Author Topic: Pu/pd 13month old after gentle removal failure. Please advise  (Read 785 times)

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Offline Jadelle

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Hi. My daughter is almost 13months old and she has frequent nw so we're trying to sleep train and I'd like some advice please.

We coslept and breastfed up until a week ago. Whenever she woke up I'd nurse her back to sleep. After her first 'long stretch ' of about 2 hours she'd be up every hour or less and I'd just nurse her back to sleep.

Last week I started sleeping with her on a mattress on the floor of our room and kept bf to sleep and for nw. After 3 days we moved the mattress to her room and nursed her until she was drowsy but put her to lay down on my/husband's shoulder to sleep. It was rough but she was ok with it and of course now only wanted to sleep on one of our shoulders. Last night I started the pu/pd method. I nursed her, read her book and then put her on the mattress to sleep while I sat to the edge of the mattress. Every time she stood up and tried to lay down on my shoulder I put her back down. I had to do it 43 times but she finally went to sleep without any hysterics just some fussing. The hard part was her first nw. She wouldn't go back down. Every time I put her down she got more hysterical to the point where she screaming and beating up on the mattress. She was crying and I was crying and I eventually just let her lay on me to sleep. I spent the night in her room with her allowing her to fall asleep on me and putting her back on the mattress when she was in deep sleep.

Tonight I tried pu/pd again and she fell asleep without hysterics again after about 20 times. I know i must've gone about it all wrong and my big issue seems to be dealing with the nw.

I'm presently anxiously waiting for her to wake up. She's been down for 3 hours which is rare for her and I honestly have no idea what to do when she wakes up.

Should I keep up the pu/pd? (I've tried gentle removal and all it did was teach her to roll away after nursing to go to sleep. She still had frequent nw)

Should I put her in her crib instead of the mattress?

How do I treat with the frequent nw?

I feel like an utter failure. Any advice would be much appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 02:04:02 am by Jadelle »

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Re: Pu/pd 13month old after gentle removal failure. Please advise
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 06:59:26 am »
Welcome to BW forums.

Now that you have started PUPD and have been through the first couple of nights I would just crack on with it.
Expect it to be hard for a couple of days, but to improve (as it already has, down from 43 PUs to 20 and no hysterics at BT), then expect a regression usually around day 5 when LOs really test to see if this really is the new way of sleeping or if there is a chance to go back to how it was before. It may be a rough few days but you'll get there.

With the NWs, already she has slept a bit longer, this too can improve and also regress.  You will get through it.
I think I'd put her in the cot, if that is where she is to sleep I feel it is better to just get her in there otherwise you can go through all this again moving her from the mattress to the cot.  Perhaps you can sleep on the mattress by her cot for now.

As soon as she starts going down more calmly (not perfectly) you need to make moves towards and out the door - or you will get "stuck" in the room as you will be teaching her that you are always staying in the room the entire night.  What she needs to learn is that you will be there whenever she needs you, that you will *always* return when she needs you, BUT that your place is in your bed and her place is in her bed. If there is a calmer BT with fewer PUs leave the room - if she wails go back in - when she calms leave.  Whilst you might sleep in there for a few nights to be close and comfort her with the NWs you also need to move out of the room as soon as those begin to get a little less fraught too.  It may (and probably will) make things seem worse for a little bit, but you will keep going back to her and she will learn that Mummy will return when needed, this will give her the confidence to sleep alone and to need you less.

hope this helps


Offline Jadelle

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Re: Pu/pd 13month old after gentle removal failure. Please advise
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2017, 02:43:37 am »
Thanks so much for responding. This answers all my questions and makes me feel a little more like I can do this. On to night #3 of this thing! Wish me luck

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Re: Pu/pd 13month old after gentle removal failure. Please advise
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 07:37:50 am »
Good Luck!!

I hope you have some back up you can call in during the day so you can get a bit of a rest as the nights can be very hard work when you make big changes like this.  And please do give yourself permission to let the house work go, absolute essentials only, you can catch up on other stuff another time.  There is only so much a person can do and this sleep training period is hard work.

Naps haven't been mentioned - it's possible to continue different habits for naps and night but overall I'd suggest you work on the independent sleep for naps too, the additional practice and reinforcement of where she sleeps in the day could really help with the night sleep.  It can also be somewhat counterproductive if she is able to "catch up" on all her sleep by sleeping on you or feeding to sleep in the day after having a bad night.  Although in the main BW is about LOs having good sleep and following their need and cues for sleep, at this point OT can work in your favour - she will sleep eventually and you want it to be in the cot.  I would not increase her day time naps (or not by much) when she has a bad night but stick to your usual nap and bed times so the routine and training have a good chance of working more quickly.

Again - good luck!!
Let us know how you get on.


Offline Jadelle

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Re: Pu/pd 13month old after gentle removal failure. Please advise
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 03:49:14 am »
During the day she's at daycare where they hold her until she's drowsy and then put her down and pat her back to sleep. I did talk to them today about trying to encourage independent sleep so we'll see how it goes. I'll probably need to have a more detailed discussion with them.

Please allow me to ask a few more questions. The past two nights have shown improvement. She only had 2 NWs and went from taking 3 hours to fall back asleep the first night after her NW to 1.5hrs the second night to 10mins for her first NW tonight. Initially putting her to bed has also been easier. I only had to put her down twice tonight and she fell asleep in about 10 minutes.

So I figure now's the time to start making my move out the door.
Do i just move my chair further away from her each night until I'm out the door or should I put her down and leave? 

Also I know i should be expecting regression on night 5 which is tomorrow night so would it be a good idea to start making my move tomorrow night or should i wait until after the regression?

I really want to thank you for responding. I'm hesitant to get excited about the progress she's making lest she regress but I'm also so happy to see her finally learning to self soothe. I greatly appreciate the help you've given this far. I wish I had heard about BW before!

Offline Jadelle

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Re: Pu/pd 13month old after gentle removal failure. Please advise
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 05:16:47 am »
 I definitely need to start making moves towards the door. She just had her 2nd NW and I was watching her on the monitor. She fussed a little and tried to go back to sleep but then looked to the spot where I normally sit and when she didn't see me she sat up. So should I start tomorrow night during the expected regression? and do I gradually move out of the room or should it be cold turkey?

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Re: Pu/pd 13month old after gentle removal failure. Please advise
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 10:04:42 am »
I wish I had heard about BW before!
:)  You're here now :)
I still get advice from this wonderful community and my DS is 6 years old already.  I arrived here when he was 4 months old (lucky me I had a BW book when he was 4wks so he was already an independent sleeper before I arrived - even so we still had our tricky phases and the support here is a life saver!!) and I've never left.  The amount of experience shared here is amazing.  Just wait, you'll be supporting others who want to sleep train their toddler and letting them know that you've been through the experience and lived to tell the tale :)

Your progress is fabulous - it's enough to give you the confidence to keep going and you must keep this in mind - if the regression hits just keep calm and remind yourself of these achievements.  Your LO is doing brilliantly, she may "test" you to see if you really mean this and that's your chance to show her that you will always always be there for her, that you will always return when needed, it will give her additional confidence that you are still the team you were when you co-slept, you just sleep in different places now :)

So I figure now's the time to start making my move out the door.
Do i just move my chair further away from her each night until I'm out the door or should I put her down and leave? 
This really depends on how well she is going down.  You can position the chair further away AND walk out the door.
Lets say you have been right by her said, move the chair a couple of feet away.
Lets say she goes down quite calmly and you are already just watching her nod off rather than having a hand on her.  You can leave - say "night night sweetie, call if you need me" and walk out (I would stand outside the door).  If/when she calls go right back in, "Okay, here I am, it's okay"  and either PUPD or sit in your chair and use a key phrase "go to sleep" or put a hand on her if needed - basically you do your usual thing to settle her back down and this is based on your own assessment of the situation and her level of need. Always responding to need but not more than is needed.
There is no rule about not being allowed to comfort her (the opposite, you should comfort her, it reinforces her confidence in you and in her situation), if you sometimes need to pick her up to calm her this does not change just because you left the room and have started the next step in a gradual withdrawal.  Only, when you have put her down and she's calmer you either move back out the door (repeat your phase "call if you need me") or you go the chair.  Going to the chair is if it is too much for her/you to handle walking out the door.  You always go as far as you can.  Make sense?

Let's say it's a bit harder - she is screaming blue murder every time you walk out the door - that's when I'd stop doing that and go to your chair instead.  At the chair you can use a phrase "I'm right here, everything is fine, go to sleep" - and from here you can still move to her side, PUPD, use a hand on her whatever needed to calm - then return to the chair and use your phrase.
Do you see how it is a back and forth - it is not just moving away and staying away because what you teach her is that you always come back (and then go again when she is calm).
Over one night or more nights this will start to get easier.
As soon as she is calmer with you on the chair you move the chair, another couple of feet away, and do the whole thing again.
Again as soon as she is a bit calmer you move again.
Once you are out of the room (out of sight) use your key phrase from that position and return to her when needed but use verbal reassurance when you can.  Then as above it becomes WIWO (walk in walk out).

It's okay to adapt these methods so long as you do not get "stuck". At no point do you wait until she is just happily going to sleep with you in the room holding her hand or other prop...you keep moving.

Another thing I always did (and I think Tracy did this too) is always always tell my DS I was leaving the room and that I would come back if he needed me.  So, even if he was having a very tricky time and I had to stay until he was asleep I still said it, in fact if he was asleep I said it louder so he could hear me.  "I'm going now so you can have a proper sleep, call if you need me".
This reinforces (even when asleep) that you will return when needed. It also takes away that sudden shock of waking or opening eyes and expecting you to be in a certain place (on the chair) and then panicking or getting upset to find you are not there.
What you aim for is that she expects you to not be there, you belong downstairs having a cuppa or in bed asleep - but that when needed you will return. She will also learn how long it takes for you to get there, initially you will be just outside the door but when you go downstairs it will take a minute to get to her.  What she learns is that you ARE coming, she will be confident in that.
It can feel a bit risky to tell LO that you are leaving the room, especially when you spend ages getting them settled and you know the risk is they start crying again but I found this to work very well for us rather than sneaking away (I think Tracy covers sneaking away in the BW book, it is unsettling for LO to discover you gone).
BUT - it is your choice. You need to do what works for you.

do I gradually move out of the room or should it be cold turkey?
I think the answer is neither - I hope my description helps you find your groove :)

You can do this!


Offline Jadelle

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Re: Pu/pd 13month old after gentle removal failure. Please advise
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 14:50:53 pm »
Hello there. Just giving an update. Last night was night #8 of sleep training using PUPD and I'm cautiously optimistic! For the past three nights she's soothed herself back to sleep and I've been able to 'sleep' in my bed. I say 'sleep' because I may need some sleep training myself. I'm so used to waking up all the time that my sleep has been quite fitful.

But I digress, I realized that where I was going wrong was sneaking out of the room after she fell asleep so I took your advice and tried telling her that I was leaving which didn't work the first night so I ended up camping out and moving towards the door for about two nights. The next night my husband took over and he put her down and told her he was leaving and she just went to sleep. No fuss! Nothing! And she self soothed when she woke up too! So for the next two nights I did the same and I only had to put her back down once last night. She slept 8 hours, 11 hours and 10.5 hours three nights in a row. I cannot explain how overjoyed I am :D ;D

I don't know how to thank you for your advice. I showed it to my husband (couldn't get him to read the book) and he was quoting from it and able to follow it. He just reminded me to 'keep moving' as you said and that was the best advice ever!

I am truly grateful and just wanted to let you know how well it's been going. *hugs*
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 17:13:07 pm by Jadelle »

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Re: Pu/pd 13month old after gentle removal failure. Please advise
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 08:42:00 am »
I'm so happy for you all :)

I may need some sleep training myself. I'm so used to waking up all the time that my sleep has been quite fitful.
Been there!  I think this is quite common and now that your LO is sleeping better you will gain confidence in her ability and will be able to sleep a little more soundly over time.  Even now (mine is 6yo) I sleep with half an ear listening, it's amazing how a parent's brain can learn how to ignore certain sounds and movements from LO and wake and respond to others.

Well done to you and your DH and to your lovely LO too - you've all worked as a team, a family, to make things more comfortable for everyone :)
I hope you'll stick around the site - and maybe even pass on your experience and success story to other Mummies (and Daddies) who are in a similar situation.  The experience you've had is so valuable to others.

hugs to you too - wonderful news :)