How to help my infant sleep
May 13, 2012 12:03 PM Subscribe
What kind of sleep training book or technique do I need?
posted by semacd to human relations (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My wonderful 14-week-old daughter regularly sleeps through the night, so I am counting my blessings. However (1) I've been repeatedly warned that she'll likely have a sleep regression soon, when she learns object permanence and freaks out to wake up in different circumstances than she fell asleep. I'd like to avoid/minimize that sleep regression. And (2) she only sleeps if she is rocked to sleep and placed very carefully in her crib. If we jostle her a little she often wakes up. Bedtime takes between 45 minutes and 3 hours. Also (3) during the day she only sleeps if she is held the whole time, in a moving car, or on a parent wearing her in a moby or ergo. She doesn't sleep in a swing, for instance, and our bedtime routine doesn't "take" during the day; she wakes up 10-20 minutes after being put in her crib or packnplay.
Our bedtime routine: change, swaddle (sleep sack these days), white noise, (sometimes a book but she's not very interested yet & sometimes a lullaby but it doesn't seem to calm her yet), rocking & nursing (or pacifier). Once she's asleep we wait until she's limp, then put her in her crib without the pacifier. Sometimes she gets a massage and a bath first.
Other facts: Whenever she wakes, she is wet. (My mommy friends can attest my daughter goes through way more diapers than average. She has never once not had a wet diaper overnight and she HATES them with the passion of a thousand suns so we have to change her if she wakes up with one. She is usually ravenous when she wakes up, whether after four hours or ten. I think she has a very strong circadian rhythm. She has never once stayed asleep if put down a minute before 7:45. She wakes up between 5:30 and 7:30 even with blackout blinds, but lately nurses and falls asleep again until about 9. She needs a few long naps a day, and gets them in my arms or through motion.
Our pediatrician says she's ready for sleep training. The pediatrician favors putting babies to bed drowsy almost immediately. That has never worked with our daughter though. She hates to be alone at night, and very rarely falls asleep without sucking on me, a bottle, or a pacifier. During the day she sometimes needs the boob or pacifier to stay asleep for the kind of nap she needs.
I realize we are uncommonly lucky that she often sleeps thrpugh the night now, but I'd like to be proactive because I've read it's much easier to teach a child to fall asleep on their own before they learn object permanence. So what book/technique should I try first? We are open to CIO but not until she's a bit older and we'd prefer to try other effective techniques first.
# 1. Teach her good sleep habits. If possible, make her enjoy going to sleep. Right now she fights it.
# 2. avoid this first sleep regression (I understand she'll likely have more because of teething/illness)
# 3. Napping alone would be great especially when she goes to daycare at 6 months.
# 4. A shorter, more reliable bedtime would be nice.
Thank you in advance oh wise metafilter parents. And happy mother's day to the ladies.