Hi all,

There are as many approaches to baby sleep as there are babies. I'm interested in hearing about different experiences and approaches. I'm a bit obsessed with sleep myself, and I think it's my little "hot button" issue as a parent.

I'll go first. My 10 1/2 month old started out in a bassinet in our room, and quickly proved a great sleeper -- sleeping through the night by 2 months. We moved him into his crib at around 3 months when he outgrew the bassinet. However, at around 4-5 months that changed. We moved, which was disruptive. Then winter struck and with it one daycare cold after another. And now we're in the thick of teething and possibly separation anxiety.

Our new approach is to start him out in his crib, but bring him into bed with us when he wakes up so I can nurse/soothe him back to sleep when he is uncomfortable. That and some motrin on rough nights makes most nights bearable. I don't mind waking up a few times a night; it's every hour or two that is difficult! Some nights he is too restless to be in bed with us and we'll put him back in his crib, but most nights we're OK. And I love snuggling with him.

Personally, I'm firmly against "sleep training" techniques like "cry-it-out", although I recognize that sometimes we do need to let him cry. I don't like the idea of leaving a baby alone when he's scared or uncomfortable. I'm sure there will be a difficult transition ahead once he needs to sleep in his own room, but I just want to get through these next months with my sanity!

Thanks everyone, I look forward to reading your responses.

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asked 06 Apr '10, 13:29

Anne's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

Our experience is quite different. Both our kids lasted less than a week in our room before they were moved into the room next door. I am a light sleeper and found that they kept me awake with their noises even when they were asleep. They were close enough that I would hear them when they woke and cried but I didn't lie there listening to them sleep. When they moved into their cot they moved downstairs due to the layout of our house and we had a moniter in their room. Our kids have very rarely slept in our bed

My son was about three months when he started to sleep through the night and was a pretty good until about nine months when we had a some issues with him waking. I can't remember exactly how we handled this one, it was by leaving him to cry in some form. Since then he sleeps consistently from 7pm to at least 6am.

My daughter on the other hand was still waking at least once during the night every night (between 10pm and 6am) at 10 months. I was waking her at 9.30pm for a feed in an attempt to get her to sleep longer. She would go back quite happily after this feed. in the middle of the night she wasn't particularly hungry but would want a little comfort feed. I was exhausted from getting up during the night (She wouldn't take a bottle) and looking after two kids during the day so we had to do something. We did leave her to cry. We had intended to use the leave her for a 10 minutes and then go in and then leave her longer etc method. But after a few nights we found that she got more upset by us visiting than if we left her. It took a week but she started to sleep through the night. Then six weeks later we moved house and she was in the same room as us for week during which time she got use to mummy feeding her in the middle of the night again. We did the leaving her to cry again. This time it less time. When we dropped the 9.30 feed we had similar problems. Now she is nearly two and for the last year she has slept from 7pm to 7am virtually every night. She sometimes will wake during the evening but not overnight. I have to add we wouldn't leave her to cry if we thought she was unwell etc and we didn't leave her for hours.

While it is hard when you do it I think that for us leaving our kids to cry did work. If you are going to do it I have a few pointers -

  • Discuss it and form a plan of how you are going to do it i.e how long will you leave them, who is going in Mummy or Daddy, at what point will you offer feed etc
  • Have the above discussion during the day not at 2am.
  • If possible don't lie there listening to the cry, I use to get up and read a book or watch TV. I would turn the monitor down low so I wasn't listening to it at full volume.
  • After we moved our two kids were sharing a room. When we trying to get our daugher to sleep through I had the porta cot set up in another room so I could move her if I really had to. We are fortunate as our son seems to be able to sleep through her crying.
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answered 09 Apr '10, 09:07

K%20D's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

For the first couple of months, our baby started out sleeping at the foot of our bed in a crib. However, he never learned to breastfeed so when he woke up, I would take him downstairs, feed him his bottle, put him to sleep in the bassinet down there, pump, and then transfer him back to our bedroom crib. At about 2 months, we got a co-sleeper to attach to the side of the bed which I thought was wonderful. He is a very noisy sleeper so this allowed me to just open one eye to see if he was really awake instead of having to get up and peer over the crib. Unfortunately, we only used the co-sleeper for about a month because by 3 months he was moving so much I no longer felt it was safe. 2 months is also about the time that he started sleeping through the night.

At 3 months, we transferred him to his own room to sleep in the crib. At around 5 months, I discovered that if I put him to bed an hour earlier, he slept an hour later. While my baby always slept well at night, he was a horrible napper. Usually, he'd only take two 1/2 hour naps a day which wasn't enough for me :) At around 8 months, I broke down and started inducing a morning nap by feeding him a bottle. I agree with everyone who says this is a bad habit but after a certain point, you're willing to do anything to get a reasonable length nap. In addition, I learned that if I let him cry for 10 min after waking up, he might go back to sleep. Also around 8 months, he started waking up in the wee hours of the morning. In hindsight, I believe this was a combination of him being hungry and teething (turns out he had 4 teeth coming in).

Regarding the cry-it-out method. I really hate it. That said, I still practice it in the middle of the night. I've discovered that if I go into my baby's bedroom in the middle of the night, he'll decide it's time to play. I tried a couple of times to bring him into our bed but that only made things worse as he would chirp, coo, and insistently pat our faces indicating it was time to play with him. The only thing that might put him back to sleep is feeding him but this isn't foolproof. So, when I hear him in the middle of the night, I always let him cry at least 10 minutes before considering any intervention. If I think he's waking up because he's in pain, I'll give him ibuprofen and feed him a bottle to put him back to sleep. Otherwise, I'll let him cry at least a 1/2 hour. After that, I join him in crying ;)

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answered 06 Apr '10, 18:51

Kiesa's gravatar image

Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

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Asked: 06 Apr '10, 13:29

Seen: 2,908 times

Last updated: 09 Apr '10, 09:07