Friday, 31 August 2012

Sleep Training an 8 month Old

I know sleep training isn't for everyone, and the way we do it might make some people raise their eyebrows but there we have it. When you spend a proportion of your night in tears because the baby's awake for the 6th time, or because you've spent half an hour sitting up with her until she falls dead asleep only for her eyes to spring open and the wailing start again the minute you try to transfer her to bed, well, something has to change. So now the month long hammering of cold-development splurge-teething we've had which has totally kicked our sleep patterns is over, we've decided to go for sleep training again.

We've previously tried a softly-softly approach to sleep training. Back when she was younger I had to get her to adjust to going to nap on her own without being fed to sleep and we also used the core night method with some success overnight (as we knew she could go longer than she was at the time without feeding in the night). Because of this, we knew that the more gentle approaches to sleep training such as pick up-put down,   or the gentle withdrawal didn't work - our returning presence made things worse (we found this with Pixie too).

We know from past experience that Pops won't settle back to sleep in the same room as us; she knows we're there and she's damn well going to keep going til she gets that cuddle and feed. Which is why last night found me and my husband on an airbed in the front room. Glamping! At the 11th hour (literally! We'd just turned the lights off to go to sleep) we decided that as well as letting her learn to self-settle again we'd take the opportunity to night wean as well. We had 4 glorious nights of no waking from 7pm-6am either side of our camping trip a month ago and she eats 3 meals a day plus snacks (as well as nursing) so we're confident she's getting enough day time calories. Almost as soon as we decided that, she woke up. We let her cry for 10 minutes, then her daddy went up to give her a cuddle. She cried for another 10 minutes after he put her back to bed so I went in for a cuddle. And then, joy of joys, she went to sleep about 5 minutes later! I was totally expecting it to carry on for about 3 hours.

She woke a lot in the night. At least 6, although I was too bleary to count. But each time she cried for less than 10 minutes. I got up to feed her at 6.50am because frankly my boobs would have exploded if I hadn't! First morning she's not been up and at 'em at 5am, WOOP! (My husband is probably wooping louder tbh, as it's him that's got up at that ridiculous time. Hurrah for him!)

I reckon there's going to be a few more nights on the airbed ahead of us, but early indicators seem favourable. Click for continued success please, as our sanity depends on it!

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