Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
67
When to Start Sleep Training, #2
February 21, 2022

Found in age groups

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep

Buy now

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
Chapter 1 (only 16 pages!) outlines everything you need to know about your child's sleep.

Buy now

Introduction

A Healthy Child Needs a Healthy Brain, A Healthy Brain Needs Healthy Sleep

If you have not already done so, please read Blog Posts 1 through 5 that describe how sleep is important and beneficial. I will post specific information for parents and children based on my book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” Please do not be put off by my book’s length. This is a reference book. Read only the topic of interest to you.

Blog 67When to Start Sleep Training, #2

When to Start Baby and Child Sleep Training

Blog Posts 49 and 57 discusses beginning sleep training as early as possible. What about letting your child cry at night to help your child sleep better using Extinction or Graduated extinction (Blog Post 24)? My book includes several parent reports describing how and why some parents allowed their children to cry to help them sleep better during the first weeks of life. But many find this objectionable for theoretical reasons. What are the facts regarding allowing very young infants to cry in order to help them sleep better?

  • One study showed that the more frequently mothers ignored their infant’s crying in the first nine weeks, the less frequently their infants cried in the following nine weeks. No adverse effects were noted regarding the mother-infant bond. “We found that crying at home did not differentiate between secure and insecure attachments” (Attachment & Human Development, 2000).
  • A second study asked the question: “Have you ever tried leaving your baby to cry it out during this time?” Here is their data:
Age of Child   Never/Once (%) A Few Times (%)  Often(%)  
Newborn (40-41 weeks
Gestational age)
63 29* 8
3 months 38 49 13*
6 months 40 52 8
18 months 32 37 31

The reason that I am showing the actual data is to emphasize that at term, 37% of mothers, and at 3 months, 62% of mothers allowed their child to cry sometimes in order to help their child sleep. This is in contrast to a popular misconception that nothing can or should be done to help children sleep before the age of 4 months.

Here are some of their findings and conclusions:

*:  Leaving an infant to cry it out a few times at term or often at 3 months was significantly associated with less crying at 18 months.

Leaving the child to cry it out “Was not associated with either adverse behavioural effects on infant development or infant-mother attachment at 18 months of age. We neither recommend leaving an infant to cry out nor responding immediately. Rather, most mothers appear to intuitively follow a differential responsiveness approach with most of them responding immediately at term and starting to adopt a differential approach from 3 months onward. Leaving an infant cry it out might not reflect parental neglect but it may rather reflect authoritative parenting which includes both limit setting and high levels of emotional warmth. If leaving infants to cry it out is occurring within the context of a warm mother-infant relationship, no adverse impacts have been demonstrated.” (Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2020)

  • A third study asked mothers “Have you ever tried leaving your baby to “cry out’?” Cry out Users are mothers who used cry out “a few times” or “frequently”. Nonusers were those who reported not using cry out or used “cry out” only once. Here is their data:
Age of Child     Nonusers or Used Once(%) Users (%)  
3 months   77 23
6 months   55 45
18 months   39 61

Comparing ‘Users’ and ‘Nonusers’ (excluding those who used only once), it was observed, at 6 months, there were no differences in measurements of caregiver sensitivity (refers to direct observation of affectionate caregiving that is sensitive and responsive to the infant’s needs). Also, at 20 months, there was no difference in direct measurements of infant-mother attachment. By 12 months of age, infants of ‘users’ , compared to ‘nonusers’, had an easier temperament, fewer night wakings, and longer sleep durations.

Among ‘users’, “early adopters” used cry out at 3 months while “late adopters” started to use cry out at 6 months. Comparing early adopters and late adopters, at 12 months of age, there was less crying at bedtime and fewer night wakings in the early adopter group.

“Our data suggests that cry out contributes to the trajectory of infant development, including potentially preventing later problems. Infants of cry out users had reduced negative temperament, reduced night waking, and increased hours of sleep at 12 months of age, compared to nonusers. Cry out is not associated with infant-maternal attachment.” (Journal of Developmental and Behavioral pediatrics, 2020).

My name is Marc Weissbluth and I’ve been a pediatrician since 1973. This baby sleep blog will help you create a healthy sleep schedule for your child. My baby sleep advice and sleep training will teach you how to get a baby to sleep through the night. To stay updated with my latest baby and child sleep blog posts, be sure to subscribe today.

Comments

  1. My baby is 10 weeks old and I have been trying to lay him down drowsy but awake. I’m finding that he often fusses until he is over tired and then it’s very difficult to get him down. He ends up pecking at my chest and clawing at me until I finally nurse him sleep.

    1. Simply shorten the interval of wakefulness by 5-10 minute increments until you see that he fusses less or not at all during your soothing. Please let us know how it goes.

  2. I want to say that you changed my life and have changed thousands of mothers’ lives here in Brazil. I’m a doctor who became a sleep consultant at FSI after devouring all your books and applying them to my children. Today we are pioneers in the method of extinction, and thousands of families have been transformed into happy families. All because of you. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

  3. We sleep trained our baby (6 months old) and he started to sleep through the night. But on the fifth night of the training he woke up around 3.30 am and cried till morning. We’ve been putting him to sleep early ~5.30 pm with two day naps. He was fussy all day perhaps because of teething. What can we do at night during teething time to give him some comfort and not create bad sleep habits?

    1. Whenever there is an acute change in your child that might indicate pain or illness, call your child’s doctor. Teething pain disrupting sleep is a myth (Blog Posts 36-37).

  4. I slept trained my 2 older sons with the help of your book. One at 6 months & younger son at 5 months. I have a 4 month of son, never got the girl ha, i tried to sleep train him on the day he turned 4 months. Was i overzealous? He cried for 1 hour i than got him & nursed him. I put him down & he cried again for 15min.

    1. Because of your experience, follow your heart. I gently suggest attempting a 3-4 night trial. It is important to look carefully for a trend to improvement over a few days before abandoning the effort. Be mindful that the older boys (we tried four times and never got our daughter!) might distract you from nap opportunities and early bedtimes. Be ultra consistent during the 3-4 day trial. Let me know how it goes.

  5. Okay thank you. I will try again definitely! I tell everybody about your book. I feel bad for parents who do noy have “time to read.

  6. Hello,

    I have a 15 week old daughter. I read your book and we have been doing the extinction method for 14 days now. We follow all the suggested steps: consistent routine at the same time (6pm) every day, she is fed, then the father burps her, rocks her, and puts her down drowsy but awake. On the first day she cryed for 1h20, and it has been decreasing since, but she still cries for ~20’. We noticed that she is usually asleep by 7h40pm. Should we try for an earlier or later bedtime? Will she ever not cry?

    Thank you very much for all the resources you make available.

    1. Because of the variability of naps, the bedtime should vary a little. Instead of a “consistent routine at the same time (6pm) every day” be mindful how she looks around 4-5pm (drowsy signs).Sometimes, her soothing to sleep might begin at 5pm with lights out at 5:30, other times it might be a bit later than 6pm. It might take a little practice but within a few days, there should be no crying at all. If unsure, go for the earlier bedtimes (lights out at 5:30pm). Let me know what happens over the next few days.

  7. Thank you so much for your response, doctor! I will keep an eye for the sleep signals before she is overtired and I will report back.

  8. Follow up sleep training. I week away from 6months i started sleep training my son. He is difficult & definitely cries a lot, 1st night was 5 hours on & off. Night 6 & 7 finally some improvement cried 1 hr & fell asleep. However he is also waking up 2 hours later & cries for 3 hours. Does this indicate an earlier bedtime? I do my routin, nurse him & place in drowsy & i leave his room by 6 :15pm.

  9. He has a morning nap usually 2 hours. However he still sleeps every two hours after each feeding. His pm nap has not started. We’re on night 11 now. I do the same routin but i have been putting him down later. Tonight it was 7:45. He took a long nap & i woke him up at 6:15. He had fell asleep on me & i couldn’t put him down. I was hungry & needed to eat dinner.

    Last night he was much better. Left his room at 7:45. He went to sleep without a fuss. He woke up at 1 hour later & cried untill 10:30pm. He woke up at 11:45 & i fed him. He woke up sometime around 2am but i let him cry it out & he woke up at 6:45am & i went to change & feed him . I put him down around 730am & he fell asleep at 8 :30 on his own untill 10am.

    1. Because of multiple variables (older siblings, no pm nap schedule, a too late bedtime), please consider a community sleep consultant as described in Blog Post 27 to decide which variables are more salient and need to be addressed first.

  10. Hello, I am desperate and developing depression because of this. I got Your book and I find it very useful, but do not know how to implement things. I have a 6 week old daughter and I think she is colic. She overtires extremely quickly even though I pay close attention to signs of fatigue. However, I think she is permanently overtired. I only get her to sleep when I bounce her in the carrier on a ball (Rarely has it worked out differently: breastfeeding or swaddled. She refuses the pacifier completely – sometimes she gags so much from it that she spits her milk out). I have to bounce her too to keep her asleep, too (I also do that at night until I almost collapse – mentally and physically). I can only put her down if she has been sleeping in the carrier for a while. Otherwise she wakes up crying after 40 minutes. Or she cries right when I put her down in her crib. Sometimes I have watched her connect sleep cycles in her cot, so she can do it. But often that was when she was not that overtired. I know sleep in the carrier is not that restful, but if I don’t choose that remedy, she doesn’t sleep at all. Drowsy but awake currently doesn’t work or I’m always to late. I have a toddler too and don’t know how else to get her to sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m considering letting her cry at night at 8 weeks (with feedings of course and only if she’s ok). But won’t that make things worse because she’ll be completely overtired? It breaks my heart and when she cries I can’t shut. I know she is so young but we both get miserable sleep. It’s a nightmare.

    1. My first son had colic and my first book was on colic so I know what you are going through and I will try to help you. Are there any resources (husband, family members, community services, faith groups, etc.) that might be called in to give you a break? As on airplanes, you have to take care of yourself first (put on your oxygen mask) in order to take care of your children. Please try to take some breaks, without guilt! You are probably in survival mode now and totally exhausted so I will keep it simple:
      How old is your first child? Did you use extinction or graduated extinction when he was younger?
      How supportive is your husband; will he agree to use extinction or graduated extinction for your baby?
      Was your child born on the due date?

  11. Wow, I don’t even know how to thank you for trying to help me. We have people around us who can help us e.g. by taking our older son or cooking etc…. My husband also helps as much as he can but he has a demanding job. He was home for the first few weeks. My fear if others take the baby is that they will not make the effort necessary to get the child to sleep (due to lack of knowledge about overtiredness, etc). I’m afraid of then having an even more overtired child at the end of the day who can’t be calmed down. Actually, it is not so comfortable for me to share so much details here about my life here publicly. Is it possible to communicate more privately? But I also understand if it’s not possible and I absolutely respect it! Maybe I can also help others with my case:

    My son is just over 2, we did graduated extinction at 5.5 months. I was at a low point then too. Our son was already difficult. Unfortunately i kept falling into old patterns out of panic but he slept so well then that we didn’t mind.

    my husband is very very supportive but I have to make it clear to him that I can’t do the nights without him; even if he has to work.

    My husband is absolutely fine with both methods.

    Our girl came 2 weeks before due date. Does that make a difference?

    Thank you very very much!

    1. Please read Parents’ Reports topic 1. Graduated Extinction and Extinction on my Website.
      Here are some specific suggestions that might be helpful because you are an experienced parent and your husband is supportive. Think of your daughter as about 4 weeks old counting from her due date. Colic is gone in about 50% of children by 2 months of age. Because of her age, you might decide to get as much help from others (they are to maximize sleep and minimize crying by whatever means possible) to regain some sleep for yourself and implement my suggestions in a few weeks or, because you are desperate, you might want to commit to a 3-4 day trial now and abandon it if you see no improvement. Let me know your thoughts.
      1. Because of your experience with graduated extinction and your current exhaustion, I think you should try extinction for a trial of 3-4 nights.
      2. During the day, do whatever you can (with help) to maximize sleep and minimize crying.
      3. After feeding and soothing, you put her down at 5:30pm (awake, drowsy but awake, or deep sleep) and leave the room.
      4. Because of your experience, I assume that she will be well fed around 5-5:30pm. At or after 9:30pm, if she cries and you suspect she might be hungry, feed her and leave her. Repeat the feedings at 4 hour intervals if you think she is hungry. Extinction means that in between these feedings she is left alone.
      5. You might want to temporarily sleep in your son’s room (to reassure him that his sister is ok) or camp out in the living room during this 3-4 night trial.
      6. You might want to start this on Friday night so your husband is more available to help out during the day on the week-end
      7. Keep meticulous records of nap and night sleep times and durations and crying times and durations. The expectation is that there will be substantially less night crying on night 3.
      Do not do this unless you can commit to a 3-4 day trial. This trial might succeed because all children fuss/cry more as they approach 6 weeks of age. This trial might fail because colic can persist for 3-4 months of age. If this trial fails, go back to whatever works best and consider trying it again in 3-4 weeks.
      How do you feel about this?

  12. Thank You so much. It sounds like a well thought out plan. And I have to be honest, I can’t go on like this even though I would give anything for my child. I can hardly calm her down in the evenings sometimes, she cries despite all attempts to calm her down and when she sleeps it is torture to keep her asleep. Yet I have such an urge to make it work. I also feel so guilty because I use the carrier and prevent her from sleeping restfully enough.

    It will be extremely hard for me mentally to implement the plan (even though I know that if I succeed it will be the best thing for her). I would really have to lock myself in another room and let my husband endure the crying. I have a few questions:

    – Regarding the time: I know the importance of an early bedtime, but is that possible with newborns? I have only read about later bedtimes for newborns.
    – should I swaddle her? Or leave her arms open?
    – What if she cries all night or hardly sleeps at all?
    – What if she screams hysterically for hours? I know that it is fatal to resort to old remedies when she already has been screaming for so long. But I want to be prepared for all scenarios….
    – Can she sleep at all if she inevitably gets overtired in the process? Won’t things get worse then?
    – Will it hurt her in any way since she is so young? Will she be able to self-soothe at all?
    – How do I know she’s not in pain? (The doctor said at the last checkup 2 weeks ago, everything is okay with her and I don’t notice anything special besides the crying – the crying definitely increases throughout the day).
    – Should I wake her up for feedings if she doesn’t wake upon her own? Should I not feed under 4 hours? Or stay flexible (3-4 hrs).
    – Should I change her diaper once?With bowel movements anyway, I mean urine.

    I suggested that our baby is considered not premature since she was born at 38 weeks?

    She has been smiling for a few days and today she sucked on her hand to calm down.

    Thank you so much for the concrete plan. Can you link me to the recommended article? I can’t find it on your site.

    1. Go to my Website, ‘More for Parents’, ‘Parents’ Reports’, item #1.
      Swaddle if you wish
      If, and only if, the bedtime is super early, the crying will not go on forever. Do not begin this plan if you cannot be 100% consistent for 3-4 days with the 5:30 lights off bedtime and the commitment to extinction.
      Do not wake her for feedings; most children who are well-fed can go 4 hours between night feedings; change her then.
      Social smiling starts around 6 weeks of age after the due date in most babies and heralds the start of more ability for self-soothing which you just now noticed regarding sucking on her hand to calm down. This is a dramatic observation that should give you confidence that the crying from extinction will dramatically decrease on night 2 or 3. Have your husband read the section on ‘Extinction’ in my book so he understands exactly what his role is.
      Maybe leave the house for a few hours after 5:30pm to take a break and not endure listening and worrying about your baby, just a thought.

      1. Once again, thank you for your reply. I was thinking that it would be better to leave her hands out so that she eventually can use them for self soothing?

        Should I try to organize the naps in a way, so that the wake time towards betime is as short as possible? Although it seems impossible to me to organize any naps at the moment.

        I also bought the Snoo out of desperation (I could still return it). So far I haven’t had much success with it. Do you think it will be useful in any way with our baby within the next few weeks or months? Or is this tool even more counterproductive?

        I will try to implement your valuable advice (just not sure at the moment when to start the 3 night trial)

        1. During the day, try to maximize sleep and minimize crying. Keep the intervals of wakefulness between naps brief. Watch for drowsy signs. Try swaddling for 1-2 days and then swaddling with hands free for the next 1-2 days to determine what works best.

          1. Hello again,

            If it’s ok to ask, some more questions came to my mind.
            I noticed that since today in the evening our baby can be soothed a little bit easier and faster. Could this indicate that the peak of crying is slowly going down? (Even though she was born 2 weeks before due date)? Or maybe it’s just an exception.

            She only sleeps in the carrier with constant movement. Mainly on the exercise ball – for falling asleep it has to be pretty hard bouncing. Also the first half of the night I spent my time like this…as soon as I stop she wakes up. If I put her down asleep, she wakes up after one cycle and it all starts over. When I try other methods (swaddled and on the ball), she doesn’t fall asleep or it takes to long for me to give up because I can’t do it anymore physically. I’ve heard over and over that I can’t spoil a newborn and she doesn’t have a solid sleep association yet. But I somehow doubt that. She also is not allowed to see anything – as long as there is a little bit of light, even a red night light, she won’t shut her eyes (That may be the reason why the carrier works cause she can’t see a lot).

          2. As I wrote,”Social smiling starts around 6 weeks of age after the due date in most babies and heralds the start of more ability for self-soothing which you just now noticed regarding sucking on her hand to calm down.” So maybe the peak is past. I can not visualize bouncing on an exercise ball for sleeping, please clarify.

  13. I mean, that I have her in the carrier strapped to my chest and then I bounce on a yoga ball. As long as she is in light sleep and I stop moving, she wakes up and cries. So I keep moving and when she is in deeper sleep, I stop and try to sit down. But if she wakes, I have to keep moving. I try to transfer to crib when she is deeper asleep. But as I wrote with minimal success. Only sometimes she has longer stretches, mostly second night half.

    1. Understood. Have you tried a swing? Have you tried having your husband try to soothe her at a time when you left the house?

      1. What kind of swing is meant? I cannot imagine it. I only have something like that [https://www.mytoys.de/ingenuity-babyschaukel-hoots-hugs-4548784.html?sku=4548784&mc=deu_mts_onl_sea_google_mytoys-shopping-baby_wippen_874291566&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6Znri_qu_AIVhI1oCR1fRgdMEAQYASABEgI-2PD_BwE] but I don’t think that’s what’s meant.
        My husband takes over the second half of the night if she is restless then too, and he calms her during the day using the same method. I feel like he sometimes succeeds faster than I do. I don’t know if she wants to reach my breast if she is strapped to me. But at the breast she is totally restless, often crying and not falling asleep often. It seems to me that she wants to comfort but is to tired to latch or something like that…

        1. During the day on weekends, leave the house. Your husband should attempt to soothe her by bouncing like you do, rocking her in his arms, or swaying in a swing, and then transfer her to her crib. She will know that you are gone and that he cannot nurse, so he might be more successful. The goal is to wean her off her current sleep associations to begin the path toward self-soothing. I think his attempt should be about one hour and he should ignore some low level crying. Try this once or twice on a Saturday and a Sunday. If the attempt fails consistently after 3-4 trials, abandon this plan.

          1. Thanks again for the advice. I read through the Extinction chapter on your blog again and also read briefly about extinciton with a cap, but didn’t quite understand this. Can this also be used on our daughter for the 3-4 nights trial? I’m already very much in favor of extinction, but don’t know if I can go all the way without calming her down at all (although that would actually be the faster method).

            I’m really strongly considering doing it this weekend or next. She doesn’t get restfull night’s sleep in the carrier but putting her down doesn’t work either. Even during the day, I don’t see how I can help her anymore. Your blog said extinction won’t help if daytime naps are bad, but I don’t know how to improve that. Today she was screaming before every nap even though I keep the wake times extremely short, but she just wakes up from every nap already screaming, shows signs of overtiredness all the time. The only time I was able to put her in hercrib today was from 4pm after she had slept in the carrier for an hour. Then she slept until 6 and I nursed her briefly (she woke up hungry), changed her diaper and immediately gave her to my husband. She fell asleep with him in the carrier with a bit of crying around 6:30pm and at 7:45pm he tried to put her in her crib. She woke up immediately and cried (I waited if she would fall asleep but did not) and now she screams since 8pm in the carrier and can not be calmed. I’m sorry for the long text but I just don’t understand. It is so frustrating. She nearly screamed for an hour now and it is almost feeding time now.

            Thank you very much again for your help

          2. Yes, you can do extinction (with or without a cap) for a 3-4 night trial. Because naps are so difficult, I would declare a 5:30 bedtime (lights our, you are leaving the room). The weekend is best for your husband to help out (with or without my suggestion for naps).

  14. Hello and thanks for the reply,

    I think we will start today with the attempt, because next week I will not create as good naps as today, when I still had support at home with my toddler.

    I wanted to make sure again what exactely I do at the “cap” if I would do extinction with a cap. Do I then go to soothe the child and how? I didn’t quite understand that. After how many minutes should you do the cap? I read 45? What does that depend on?

    I don’t know if I can do full extinction completely as a depressed mom (even with support and leaving the house). It would help me in my stressful situation to somehow be present for the child in some way or to know that my husband can go. I have also thought about check and console. Would that be possible with her age as well? (Almost 7 weeks old or 5 because of the earlier birth). But maybe the cap will give me the peace I need…

    1. The ‘cap’ means, for example, you totally ignore the crying for 45 minutes if the cap is 45 minutes. Then you go to your child and do whatever appears appropriate to you. Follow your heart. Play, bathe, feed, or soothe your child back to sleep then or later. When you decide to soothe your child back to sleep, then do so and put her down drowsy but awake and repeat extinction with the 45 minute cap.

      You can try ‘check and console’. In your sleep-deprived and depressed state, is it appropriate to talk to a professional about your state of mind before embarking on this path?
      What does your husband want to do about all of this?

  15. Thank you so much again for your help,

    I think the cap is a good tool for me to have some peace. My husband supports me in every way. I am in discussion with midwife and gynecologist about my situation.

    I believe that if she sleeps better at night (possibly due to the training) my internal condition will also improve. I have to at least try. If extinction with a cap doesn’t work, I plan to try it again a little later with “check and console” (1-2 weeks later, again on the weekend).

    The plan for tonight: I fed at 4pm. My husband is putting her to sleep right now (around 4:45pm) and when she is in a deep sleep phase (sometime between now-7pm (?), we will put her down and start training). Then when she wakes up (which I expect), I will feed her again and leave the house. Does that plan sound appropriate? I will keep you posted on how it worked out tonight.

    Last night, after a restless 1st half of the night, my husband got her to sleep at 1, put her down at 2 and she slept in her crib until 5. That sounds like an improvement in her night sleep in general.

    1. As I wrote, “Yes, you can do extinction (with or without a cap) for a 3-4 night trial. Because naps are so difficult, I would declare a 5:30 bedtime (lights our, you are leaving the room).”
      This means that your husband has done whatever he wants between 4:45 and 5:30pm but he is leaving the room at 5:30pm. This is the bedtime. This is the beginning of night sleep. Whether she is fully awake, drowsy but awake, or in a deep sleep. This is the beginning of extinction. This early bedtime is key to minimize crying.
      What happened last night?

      1. Okay I understand. I was thinking that it would also be okay to put her to sleep before or at 17:30 (e.g. in the carrier) and then put her down at some point, because she was in fact already asleep at 17:30. My husband was in a dark room all the time.

        Last night was not easy: my husband put her to sleep in the carrier between 5 and 5:30. At 7 he put her down in a deep sleep (she was in the carrier until then). She woke up 7:30 (which I expected because of hunger). I fed her and changed diaper and at 8pm calmed her down a bit and put her down. She was already very fussy while nursing and actually cried the whole time after the feeding. She also cried when I was soothing. After putting her down she cried, I was then not in the house until 9:45.

        My husband said she cried all the time (sometimes intense), but got calmer around 9:10, even closed eyes for some seconds but the crying then continued. When he calmed her down after 45 minutes, she was calmer and closing eyes but as soon as she was put down, she cried. At 10:30 I fed her, which was very hard because she was very tired and had little strength. She was sleepy. Put her down and she cried immediately. Unfortunately this went on until 1:30.

        Then i fed her again and unfortunately we both fell asleep from exhaustion while doing this (in a safe co sleeping position). at 5:30am i woke up, she was still laying there, i fed her and we fell asleep again until 9:45. this was not the plan but i couldn’t keep myself awake. I know that this is not conducive to circadian rythm (sleeping in so late), should we have a set wake up time?

        My husband does all naps today completely in the carrier in a dark room, that she gets as much rest as possible. We tried to put her down in crib in light sleep, she woke up…

        The poor girl was awake half of the night for hours.

        1. Please have your husband read the section on ‘Extinction’ and ‘Extinction with a cap’. “When he calmed her down after 45 minutes, she was calmer and closing eyes but as soon as she was put down”. The attempt to soothe is 5-10 minutes. She is getting to much parental attention at night that will interfere with her ability to learn self-soothing.
          Here is a clarification:
          At about 5:30pm she is put in her crib (awake, drowsy, or asleep) after you have bathed, fed, and soothed her.
          She is ignored until the cap or until about or after 9:30pm when you might go to her to feed her for 10-15 minutes.
          After feeding, a brief soothing attempt for 5-10 minutes, she is put back in her crib (awake, drowsy, or asleep).
          She is ignored until the cap or until about or after 3-4 hours from her last feeding when you might go to her to feed her for 10-15 minutes.
          After feeding, a brief soothing attempt for 5-10 minutes, she is put back in her crib (awake, drowsy, or asleep).
          She is ignored until the cap or until about or after 3-4 hours from her last feeding when you might go to her to feed her for 10-15 minutes.
          After feeding, a brief soothing attempt for 5-10 minutes, she is put back in her crib (awake, drowsy, or asleep) or start the day.
          Keep a detailed record of the duration of crying. If she always cries to the cap you have chosen (after a 3-4 night trial) then consider making the cap longer or consider extinction.

  16. Hello Dr. Weissbluth and thank you a lot for your reply again. Sorry, it’s gonna be a long message.

    After our first attempt with extinction we had to stop after the 2nd night due to health problems. The second night was not better than the first and she was even awake longer in the night.

    Now our sleep situation has worsened (baby is now 9,5 weeks old and 7,5 weeks adjusted). During the day she still only sleeps in the carrier and now won’t let me put her down at all (before I could put her down after 2 sleep cycles in deep sleep). Now she wakes up no matter what: immediately or after 5-10 minutes and scream cries. I have let her cry in her crib in the morning out of necessity as I had to take care of the other child. She sometimes fell asleep after massive crying, but only for 20 minutes (waking up with crying). I think she was overtired and went into emergency shutdown, hence no successful self-soothing? Daytime sleep is an extreme effort for me with seemingly little success (almost 24/7 with baby carrier on exercise ball).

    At least in the evenings she falls asleep earlier for ehr longer strecth (between 9-10 instead midnight) and has slept 4-5 hour stretches at times (even in cot) until recently! Now that’s also over: she wakes up nearly every hour and refuses to sleep other than sucking on my breast continuously and held. I think I do not need to describe how I feel mentally and physically. When my husband takes over in the night (with carrier, she refuses other way) he also can’t put her down asleep like some weeks before…

    She is actually permanently overtired (even in the baby carrier she wakes up screaming after 40 minutes and it is a huge effort to get her to sleep or continue sleeping). At night she definitely shows overtired signals. Neither of us sleep well. I am desperate.

    Regarding early bedtime: my husband puts her in the carrier immediately after 5pm and from then on she stays in a dark room with little stimulation at feedings. It doesn’t help, between 5pm until she falls asleep for the night we have partial sleep refusals again and long periods of wakefulness.

    Would you recommend starting sleep training again soon (this weekend)? Why has everything become worse, why is she constantly overtired? I am really at my wits end. Even if it fails, it can’t get worse…

    Thanks for reading

    1. I am sorry, but because of multiple ‘Anonymous’ comments and the organization of this thread, please write a summary from the beginning. If possible, have your husband write a chronological report of everything because he is probably less sleep-deprived.

Add comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related blogs

These blogs are related or mentioned in this blog.
24
Blog 24
  | April 26, 2021
 | 2 Comments

Help or Harm (Sleep Solutions #2)

Question: Do I harm my child if I allow my child to have unhealthy sleep? Answer: Yes. According to the United States of America Department of the Army based on empirical data using traditional scientific methods: Unhealthy sleep is unhealthy for the brain.
Read full post
49
Blog 49
  | October 18, 2021
 | 8 Comments

“Sleep Training”: When to Start

“Sleep training” is the term I eventually coined to describe the variety of ways that I taught parents how they might help their child sleep better.
Read full post
57
Blog 57
  | December 13, 2021
 | No Comments

Start Early to Help Your Child Sleep Well

Here is a 2021 research paper to illustrate why I think parents should put forth an effort to help their child sleep better as early as possible.
Read full post

Stay updated with new blog posts

Get access to free lullabies when signing up!
Get notified when new blogs are posted
Loading
Notify me
About Marc
The first month
The second month
Months 3-4
Months 4-12
magnifiercrossarrow-left linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram