We recently started sleep training after going through many other methods that seemed to make things 'worse' ( ie. not sleeping through the night with more crying for longer periods... if we stayed in the room, soothed, co slept...we tried it all). We are putting her down with our hand on her chest until she dozes...slowily moving away as she is still awake but drowsy, until at last she sleeps and we leave the room. If I put her down she screams initially and refuses to brest feed crying out for daddy... I guess what I am really having anxiety about is damage to her attachment to me. Is she now associating me with a night alone of sleeping and have I broken her trust and really damaged our bond? She also is refusing to breastfeed before bed... which may be a natural weaning...or I've really (**^%^^%$#)messed up, and she is pushing away for emotional reasons...My heart is breaking. When Daddy puts her down there is no wailing, a bit of resistance but she settles...and she will often resist me and cry for daddy just before bed...I'm sad, embarrassed, and worried. BTW she is now sleeping through the night once she goes down and is a loves breastfeeding throughout the day....and loves me up throughout the day... the bedtime routine just works me over!!

asked 22 May '12, 22:13

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Heathert
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I also need to add that it is VERY new for Dad to be involved in the bedtime routine...Previously, it has just been me.

(22 May '12, 22:21) Heathert

Hi, and great question! Getting them to sleep can be so hard. One thing I've noticed is that our kids seem to pick up on our emotions as we're putting them to bed. If I'm acting guilty, sad, or worried about putting them to bed, they're more likely to cry. I try to put them to bed in a "happy" way. It's hard to explain... basically you use that "Okay, we're going to BED NOW! Yeah!!!" voice, with lots of smiling. I keep it up, playing with them, tickling a bit until I'm sure I have them happy and smiling. Then I say, "Ok, good night", then smile and walk out. For some reason this has a much higher success rate.

That doesn't mean I never have to go back in. However, when I do:

  1. I generally pick them up and give them a hug.
  2. Smile a lot
  3. Make sure they're not hungry, also check for wet diaper, etc.
  4. Explain "it's still time to go to bed!" Point outside if it's dark.
  5. Never take them out of the room.
  6. Put them right back to bed, and go through the happy routine again.

The idea is, "I'm still here if you really need something, but I'm not going to stay here with you." Some nights it has to be repeated 3 times, but usually once (or none) is enough. If we do go in repeatedly it's normally because they're hungry.

Takeaway: bedtime is happy time, and we're still here but we won't stay in the room with you.

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answered 24 May '12, 23:29

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Asked: 22 May '12, 22:13

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Last updated: 24 May '12, 23:29