Sleep Training very sad. I finally got to a point where co-sleeping, a.k.a. sleep sharing, a.k.a. letting a thrashing baby sleep next to me while I lay awake for hours and hours because of the thrashing, wasn't working anymore. This is night 5. When we started this, Henry wouldn't even let us put him down in his crib for one full minute without screaming.

From a 1992 edition of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, regarding babies who put up a fuss when being put in the crib to sleep (p. 259):

The habit is usually easy to break once the parents realize that it is as bad for the baby as it is for them. The cure is simple: Put the baby to bed at a reasonable hour, say good night affectionately but firmly, walk out of the room, and don't go back. Most babies who have developed this pattern cry furiously for 20 or 30 minutes the first night, and then when they see that nothing happens, they suddenly fall asleep! The second night the crying is apt to last only 10 minutes. The third night there usually isn't any at all.

Usually? 20 or 30? 10 the next night? NO. That's all I'll say about that. Before you say anything, my pediatrician has said that no, Henry is not too young for this, and yes, he does weigh enough. My mom's parenting books from the 70s instruct parents to sleep train starting at two weeks old, actually. I may get flamed anyway, but oh well. I need sleep, and so does Henry. If I shifted to get comfortable in the bed while he was next to me, he'd wake up, so I was disturbing him. While he isn't sleeping through the night yet -- not even as the doctors define it, 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. -- he is sleeping for longer periods than he has been.

And my goals are modest: I just want him to sleep for most of the night in his crib. If he needs to sleep for thirty minutes next to me after a feeding before going back to the crib, that's fine. I'm also fine with rocking/nursing him to sleep.

And with that, I'll watch the opening ceremonies and hope that Henry stays asleep as he has been for the past 30 minutes.


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No flaming for sure.

I did the occasional sleep in the bed thing, but in the crib in the other room within two weeks thing, so I cannot attest to an honest attempt at the conversion. However, the above excerpt sounds like something that would be more for *your* benefit than your son's. It's not as if he needs you to "firmly" do anything at this point in his life. It sounds like more of a suggestion for your own resolution.

I do think that if you stick to it, it will work.

Have you tried leaving the house during nap time and leaving him in his crib then? Or were you already doing that?

Also, I'm not clear on this: is the crib in a different room? If not, that could be part of the problem, because if he can smell you and your milk, he'll want to be near you (as in on you). If you want to sleep, you'll need some physical distance.

I'll offer one piece of unsolicited advice: I've always had a lot of trouble sleeping, so it was really important for me to help my kids establish sleeping patterns that involved them sleeping on their own. I've never regretted it.

Good luck!


flamers be damned

I was right were you are, one year ago. I read so many books, tried so many different techniques -- and perhaps it was the long-term sleep deprivation, but I can't remember now what actually worked. All I know is that this too shall pass, and one day you'll be putting your little one to bed and he'll sleep blissfully for more than a few consecutive hours.

Til then, take care.


Michelle -- yes, the crib is in another room. It's at the other end of the house, as a matter of fact. Having the crib in the room with me was the first thing we did when we brought Henry home. It was awful because, like you, I have a TON of trouble sleeping. It's hard for me to fall asleep, and it's hard for me to go back to sleep once awakened. So two things ended up happening: one, the pacifier would pop out of Henry's mouth and he'd start crying, so we ended up doing a "paci in, paci out, paci in, paci out" dance every few minutes. The other was that I'd lie awake just KNOWING that as soon as I fell asleep, he'd start crying. It was horrible. So having his crib in the same room isn't a viable option. Even having the crib in the next room probably wouldn't work for me either, because I'd still lie awake in anticipation of the crying. What works is to have his room a distance away and for me to crank up the white noise. Jonathan goes to bed much later than I do, so he brings Henry to me if a feeding becomes necessary.

Mostly we use the swing for naps. It's not that hard to get him to take naps, especially two hours after he wakes up in the morning. At that time he's okay to sleep in the crib but very happy to sleep in the swing.

Blast from the past

I'll send you to this post, if only for solidarity.

One third

Tonight he cried for only one third of the amount of time he cried last night. Progress.

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