Monday, March 29, 2010

is it because something ~i~ did?

My kids are good sleepers. Scratch that. Other than Allison, my babies were good sleepers.

I'm tired tonight and I'm laying in bed listening to my little boy sing to himself, play with the crib gym and aquarium. And I think about how I just put them down to sleep and they'd go to sleep after some time or immediately. Even allie would go right to sleep, her problem was staying asleep.

So I wonder, CAN babies who co sleep or who are rocked to sleep or nursed asleep fall asleep without those things? I definitely not starting anything here, as I'm really just asking a basic question. Is it simply impossible for a baby who has any sort of routine given to them to go to sleep fall asleep in any other way?

21 comments: said...

i co-slept with my daughter until she was 8 months old. Then we moved her to her crib. She cried for 10 minutes the first night, 5 minutes the second night and it hasn't been an issue since then and she'll be 3.

that's my experience with my daughter...

Anonymous said...

i used to rock, bounce, nurse, bottle-feed my son to sleep. now, at 16 months (and it has been this way for 6 months or so) he goes to bed awake and falls asleep himself. he does sometimes struggle to stay asleep, but that seems to coincide with sickness and/or teething.

Mollie said...

My sister hates giving parenting advice, but the one thing she did tell me was to put the kid to bed awake, without rocking, etc. We've done this from pretty much the beginning (he's 10 months old), and I would say 99% of the time we do our nighttime routine of bath, lotion, jammies, book, nursing/bottle, hugs and kisses,and put him in the crib- he'll talk to himself for a few minutes and he's out for the night.
BUT - the child will not sleep anywhere else. I've tried taking a nap with him in our bed just because I wanted to cuddle and he wouldn't. He won't sleep in the same room with us. He will only sleep in his crib or pack n play. He falls asleep in the car, but only if he can't see us.
So, we're lucky that we don't have to do a big song and dance to get him to sleep under the normal circumstances, but I wonder if that's why he doesn't cuddle and refuses to sleep anywhere else. *shrugs*

jenn said...

We definitely have a bedtime routine (bath, quiet playtime in her room, cuddle, story & bed.) but we have done it all, lol! We co-slept briefly, then moved her to her crib at 3.5 months (where she now sleeps better than ever!) We nursed before bed- which she has dropped herself. I have always put her to bed awake- especially since switching & she smiles right up at me before grabbing her blankie & settling down for the night.
We just last week had another huge breakthrough where I comforted her ~without~ nursing to go back to bed.
We are definitely in the whatever works category- but falling asleep has also never really been her problem- it's staying that way!

Robin said...

I think its all in the routines that you start. Our neighbors kids, both of them, won't sleep without a parent in their bed (yes, very dysfunctional at 6(!!) and 2). The parents complain about it but in my opinion they could stop it if they really wanted to. It might be awful and hellacious for a few weeks but the kids would get over it eventually and they could have their lives back.

My Alli also usually goes to sleep great at night but at naptimes sometimes I go in there and lay with her for a while or else she won't settle down.

Jen said...

I rocked Jillian to sleep until she was one. Shortly afterward she started having some difficulty falling asleep that way, so I put her in her crib awake and guess what...she fell asleep. I missed rocking her but the freedom was nice.

Hollie said...

I believe that each child is different. We did put DS in his bed awake and he fell asleep on his own at times when he was 2-3 months old. He slept through the night for a while on his own in his bed. Then things started getting worse. I was so miserable for months avoiding putting him in our bed. He would scream, I got him, nursed him, back to bed for months. Then around 6-7 months we started cosleeping. DS goes through cycles, but normally he wakes up 100 times a night. I really don't think I have done anything wrong. I have accepted that this is the way it is. I refuse to let him scream in his bed. To me, it seems mean and lazy. It's not just whining, which I can stand, but full on stand up, screaming, crying after 10 seconds of waking up. People think I'm crazy for accepting this, but I don't care.

dianam17 said...

dylan gets a bottle before bed, always has even 14 months later (I EBF & then did formula). up until about 10 months old he would fall asleep while drinking his bottle, and then we would put him right to bed and he would sleep (depending on age) anywhere from 8-12 hours straight. is that the same or equal to nursing to sleep, idk?

at about 8 weeks old, i had to go back to work. he was sleeping from about 8pm to 5/6am. definitely earlier than i had to get up for work. so for a few months, he was getting a bottle when he got up and then he would sleep with me for 2-3 hours in my bed (dh was gone to work at this point, so it was just the two of us). i was nervous bc he was rolling over by this point, so i would put him on his boppy pillow and he would always stay put- i know this wasnt the best scenerio, but having to function at work and drive 80 miles a day to get there & home, i was just trying to do the best i could with no help. as soon as he was old enough for more movement, and was sleeping longer, he would stay in his crib if he got up that early and would either play or babble himself back to sleep. it seemed like he never even knew of the weeks he spent sleeping in my bed... never seemed to make a difference to him, so luckily that wasnt a transition i had to worry about.

at about 10 months, we noticed that he would have his last bottle and then get up to play. we had a lot going on at the time (MIL died unexpectedly) and i guess we werent on top of our parenting game. we thought he would just magically fall asleep like always, and then i looked at the clock one night and i was like wth? its 10:00! so CIO began the next night. except, it only took him 5 mintues the first night to fall asleep and then 2 the next night and about 30 seconds by the 3rd night. like pp said, the only time he gets up in the middle of the night is if he is sick or teething and he wakes himself up with coughing, etc.

just as a side note, dylan is so laid back its almost scary. ive always been nervous when i have had to try something new with him- going from BM to formula, formula to milk, cereal to solids, sleeping in new places etc. and he never ever gives us an issue. so i dont know if that goes hand in hand with how well his sleeping habits are and how we can just change them if/when we see fit? im assuming so, but this is my first time doing this so im def not here to brag, boast, or give any kind of advice lol. and i know all this good baby stuff will come back to haunt me when he is a teenager and is a terror for the 2 of us!

Lauren said...

Here is what we did/do:

In the beginning the girls shared a pack-n-play in our room. They were constantly waking up. At 5 weeks old, we could no longer carry on with that. We were only sleeping 1-2 hours a night, so we pulled them in bed with us. They started sleeping all night immediately. We co-slept until they were 6 months old. Yes, 4 of us in a queen size bed lol!

At 6 months, we moved them into a crib in their room. We had 2 cribs but they shared one. This wasn't working very well b/c they kept waking each other up by rolling, tossing, ect.

At 9 months, we put them in seperate cribs and the VERY first night, they put theirselves to sleep and slept all night long. Since seperating them, we lay them down, they chit chat with each other for a little while and then they go to sleep.

I think it is different for each child in different situations but I think children can absolutely learn to put theirself to sleep even after co-sleeping, rocking, nursing for months.

Jenera said...

We didn't co-sleep with either boys in the traditional sense. Early on with both boys they slept with us off and on due to sickness or allergies. And even now they will crawl in bed with me when my husband is on the road.

With Aidan I had a hard time getting him to sleep on his lonesome. He always had the TV or me laying with him or a radio. The radio I didn't mind but eventually I knew he needed to be able to sleep on his own. After two terribly, mind exploding, full of tears weeks, he was able to be put into bed and go to sleep, eventually. That was at about 2 or so.

Sam now sleeps in bed with Aidan and for the most part I can lay him down and he'll go to sleep with no problems.

Ella said...

I'm interested to hear other BTDT mommies experiences - I've only been at this for 4.5 months. After our bedtime routine of bath, singing and/or books, we nurse. She usually falls asleep (if she doesn't, DH rocks her to sleep) and then we put her in her co-sleeper where she sleeps until she wakes in the middle of the night for a feeding, at which point I bring her into bed with me and she sleeps in our bed the rest of the night. It works for us (i.e. we are able to SLEEP!), so we'll keep doing it until a) it doesn't work anymore b) we have baby #2, or c) until she wants to sleep in her own bed.

I do think that she will eventually learn to fall asleep and stay asleep, but I know it will definitely take longer than if we were to sleep train.

Lisa said...

I think it depends completely on the child. But, in teaching them at a young age how to self soothe and good sleeping habits, you are stacking the deck in your favor.

My observations of the outcome of children who co-slept were not positive so there was no way I was putting myself in that situation. I know of parents that always had to nap with the child and had to go to bed when their child did. And then once they finally got the child out of their beds, they were still not getting a full night's sleep... even with a 6 year old!

I think as parents we do what we think is best. In my case, having the boys sleep in their own beds in their own room is what worked for us. But every child and parent is different....

Christina said...

We have no set bedtime routine and never have. Starting at 8 weeks I lay Annika in her crib and she falls asleep, simple as that. She hates to be rocked when she cries and if we just put her down she'll go to sleep.

MrsSpock said...

We rocked our son to sleep the first year, and then the Pedi said it was time to help him learn to sleep on his own. We had to comfort him every few minutes the first couple of weeks, but eventually were able to put him down awake, and he could fall asleep on his own. He does still wake up in the middle of the night a couple times a week, but is able to go back to sleep after a brief hug and pat.

Kirsten said...

I am convinced that if we have any more children they will be absolutely horrible sleepers because of the luck we've had with our girls.
They have never slept with us; they shared a crib for the first 6 months of their lives. We would rock them to sleep every night until they were 1 and I was so afraid to break that habit but we had no was almost like they were happy to have that time to wind down on their own. We do still keep with a routine when we are home which is brushing teeth, reading 3-4 books and then lights out. But, even when we go out of town they have been good about putting themselves to sleep. I use to think they'd keep each other up all night being in the same room (and I am sure that is to come) but, for now, I think it's comforting to them to have each other so maybe that helps with sleeping. Now I just worry what they will do if they ever have to sleep alone!!

Calliope said...

I co slept with W until he was 6.5 months and then it became obvious that neither one of us was enjoying it anymore.

But getting to sleep?? oh man is it brutal.

He usually will go to sleep at night fairly easily (I have to stick to a routine tho) but he gives naps the finger daily.

Right now he will sleep for an hour and then wake up SCREAMING and need another 20 minutes or so of calming down.

We seem to cry it out all the damn time. Sucks

Wordgirl said...

This prompted me to write a blog post Nancy -- I've been thinking all these same things and just don't know the answer -- I've been reading and liking Weissbluth's book on sleeping and have been trying to have consistency in the WAY I put her down each time -- and for me that means nursing her to sleep -- initially she would only nap in the sling but I could nurse her to sleep laying in our bed and then I could get up and walk away and get things done until I went to bed -- and now I've transitioned her to the bed for naps too -- some days it's great, other days not so much so -- but she seems to really struggle falling asleep on her own without the nursing -- just today I tried to walk with her in the stroller and she would only sleep for a half an hour at the most -- and woke up inconsolably screaming -- she drifted back to sleep but not without alot of angry screeching -- and she's always been this way -- she simply doesn't feel secure enough on her own -- *sigh*

Love you girl, hope you're well...



Aimee said...

I definitely agree that each kid is different! The laid back ones fall asleep easily, others are tougher. Mine was a toughie. The first 4 months she had severe reflux and at night she collapsed in exhaustion around 1 am after screaming for hours. Good times! By 4 months the reflux was under control but we were spending 1-hour plus rocking her to sleep. A friend recommended the Baby Whisperer which we really liked because we didn't want to do CIO. It was hard work, and every time our little one hit a milestone we had to start all over, but by a year we were in great shape. At that point I learned that if I stayed by her crib in the room for 5-10 minutes, and let her cry a little, she would calm down on her own. I gradually moved farther and farther from the crib and then out the door. Now she's 18 months, and for the past 4-6 months, we do the bedtime routine, I stick her in the crib and leave immediately, and she puts herself to sleep. It's wonderful!

I give Nancy all the credit for one tip: the Fisher Price ocean crib toy. I saw you recommend that and bought it for her when she was a newborn. She loves punching the music on that thing when she's putting herself to sleep - both at naps and bedtime. Thanks so much for that advice!!

Aimee said...

Oh, and one more thing: we used to co-sleep sometimes (all the time when she was a newborn!) but at some point (9 months or so?) she started to refuse to sleep with us. We were kind of bummed actually. Goes back to the point of every kid being different: some kids "grow out of" things and others become dependent on them. I have a friend who can't get her kids out of her bed and they're 5 and 3!!!

Anonymous said...

I have, I suppose, 1 crappy sleeper, and 1 average sleeper.

TBB always went to sleep in my arms, and later with me laying next to him. Now, at almost 6, it's getting easier. He decided to start sleeping in his bed in his room (right next door) shortly after turning 5. Most nights he'll play quietly for a bit, then we'll lay in bed and read, then cuddle for a minute, then I'll go and tell him I'll be back to check on him in 5 minutes. Often he falls asleep in that time. Sometimes he needs me to lay with him until he falls asleep. Other times he chooses to join us in the big bed at the beginning of the night. Some nights he joins us part way through the night.

TTG (20 months) usually goes to sleep on the breast. It's easy, it works. I can put him down on the bed once he's asleep, no problems, I think he was a few months old before he was able to do that. He wakes a few times overnight but since he's right next to me it's easy for him to latch on and go back to sleep. Sometimes he'll fall asleep in the car if we're out during the day, or in a carrier if we're walking. He doesn't have many day naps these days though.

Both kids were able to sleep anywhere as babies as their main sleep association was/is me, rather than a crib or a certain room or whatever.

I think sleep is a developmental thing - no one can really claim that their child learned to walk at x age because of something they did, you know?

Rebeccah said...

We co-slept with our son for the first 3 months because it was the only way he would sleep. Can he put himself to sleep now? No, but he's very slowly getting there. Do I think our co-sleeping had anything to do with his sleep difficulties? Absolutely not.

Every child is different, and the parents who believe that CIO or some other sure-fire sleep method is The Only Secret Trick That All Parents Should Know are simply lucky to have kids who will sleep well with those methods. It's not the method alone that is magic -- it's how your child and your home environment mesh with the method (or not). Some kids just can't sleep without help. And it's not their parents' fault.

Our son has always had a horrible relationship with sleep. We've learned to work around it, and slooooowwwly he's beginning to get the idea. But it's nothing we've done -- he is growing up and learning to sleep is part of that. I read the books, I tried the tricks, and nothing worked. He still likes to be rocked to sleep, but he's getting too big for that to be comfortable for any of us, so he's beginning to learn other methods. It takes forever and sometimes we have to go back to rocking. And yes, sometimes we still co-sleep for a few hours after dawn, because it's the only way that the whole family is able to get another few hours of sleep. Two steps forward and one step back. Time and patience are my survival tools.

Whenever I hear some mom talking about putting her kid in the crib and 5 minutes of crying doing the trick and suggesting I try that for a few nights, I laugh and laugh and laugh, while inviting her to come show our kid how that works : )