Monday, June 15, 2009

Baby sleep training underway

No more procrastinating - we finally started sleep training Tristan this past weekend. I have to say, it is a lot harder to handle than I thought. I was okay the first 1 or 2 times he cried it out but after that I just felt horrible. I'm just looking at him right now in the exersaucer and his eyes are puffy.

For the sleep training, we are implementing a modified version of the Ferber (or cry it out) method. On Friday night, Daddy placed him down when he was tired and left the room. When he cried for 2 minutes, Daddy went in, picked him up until he was calm again, and then put him back down for 3 minutes. We basically repeated this according to the times we agreed on, which were 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 12, 12..... until he passed out. When it was nap time, I would take over since I'm the one responsible for most naps. Gradually, we removed the picking up and putting down and only went in the room to pat and kiss him. We would do this every time he woke up or when he would sleep or nap. Let's just say over the course of the weekend, he cried a lot. Once this is over, I'll post the outcome of the sleep training.

If I tell you that prior to sleep training, Tristan was already sleeping through the night and naps 1-2 hours straight twice a day, you may wonder why we even need sleep training for him. There are days where he doesn't sleep well or cat naps during the day. It doesn't happen often but it does happen. The real problem is that he still depends on us to fall asleep or fall back asleep. That's our fault since we wanted our sleep badly and got in the habit of helping him to sleep since he was born. In order to remove his dependency on us rocking him, sucking on his pacifier (that is a big one!), or us nursing him, we need to train him to sleep on his own.

I'm actually having trouble sleeping these days. Too many things to think about and now with the sleep training stress, I am having trouble going back to sleep after getting up to pee at night. Maybe after we are done training Tristan, I should work on sleep training myself.


Anonymous said...

I know this post is old news new, however, I think this can help you with other things too.
Ferber's approach is considered cruel by many and evidence supports it over and over again. Baby's fall asleep after his methods because of trauma, not for anything else. Western culture really has things really messed up. Why do you need to train your baby? He is not a dog. They have their entire life to become independent.What they need is you to depend on. That is what forms a strong bond between mother and baby and lasts with them their entire life. I really suggest you check out and read different perspectives. Look into attachment parenting, also called, instinctive parenting or natural parenting (sleep training was hard for you for a reason. Babies only way of communicating is to cry, and it is hard to hear for the very reason that you PICK THEM UP! Read some articles on sleep and attachment parenting. If it feels wrong, it is. Check out

Susan said...

I know sleep training is a controversial subject so I am hesitant to say too much about it. We did a lot of research before starting the training and I know that a lot of experts also disagree on this subject. We read about all the good and bad things parents also had to say and then we made a decision.

Psychologically, it was one of the most difficult things we had to do. We are lucky that he didn't cry that much and it worked out for us. Since we finished the training, he puts himself back to sleep almost immediately if he fusses at night and doesn't even cry anymore when we put him down at bed time. We all get our sleep now and are happier during the day. I'm glad we did it but I still feel guilty about it. Guilty because I hate knowing that my baby had to cry so much without me and also because I know a lot of other parents, like you, disagree with sleep training and therefore we are criticized for it and are called cruel parents.

Here is something that might help you understand our decision. We cannot function as parents without adequate sleep. No, seriously. We don't have anyone else to depend on to help us. We were starting to resent our baby as a result and it was bad.

On a related note, getting the baby to sleep was hard but so was feeding the baby healthy foods and now daycare. My husband and I are feeling tremendous guilt right now for putting him in daycare. I'm sure there are parents out there who think we are cruel for doing this too.

J.D. said...

I hate people that act like that, I really do! And they comment anonymously, ugh! People are so strange these days about things & so touchy. I personally can't do it...YET (LOL)... but for them to say it's cruel?! There are worse things going on then letting a baby cry for 12 minutes.
Sorry, just venting on your blog! People really need to take a chill pill (heh, does anyone say that anymore?) and worry about what they're doing with their life.

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