[Parentsgroup-list] sleep training?

Corinne McKamey corinne.mckamey at gmail.com
Sun Dec 2 20:05:33 EST 2007

Hi Irene,

One trick we used was having my husband (you could use anyone who doesn't
smell like milk) sleep with my son in a separate room from me for a few days
and on Friday/Saturday nights.  This interrupted the all night, all you can
eat buffet table that was the norm for the first year or so.  Myles got used
to sleeping much longer stretches (sometimes all night) without wanting to

good luck,

On Dec 2, 2007 6:53 PM, Griffin, April Marie <April_Griffin at hms.harvard.edu>

>  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 aro=
> the clock. When he was 7 months I got a crib and took one side off, and p=
> it next to my bed. I would bring him close every time he nursed, and then
> put him back in "his" bed, although when he got more mobile he was
> constantly snuggling over to my side. When he was 9 months I slowly start=
> bringing 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 nur=
> him and sing to him, but during the night I tried not to nurse him, so th=
> he didn'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, at a time before needing attention. In the morning, we would sit b=
> 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
> breathing!) Then the next night, he did it again, and after 3 nights, my
> milk turned down (finally! I was hyperlactating since he was born....when=
> would nurse I would just hold a bottle under the other side and fill it up
> for him at daycare, I only had to pump while at school) Then, when he tur=
> 1 year, I cut out his nighttime feeding and started him on whole milk at
> daycare. So he only nursed in the morning when he woke up. He started eat=
> solid 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 w=
> 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
> plan to eventually get him into his own room (we moved to a bigger apartm=
> 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 =
> crib in "his room" and he slept all night in his own room.  We started
> skipping morning feedings occasionally, and he didn't seem to take it so
> seriously. 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 tha=
t I
> would put "that" in his face, laughing at me. So he was officially weaned=
> 16 months. And he sleeps all night, (almost) every night, in his own room,
> and really enjoys it. He has a big smile on his face everynight when I tu=
> him in. I also have a baby einstein lullaby CD that I turn on every night
> and every nap time, I haven't figured out yet how to omit that part of his
> routine.
> When he was 19 months, he crawled out of his crib (!) and so I got him a
> toddler bed. Based on other experiences, I was reluctantly prepared to ha=
> to teach him how to "stay" in bed, but somehow, he magically just goes do=
> 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
> instead of 8-10 like he did in the crib.
> As far as co-sleeping, I originally thought that I would be co-sleeping
> with 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, but if I try to take him even just into my room at night, he thr=
> a tantrum. So he sleeps in his own big boy bed in his own room, and if I
> leave the door open, he will get up and close it and go back to bed. He
> takes his sleep 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
> almost every nap with him, and when I didn't he didn't take a very good n=
> Except at daycare, he hasn't seemed to ever have a problem. I have him in=
> family daycare, he started at 7 months and was the "baby" and I guess see=
> the older kids follow a routine he just followed their example. The provi=
> moved a playpen into the big-kid room for him, and he would sleep when all
> 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 a=
> toddle to his soft corner, lay down and go to sleep!) When she told me I =
> amazed, and started to realize he might be ready for a toddler bed. So at
> home, I try to stay with the daycare nap routine: lunch at 11:30, brush
> teeth, wash hands, dry diaper, and then he crawls into his bed. I turn on
> his 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
> enjoys 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
> sense 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 =
> from your little one, try to skip feedings that aren't absolutely necessa=
> especially at night, and try cosleeping without touching (snuggling) so t=
> they can get used to keeping themselves asleep. But I do not recommend
> Ferberization or letting the baby cry....nobody is happy that way.
> Good luck!
> April
> -----*-----*-----*-----*-----
> 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-Albert Einstein
> -----*-----*-----*-----*-----
> -----Original Message-----
> From:   parentsgroup-list-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu on behalf of Irene
> Newton
> 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
> tips/tricks?
> best,
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