Monday, December 20, 2010

Sleep sleep sleep

I was asked what approach we are taking. It's a mixture of things but it looks like this:

1. We watched for natural sleep times (theirs is 5pm) So we bathe, bottle and bed form 5-6pm
2. Put down drowsy but awake (we try to read to them every night but if they are tired we put them down)
3. Compassionate crying - they cried for about three days when we first put them down. We would go in and soothe until they were fast asleep.
4. Nap times in the crib (so they get used to sleeping in their cribs)
5. Focused feed at 10pm (this is as of this week coz we are getting to the last step ...
6. Extinguish sleeping: crying it out basically. These guys wake up coz they want their binky or roll over etc. We leave them to cry for 45 mins and then go in, soothe them in place (i.e. in the crib) and leave again.
7. Once they sleep from 10pm - 6am, start moving the focus feed back by ten mins a night until you hit 12 hours.

Step 6 starts tonight. I am totally dreading it. It feels like my heart is being ripped out when they scream but from everything I have read (baby books through to medical journals) it is not harmful and it's quick.
Ideally we should have a full night (10-6am) by the end of this week.

Hot damn, that is an exciting idea.


  1. Sending good thoughts your way - the cry it out method did work for us although we were a few months out from you. Took 3 nights, he probably cried about an hour but then fell asleep. From what I understand we had it WAY easy. Good luck!

  2. Good for you. When I got to step 6, it was really hard. Especially w/ 2. However, one of the two got it really quickly. After 3 days, he was sleeping from 10-6! The other one....not so much, but I think that was both a mixture of his personality and b/c my Mother-in-law (who lives w/ us and is our nanny) couldn't take the extended periods of crying. Unfortunately, he didn't start sleeping through the night until a few months ago--at about a year and 4 months..... We could finally sleep train him (cry it out) when my Mother in law went on vacation! With him, he needs a strict cry it out routine. The other child is more flexible, if he wakes up, you can rock him every once in a while and he is just fine. He won't fall back into his old routines. Good luck!! :D

  3. Hi, EB. I'm sorry I haven't commented on your last several posts. I think of you often, but am just busier than hell these days. Yeah, yeah, I shouldn't work too and have TWO little ones needing your attention. Honestly, I'm just really overwhelmed these days.

    Okay, that said, you are my sleep-training hero. Me? 9 month old baby still in bed with me every night, beginning anywhere from 11 pm to 3 am. Bad, bad, bad. I secretly love it, but I know it's not good for baby.

    I loved your One-Year post. I can't believe it's been a year. I remember how you threw all hope to the wind, transferring all 5 embies. How you had such bad back pain, and wondered about "reducing." How you got through it, month after month, like a champion. What a year!

    Weight loss. Pretend your babies' well-being depends on it! No dairy. No milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, or anything containing dairy. No eggs, or anything containing eggs. No soy (the hardest, because it's in everything). No wheat - only sourdough bread. That's how I did it. I ate meat and vegetables and Twizzlers.

  4. Hi EB -- happy solstice. Thinking of you and your little ones. Good on you for getting the sleep stuff on track; the sleeping part was really hard for me to manage. With love,

  5. I would encourage you to read the book The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. There are many reasons to believe that letting your children cry is not the right thing to do. Your babies are very young, and it is not realistic to expect them to sleep for that long at night without feeding. Good luck, and please do look into other ways to help them sleep longer at night. Crying for that long is not the only way.