8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago#80031by mohm
We also have not sleep trained with our kids. I have co-slept and nursed on demand at night. For me, I got/get the most sleep co-sleeping and nursing. As our children got older we would start them out in their bed, and then I would bring them in to nurse the first time they woke up. I was also fortunate enough as a resident to have a husband as a stay at home dad who would bring the baby in to nurse and then take her out unless she feel asleep, when I was sleeping during the day. Nursing at night allowed me to maintain my supply and stop pumping sooner as well, which I love because pumping is very demanding. My kids weaned off taking bottles during the day around a year and were content nursing when I was at home and during the night. Even if you aren't nursing, co-sleeping may allow you to get more sleep. Here is an article on co-sleeping safely for those that choose to do it.
I think the thing you have to keep in mind is that every child and family is different. Sleep training may work for some families and kids, but my first child would have screamed literally for 2 hours. My 3.5 year old requires more parenting to sleep than my 16 month old. If your child adjusts relatively easily or quickly, then maybe he/she is ready for it. If it doesn't work well or you aren't comfortable with it, try something else. I think it is more typical for a 6 month old to not be sleeping completely through the night than to be sleeping through the night. Personally, I'm not comfortable using CIO with my kids. If it isn't a good fit for you, I would recommend "The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night" by Elizabeth Pantley.
DD and I coslept for the first several months, but I was really not sleeping well and I wanted my bed back! We ended up using the CIO method, starting around 5-6 months. It does sound really harsh, and it was not nearly as easy for us as it sounds like it was for lyn2006: DD cried way longer than 30 minutes the first time, and there were ups and downs along the way rather than a smooth progression. However, here is why I don't feel guilty about it: DD is incredibly well-adjusted. She sleeps better than any almost-2yo I have heard of: she sleeps 13 hrs/night and would sleep more if we didn't wake her up. We put her in her crib at night with her paci, book, baby, and kitty (ok, ok, 3 pacis, 3 books, 2 babies, and kitty) and she cries sometimes for 10 seconds or so but then falls right asleep. Often when I go in to get her in the morning she is sitting up reading to herself quietly - always very happy to see me, but doing fine keeping herself entertained.
Sleep training was not easy, but I am SO glad we did it. Of course it doesn't work for everyone but I just wanted to offer some encouraging words about it because I know the guilt can be hard to deal with. Good luck!
Ok, now that I think back there were definitely ups and downs, especially when he was teething but overall we are also so glad we did it. I think initially it was a little easier because we started when he was about 3 months or so. He just didn't cry long ever at that age - now at 16 months he could cry forever I think!
Anyways, you definitely feel guilty while you're doing it but once they go to bed on their own it is SO NICE! And I think it makes them more adjustable in where they will sleep. Our son is relatively easy to take places overnight and falls asleep ok usually.
We did sort of a modified CIO, kind of like residentmom. I wouldn't jump up at the first noise, I'd wait a few minutes and then, if it wasn't really 'time' for breastfeeding, DH would go in to try to sooth baby, since as soon as they saw me they wanted comfort nursing...DD #3 slept through the night around 2 months without any trying on our part, and she was in our room, next to us in a bassinet until 3-4 months old. The other two slept through somewhere between 5 and 7 months old. If I did go in to settle them, I wouldn't offer the breast first unless it was round about time for a feeding. I would re swaddle and tuck, and say something soothing, give a paci, etc. If baby kept crying after that, then we would try the breast. All of my kids are amazing sleepers. They go down for bed without a peep after books and tuck. They sleep well in other places, too. We have them on a strict schedule though-they go to sleep at the same time every night, no matter where we are, pretty much, except holidays and such. The 3 yo still naps for about 2 hours every day, and the 5 and 7 yo will still take a nap if we think they need it-i.e. busy day, or like this past weekend, a dance recital that kept us up late. I think my 7yo will nap her entire life-she loves her sleep!!
We never co slept, mostly b/c DH and I are very picky sleepers ourselves and wouldn't get any sleep with kids in the bed. Even now, they don't ever sleep with us.