Author Topic: Sleep training starts tonight...would love your advice  (Read 513 times)

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Offline Elisanah

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Sleep training starts tonight...would love your advice
« on: November 01, 2016, 12:07:47 pm »
Having just had a complete meltdown in the supermarket (mix of exhaustion, illness and pregnancy hormones!) I know it's time we finally do some proper sleep training. We've been wanting to tackle dd's sleep for months but illness and various events taking us away from home have kept delaying it.

However we are finally home for the foreseeable future so we finally have a chance to help get lo sleeping better!

Our main problems are that we have to stay in the room until dd is asleep (can take up to 45 minutes and sometimes still having to hold her hand) and anytime from 11-4.30 will wake up and take a couple of hours to go back to sleep. To cope with this we've been bringing her into our bed which is not something we want to continue or something that even seems to be working anymore. Recently if she's been waking up 3or later then she hasn't been going back to sleep at all.

My hope is to get dd going to sleep independently and sleeping through /self settling until at least 6am. She's coming up 21months and our day looks mostly like this -

Wake- if she's goes back to sleep in the night then 5.30-7 (this is with being up 1-2 hours in the night)
Nap- 11.45-12 for 1-2.5 hours
Bed- 7pm (usually falls asleep after 20-30mins)

(Although she stayed at her grandparents for the weekend just gone and went down within 10-20 minutes and slept through to 5.30am both nights. This was with max 1 hour naps but she is now really OT from the weekend)

I would love your thoughts on what approach to use. I'm guessing gradual retreat would be best as it's been so long since she's gone to sleep without us there. I presume I would need to do the same approach in the night as well. Just wondering what I do if she's screaming for hours in the middle of the night...do I literally just comfort her in the cot until it's time to get up? I know it's probably obvious but I struggle to stay strong in the night as she gets so upset when we don't pick her up that she sometimes makes herself sick  :( I was thinking that maybe I should have her on a mattress in her room with me when she wakes for the first night? The only thing is that she doesn't necessarily settle when cosleeping so it might not be worth doing.

I'm wondering whether I should bring her bedtime to 6/6.30 for now as she must be so OT from the disturbed sleep? The only thing is that she doesn't always settle easily when put down before 7!

I'm wondering whether she's old enough for a gro clock? I know they're advertised from 24months. We tried a light on a timer but her waking was so erratic that I abandoned it as the brightness would wake her if she was still asleep!

Dd has never been a good sleeper and I think she's very sensitive to teething etc so it always deteriorates when teeth are coming or she's under the weather. But overall her sleep is progressively worsening and we really need to improve things before our next one arrives in March. Any thoughts on what is causing her to wake for so long/so early would be really welcome!
Thanks in advance - sorry for my waffling!

Offline Scottishmummy

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Re: Sleep training starts tonight...would love your advice
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2016, 21:52:11 pm »
Hi!

Sorry not got much time to reply now but have a read of this as there are links in here with answers to a lot of your questions and I'll be back here tomorrow to reply properly. Toddler Specific Sleep Training Advice

Hope sleep improves for you soon, toddler and pregnancy is exhausting, big hugs.
Xxx
"Touchy/Spirited" DS


"Textbook" DD



Offline Elisanah

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Re: Sleep training starts tonight...would love your advice
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2016, 07:56:43 am »
Hi, thanks for your reply!

Last night wasn't too bad actually   :D She was exhausted so I put her down at 6.15 and she was asleep within 5 minutes (I can't remember the last time she fell asleep so easily for me!). She then woke at 3 but was happy to be settled in her cot with me holding her hand. She took an hour to go to sleep but was calm throughout so I'll take that as success! She then slept to 6am.

I'm going to pick up a gro clock today, even if she doesn't pick it up immediately I think it will be a helpful thing to try.

I'm going to go with gradual retreat as that is what we've used in the past with some success - although I've never used it in the night so we'll see how that goes.

Hopefully this will at least break the behavioural aspect of her not settling independently. I'm hoping it will help her to fall asleep much quicker in the middle of the night as it's been months since she has settled quickly. Do you think I'm right not to mess with naps until I've broken the sleep associations?

I'm also trying to decide whether to stick with an earlier bedtime for now (even if she doesn't seem especially sleepy in the afternoon)?

Thanks again!


Offline Scottishmummy

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Re: Sleep training starts tonight...would love your advice
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2016, 20:28:41 pm »
Sounds like you've got a plan on where you want to start.

In terms of routine change vs sleep training, it's a bit chicken and egg.  If routine isn't suiting her, getting  to sleep at BT and in the night might continue to be tricky.  I also think that personally, I wouldn't shift BT earlier on a regular basis as it can then reinforce EW and NW.  I think if she's exhausted though, an EBT to catch up occasionally shouldn't disrupt things too much.

I think start with sleep training and gro-clock but if not getting anywhere after a few days-1 week, then maybe we could look at options for a routine tweak?
"Touchy/Spirited" DS


"Textbook" DD