconding the vote for 'healthy sleep habits, happy child' gave me a really good perspective on the crying, and it allows for different parenting styles while still giving good advice.

we've definitely found it to be true that "sleep begets sleep." the more our little one naps, the longer she sleeps at night.

good luck with all of really is supremely difficult to keep yourself from going to them when they cry, but it won't last long, and the uninterrupted sleep is awesome!

but also, like everyone is saying...don't put pressure on yourself to sleep train before you're ready and he's ready. i don't think there's a magical age.

Roxie said...

Any time I hear about parents trying to help a child sleep through the night on their own I'm reminded of the episode of "Mad About You" where they do that with their daughter. I don't know how parents do it. I wish you luck.