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

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  1. Callie says:

    Weissbluth’s book is a brick and too garbled and lengthy for a sleep-deprived parent to get any useful information from. I fell for attachment parenting hook, line, and sinker after reading Dr. Sears book and was miserable for the first year of my baby’s life. He was waking every 45 minutes until he was 18 months old and other AP parents were telling me that it was “just teething” or he would grow out of it, which he never did. Second baby is sleep trained and sleeping through. If people are looking to either of these guys for advice, I feel there are much better experts out there, such as this site. It’s too bad they are considered the de facto experts.

  2. Amy says:

    Wether or not I’m in the Weissbluth camps appears to be irrelevant. My baby has been doing almost every single thing Weissbluth says babies will do. Although I sometimes did a very lame version of cry it out off and on, I really did more of a gentle “Dr. Searsy-like” sleep training. Still she naturally fell into a 9 and 1 nap sleep pattern on her own. Night time wake patterns were also exactly as Weissbluth predicted at the ages predicted. Since six weeks, she sleeps best when asleep before 7 and wakes at 6 or 6:30 regardless of when she goes to bed (even on late night special occasions).

  3. Carol says:

    Hi Nicole, yes would be glad to. Esp since one pediatrician told me that I could ‘eat whatever I wanted’ and that food “did not pass through my milk”…ha!
    Carol

  4. Audrey says:

    What a great topic! I fall in line with Dr Sears’ parenting style for most things, but unfortunately my daughter had a terrible time learning to sleep on her own. I started out not even willing to consider CIO, but as I tried everything else and “failed” over a span of three months I eventually read Dr Weissbluth’s book–and loved it!

    Ideally I would not have had to resort to CIO, but it worked fast and permanently for my daughter. That’s what I love about Nicole, is that she takes the child’s temperament as the foundation, rather than a rigid parenting style.

    My daughter ended up needing something that I was initially uncomfortable with, but we’re all better for it. My big problem with the Sears’ is that they can be so intolerant of CIO–just look at how that question is framed, “Will CIO cause brain damage”–what a scary thing for a stressed/exhausted parent to read!! That sort of fear-mongering does not help the parents or a reasoned discussion. There are all sorts of scary stories in their books about babies changing personalities and being astranged from their parents after just one episode of crying…I find it hard to believe that is the norm and it shouldn’t be presented that way.

    There’s also a big difference between someone leaving a 2-4 month old to CIO and a 10-12 month or older.

  5. Mia says:

    Nicole,
    Thank you for these awesome newsletters. I learn something every time I read them.

  6. Carol says:

    Hi, after benefiting from so many articles and comments on this site (along with some email consults from Nicole) I just cant help but comment.

    I have had sleep issues from 8 weeks to 14 months. We experienced all the stereo typical issues that Nicole’s articles cover (except I didnt find this site until my baby was maybe 10 months old).

    One thing I wish I knew earlier, was that the milk, egg and nuts going through my breast milk wreaked havoc on my son’s system, and therefore sleep. Pediatric chiropractic treatment and going off dairy, fixed his extreme reflux in 2 days.

    I was totally against CIO, but at 14 months, after reading about Protest crying (vs emotional distress crying) I listened to my son’s whingy cries during the day to make sure I recognised them.

    Then out of desperation I tried CIO at night for 4 nights (then naps). They were the same protest cries at night – just louder, longer and stronger. I was much more confident as a mother and knowing my son’s personality, so only willing to try this at 14 months. I also left the door slightly ajar, so he felt secure knowing that we were still ‘around’. No more tip toeing around the house!

    It took 4 days (50 mins, 60 mins, 20 mins then 5 mins of crying) before he self settled in a matter of seconds.
    I also dressed him warmer (referring to Tizzy Hall’s bedding guide and modifying it slightly) and I stopped trying to tuck him in with blankets. “Listening” to my baby, I realised he didnt want to be tucked down (ironic given he liked being swaddled till about 9 months!!)

    I went in after 10 mins of him falling asleep each night to check his sleep position, the first 3 nights he fell asleep sitting up, hand on the rails and head slumped on the rails…broke my heart 🙁
    I put him on his back. Now he just loves sleeping on his tummy and I stop trying to turn him over.

    since we started 3 weeks ago, for the last 4 nights he has slept through 11-12 hours. (prior to this he was still waking from teething, being cold, uncomfortable etc)
    And he does not need night feeds! The fact that I weaned to soy milk, offer more protein and carbs during the day also helps. I think his more frequent night wakings after 9 months was due to too low calorie intake!

    As a low sleep requirement baby (vs average or high) the 10am and 2pm naps NEVER worked. (I have been on Sheyne Rowley’s PRM routines since 6 months). So he is now on 1 sleep…and most days sleeps at least 12-2, in fact I have to wake him so his total 24 hour sleep is not more than 13.5-14 hours. He is down at 7 and up by 7.

    I know CIO is not for everyone, but both parties (ie parents and baby) have to be ‘ready’ I think. It was definitely hard for us and I screamed at my husband for suggesting we ‘go in the room’ on the 2nd night. But I knew our baby was protesting, there were no tears when he was screaming out (on the first night I gave in and went into the room after 30 mins….and there were no tears) so i was confident over the next few nights that he was just protesting.

    I have lived through guilt, fear, frustration, confusion, anxiety, depression and sleep obsession, so I can empathise with so many parents who have sleep problems.
    In summary, the 3 biggest things I have learnt outside of all the great material I have read on this site:
    1. diet both mothers and babies can play a huge part – so check for allergies and also ensure baby is eating enough during day (when on solids)
    2. appropriate temperature and sufficient bedding / dressing is critical to minimise night waking ie ideal is 20 degrees celsius and equivalent of 6 cotton or bamboo blankets (1 tog = 1 blanket if using sleeping bag)..Unless baby is a ‘hot baby’..as mine is as he has eczema etc so I use 3.5 tog sleeping bag and a little ‘cardigan’ to keep his arms warm. no blankets
    3. whether your baby is low medium or high sleep requirement requires very different routines

    anyway, just some food for thought…
    all the best
    Carol

    PS Buddism for Mothers book (puts mothering all into perspective, particularly helpful when we’ve lost it!)

  7. Ems says:

    I think the most important message is enjoy your baby and try not to fret too much as long as everyone is ok and healthy. Some babies ‘get’ the sleep thing earlier than others so look after yourself and do whatever you need to be a loving, happy parent. Plus there is a massive difference from a baby who is gradually leaning to sleep on her own (in her own time) and a six month old who is waking up crying every 1-2 hours, making family life really difficult for everyone.

    My baby took a long time to sleep through (9-10 mnths) but from the start he knew the difference between night and day (he never wanted to talk or play at night – he just fussed a bit if hungry/unsettled then went back down again after nursing) I thought ‘this baby knows it’s time to sleep and wants to sleep, he just needs a bit of help’. A lot of people said let him cry, they should sleep through from 3 months &c but as the time went by I could see he was gradually sleeping longer and longer so I was fine with it.

    However I live in the Uk and have good maternity benefits so I didn’t have to go back to work when my baby was 3 months (not wanting to get political but I think this is a huge elephant in the room when it comes to sleep training/attachment parenting choices). Plus my husband is freelance and was home a lot to give me a break during the day. So really I feel privileged to have been able to help my son learn to sleep on a gradual time frame and totally understand why people can’t always do that. If we have a second child I may not have the energy either!

    • Nicole says:

      @Ems Thank you for your comment. You bring up a very interesting topic about working moms versus those who have extended leave or who are stay-at-home-moms. I’m going to make an article about that, so thank you for the idea! 🙂 I’m so glad you found what worked for your family!

      @Carol Thank you so much for sharing your story! It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. Would you be interested in sharing your story of food sensitivities in your breast milk in an article? I’m sure you’ve learned a lot that you can share with others. I think that would make a very interesting article!

      @Mia You’re very welcome and thank you!! 🙂

      @Audrey Thank you so much for sharing your story and commenting! I know it was a tough thing to come to terms with to try something you initially thought you’d never do. Being a parent is so much harder once you are one! 🙂

  8. jessica miller says:

    well it is apparent to me that nicole seems to favor dr. weissbluth given that dr. sears was picked apart multiple times within the post. i practice “attachment parenting” a term coined i guess by dr. sears. yet, it deeply annoys me that i should have to label my style of parenting when it is nothing more than following my innate instincts and being responsive to my baby. that being said, i loathed dr. weissbluth”s book. even if it does contain some practical albeit useful advice it in no way negates that fact that he recommends leaving babies and children to cry indefinitley even if they vomit from distress. that alone shatters any credibility that he may have had. i do however disagree with some of dr. sears responses but prefer his overall philosophy.

  9. Jeannette says:

    I’m going to guess that by “intense” CIO Sears meant not the length or frequency of the crying, but the intensity. There’s a huge difference between a baby fussing or even crying, and a baby who is clearly in distress (screaming bloody murder and/or vomiting on himself).

  10. Renee says:

    I “listened” to this chat as well – searching for insight to the sleep problems for my little ones. I was really disappointed. Neither one really said anything new they haven’t said before. Weissbluth, in particular, seemed like he was cutting and pasting sections from his book.

    • Nicole says:

      @Renee Sorry you are still searching for answers for your little one. I hope you find a solution, soon! Thank you for commenting!

      @Jeannette Good point. I always thought Dr. Sears (and son in this case) would be against any cry it out, even if it was “just” crying and not intense crying, so that’s what surprised me. Thanks for commenting!

      @Jessica I tried to be as fair as possible. I had criticisms for both doctors and also said that Dr. Sears had good advice at least twice. I think both doctors are good at what they do, but just had some key issues I wanted to address in this specific chat. Dr. Sears happened to say a couple of things that were “extreme” that seemed very basic to me based on talking to parents every day. I only lean towards Weissbluth because I feel Dr. Sears (and son) tend to be a little more judgmental about other philosophies that don’t match theirs, but I actually felt Dr. Sears was very good to say that this is about a parenting choice. I believe that both “no cry” and “cry it out” and everything in between have the right place and the wrong place, and it depends on the family and situation in question. I help clients every day with attachment parenting and sleep training as you can read from the article I mentioned in the article. I tried very hard not to “pick apart” anyone and tried to educate readers on these key issues. Thank you for commenting!

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