Breaking sleep associations and sleep training

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by Lougood, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Lougood

    Lougood Well-Known Member

    So b/c of Cathryn's reflux we pretty much spoiled her in the sleep department. It was so bad that she could not be flat and raising the mattress did no good. We bought a nap nanny and she slept there at night and most naps until 7 or so months. After that, she has pretty much napped in the swing, and co-sleeps as she still nurses at night (which I'm not sure at this point is out of necessity or habit). Her reflux is MUCH better and we've weaned her off the meds, and now we're ready to try and fix all the sleep issues we created...but I suck at this. I'm not even sure where to start. She nurses to sleep for nap and night, and I think I need to stop that to get her to get over that sleep association...but how? I tried putting her down in her crib for nap yesterday after nursing instead of the swing. She went down fine, but was up 10 minutes later. :( And of course I was tired and had things to do so I stuck her in the swing and she slept for 2 hours. So, I need some advice, some BTDT, some help, some encouragement, some anything! I'm not completely opposed to letting her cry a little, but I don't want to do CIO if I can avoid it. Do I start with naps and then attempt to cut out co-sleeping? SIgh. The twins were fantastic sleepers and self soothers so I'm lost with this!
  2. twinkler

    twinkler Well-Known Member

    I'm nap training my 45-minute cat napper at the moment and it is sooo exhausting and time consuming but I am determined that she will sleep longer :) so I am aiming for trying it every day for two weeks at the earliest! lol!

    Anyway, here are few things that have stuck in my head from Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child book by Dr Weissbluth, which I have just re-read and also some other experiences and suggestions I've had put to me:

    - Nursing to sleep is not an issue as most believe, it is okay to nurse to sleep, especially if you are co-sleeping. Try instigating another type of soothing to sleep if you would prefer, soft music and patting works for me and rocking works for a lot of people (not mine unfortunately!)
    - Work on the night routine first before working on the naps - night and day sleep part of the brain is different so you can have different ways of soothing for night and naps.
    - Whatever you do, be consistent and try it every day for at least a week before trying something else.
    - if she wakes after 10 minutes, try leaving her for 5-minutes before going in, see if she will re-settle herself, then try to re-settle without picking her up, patting sushing until she goes back to sleep. If she wakes up again, try leaving it a bit longer than 5 minutes when you go in. Try not to spend any longer than 10-15minutes in resettling (that's my theory anyway, not sure how well it works but it saves me getting frustrated, if you're extremely patient you could try longer).
    - Don't spend more than an hour working on trying to get her to sleep, get her up, and put her down early for the next nap.
    - when you're working on sleep training, everything else will have to be put on the back burner, everything! Try to get as much help as you can while you work on this, you need to be committed. Don't expect other caregivers to do what you are doing. Clear your diary for the week.

    Anyway, I'm off now to wait for 45-minute napper to start stirring so I can pat her back to sleep.. I'm sure there is plenty more things, which the lovely ladies here will suggest but if I think of something else, I will come back and update.

    Good luck and be strong, you can do this! (This is what I'm telling myself everyday while I am still in my pyjamas at lunchtime and the house looks shabby! lol!)
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