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Old 07-15-2011, 08:30 PM   #1
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A sleep question for you AP mommas/daddies

So, my little guy (23 months with delayed receptive and expressive language skills) has been a bugger to get to sleep lately. We do all the usual to set a comfortable environment and routine. When I put him down I have to stay with him with my hand gently resting on his back until he falls asleep. This can take up to an hour (usually closer to 30 minutes, it would have been 40 minutes tonight if I didn't do what I'm going to talk about next). He isn't usually upset about going to bed, he'll just lay there and play or coo or roll around a bit even though I know he's tired for sure (the time it takes doesn't really change if I try to put him down earlier or later if you might be thinking "oh, he just must not be tired yet or he must be over tired"). If he tries to pop up, I just lay him back down with my hand gently on his back. He usually isn't upset about that either. So, I don't really mind doing all of this and neither does he, but it just takes up SO MUCH TIME (it usually takes a little less time at nap time, but still ....). So, a while ago while on vacation and in a new exciting place I got totally fed up with how long it was taking for him to fall asleep and knew that he needed sleep bad considering how the previous day had gone, so I just left the room and let him cry. He cried for 1 minute the first night and then 2 minutes the second night. I was amazed. 2 minutes of crying didn't seem too bad, I felt like it hadn't caused any emotional damage or cause him to feel like night time and sleep were unsafe or scary. So I figured "Sounds like maybe he's ready to go to sleep on his own with just a little help in the beginning. A step towards independent sleep that he seems to be ready for.". Like I said, I don't mind doing our current routine of staying with him so long, but I feel like the time spent doing this just eats into the time when he could be getting good sleep (with everything that goes on in our house and schedules, I have a hard time getting him to bed in a timely manner). So, with these thoughts, about a week after the first two times I tried it again tonight. After a few minutes of sitting by him with my hand gently on his back, I left the room. He cried (more like a cross between a whine and a cry) for exactly 90 seconds and then all was quiet. After this long explanation I finally come to my question. Part of me feels like he is ready for this step and part of me feels like "oh my gosh, I just let my baby cry himself to sleep, I'm a horrible horrible mother". What do other AP mommies thing, is 2 minutes of "crying to sleep" ok? If you don't think it's ok, any ideas on how to cut down our time between lights off and asleep baby?


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Old 07-15-2011, 09:56 PM   #2
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I honestly think 2 minutes is awesome! Especially since it takes so long otherwise. Our DD falls asleep with us but if I knew she would go that quickly I would let her. If it's just a tired wimpy cry or thy time I think it's ok. If it was a desperate scared cry I would intervene.

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Old 07-16-2011, 12:56 AM   #3
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I am very opposed to CIO/ most "sleep training" and I would be fine doing that. Sounds like a good step for your son.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:26 PM   #4
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Re: A sleep question for you AP mommas/daddies

Sounds to me like it is working for you and your child. No parenting solution is one size fits all, and everyone has a threshold for how much fussing is too much. If he is just fussing for two minutes or less and then going off to sleep on his own, I would say he is ready to sleep independently, rather than having you stay for so long with him. Go with your heart, and do what feels right, regardless of labels.
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:04 PM   #5
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Re: A sleep question for you AP mommas/daddies

I'm not into labels, so I don't know the definition of attachment parenting. I rock my daughter to sleep every night, and sometimes for naptime. We generally go everywhere/do everything together. She eats what I eat. I don't know how well that jives with your label, but at least you know if my style is the same as yours.

On to your question... Occasionally, I just lay her down in bed when she's exceptionally tired. Sometimes she fusses for a few minutes. Sometimes she fusses for a half hour or so. If she starts freaking out, I go in and check it out. Sometimes she calms right down and sometimes I have to pick her up and rock her to sleep.

To me, being a good parent is not never letting your kid cry. To me, being a good parent is comforting the kid when they need it and letting them work out certain issues, even when it's hard for them. To me, learning to fall asleep on your own is an important skill, and it's good for her to learn. So I let her fuss. I am pretty in-tune with her, and it's relatively easy for me to figure out if she's uncomfortable and trying to get to sleep, or if she's scared and freaking out. From there I use my common sense as to how often and how quickly to go in.

That aside, it's nice to see someone invite the opinions of everyone in their thread title, not just moms. Thanks!
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