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March 24, 2014 3:02 AM   Subscribe

Calling all parents of metafilter! You once had a baby who didn't sleep well. Let's say this baby was six months old. We will call this point A. Now you have an older toddler or a child who sleeps through the night in her own bed. Let's call this point B. How did you get from point A to point B?

Baby McCatburglar, at 8 months old, is not a good sleeper. Or, at least, he's an OK sleeper if we put him down for naps and bedtime in our bed, and if I nurse him to sleep. Although I like cosleeping, I don't want to cosleep forever, and I'm getting pretty tired of being the only one who can put him down. He also won't sleep for more than three or four hours at a stretch. Clearly we are still at point A.

However, there is so much information out there about babies and sleep, as I am sure you all know, that trying to figure out what route to take is is confusing and frustrating. Do we Ferberize? Do we listen to the Sleep Lady? Do we not do anything, and assume that we will be at point B by the time he leaves for college?

I'm not looking for advice for my own particular situation. I want to know what worked for your family and how you decided to go that particular route. Give me the whens, the wheres, the whys, the hows, the nitty gritty details. All answers welcome.
posted by lollymccatburglar to Human Relations (35 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Our kid is a bit over eight months. Until just a few weeks ago, he'd be up once or twice a night without fail. Even last night he was up at 3:00. But two nights last week he went for seven hours at a stretch.

As far as I know, there isn't anything that "works" nor is there any "route" that you can take to encourage babies to sleep through the night. They'll do it when they're ready to do it. Usually before a year. How much before is anybody's flipping guess, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either trying to sell you something or just confusing their own anecdotes for actual data.
posted by valkyryn at 3:21 AM on March 24


We Ferberized at exactly six months to get our kid out of our room and into her own, using not straight-up CIO (which Ferber doesn't recommend anyway), but graduated soothing (check in for a quick pat at 1min, 2min, 5min, 8min, 12min, 16min, etc. etc.). It took three nights of progressively shorter periods of fussing (I think it was maybe an hour total the first night?), and then she was fine. I have heard of the progressive soothing method taking up to a couple weeks to work completely, depending on the baby.

FWIW, we had white noise in her room and had previously weaned off of other sleep associations (binkie, >1 night feeding, etc.) that would also have complicated the sleep process.
posted by Bardolph at 3:28 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


In the beginning I, and my boobs, were the sole source of sleep for my child. To get from A to B for us meant that my partner had to take over that role. Once young master Tootsalot understood that waking up in the middle of the night didn't mean tasty boobie snacks, he stopped. It was a long process, and that may be an oversimplification, but that was the biggest thing we did.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 4:11 AM on March 24


Buy the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby. The author clearly lays out some tiredness clues your child will give you that we had completely overlooked! He also emphasizes the importance of a super rigid schedule, which worked great for us, but I know can be impractical for some families. Our previously sleepless baby daughter became a champion sleeper when we started noticing her sleep cues. She is 13 now, and still goes to bed at 8:30 pm and falls instantly to sleep.
posted by Malla at 4:40 AM on March 24 [2 favorites]


I second Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Part of what the book did for me was to release the guilt I felt when I didn't go to my son immediately. The author emphasizes the importance of everyone's sleep for a healthy family life, and although the approach is scheduled, it helped me to let go of my expectations and anxiety. My first son was a terrible sleeper until I stopped being so worried about his sleeping, and stopped dreading the end of the day. Good luck.
posted by weezetr at 4:53 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Seconding the graduated soothing and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby. Graduated soothing took maybe three nights, which were awful, and then she was mostly putting herself back to sleep when she woke up. The part that really surprised me was how effective it was to move her bedtime up--we had a baby who was waking up 2 or 3 times a night, but when we moved her from 7:30 bedtime to 6:00 bedtime (!), that stopped, and now she's a 6PM-6AM sleeper (she's 9 months).
posted by Mayor West at 4:55 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


To borrow from my own answer to another AskMe on kids and sleep:

With both our kids, their sleep patterns went to hell when they were around 4 months old. I mean, it was awful. They'd wake up every forty-five minutes, and only fall back asleep if I held them and shushed them, or my wife nursed them, and then half the time they'd wake up as soon as we put them in the crib, so we'd end up just holding them.

With both kids, we started by tracking their sleep habits in Trixie Tracker which let us figure out what their natural sleep patterns were, so we could work with them. With one of our kids, we noticed that it almost didn't matter when she napped during the day-- she just needed a certain amount of awake time, no matter how it was distributed, and then she'd fall asleep more easily. With our other kid, it was the opposite. When he napped seemed to matter more than how much he napped.

With our first child, we tried the techniques in "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and they didn't work for us, although I know some families they did work for. I thought maybe we were just doing it wrong, but we know one family where the No-Cry techniques worked great for one kid but not for another, so I think it may just depend on individual baby temperment.

Everybody told us we should read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child," but I found it horribly written and bizarrely dogmatic. I know it works for lots of people, and that's great, but don't beat yourself up if you have a hard time parsing his sentences, or if you don't want to stick to the very exacting rules he lays out.

For us, Ferber's "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" was the key with both kids. In each case, at about 6 months, we used Ferber's graduated CIO, and, honestly, it was a week of utter misery and exhaustion -- but at the end of that week, we had a baby who slept beautifully.

With our second child, we added in a technique we learned from a Baby Whisperer book: when we started sleep training, we would put our son on his side in his crib, and pat his back and shush him to sleep. That way, even though we were helping him, he was still associating his own crib with falling asleep. That seemed to make it a little easier to transition to falling asleep totally on his own. (Although we still had to progress from that to graduated CIO.)
posted by yankeefog at 5:06 AM on March 24


Eight months is still pretty young. Our daughter "regressed" in sleeping at the 6-8 month range where she went from--with co-sleeping--sleeping in a 5-6 hour stretches to waking up more often. But, really (sadly?), sleeping in 4-hour blocks at 8 months is fairly normal and regular.

She's 25 months now and most nights will sleep for 8+ hours straight. Still co-sleeping and nursing to sleep most (but not all!) nights. We just decided to be fairly laid back, but if she didn't go to sleep nursing after a particular point where we were getting frustrated, I as the non-milk haver, I would walk with her or sing until she went to sleep (rarely would she be actively crying while I was being active). After doing that once every two weeks or so, she can now successfully put herself to sleep after the normal bed time process with just laying between us in be--if she wants to.

Naps she's still mostly put to sleep, other than situations like riding in cars. So far that's still okay, but we're thinking about how to help her get herself asleep for that too.

I would say if your only concern is that you don't "want to cosleep forever" you need to decide when that forever is and work from there. If you think cosleeping at or past 24 months is fine and his current sleep pattern now is manageable, you don't really need to do very much differently. His sleep will probably get better pretty soon (although it may have a few other points of regression, but shorter).
posted by skynxnex at 5:17 AM on March 24


I had one child who was only ever able to be soothed by breastfeeding, and I swore: never again. With the others, at some nebulous point that I decided enough was enough, we'd switch to that graduated soothing thing, with the understanding that if it hadn't seemed to be working, we'd stop and think of something else. None of them took longer than two nights to 'get it', and sleep through, once we started. It can be a bit grueling to begin with, but they do learn, and if they are old enough and the planets are appropriately aligned, it is like a magic trick, going from an annoying baby who won't sleep, to a perfect angel who sleeps peacefully all night long. It's a good habit they're learning, and it's good for everyone to get more and better sleep, perhaps especially the little ones.
posted by Kaleidoscope at 5:36 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Sleeping Through the Night, by Jodi Mindell, worked for us. I have no idea whether it'll work for you. Every kid is different and in my experience all you can do is cycle through all the different advice you get until something clicks with your particular baby.
posted by escabeche at 5:39 AM on March 24


Time.

Nothing worked for us but time.

We found kids not all that capable of responding to bed time routines until they were better able to follow schedules. Something clicked in my son's head at 3 years old, and once he had a bedtime routine he could understand verbally, and it was magic overnight. Any attempts before that failed miserably and made us feel more miserable with it. So, we just went with it, and once he was able to sleep better and through the night, he did.

My daughter is 2 1/2 and still wakes up once/night for a diaper change or because she's thirsty or because something made a noise. She's like me, an incredibly light sleeper, so I'm not anticipating much change in this for a good long while.
posted by zizzle at 5:56 AM on March 24 [6 favorites]


Our son is two and a half. As of a few weeks ago, we were still cosleeping and nursing in the night. Then I went to a conference for a week, and while I was gone my husband explained that my son was a big boy and he'd finished all of mommy's milk. I came back and he asked about it a few times, and I repeated the same line -- totally non-traumatic. At nighttime, for the first few nights, I wore a long dress and a turtleneck so that we wouldn't revert in our sleep. We're still cosleeping, but he's not waking and asking to nurse.

I tell this story not to push weaning or night-weaning specifically (although that's definitely something you might try.) It's to say that it's always possible to make changes, even with older toddlers, and in fact sometimes it's easier.

As for sleep: for us, it's just gotten gradually better over time. We tried various things at various times, including some gentle CIO at bedtime and earlier attempts at night weaning, but they only ever helped temporarily. The lasting changes have just kind of happened naturally on their own slow timescale.
posted by wyzewoman at 6:23 AM on March 24


Ha ha ha. My daughter slept terribly until she was like, 7. I mean, at 7, she wasn't sleeping in the same terrible way she slept at 14 months, but she was still having a terrible time falling asleep, she was still waking up in the night, still waking up super early in the morning.

I read a lot of books, got a lot of advice, and tried a lot of things, and you know what helped? When she got older.

Sorry.

BTW, you could interpret the available research on attachment to indicate cry-it-out type methods are pretty traumatic over the long term. On the other hand, for a lot of people, if and when you decide to get to that point, it is the only thing that makes a significant difference - if you can stick to it (most people don't). In my opinion your kid is too young for that still but that's only non-scientific opinion (as is the advice of just about every so called expert out there). I don't agree with the conclusions of this article, but I do think it gives a simple lay-person's overview of the available research.
posted by latkes at 6:29 AM on March 24


Ferber at 4 months. She has been a champion sleeper ever since. I sincerely do not subscribe to the theory that some kids just don't sleep. Okay maybe 2% of kids have actual sleep disorders. The rest need parents to help them learn how to self-sooth and put themselves to sleep. It's a critical skill that must kids need help with.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 7:08 AM on March 24 [3 favorites]


Graduated CIO at 3.5 months, which solved the won't-fall-asleep-except-in-arms problem but not the wakes-up-every-two-hours problem. That didn't stop until we night weaned, which sucky sucked. I would still recommend pretty strongly that you try a graduated CIO with kiddo in his own bed. It's not a magic bullet, but it definitely helped us.
posted by that's candlepin at 7:38 AM on March 24


My kid will be 8 months old this week. Last week, he didn't sleep worth beans - upper teeth coming in and a stuffy nose. Last night, he slept a good 3-4 hours at a stretch. It was lovely! We co-sleep. I like it. He likes it. He's only going to be this little for a little while. He's already "too cool" to say bye-bye to Mama at daycare in the morning - there are toys and friends! So I am cherishing the night-time and morning snuggles as long as I can. I guess I'm doing the Wait-It-Out method for now as it still works for us.

Kellymom.com backs up most of their pages with real research studies, like these Studies on normal infant sleep, so that helps me feel like I'm doing a good thing for my kid.

And I have friends with kids who - even at 4 or 6 years old - still sneak into bed with mom and dad, regardless of what sleep method they used.

This too shall pass.
posted by jillithd at 7:56 AM on March 24


CIO can be pretty intense, and doesn't work for all kids (though it should be easier/shorter when the kiddo is younger). Little light thief outlasted us with CIO, and my wife found a 2-4-6-8 pattern that worked for us: usual bedtime routine, wrapping up with books and songs, then leave for 2 minutes. If the kid is still crying, come back in 4. Say reassuring things, and if the kid is standing up, lay him or her down and cover her/him up with a blankie or whatnot, then leave. Don't pick the kid up to cuddle/coddle, and don't stay long. If the kid cries for six minutes, return and repeat the laying back down and covering up. Let the kid cry for 8 minutes, and if s/he does, return and repeat. Now only wait 2 minutes, and start the 2-4-6-8 cycle over again.

With CIO or other night-time neediness weening, the second night may be worse than the first. If so, don't fret, as (I've read that) this is the child testing your will, though some other folks say the first night is the longest.

Whatever you do, make sure you and your partner agree on boundaries and rules, and help each-other stick to them. If you give in, you've ruined any progress made thus far. And if you're soft on the kid, they'll use that, consciously or not. Our little guy is now two and a half, and his trick is "one more" as we often give in for one more book or song, but there's always another "one more."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:06 AM on March 24


We did CIO at six months. Tried Ferber, but our kid just got riled up when we did the checks and so we went full CIO. It took a miserable week, but she went from waking up every 90 minutes to nurse to sleeping for 6 hours, nursing, and then going back to sleep until morning. She slept 10 hours straight at 9 months, and has been going 11+ at night since about a year old.

One thing I did not understand until after we sleep trained was just how overtired she was. The morning after she was finally sleep trained, she woke up to smiles and babbling instead of tears. I went from having a baby who nursed constantly and was always cranky to one who literally never cried unless she bumped her head. In retrospect, she wasn't hungry -- she was just tired, and didn't know how to fix it without nursing. As miserable as sleep deprivation was making me, it was far worse for her.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:40 AM on March 24 [4 favorites]


I asked a question about moving from cosleeping to having the kid in his own bed when my son was about 10 months old. Here is the update from that thread, describing what worked for us. Note that it worked when our son was 12 months. I don't know if it would have worked sooner than that or not. Kids are ready for it at different times. My son has been sleeping through the night on his own since then.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:26 AM on March 24


We did a graduated check-in method when my daughter was about 10 months old - she was starting to put on a whole song-and-dance routine to avoid bedtime so we felt like she was old enough. Prior to that I did not feel like she would have understood us not responding to her cries. It was a horrible week, but she now sleeps about 12 hours a night, straight through (she's 18 months).

I always swore that I would not do any kind of CIO, but I was going insane from the three-hour-long bedtime routine followed by wake-ups every 45 minutes all night long. We bit the bullet and just did it one night. She cried for an hour and a half, and for two hours the next night, and 45 minutes the night after that, and it got a little better but it really took a week for it to work. It was hard. And it turns out it was worth it, but I was not sure it would be during that week.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 10:03 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Ferber. Sorry. I was going nuts. It worked for us, and she seems nontraumatized now some eight years later.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:08 AM on March 24


> Do we not do anything, and assume that we will be at point B by the time he leaves for college

That's the method we used for our son, who Ferber would probably not have worked with (he's an officially diagnosed special snowflake). He was often sleeping through the night by the time he was three or four, which is part of why I say I was nuts up there. He didn't really sleep well until... uh... well, he hasn't gone to college yet, here's hoping for the best. Again, sorry.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:10 AM on March 24


Here are a few things. 1. This will pass. 2. It sucks now. 3. Every kid is different and they adjust differently. 4. There is a point where you will actually miss this, as odd and foreign as that sounds. If you are trying to minimize this, you've got to inspect the environment. Is it too stimulating for your child? Is it a call for comfort and not food? Is it actual hunger.

If it's over stimulation, build a bedtime routine like you were the hippy dippy weather forecaster from George carlin. Completely focus on being mellow, quiet and soothing.

If it is comfort, you can try increasing the comfort, spreading the load with bottles, or reducing the amount you are willing to do and say during the night time escapades.

If it is a cry for food, you can add on bottle feeding to spread the load, and or play with the feed times / keep the kid awake slightly longer to get a more full tummy.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:37 AM on March 24


Night weaning and CIO via extinction (didn't go into his room at all). Not at the same time, a month apart.

Weissbluth is great, nthing that recommendation.

CIO sucks for you but babies don't seem to care all that much.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:32 AM on March 24


We took advice from a website (babysleepsite.com) that seemed to hit a good balance between pragmatism and not screwing up your kids. For $30 we got an ebook that boiled things down into a relatively simple plan. Probably it just saved us from synthesizing CIO v Ferber etc., but digging through all that was inconceivable at the time. It was perhaps the best money I've spent in my entire life. Essentially there were two bits of advice that mattered to us:
1) Ferberize. Yes this sucks for the first two nights. Have a bottle of whiskey on hand.
2) Much more rigorous schedule during the day, with very short (55-70 minute) waking periods between naps. Yes, this sucks in terms of tying you down to do very little outside the house.

The combination of these two was better than magic, a huge improvement in quality of life for all (including baby). For us the issue essentially came out to the kid was so tired by the end of the day that he couldn't sleep well at night. So just ferber didn't do the trick, but the combination was golden.
posted by genug at 11:34 AM on March 24


We used the Good Night, Sleep Tight book (Kim West) with some success. In the end, I think the two main things that helped were for my wife to stop nursing our son to sleep, instead putting him down drowsy but not asleep; and recognizing that after 6 months, most babies should be able to sleep at least most of the night.

We used the following strategy from the book: we chose a time, say 3am, before which my wife would not nurse our son. If our son woke before this time (and he did!) I went in and soothed him (mostly shushing) - after this time my wife would nurse and deal with subsequent wakings (so we both got some sleep!). Once our son stopped waking before 3am, we looked at moving the time to later in the night. In our case, our son would wake at 4 and then 6, but at 6 he hardly nursed at all, so we pushed the time to 6. Now at a year is is essentially sleeping through the night (8pm - 6:30am). Maybe we got lucky, but it was a sure transition and we're pretty happy with the results.

Good luck!
posted by piyushnz at 11:59 AM on March 24


Oh, I also want to add that at 9 months we were pretty much in your situation - our son was waking 3-4 times a night (sometimes more) and my wife was exhausted.
posted by piyushnz at 12:05 PM on March 24


Our daughter was sleeping rather well at 6 months (nursing once in the middle of two long stretches of sleep), but stalled at that point till ~18 months or so. Then she went backwards, and now she's two and waking several times in the middle of the night, asking for a whole bunch of different things ("You want to play with Lego. You want swing. You want big bed. No Daddy no no no.") to stall before she goes back to sleep, leaving us wired and wide awake. Seems to correlate with teething - she has some molars coming in, I think.

So: take any advice you get (especially from me!) with a grain of salt. What works for other people may or may not work for you.

(Sorry, I know that wasn't very helpful.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:23 PM on March 24


Going on 3 years, only time seems to have made any difference... but she still doesn't sleep. We never let her co-sleep, never let her get out of bed, weened her on time, got her used to different people putting her down, formed a strong routine. Did all the things we were supposed to do, and it didn't do anything. She's an adorable little insomniac.

I've really gotten used to it, that's made life easier.
posted by French Fry at 4:44 PM on March 24


What worked for our family is this: at about 10 months old, we started putting him to bed in his crib (in our room) and bringing him into our bed to nurse when he woke up for the first time. Then, we'd accidentally fall asleep without re-depositing him in the crib afterward. (We intended to put him back in the crib.)

We made the change to try the crib first because he had started waking about every 1-1.5hrs to nurse, I think because we would accidentally wake each other up - I'd turn over, and it would wake him just enough to think, hmm, I'm hungry! The act of putting him in the crib first got us a much longer interval between nursing sessions. Three to four hours actually sounds... not that bad to me? based on my experience.

Once he hit 15 months old, he magically started sleeping through the night and that was the end of night nursing and ultimately the occasional co-sleeping.

Considering the frequent sleep regressions related to developmental milestones, I don't think babies should be expected to sleep through the night anywhere near as early as they currently are. They're only little once, and you can pretty safely assume everything weird they're doing is a phase that will eventually end. I totally get the feelings of frustration regarding being the only person that can put them down though! I think that comes with the territory when you're nursing.

At four, his biggest sleeping sin is leaving the overhead light on in the bathroom when he gets up to pee in the middle of the night. It does get better.

So really, what worked for us was time, keeping expectations low, and understanding that even periods of great sleeping come and go because everything is a phase.
posted by meggan at 5:47 PM on March 24


At 7 months, I moved my son from co-sleeping to his own room. We had three rough nights of crying (graduated methods did not work for us as he got more upset at seeing me) but by the fourth night, he would fall asleep on his own in under five minutes. We only did sleep training at bedtime to start, then added night wakeups and naps.

This week marks a year from that time, and he's been sleeping roughly 7pm-7am ever since. Still not much of a napper, though - he averages 40m a day.
posted by judith at 6:35 PM on March 24


Graduated check-ins starting at 4 months old.

How I decided to do it: Read the Ferber, Weissbluth, and Pantley books. Pantley book made me angry with her condescending comments about mothers who don't care about/traumatize their children, although I see nothing wrong with her approach in theory, I just didn't like her holier than thou attitude. I enjoyed both Ferber and Weissbluth books and I think you can take away from them whatever seems to work for your family, should you feel that the approaches they discuss would work for your family. There is no one size fits all approach to sleep.

Why I needed to use that method, at that time: I started back to work. The majority of the days I work, I work evenings, and I cannot be home during her bedtime, so her being able to sleep very well without my presence being required was very important. She was in a typical sleep pattern of waking up every 2 or 3 hours at that time - Ferber and Weissbluth books explain the physiology for why this happens. However, I could see that she was able to soothe herself at times, even at that age, just didn't know how to soothe herself to sleep. Both my husband and I have very stressful and demanding day jobs where we make life or death decisions about people's health all day, and I found myself falling asleep on the way in to work and on the way home from work. I was even falling asleep at work, mid-conversation, I was that tired. I think it was the second or third time that I hit the rumble strip on the highway when I couldn't keep myself out of a micro sleep on the way home that I decided it was time to sleep train now or literally die of fatigue.

How it worked: It took 3 nights, same as most of the folks above, to do the actual training, although I'd say it was a few weeks before she reliably always slept straight through without wake ups. I was very unhappy those 3 nights, but then when I saw the amazing results, I was completely reassured. Once she knew how to put herself back to sleep, she immediately began sleeping like a champion, 12-14 hours per night, and she's been doing it ever since. She wakes up incredibly sunshiny and happy when she sleeps well. Hard for me to imagine that those 3 days of intermittent crying will have a greater impact on her development and wellbeing than the months of wonderful deep sleep she has had since that time. It is amazing how sleep seems to calm the unquiet minds of babies. But I know that not all babies respond well to graduated soothing techniques, and I am just very grateful that I was able to find a method that was so effective so that now I regularly get 8 or even more hours of uninterrupted sleep, and no longer have frequent brushes with death on my commute.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:06 PM on March 24 [2 favorites]


My son's 9 months. We're not quite at your point B, but we are happy with where we are, and everyone's getting enough sleep in our house. Here are the principles underlying how we got there:

First we decided what we could and could not tolerate. Some night-waking: fine, there's no reason not to offer comfort at night. The total shitstorm we had reached at 4-6 months involving involuntary co-sleeping and waking every 45 minutes? Not fine. Leaving him alone to cry? Not fine for us, though I don't buy the "CIO causes attachment disorder" line, and we realised there would be some protesting involved with such a major change.

We figured that we would sort out bedtime first. So at 7 months we moved him into his own room and employed the techniques recommended by the Baby Whisperer (available via Google) a.k.a. pick up/put down. The first two nights there was a lot of crying but one of us was always with him and he did put himself to sleep. After a week or so he was putting himself to sleep with no crying. At the same time, the night-waking reduced dramatically. I think once he learned to put himself to sleep initially, he could do it when he woke in the night, too.

Now, two months later, he goes to bed at 8, wakes once or twice and only briefly, and gets up at 6.30, which is earlier than we'd like but we can deal with it for now. His first wake-up is any time between 12 and 4, meaning that he's sleeping 4-8 hours at a stretch.

If he wakes before midnight, dad goes in and comforts him; if after midnight, I go in and feed him. We should probably move the cut-off a bit later, but haven't yet.

I still nurse him to sleep for naps if we're at home, or he naps in the stroller or car when we're out.

You asked for no advice, so I won't give any, but that's what worked for us!
posted by altolinguistic at 7:31 AM on March 25


Oh, and about books. The rigid routines prescribed in some of them really don't work for me. It took me a while to develop the confidence to take the advice I liked from each, and leave the rest.
posted by altolinguistic at 7:44 AM on March 25


I had four girls the youngest now 28. Of the four, each had a different process for how they began sleeping through the night. All very personality related I believe. One significant factor is whether they are hungry during the night and whether they will ignore those hunger pangs. Some are faster at adapting to that..others not so much. The oldest just slept through the night at three months and she was a quiet calm child and still is that way. My middle children, both bouncy and high energy, reacted well to making sure they had a routine that quieted them, reading..singing and closing the door. The youngest is not high energy but wicked 160 IQ smart. She probably still does not sleep through the night. When she was an infant, I worked during the day and she figured out that night times was the time she could visit with me. Nothing worked except sitting with her. So for a long time I just went without sleep and rocked, read and sang with her for a two hour period in the night At some point, she just quit calling for me and entertained herself at about 3 (she learned to read). As I look back that was precious time. I was exhausted some days...but I lived and so did she

As another thought, I never could nor would I ignore a crying baby as it is just not done in my world. I think doing that just creates insecure children.
posted by OhSusannah at 4:51 PM on April 3


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