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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Benoit says

    Hello experts,

    I have sleep trained my almost four months old recently using the cry it out method (no regular checks). The first few nights were more difficult, but then he started gradually complaining less, and for the past few nights, he’s been sleeping through the night.
    His bed time is always 7:30pm, and he will usually wake up between 6:30 to 7am.
    I read that when doing the CIO the goal is to have the baby sleep for 12 hours (or at least stay in the crib for that long), but he is not doing 12 hours, which I think it is totally fine since he is young.
    This morning he woke up at 6am and started whining. I decided to pick him up after a few minutes and started his day since it was already the morning anyway (I waited until close to 7am to feed him and he was okay with that).
    I didn’t want to leave him crying until 7-7:30am (in case he didnt go back to sleep), because who knows, maybe he would have cried for an hour until I had no choice and had to pick him up (need to leave home to take my oldest daughter to school).

    Now I am wondering:

    – could the fact that I picked him up at 6am make him reset his clock and he will start waking up earlier. Or 10.5 hours is enough and I should not expect him to do 11-12 hours every day?

    – should I have left him complaining until 7am to keep the consistency, even if I had risked picking him up after one hour of crying and sending him the wrong message?

    Thank you very much!

  2. Benoit says

    Hello experts!
    I have sleep trained my almost four months old recently using the cry it out method (no regular checks). The first few nights were more difficult, but then he started gradually complaining less, and for the past few nights, he’s been sleeping through the night.
    His bed time is always 7:30pm, and he will usually wake up between 6:30 to 7am.
    I read that when doing the CIO the goal is to have the baby sleep for 12 hours (or at least stay in the crib for that long), but he is not doing 12 hours, which I think it is totally fine since he is young.
    This morning he woke up at 6am and started whining. I decided to pick him up after a few minutes and started his day since it was already the morning anyway (I waited until close to 7am to feed him and he was okay with that).
    I didn’t want to leave him crying until 7-7:30am (in case he didnt go back to sleep), because who knows, maybe he would have cried for an hour until I had no choice and had to pick him up (need to leave home to take my oldest daughter to school).

    Now I am wondering:

    – could the fact that I picked him up at 6am make him reset his clock and he will start waking up earlier. Or 10.5 hours is enough and I should not expect him to do 11-12 hours every day?

    – should I have left him complaining until 7am to keep the consistency, even if I had risked picking him up after one hour of crying and sending him the wrong message?

    Thank you very much!

    • Danielle says

      Hi Benoit,
      Thank you for using The Baby Sleep Site as a resource, and congratulations of your sleep coaching success! It can depend on the temperament of your child, but usually, getting baby up early once in a while will not retrain the entire schedule, so we usually don’t worry too much about it. As far as how much sleep he should be getting, at this age, we’re usually looking for something around 14-15 hours per 24 hour period, which is an 11-12 hour night plus around 3 hours of daytime napping, usually over 4 naps. We have a sample 4 month-old schedule here to help: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/4-month-old-schedule/
      I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have further questions 🙂

  3. Juliana says

    Hi! We are in the process of sleep training our 3.5 month old son using the CIO method (not the Ferber method, the straight out CIO). We did it with our 3yo daughter when she was around the same age and it took her 3 days and since then she’s been an awesome sleeper (and I should add, a very independent, confident and happy little girl :-)).

    Three weeks before we started, we had slowly weaned him from his night feedings to make sure he would be okay with the 12 hour fasting. We also made sure he was gaining weight and got the okay from his pediatrician.

    Bed time is always at 7:30pm and he is very drowsy when he goes. It took roughly 3 nights of crying (about 1.5 each night, mostly not crying, more like whinning).

    The fourth night he only fussed for 15 mins at 5:30am before going back to sleep, the fifth night no fussing at all and sixth night he fussed at 4:40am for 10 mins before going back to sleep. Wake up time on his own is consistently at 7am.

    I have two questions I was wondering if you could answer me :-):

    – Since for the past 3 nights he has only fussed during the night for a maximum of 15 mins before going back to sleep on his own (or did not fuss at all), should I consider him successfully sleep trained?
    – Should I be consistent and CIO for naps as well, this way he doesn’t get mixed messages, or nap time is a different story and he will not get mixed messages if I go at least once to replace his paci?

    I should add that he is a good napper, but I always put him down with the paci.

    Thank you so much!!

    • Janelle Reid says

      Hi @Juliana, thanks for writing to us and sharing your experience using CIO. It sounds like he’s doing great. I would say (and I’m sure you’d agree since this is not your first child) that sometimes babies are going to wake up at night on occasion, but that wouldn’t negate that they are sleep trained if it’s not a consistent thing. Additionally, if he did wake up 1-2 times a night at this age, that would still be ok as some babies do need the feeding. As he gets older and more active he may burn more during the day and start to struggle with the 12 hours (he also may not, just mentioning it so you’re not confused if something like that happened).
      Here is an article about the difference between nights and naps: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-naps-2/why-baby-and-naps-different-than-night-sleep/ There is a difference between the two so it is up to you if/when you sleep train, but if things are going ok it should be fine to stick with that.

      I hope this helps!

  4. Melissa Allen says

    We resorted to a gentle cry it out method for my 5 month old at night and it has worked pretty well. But nap time he has to be held in order to sleep for a decent amount. I bit the bullet and decided to mdo cry it out with naps in his crib and it took 2 nap, no joke, for him to go down for a nap on his own. My only problem is that he wakes up from naps after 30 minutes on the dot. I have tried to go in there and help him find his binky or hands, but he never falls back asleep. Also i have let him talk and sometimes whine for 30 minutes and he still won’t go back to bed. He definitely still acts tired. Any advice?

    • Janelle Reid says

      Hi @Melissa Allen, thanks for writing. I am sorry you are struggling with naps! I hope to offer some comfort by saying I have totally be there myself with both my children. It is very common for one area of sleep (such as nights) to be awesome and for the other time (naps) to still be a fight. Hang in there and with consistency it should level out soon. We have a free guide available to download with nap tips you can sign up to receive here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/free-baby-nap-guide/
      And if things don’t lengthen out and you need more information, let us know! We have an ebook all about naps, and even more resources to help. You can contact us any time at [email protected] and we can point you in the direction of more detailed resources then if you need. Hope this helps!

  5. Rachael says

    We have begun sleep training with extinction/cry it out with my 12 month old son. He will scream for about an hour each night before falling asleep. He had been taking two naps a day – after we rocked and put him to sleep. Now with the sleep training he screams and cries for an hour before we enter, pick him up to play, distract, and try it all Over again. He hasn’t taken one nap in four days! We have a routine, plan, the whole nine yards but the kid is stubborn!! Not sure how long to let this no napping go on for.. I also don’t want to give in with what we have already done training wise (if anything).

    • Janelle Reid says

      Hi @Rachael, thank you for visiting the Baby Sleep Site. I am SO sorry to hear naps have been so hard since beginning sleep training. Hopefully the hour of crying at night before bed will lesson soon as he learns to fall asleep on his own. It is common to see growth in one area of sleep before you see it in the other, so I hope that provides at least some comfort. Here is an article explaining the difference between nights and naps: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-naps-2/why-baby-and-naps-different-than-night-sleep/
      We have some tips for nap training available in our free guide which may help you decide if you want to continue on with nap training, or let him master the nights and then tackle naps. Here is a link to sign up if you are interested: https://www.babysleepsite.com/free-baby-nap-guide/
      I hope that helps provide more help for you! If you need more information, let us know – we have a lot of other resources available and we’d be happy to point you in the direction of some of them. You can reach us anytime at [email protected]
      Hang in there!

  6. Brooke says

    We have struggled with our (now 3yr old) dayghter’s bedtime since she was born. We definitely created sleep associations (ie rocking her to sleep) which we could never break. We tried sleep training her many times but either couldn’t complete it or we regressed at some point when she was sick / traveling, etc. there was always a reason! Before our 2nd was born 4 months ago, we had gotten back into the habit of staying with her until she fell asleep – total bedtime was 1+ hours of us in her room! We started CIO (with a very clear and happy bedtime routine) before the baby was born but she is fighting it. For months she has cried/screamed herself to sleep. We hear that she should just “give up” eventually but she’s continuing to fight it. I feel terrible hearing her cry for us but we have to teach her this sleep foundation. We are really lost! Any advice or encouragement would be appreciated!

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Brooke – Thank you for writing to us. I am SO sorry to hear that you are still struggling to figure out your 3 year old’s sleep! Working on sleep for SO long can be exhausting! We understand, and you are not alone! There can be many factors in why she is still having a tough time falling asleep. Having one of our consultants take a really in depth look at her sleep history would really help, as would the support that your consultant would offer along the way to better sleep. If things do not smooth out, please consider checking out our sleep consultation packages here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-toddler-sleep-consulting-services
      Hang in there, and please let us know if you have any additional questions!

  7. Jay says

    My almost 15 week old will basically only sleep while being held..for nights and naps. This is obviously very taxing and difficult as I also have a 2 yr old to care for. I am waiting until my baby is about 4.5 months old so I can do sleep training with him. We are going to try controlled crying with checking on timed intervals. My question is this: is it ok/fair to a baby to do a CIO method of sleep training for a baby that has multiple sleep associations? Would it be too drastic? He has to be held and walked or rocked.. he really wants to nurse to sleep all the time but I have started cutting that out and just holding and walking him. Then he sleeps on my chest all night. I had a wonderful sleep plan from this site for my oldest which worked very well. It was gentle and gradual. I feel terrible but with this baby I am just not sure I can wait that long to do a plan like that again. My baby’s sleep is taking a toll on the whole family! Thanks!

    • Janelle Reid says

      Hi @Jay, thank you for writing to us. I am so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with your baby’s sleep. My son’s have the same age gap so I know how you are feeling, hang in there, it does get better. 🙂 All babies are different so I can’t really answer if it’s fair or unfair, as you will be able to best judge what is best for your son and your family as a whole. Since you are not starting formal sleep training yet, you could start gently trying to wean him of sleep associations, just like you have with not nursing him to sleep! If you want help from us again, we’d love to work with us again, so let us know! You can view the different packages we offer here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-toddler-sleep-consulting-services/
      I hope this helps and you see improvement soon!

  8. Erin says

    Hi, we are trying Cry it Out with our twins and I can’t find anything on what to do over night when they start crying.. just leave them to figure it out? Is there a recommended max amount of time to let them cry?

    • Neosha says

      @Erin – Thank you for stopping in to our sleepy little village and for your question. Crying it out sleep training can indeed be a confusing path to embark on. If you haven’t gotten started yet, it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place first to minimize confusion – as for the intervals or no intervals to go in to check on them, that’ll be a decision that’s up to you all and what you’re comfortable with. We can offer a super quick option that gives you a step-by-step plan based on your preferences if you need a plan today with our Express Sleep Plan. You can read more about it here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/express-sleep-plan/ I hope this helps, Erin. Good luck, and hang in there!

  9. Ali Losser says

    EDITED:
    Hi! We have had success with CIO at night for the past week with our 6 month old but no luck for naps.

    My daughter was napping fine until 2 weeks ago; I’d rock her 95% of the way to sleep, gently put her in her crib, and then she’d finish going to sleep on her own. Now she will only nap in my arms (after a very long rocking process) or in the car.

    Once her naps got worse and she was still waking up a ton at night, I tried CIO. Like I said, we’ve had great success at night for the past week but no success for naps.

    I let her CIO for an hour and then I go in and let her nap in my arms. We have darkening curtains and a sound machine, and I follow a similar pattern to her bedtime routine (put her sleeper on, read two books, rock/cuddle for a minute, and then put her down.)

    Thanks for any tips!!

    • Janelle Reid says

      Hi @Ali Losser, thank you for writing to us! I am sorry you’ve been struggling with your daughter’s naps but am glad to hear she’s been sleeping well for you at night. This is a pretty common thing – for nights to be good and naps struggle – because the brain operates differently depending on if it’s nighttime or nap time sleep. Here is a link to an article with more information on that: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-naps-2/why-baby-and-naps-different-than-night-sleep/
      Here is another link to an article on why your baby may be struggling with naps: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-naps-2/baby-wont-nap-5-reasons/
      Hopefully as she gets a bit older you will see her naps start to lengthen out. I personally didn’t have consistent success with either of my kid’s napping well until they were 9 months or so, so don’t despair, the time will come!
      Thank you for using the Baby Sleep Site as a resource for sleep!

  10. Vanessa says

    Hi!
    My baby girl is 7 months old in a week.
    I started CIO 2 weeks ago.. for the first week i offered one feed as off midnight and i stopped it at the end of week 1. For almost 7 months shes been fed sometimes up to 7 times a night. So she was very used to feeding to falling back to sleep.

    she still cries anywhere between
    1-20 mins after the first sleep cycle .. anywhere between 30 min to an hour after the initial she goes down to bed.. and even in the middle of the night will still cry here and there for a few minutes.

    Since we started we went in the room 4 times as a response to her intense crying…but we never soothed her to sleep. Only checked diaper, gave tempra, gaz drops …

    We are night 12 tonight and her bedtime was 5:00 pm tonight.. after an hour of sleeping she cried for an 1:15min. My husband went in at that point to change diaper and give gaz drops cuz she had chicken for the first time today.. we thought maybe she had gaz. after doing that he just kissed her and put ber back down and she automatically just closed her eyes and slept for 10 min before crying again for another hour and a half.
    She finally ended up falling asleep…

    What happened? She knows how to settle to sleep by now she proved it Many times already since we started the training…. so we are confused as to what is going on… is it typical for a baby to still cry this much after 12 nights of CIO?
    Again she still cries but not for this long so were wondering what do we do when this happens and it is typical that shes not 100% solid and sleeping through the night without a peep after almost 2 weeks of training..

    Naps are going pretty well too… some crying and sometimes none…

    • Janelle Reid says

      @Vanessa – Thank you for posting! I am sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with your daughter’s sleep but it does sound like you’ve been making some progress. At this age we would still consider 1-2 night wakings for feedings normal, so it may help to add a few back in and see if that helps her fuss less. Here is a link to a sample schedule for a 7 month old for you to use as a reference: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/7-month-old-baby-schedule/
      We usually suggest for bedtime to be no earlier than 6pm, but if you have a schedule that requires you (and her) to be up by 5am or so the next day then of course you would need to make adjustments accordingly. 🙂 I would compare her current schedule to our sample and check to see how hers compares in regards to the times spent awake between sleep, nap lengths, and bed times. You of course can tweak it to the times however you need but once you find something that works, I’d encourage you to stick to it to the best you’re able to as most babies really thrive on routine.
      I hope this helps and you see improvement soon! Let us know how it turns out. Thanks for using the Baby Sleep Site as a resource for sleep!