If wishes were sleep

We just completed the first night of sleep training using methods in The Happy Sleeper. It basically means letting them cry, but doing 5 minute checks where you walk in, repeat a line that you’ve scripted, and then walk out. No touching, soothing, etc. 

Charlotte basically did not sleep last night. She was up crying/fussing/kicking ALL NIGHT. We compared notes this morning and we think she slept for about 3 stretches of 45-60 minutes and that’s it. 

I cried almost as much as she did. Partly because it was killing me to hear her cry, and partly out of frustration. 

Everyone I know who has tried this method has had a long-ish stretch of crying followed by a nice long stretch of sleep. Naturally, my baby would be the anomaly. 

I’m giving it two more nights. If I don’t see some improvement and reduction in crying, there’s no way I can continue this. I already feel like the worst mom ever. I can’t even believe she cried all night. She is totally exhausted today. She just needs to sleep. We all just need to sleep. I don’t understand why this is so hard for us. 

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19 thoughts on “If wishes were sleep

  1. Not that it makes it any better but if you can get through week one of doing this it should be smooth sailing. A lot of moms I have heard say that one week of sleep training using this method was the worst, most rewarding week of their lives. Hang in there. Your not the worst mom. In the long run this is going to benefit her. Sleep issues can run well into early childhood if not corrected promptly. I learned the hard way with child numero 1. Second time I promised myself I would do this method and it worked! It wasn’t as severe but the first two nights are the worst. Third, she’ll probably regress and fight the change. Fourth-seventh she should even out.

  2. Oh Molly no! I’m so so so sorry! Please don’t be hard on yourself. Remember what we discussed last night? Even if you change your mind, a week of this is not going to damage your baby. I really hope tonight is better for you!

  3. My heart breaks for your distress. Be assured, C knows she is loved by her two wonderful mommies, she needs guidance and you are giving it to her. I have no expirience with the Happy Sleeper, but think it speaks for you and your mothering skills that you are seeking help. If you are not too tired of suggestions and advice you might want to watch this British (i think) series on youtube about bringing up baby. http://youtu.be/mSbrA3eO8A4
    It covers 3 very different ways (strictly by schedule, 50ties style and 70ties bodycontact) which results in more or less “sleep happy” babies. It’s rough to watch at times but maybe you can take away something for your own sleep training adventure. And I’m not saying I promote any particular style. It’s really a parent decision. Many hugs!

  4. There are gentler ways of sleep training. I don’t believe in this style of training for sensitive kids. No soothing besides words? No way. If you are finding it not improving i would look at the methods that include touch. Especially at her age 5 minutes is forever. So while it works for other babies it doesn’t work for all. I don’t know what you researched. I know you are struggling. Ultimately you all need sleep asap. It seems like you may need a more gentle approach. But time will tell.

  5. I know nothing of this method but if it’s what you’ve chosen to help your baby sleep then I really hope that it works for all of you.
    Don’t forget that Charlotte has been ‘like this’ for more than 6 months…so 1 night is hardly a dent. Don’t give up xx

  6. I know this is working for Gia so I hope it works for you too, but these things are all very hit and miss. What works for one kid doesn’t always work for the other. Go with you gut and don’t force yourself to do anything that you feel isn’t right. We are doing a combo of a few sleep training methods right now because I’m starting to see that each method in an of itself may not work for us. I think no matter what you choose consistency is the biggest key factor and you have to commit for at least a week to see any real changes. Babies are very adaptable yet stubborn. Lucky us huh?!

  7. You know… My hear aches for all three of you. I don’t believe in CIO – I read once that “sleep trained” babies don’t have fewer needs than ones who are not subjected to CIO or some variation thereof but have lost the trust that their needs will be met. That spoke to me whether it’s true or not. So our efforts to try a similar method to the one you and catch are now trying failed after two attempts because I could not do it with the MT. He was (and occasionally almost four years in can still be) a terrible sleeper. Maybe some of us or some kids just aren’t good at sleep? I was a terrible sleeper when younger and still am. I wish I had a panacea for you or at least a holiday from this hell. I don’t but I wanted you not to feel alone in your struggles. Hugs, my friend.

  8. We’re working on sleep over here, too – not actual sleep training, but trying to get her to actually sleep in her sidecarred crib and to go to sleep without nursing half a dozen times a night. If we let her cry, she just cries until she starts gagging (within a few minutes), so we’re trying to avoid that. Success levels are back and forth between “mildly successful” and “hot mess”. Why must the path to more sleep be so sleepless? It is some serious BS that teaching a baby to sleep involves less sleeping for all of us. Hope you guys had a better night last night.

    I’m pretty sure Junie and Charlotte have similar dispositions – I wouldn’t be surprised if the next couple of years find us both with a copy of “The Spirited Child” in our hands 😉 But at least they’ll be sleeping more by then! (I hope. I really, really hope.)

  9. I know it’s only been a couple nights, but if it you can’t bear it don’t do it. You have to be ok with whatever approach you take with sleeping, because consistency is what’s most important. Maybe sleep will be a battle for a few years (for your sake, I hope not!) but you’ll get through it 🙂

  10. I know I’m a little late to comment but i want to say poor Charlotte and poor you guys. You are working so hard to help her. This is NOT the same thing as cry it out. Cry it out is exactly that – letting the baby cry to the point of extinction. As a psychologist (I don’t play that card often) who works with victims of childhood trauma, I promise that this is NOT trauma – Charlotte is protesting change. It’s better that she go through this process than spend the next few years struggling to get enough sleep and having bedtime become a battle. You are being there for her as she begins to trust you and herself. Yes she’s still a tiny young baby, but her brain and the family patterns she notices – such as boundaries, routine and feeling safe and loved – are there. She knows. She knows you will do anything for her, including help her get better sleep. Trust the process and please don’t worry too much about comments from people who may not understand that what you were doing before was not as healthy as what you’re doing now.

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