[Parentsgroup-list] sleep training?

Griffin, April Marie April_Griffin at hms.harvard.edu
Sun Dec 2 18:53:28 EST 2007

Hi Irene,
I'd like to offer my experience, hoping it will help you.
As a single parent, I've had no choice but to follow attachment parenting. =
I had my baby in my bed from birth, and he nursed every 30-45 minutes aroun=
d the clock. When he was 7 months I got a crib and took one side off, and p=
ut it next to my bed. I would bring him close every time he nursed, and the=
n put him back in "his" bed, although when he got more mobile he was consta=
ntly snuggling over to my side. When he was 9 months I slowly started bring=
ing him closer during the night, but not nursing, just holding him until he=
 fell back asleep. I would sit in the rocker at "bedtime" and nurse him and=
 sing to him, but during the night I tried not to nurse him, so that he did=
n't associate feeding with being in bed. He knew that I was close by though=
, and eventually started to sleep longer than 45 minutes , up to 3 hours, a=
t a time before needing attention. In the morning, we would sit back in the=
 glider and nurse. =

Then, suddenly when he was 10 months, one night he just didn't wake up all =
night! (I didn't sleep very well, constantly making sure he was still breat=
hing!) Then the next night, he did it again, and after 3 nights, my milk tu=
rned down (finally! I was hyperlactating since he was born....when he would=
 nurse I would just hold a bottle under the other side and fill it up for h=
im at daycare, I only had to pump while at school) Then, when he turned 1 y=
ear, I cut out his nighttime feeding and started him on whole milk at dayca=
re. So he only nursed in the morning when he woke up. He started eating sol=
id foods at 13 weeks, and by 9 months he ate 3 or more full meals per day, =
which is why I decided to cut down the nursing, as I was producing way more=
 milk than he obviously needed, so he still had several bottles of my milk =
at daycare.
When he was 14 months, I put the side back on his crib, and I had a whole p=
lan to eventually get him into his own room (we moved to a bigger apartment=
 when he was 14 months) but as it turned out, I didn't have enough time on =
moving day to assemble my bed, and he got really cranky, so I put him in hi=
s crib in "his room" and he slept all night in his own room.  We started sk=
ipping morning feedings occasionally, and he didn't seem to take it so seri=
ously. Then, at 16 months, we traveled and didn't nurse for an entire week,=
 and the next time I offered it to him he had a very silly reaction, like I=
 was trying to molest him or something, just absolutely stunned that I woul=
d put "that" in his face, laughing at me. So he was officially weaned at 16=
 months. And he sleeps all night, (almost) every night, in his own room, an=
d really enjoys it. He has a big smile on his face everynight when I tuck h=
im in. I also have a baby einstein lullaby CD that I turn on every night an=
d every nap time, I haven't figured out yet how to omit that part of his ro=
When he was 19 months, he crawled out of his crib (!) and so I got him a to=
ddler bed. Based on other experiences, I was reluctantly prepared to have t=
o teach him how to "stay" in bed, but somehow, he magically just goes down =
at bedtime, and stays in his bed until morning. He actually seems to sleep =
better without the walls of the crib confining him, he sleeps 12-14 hours i=
nstead of 8-10 like he did in the crib.
As far as co-sleeping, I originally thought that I would be co-sleeping wit=
h him as long as possible, but he doesn't sleep very well when I am nearby.=
 He wakes up easily, and snuggles to the point where I wake up sore and not=
 well rested. We take naps together one day per weekend with no problem, bu=
t if I try to take him even just into my room at night, he throws a tantrum=
. So he sleeps in his own big boy bed in his own room, and if I leave the d=
oor open, he will get up and close it and go back to bed. He takes his slee=
p very seriously, but it took a long time to get to this point.
As far as nap training...before he learned to sleep all night, I took almos=
t every nap with him, and when I didn't he didn't take a very good nap. Exc=
ept at daycare, he hasn't seemed to ever have a problem. I have him in a fa=
mily daycare, he started at 7 months and was the "baby" and I guess seeing =
the older kids follow a routine he just followed their example. The provide=
r moved a playpen into the big-kid room for him, and he would sleep when al=
l of the kids laid down on the floor for their naps. As soon as he started =
walking (15 months) he wanted to sleep on the floor with the big kids, and =
even put himself down after lunch (he would finish with his hands/teeth and=
 toddle to his soft corner, lay down and go to sleep!) When she told me I w=
as amazed, and started to realize he might be ready for a toddler bed. So a=
t home, I try to stay with the daycare nap routine: lunch at 11:30, brush t=
eeth, wash hands, dry diaper, and then he crawls into his bed. I turn on hi=
s CD and hes out for at least 3-5 hours (3 hours at daycare)
I had read all of the books and articles, but in the end I just followed my=
 baby's lead, in true attachment parenting style. He is 21 months, and enjo=
ys sleeping alone. I still "wear" him, both for his (closeness and safety),=
 and my own benefits (convenience).
I don't know how old your child is, but I obviously don't think it makes se=
nse to cease cosleeping until you're ready to wean, however gradually works=
 for you. But don't rush anything, I miss my baby at night now, and once he=
 trains himself, there is no going back. Just follow any cues you can from =
your little one, try to skip feedings that aren't absolutely necessary, esp=
ecially at night, and try cosleeping without touching (snuggling) so that t=
hey can get used to keeping themselves asleep. But I do not recommend Ferbe=
rization or letting the baby cry....nobody is happy that way.
Good luck!

April Marie Griffin
Graduate Student (BBS)
Harvard Medical School
april_griffin at hms.harvard.edu
The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once-Alber=
t Einstein

-----Original Message-----
From:	parentsgroup-list-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu on behalf of Irene Ne=
Sent:	Sun 12/2/2007 1:05 PM
To:	parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
Cc:	=

Subject:	[Parentsgroup-list] sleep training?

Hello knowledgeable parents group!

Any advice on training your child to sleep through the night if they  =

are 1) breastfeeding and 2) cosleeping?  How about sleep training in  =

general for naps?  I don't want to "ferberize" him but I do want him  =

to learn to put himself to bed.  Also, the daycare he's in has been   =

having trouble getting him to sleep for >30 min for his naps - any  =


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