DD is 16 weeks old (will be 4 months next week). Up until now, we've been cosleeping. I'm pretty sure she's hitting the 4 month sleep regression because she's now waking every 2 (sometimes 1!) hours. With 2 other LOs, I just cannot sustain nights under these circumstances and know that we need to sleep train very soon, which includes transitioning her to her crib and nixing the swaddle/paci. That being said, I'm not sure her temperament will allow the CIO method. If I let her, I'm sure she could cry for hours on end (much like her older brother, who took 10 months to sleep train...ugh).
I guess I'm just looking for advice/hope. And I'd like to have a plan in place for when we buckle down and officially sleep train. Will CIO work for a baby with her temperament? If your baby was difficult to sleep train, how long did s/he cry for in those first few nights? Send me your success stories!
persimmon / 1111 posts
My kid didn't do sleep training. He needed to be held all night, preferably while nursing. I talked to a lot of experts because he never settled when crying-- not in the car, not in the stroller, not in the crib. The only way he would sleep is being next to someone.
The advice I got was that I could try three things: 1) We could do CIO and it may never work. He might cry for hours every night for months. The sleep coach thought this was likely and I saw it happen with my friends. 2) We could just let him do his thing and he would eventually sleep through the night, or 3) we could gently coach him to make good sleep habits and he would get there.
We took a combination of 2 and 3. Once he started taking a bottle at daycare we tried to get him to lose the nursing to sleep association. Once that happened he started sleeping longer. We also always transferred him to the crib after he woke up (until midnight when I would give up).
He is now 2 and about 2 months ago he regularly started sleeping through the night. About one night a week he is with us, but he is totally night weaned. He is just a social sleeper.
My sister was a horrible sleeper and didn't sleep through the night until 2 and not regularly until 5, and she was formula fed and had good sleep habits. This was after I slept through the night at 6 weeks with parents that did the exact same thing. My husband is still a horrible sleeper and he is the 5th child (1-4 slept great). Both were CIO failures. It is likely genetic. Sorry you are dealing with this!
ETA: I realize that I am not posting what you want to hear. What I was told is that if he had never settled while crying (despite long car rides and stroller rides while tired and giving it at least 30 minutes), it likely wouldn't happen. Especially if your child was stubborn. My kiddo is extremely stubborn. I hope yours is less so.
My mom just made a bed for my sister next to her and would touch her through the night as needed. After she hit about 6 months my mom would barely wake up when my sister woke up (it would be brief wake ups, my sister just needed human touch). My MIL would just nurse my husband back to sleep repeatedly and would nap during the day. I took a combination approach and learned I didn't need to be awake to nurse. From 5 months or so he would latch on and off all night, but I really wouldn't wake up. The only time it was bad was when he got teeth or went through a growth spurt as a toddler and needed legitimate food in the middle of the night. He sends me to the kitchen for juice and a pouch, consumes them, and goes right to sleep in our bed.
nectarine / 2400 posts
If you want to sleep train, you don’t have to lose the swaddle/paci. I would keep as many soothing items as you can - check out precious little sleep
olive / 57 posts
@Pollywog: wow! 2! This is definitely my fear and something I'm hoping to avoid. She also cries in the car/stroller and prefers to be held. She only recently has started settling in the car every now and then (which gives me slight hope).
I know every baby is unique in their sleep needs and I may need to come to terms with it being different than what I envision. Ha!
olive / 57 posts
@gotkimchi: she's super close to rolling over, so the swaddle will have to go soon anyway. As for the paci, I don't mind putting her down wirh it, but I don't want to be running in to replace it every time she spits it out.
cherry / 176 posts
What worked best for my family was more of a check and console method. I was led to believe that CIO was sort of the only "good" way to sleep train with my first son. I really hated it and finally swore it off after I gave up and went in once after an hour of crying to find out that he had pooped in his diaper So with our second it was more of a "let him work it out" for 5-10 minutes, go back and console him (no nursing) for a minute, and then let him try again. It was hard being really consistent (not nursing him to sleep) but it worked well for him and for me. I think it took 2 nights with one repeat 2 nights a few months later. I definitely wouldn't recommend too many transitions at once, that can be super hard.
I also think it's helpful to remember that there isn't a magical "right" way, and that's why there's so many different methods out there. No googling sleep training at 2am! Good luck!