DS is about 6.5 months now and I finally gave in to CIO a week ago. We have a bedtime routine - dinner (cereal for him) with us, bath, song, sleep sack, nurse (he stays awake), and then bed. We seemed to have made some progress with the initial falling asleep and he does cry less, but he still has a ton of trouble staying asleep and had an awful night yesterday. Before we started CIO, I was nursing every time he woke up (1.5-2.5 hrs) to get him back to sleep and oversleeping in an attempt to do anything i could to get some sleep, so I still feed him at his first waking after 10pm and 2am. We do a check in after 15 minutes now, so we hadnt had to go in there after the first night until last night, twice. We're not nap training right now and is a terrible napper, fights it and naps only about 45 minutes most the time (occasionally 20 min or a little over an hour if we're lucky) so his awake time is only about 1.5 hours, but there isnt really a distinguishable nap schedule at all. He nurses when waking up from a nap so he's not used to nursing to sleep during the day, though we do rock and up until about 1 or 2 weeks ago, I'd been laying down with him to nap for about a month.
I feel like I've created a sleep monster by taking the "easy" way out until now and just doing whatever I can to get him to sleep. I was told by SOOOOOO many people, just do CIO, it worked for us in 3 days, or a week tops was what everyone boasted to me. Are they over embellishing? Forgot the pain already? Am I doing something royally wrong still? Is this sleep habit "normal"?? Does it just take longer sometimes? Not a single person told me it took them longer than a week. Heeeeeelp!!
ETA: bottom chart is the same, just reshaped it so the numbers were more readable.
honeydew / 7463 posts
So the people that said CIO would take 3-5 days most likely did extinction. Put the baby down for the night. Shut his door. Do not go in again until 6/7am (your choice). Period.
When we did it I turned the sound off of the monitor and used ear plugs. He cried on and off for 2-3 hours the first night.
Much less the 2nd night.
Third night was like 15 mins.
4th night and onward was 7-7 with zero wake ups.
What I described is pretty typical with EXTINCTION if you do it right and don’t cave.
I know we’ve messaged about this already but I do think you are not being consistent enough. I’m just trying to help, not trying to make you feel bad He very very likely does not need the overnight feeds at all (ask your doc to make yourself feel better) and feeding for some but not for others is probably very confusing for him. Naps also have to be super consistent. Sleep begets sleep is a real thing. You need a solid routine for naps and need to be CONSISTENT. Like naps are 1.5 hours period. The nap does not end until 1.5 hours is up. You can try to coax back to sleep, replace binky, whatever. But you do not turn on lights and get him out of the room till 1.5 hours is up. Full stop. I personally also did CIO for naps for my 2nd. It will probably be easier once he’s sttn but I sort of ripped the bandaid off with this one and did it all at once. He now takes two 1.5-2 hour naps every day and has been since 4/5 months.
I’m cutthroat with CIO but if you are tired and at the end of your rope, I would do extinction. I promise you he will be fine, he will still be happy to see you in the morning, and you will very likely be getting full nights of sleep after 3-5 nights. But you cannot cave.
And also, look up extinction burst so you are prepared. We never dealt with this but it does happen - @LTCBQE can talk more about that (hopefully she sees this, the tag won’t work).
pear / 1586 posts
We did timed Ferber checks and it worked in 3-5 days, but we did a strict cutoff time where I wouldn’t feed before xx:xx time. DH did all checks so there was no confusion about if I was coming in there to feed him. We were very strict about timing of checks - if baby calms himself down and stops crying, start the interval over again. I think the inconsistent 10pm feeds are messing you up here - if he’s having dinner if any sort and then nursing, he should be able to go quite a while without eating. If he takes a bottle, you could experiment with a tank up bottle after nursing to be extra sure he’s not hungry (but it seems like habit, not hunger based on what you’ve said).
I do think Ferber / sleep training can work in a few days, but typically that’s if you’re extremely consistent.
(Sorry for the short response - on my phone - but happy to give more details on what we did if that would help!)
pomegranate / 3809 posts
My ped had said he should be able to go 6-8 hrs now without food. He'd always slept like crap from 6/7-10pm until he was fed and then would do his best stretch at 10, so I guess I thought tanking him up on more time at 10 could help his hunger. Would you just stop the feeds cold turkey?
nectarine / 2288 posts
We tried several versions of CIO. None of them worked, we eventually gave up and just accepted our "bad sleeper". (And by didn't work she cried for 4+ hours, fell asleep for 5 min woke back up screaming. We tried multiple times and she literally never fell asleep on her own)
Our pediatrician was also pushing that she could go 6-8 hours without milk. Guess what she still woke up and nursed for a decent amount of time and then would settle. So I call bs, just because most babies her weight were ready to sleep through she was not.
All babies are different and maybe yours just isn't going to do cio or sleep through until they are older.
Just wanted to provide another perspective and agree that nothing you are doing is wrong. It just might not work for your baby
kiwi / 617 posts
When we started sleep training, I also changed our daytime schedule. Instead of eating when DD woke up, she would nurse then nap, which translated well to bedtime nursing.
If she was hungry when she woke, I’d give her purées as a snack. DD was also a short napper, 45min was the longest.
So I would
7am - nurse when she woke up
8:30 - nurse to sleep (put down awake eventually)
9:15 - wake up/diaper change/play
10:45-nurse to sleep
11:30-wake up diaper change play
1:00- nurse to sleep
1:45 - wake up diaper change play
3:15 - nurse to sleep
4:00 - wake up diaper change play
5:30 - nurse to sleep
6:15- wake up diaper change dinner play
7:00- bedtime routine
7:30- bottle for bed (hubby did bedtime)
Hope that helps!
pomelo / 5620 posts
Do we have the same baby? DS is 7.5 months and takes 3-4 40 min naps a day. He wakes up happy and is awake 1.5-2 hours at a time. Because of big brother I’m not worry about naps until the end of the school year. He sometimes naps longer and I take it when I can.
For nights at about 4 months we did the sleep lady shuffle to get him to put himself to sleep. It worked in a week. Before that he would wake up sla couple times in the first hour, since then as long as he is drowsy he just goes to sleep.
At night he was waking 4-5+ times. At 6 months we decided we had to do something as I couldn’t function. Before 4 months he was only waking 2-3 times before it fell apart.
We did CIO with checks. We weren’t night weening and decided on 2 times he can nurse an have been firm with it. The last time he nursed before bed is 5:30, so we decided on 4 hour intervals. So 9:30 and 1:30. By night 4 he was only waking twice and was doing longer stretches. He is usually in bed 11-12 hours with two wake ups to nurse.
You just need to have a plan and stick to it. I know for myself I couldn’t do extinction. But if that works for you then I’d say go for it.
The last couple nights he has been nursing less at each wake up and I’m hoping this may mean he might weans himself or drops down to one wake up.
pomegranate / 3809 posts
@ALV91711: If your son was sleeping during your designated feeding time, would you wake him to feed, or wait until he woke up?
pear / 1586 posts
@PurplePumps: we sleep trained earlier (more like 4-5 months) and we didn’t stop feeds cold turkey, but did a cutoff time (I think it was like 1a for a 7p bedtime) and didn’t feed before then. Once they learned to consolidate their sleep, they settled with one feeding somewhere around 2-3a. Each of my kids dropped their last nighttime feeding around 7-7.5 months and basically once they went a few days without, we knew they could do it and dropped it (again, with Ferber checks if needed).
I didn’t night wean/do cold turkey for various reasons (reflux / feeding issues with DS; solids / bottle refusal with DD) so I can’t speak to that. In your scenario I would probably pick a cutoff time no earlier than 5-6 hours after bedtime and not feed before then. The effectiveness of checks vs extinction varies across kids and parents - some kids get pissed with checks, some parents need them
pomelo / 5620 posts
@PurplePumps: I wait until he wakes up and then do 4 hours from then and then the next time is wake up.. He was making it until about 11:30 for the first wake up (this was after a couple weeks of only 2 wake ups) but then we traveled. We’ve been home a week. It took about 3 nights home to get him back into a routine and his first wake up has been 9:30/10:30 again. Hopefully another few days and he will stretch it out.
FWIW when I talked to our ped about it he said it is normal for babies to wake in the night until 18-24 months. He said make sure he is eating lots during the day so he doesn’t have a reason to wake at night. We are at 3 ‘meals’ a day plus nursing.
wonderful cherry / 21504 posts
It’s all too much of a blur for me to remember very clearly, and I totally gave up on sleep training for overnight once we got to feeding once a night. I could live wth that. But the one thing I remember clearly was if I went in to the baby, I had to nurse. If they saw and smelled me nothing else would do. So if anyone went in to soothe the baby before the established time to nurse, it had to be my husband. He could sometimes rock or soothe them back to sleep where I never could unless I nursed.
But our biggest issue with my bad sleeper was falling asleep at night, not the stretches of overnight sleep.
And FWIW my older daughter has always been a difficult sleeper. Even now it’s tough for her. My younger daughter who I definitely did more things “wrong” with, sleep wise, is a rock star overnight sleeper. Naps were a different story. But just to say I believe some kids are just better sleeper than others, no matter what you do.
grapefruit / 4361 posts
Baby doesn't understand that you will only feed him at 10 and 2. all he knows is that sometimes when he cries, you come for him and nurse him, and sometimes you don't. So he's always going to try crying.
pomelo / 5620 posts
I should also say when it wasn’t nursing time that we didn’t pick him up. We turn on his music and give him a pat, make sure there is no spit up or diaper leak and say it’s time to sleep, I love you then leave the room. We’d check again if he wasn’t calming down but after the first night usually we only have ever had to go in once.
pomelo / 5563 posts
When we did sleep training the doula told us that it would usually be bad for the first 3-4 days, then get better, then between 7 and 10 days there could be a “burst” where it seems like it’s all not working and is just as bad as it was. She said this is when a lot of people give up, but just hang in there.
grapefruit / 4291 posts
@MamaBear87: yup, some babies just need more nighttime parenting than others and night waking and feeding is so incredibly biologically normal and developmentally appropriate.
grapefruit / 4455 posts
@PurplePumps: my youngest is about 16m and still taking one night/early AM feeding. We are trying to limit it but I can hear her tummy growling so I refuse to totally stop. Some kids need that I guess. The one baby I tried CIO on did have success after a few rough nights (extinction) but that was at >1 year and baby hadn't taken night feeds in almost a year if I remember right. (That lot stopped early and then we didn't let her start again. Maybe that was a mistake in retrospect.) All this to say if you can switch off with your husband for nights that might be more helpful. Like maybe CIO to fall asleep and then just deal with whatever comes next? Idk. Totally non expert opinion. After my first lo I started going a little less by the book and a little more what worked for us and what I felt were good habits. I think there's a difference between learning to fall asleep and being expected to not wake or be fed all night. But again, totally non expert opinion!
pomelo / 5620 posts
@PurplePumps: how did last night go?
pomegranate / 3809 posts
@ALV91711: he woke up at 10 and 2 and I gave in and fed him, he went right back to bed both times. And he woke briefly at 5, but went back to sleep within 2 minutes. Naps are still awful! He only sleeps 30 min in his bed, but goes for longer on the couch... so weird.
nectarine / 2461 posts
@PurplePumps: I didn't read through every reply, but did read @SweetiePie: 's post and that's the camp I'm in. I'll put my story below, but aside from recommending extinction (vs doing checks and night feedings) my *strong* recommendation to you is that you do a big, big tank-up bottle at bedtime instead of nursing. If you have a freaking amazing bm supply and you know your boo is getting 7-8 oz of milk with that feeding, terrific--but he's probably not getting as much as he would be with a big bottle, and then he wakes up hungry. I would (and did) pump and offer a 7 oz bottle and just see how much you can get him to take. I think it will best set him up for success. @mrschampagne and @mrschicalgobee (sp?) gave me that tip with my first and it changed my life. I believe that @bhbee also started doing that recently with success. the other thing I did to help sleep training (and inadvertently night weaning) work well, was I did the math and realized my son was getting about a third to half of his calories during the nighttime hours--so I moved heaven and earth to try and make sure he was getting a ton of milk during the day instead before I started sleep training. the idea is you're not depriving your baby of milk, you're just *shifting* the time during which he gets it. he can do it!! and so can you
here is what we did if you're curious: full extinction with both kids and it 100% saved my sanity--my son we did at 4 months and my daughter closer to 5, both were up to like 3-4 night wakings per night. My son was done with training and sleeping 12 hours straight through in a few days (nights 1-3 lots of crying, night 4 sttn without a peep, night 5 extinction burst FROM HELL, we stuck with it and night 6 and there on out he sttn 11-11.5 hours. The process was awful but it *really* did work, and his naps improved so much afterwards as well. (he was an atrocious napper before.) My daughter has been a lot tougher and it hasn't been a textbook horrible-to-amazing like you've heard of and like my son was. She took longer--like almost two weeks, with a bad extinction burst on something like night 9. Then she started sttn, but we had a bad spell of RSV and then teething that really set us back, so we've had to re-train a few times and it hasn't been perfect, she still isn't that reliable. BUT, she's miles and miles better than before, and I don't even want to think about how insane I'd be with sleep deprivation if we hadn't done anything.
Lastly, I'm sure you're on top of it, but I would be sure to rule out any reflux issues or any other health concerns before going forward. Just saying as a precaution since his sleep doesn't sound like it's that great.
pomelo / 5620 posts
@PurplePumps: that sounds like an improvement. Hopefully tonight goes good.
cantaloupe / 6085 posts
@LCTBQE: @PurplePumps: big yes to the tank up ... it didn’t fix everything immediately but I think it definitely set us on the road to success and got us down to one feeding pretty much right away. I have a very good supply but it’s just less work for them to take a bottle so it goes down easier. I hate pumping but I’m still doing it because I love sleeping all night