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Old 06-27-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
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Sleep training?

I've never been one to schedule my babies. I found it really difficult with wavering milk supply issues and it just never seemed practical for me. None of my kids have ever been great sleepers, and that's just something that I accepted. However, I'm thinking we might benefit from some sort of sleep training or something with my 8 month old son. It's not so much of a sleep issue, I guess I'm just looking for *some* kind of structure. He still nurses on demand, which I wouldn't mind, but each nursing session is full of biting, kicking, pinching, pulling, and scratching. Not because he's upset or throwing a fit, it seems more like he's entertaining himself while he eats. He usually goes to sleep around 8:30pm. He nurses to sleep, I put him down in his crib, and he stays asleep til about 1:00am. At that point I bring him back to bed with me and it's usually a night full of kicking, pinching, pulling my hair until his siblings wake up around 6:30am.

As far as getting him down for naps, I try to nurse him to sleep, but he usually "fakes me out" and wakes up as soon as I put him down in his crib. We run a 1:6 success rate of him actually staying asleep when I try to put him down. So we've got this total nursing to sleep crutch thing going on. I've always nursed my kids to sleep. I'm a little embarrassed to say that after 4 kids, I still don't know how to get a child to sleep without nursing them. At this point, our entire family revolves around when I can get baby to sleep/eat. On the rare occasion that I do get him to sleep, the house goes on lock-down so that no one wakes him up, which isn't fair to the 3 older kids. But...oh yeah, did I mention he's also the world's lightest sleeper? So I just don't know what to do! Is it too late to try to sleep train him? What book should I use? Or do I just suck it up?

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Old 06-27-2013, 10:57 PM   #2
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The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley was a really helpful book for us! She has great info about baby sleep in general (how much they need at each age, what constitutes a good night's sleep, etc.), and discusses many different scenarios in her book. I appreciate that she doesn't have one particular "right" way to have baby sleep, but gives helpful ideas which parents can use in a structure that works for their family.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:58 PM   #3
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Re: Sleep training?

I hear ya mama! I think with bigger families the nursing to sleep can become a big problem when you don't have a good sleeper. That was my fourth baby. I totally understand having the whole home revolve around getting my baby fed and asleep.

What worked well for us with our fifth is to implement some version of the Eat/Awake/Sleep cycle. Babies who nurse to sleep do the opposite - they eat, fall asleep, then wake up. This can cause two problems. 1) their sleep prop - mama's boobie - is gone and they can't get back to sleep without it 2) they wake up more fully during the natural arousal periods because they notice the breast is gone, sleeping more like cat nappers than getting solid naps and 3) they wake more often due to hunger since they usually dose off before they get a full feeding.

So it naturally solves a lot of sleep issues to reverse things and feed your baby then have playtime, then naptime. Baby gets a full feeding and learns to fall asleep awake. Now a baby not used to this is going to protest and that isn't fun. But neither is being stuck with a cranky tired baby all day and night! Sometimes we have to do thing for our LO's that are for their own good even when they don't understand at first and don't like it. And 8 months old is going to be a lot easier than a 18 month old or a 3 year old. You aren't too late!

If you google baby sleep schedule you will find lots of examples and how to implement them. You can also find info in books like the Baby Whisperer, Babywise, and Health Sleep Habits Happy Child. I like this blog post about it:

http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2012...utine-ews.html

Hope that helps!
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:03 PM   #4
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The book I would recommend is The 90 minute sleep solution. But since you don't have time to read it I will summarize it for you.

My dd was 7.5 months when we started this & was waking 2-4 times per night. & it was taking 2 naps per day that were about 25 mins & it took 30 mins to get her to take that 25 min nap. Within 24-48 hrs I noticed a huge improvement. It is so simple to do

The humans level of alertness changes every 90 mins & biologically that is the best time for anyone -especially babies to fall asleep & get deeper more restful sleep. As babies get older they can start staying awake for more 90 min blocks example, 3 hrs or 4.5 hrs.

Here is how you do it: (most babies need a nap 90 mins after waking)
When your DS wakes for the day start a timer
When 80 mins have past go nurse him/rock him what ever is necessary to get him to sleep.

When he wakes start your timer. At about 70-75 mins look for signs of sleepiness , yawning, rubbing her eyes. If he is showing signs if sleepiness then around the 80 mins mark nurse him or rock him to sleep.

If he is not showing signs of sleepiness then wait until 15 mins before the 3 hr mark (2 90 min blocks) & look for the signs again. Then rock/nurse him to sleep.

Do the same thing for bed time.

My dd is 12 months old and takes 2 naps
1 -90 mins after waking for 60 mins
Then I start my timer again and give her a nap 3 hours (2-90 min blocks) after waking- this nap is 1 hr to 1 hr 20 mins
Then I start my Timer & put her to bed 4.5 hrs after waking
And she now sleeps 12 hrs at night!!!!

Hth
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-Sarah

Last edited by Sarah-B; 06-28-2013 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:30 AM   #5
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Re: Sleep training?

I just read a good book on sleep called Sleepless in America.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:00 AM   #6
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Re: Sleep training?

oooh! I want to read that Sleepless In America too. DH is having issues and I need a book that will help everyone!

OP - here is a list of various sleep training books from that same website I linked in my other post. I like how she divides them by type and give a brief summary. There are more out there (this is a common problem apparently!) but this is a pretty comprehensive list.

http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/sear...eep%20training
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
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Re: Sleep training?

Thank you everyone! I will research all of the recommendations you shared and see if we can't find something that fits us.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:59 PM   #8
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Re: Sleep training?

These posts were soooo helpful to me.......yawn.
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