Monday, April 6, 2009

No-Cry Sleep "Solution"

I failed at getting Colin to sleep using the No Cry Sleep Solution. I'm not saying it won't work for anyone and I'm willing to admit the reason it isn't working is probably my fault but regardless I'm fabricating a new plan. Before I tell you about the new plan I want to outline the ways the no-cry sleep solution, and my interpretation of it made things harder.

What she says: Take a week and do whatever you need to get your baby back to sleep as fast as possible.
What I did: Nursed Colin back to sleep every time he woke up. (Previously we were only allowing him to nurse every 3 hours, if he woke up in between Sean tried to put him back to sleep, which frequently meant Sean was up with him for over an hour)

What she says: Naps are too important to miss, do whatever you need to do to get your baby to nap during the day.
What I did: Nursed Colin to sleep for his naps.

What she says: If at anytime you or your baby get upset, go ahead and put him to sleep in your usual way.
What I did: Colin got upset nearly every time I put him in his crib in any kind of awake state, so I quite frequently had to revert back to nursing to sleep.

So what started as a mild nurse to sleep association (he could go back to sleep without nursing, and only about 50% of naps required nursing to sleep) because a full blown must nurse to sleep association (although he will go to sleep in the car or in the stroller). Now to be honest, I think this is the reason we had such a cooperative baby in Switzerland. He is very flexible in where he naps as long as I am there to nurse him down, so there was never an issue of Colin refusing to nap because he didn't have his crib. So while it does have its advantages, the time has come to fully break this association.

For anyone familiar with the book, the gentle removal plan gets me BIT about 50% of the time so it isn't working very well.

Another reason this plan didn't work is because Colin learned quickly that all he had to do was get upset and I would back down.

So after 60+days of trying I'm giving up on this plan and forming a new one.

To be continued...


Daisy and Ryan said...

so are you not sharing the new solution yet b/c you haven't figured it out, you want to try it out first, or you just like keeping us in suspense? ;)

i tried the removal plan for a while. it worked some. (never got bitten, though. ouch! aiden does his bites when he's done eating and then thinks my "no"s are funny....good thing it doesn't happen often and they're barely nibbles) and then the removal plan stopped working. but then again, everything seemed to stop working.

so we came up with a new "solution" ourselves...aiden came to bed with us. yes, we now co-sleep. it was a big decision that we thought through, and it was an immediate difference - esp for ME! i haven't tried to do anything to get him to nurse less often yet - i usually just fall asleep while he nurses back to sleep. for now, this is working for us. :)

naptime...he was doing great for a while. once separation anxiety kicked in - not the same since! it's been a challenge, but it's b/c of the sep anxiety issues, we think. he gets really upset when i leave the room at any time, naptime isn't an exception. so i'm trying to think about how to make naps easier now... not sure what the solution will be there. he might just have to grow out of the anxiety part. oh, and he will roll onto his belly in bed and then can't roll back (yes, still - he's never gotten the belly to back party down), and he won't sleep on his belly on his own, so.... It's a challenge.

Good luck with your new solution! I can't wait to hear what it is and how it's going! :)

Anonymous said...

Did the researcher who talked about this plan give other options besides nursing as an way to help the baby go back to sleep?-Elaine

Erin said...

After all of the sleep-disturbances we've experienced (the ear infections, tube surgery, soy/dairy allergies, etc) -- we ended up having one night of a very upset Ben -- who cried for about 2 hours straight -- but I just couldn't handle trying to get him back to sleep. I was opposed to the concept of CIO -- and they HAD been sleeping through the night without a problem for months -- but I just couldn't handle the idea of being up with them again. So -- one bad night for a bunch of good nights? It was worth it to me, even though it was a tough first night.

Did the author of the book you had been using recommend trying that on younger babies? Our ped strongly suggested to us that we no longer "feed to sleep" after 6 months b/c of the development of permanent memory ...

Looking forward to hearing the new plan!

Daisy and Ryan said...

thought i would chime in again. :) the author doesn't actually say to use nursing as a method to get baby to sleep. the focus is on trying to teach baby (gently) to sooth him/herself to sleep. and the book starts with bedtime - using routines, helping to soothe baby, the removal method becky mentioned, etc. but if baby isn't napping well, sleep at night will be hard, too. it's a cyclical thing... so she recommends that while tackling night-time sleep, use whatever necessary to get naps in during the day. then later - use the methods during the day, too. the goal is to get your baby to NOT need to nurse to sleep and to not have to use crying-it-out.

she also recommends that if the methods aren't working sometimes (it's not an overnight thing - and it does involve your time and patience!)...such as if baby is really getting upset - go on and use your usual methods, even if that means nursing to sleep. the goal is to get baby to be comfortable going to sleep, too, and not putting baby in distress. you don't want them to associate sleep with crying, being left alone when they're upset, distress, etc. so at the beginning or if baby gets sick, etc, there might be times you revert back to your old routine for a short while.

i happened to use the book for naps when my little one was doing well at night, and the methods really do work. in no time at all (less than a week), he was falling asleep on his own without nursing - within 5 minutes of being put in bed (and with no crying). the book really is great! he's not a great night-time sleeper and hasn't been for a while, but we haven't used it for night for various reasons. i know when we're ready to, if you follow her suggestions, it really can work. (the nap thing worked great until separation anxiety kicked in - now we're not sure where to go exactly but are gradually getting him back into it a little more.)

does that sound right, becky? not trying to step on any toes here. :) and i'm looking forward to hearing that new plan, too!

Becky said...

Yes Daisy is exactly correct. The author doesn't specifically recommend nursing to sleep that was my interpretation of "use whatever method gets your baby to sleep the fastest" I did not get into this mess on purpose, I KNEW nursing to sleep was a bad idea but when he was newly home from the hospital and I was by myself I always figured since I had other ways to get him to sleep, what would it hurt if I used this tool (nursing) a few times. Well after 3 maybe 4 months, Colin would NOT go to sleep using the other methods (outlined in the Happiest Baby on the Block) either because he grew out of them or because he preferred to nurse (I can't be sure which). I got stuck. Letting Colin "cry it out" wasn't an option so I thought my only other option was this no-cry solution. I will fully admit the failure here is not the method but my inability to follow through. Every time Colin got upset I would revert back and just say "oh well I'll try tomorrow" months went by and I got no where.. I need to try something else that will fit better with my strengths.