Bedtiming




Developmental psychologists Lewis and Granic wrote Bedtiming after they discovered optimal developmental periods to sleep train your child between the ages of 0-4 years (see when to sleep train and when not to right here). So how did they find these periods? Children have similar cognitive development stages at certain ages that correlate with emotional stages. During certain emotional stages children are more vulnerable than others (e.g. separation anxiety). Sleep training your child during the less vulnerable periods will lead to
better sleep training success, especially with more sensitive children. Makes sense, right?

Lewis and Granic believe that when you sleep train is more important than how you sleep train. This varies from what some other experts believe--that the longer you wait to sleep train (especially if it is after 3 or 6 months) the harder it will be because habits will be more ingrained. I'm not totally convinced that the when is more important than the how, but I'm not convinced against this idea either. I'd just like some more proof in the form of research. Either way, it's worth it to try training in the periods they suggest. It can only help right!

The authors believe that most of the sleep training methods out there are useful and that parents need to choose what works best for them and their family. I couldn't agree more about choosing what works for you and your family...as long as you are all happy and getting your rest.

The book quickly goes over some of the pros and cons of the most common sleep training methods. This section isn't very extensive, but useful if you haven't heard of some of the popular sleep training approaches before. One of the important things mentioned in this section is that no research (even by the academy of pediatrics) has shown one sleep training approach to be better than another. The most important thing is consistency in whatever approach you choose.

There is a section in this book about sleep setbacks but it isn't very extensive so I won't go into anymore than to just say that it is there.

Overall, this was a pretty good book. It felt like I was reading a school text book in some areas which may or may not be good depending on what kind of books you like to read. The information was interesting though, and would probably be most interesting if you read each of the developmental sections when your child reaches them or right before she reaches them. Reading the sections all at once was a bit much for me.

8 comments :

  1. Hi Rachel! Great blog! This is Tasneem, you just replied to my email on bedtiming. My boy is almost 10 months and after reading your email I have decided it is time to train! I wanted to start last week but he ended up with a cold. Hes better now. Last night he cried for 5 min at bedtime then fell asleep for the night. He woke up again at 11pm and after 5 min of crying I went in to comfort him and silly me gave him the boob to just settle him. I know that a NO NO but he calmed down and I put him back in bed after 2 min. He slept till 3am and again after 5 min I calmed him and put him down but he was already back asleep before put down. He was up for the day at 7am. My husband woke up and said "wow he did awesome" but umm ya...i didnt exactly sleep train. im a sucker i know!! :( my question is, should i use weissbluth extinction since going in upsets him more if he cant have the boob? or is ferber gradual going in to check better so he know mama is still around? also with those two methods is it a strict NO PICKING UP? i thought i could pick up and calm him a bit but he ended up falling asleep which seems pointless.

    Thank you so much for all your time and efforts in this! any advice is a GODSEND!!

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    1. Tasneem,
      Nah, you are no more a sucker than the rest of us. It is hard to not give your child something! I almost gave in so many times when I recently took away the pacifier (there are a couple posts on that). It is hard! Sounds like he did pretty good regardless. Some kids will have zero progress if you give in at all, but others do pretty well. You will do better if you can try to keep up with the plan and avoid the sleep props (boob or holding to sleep etc) when sleep training but no one is perfect.

      See this post for which method to choose. It is up to you and what you feel will work the best.
      http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2010/02/sleep-training-ferber-vs-healthy-sleep.html

      He really did do awesome! Remember that if he regresses a bit that is ok and normal.

      Most methods do recommend you don't pick up. It seems that if you are doing some hard core sleep training it is best for most kids, but some kids are totally fine with it. Kids will do better with the picking up once they know how to sleep by themselves pretty good but are needing a little extra comfort every now and again. Anyway, so once again, you will have to decide what you think will work the best. If you do pick up, try to do it just until calm. A better method might be the shush-pat for him since he seems to be one to calm easily with presence. You can look into that here.
      http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2009/01/shhpat.html

      Good luck!
      Rachel

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  2. Hi Rachel. Thanks again for your response! So as a quick update, baby has been doing OK so far and I am happy with the progress! For the past three days and nights he falls asleep at naps and bedtime ALL BY HIMSELF. I will nurse in advance and then just lay him in bed. He will fuss a few minutes then fall asleep. He has been waking up around 11pm every night and I let him cry for 5 min. Then I go in and after I pick him up for no more than a minute and put him back down he will fall back asleep. He then does the same at 2am then sleeps all the way to 7am!!! I am hoping that in a few days he realizes he gains nothing more than a moment of comofort and will therefore just stay asleep. Ill also wait longer each night before going in. I guess Im making up my own method but so far he has gone from waking every 2 hrs to nurse to only waking up TWICE and back asleep right away! I did read the no cry sleep solution and I feel that my method is close to it with the exception that I feel a baby DOES have to cry and fuss a bit to know mommy wont rescue you right away AND to learn he will sleep alone even if that does mean some crying. The first nights I let him cry for 30 plus min so I think that helped him learn this process a bit. Hoping for a no wake night to come soon!! :))

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    1. Tasneen,
      That is great that he is doing so well! It is very likely, like you said, that he will stop waking at night eventually, especially since he is going to sleep very well. If it isn't happening after a couple weeks ( I know that sounds like a long time, but really it isn't that long considering everything :) Then You might want to consider changing things around a bit. I hope things continue as they have been! And I hope you are enjoying feeling a bit more rested!

      Rachel

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  3. Hi do you recall as to why 8-11 months is "not really so good"? Right in the middle of that time period - yikes

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  4. The Daily Punchkin,
    Mainly because of separation anxiety around that time--it is the age of object permanence (and searching for missing objects) and social referencing. BUT some experts don't think separation anxiety has tons to do with sleep so it is a matter of option. I think it has some to do with sleep but probably not as much as the authors of bedtime think.

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  5. Rochelle @ My Baby Sleep Guide - Says...

    I dont know where to post this, but I could really use some advice. I know that this has nothing to do w your giveaway (which I entered) so bear w me.. I have purchased the bedtiming book and know that the time period between 9mos.-11mos. in not recommended to do sleeptraining because it prob wont work. My LO was sleeptrained at 5 mos. and then again at 6 mos. to wean the bf at nite and was sleeping well until this horrible awful 9 mos. sleep regression which know is bad for a lot of babies. He is now 10 mos. has cut 4 teeth in the last 2 months. The sleep regression and teething along with a long bout of flu and some horrible speration anxiety has wrecked his training we did. he is also doing the horrible naps right now which I know has part to do with him transitioning to the 2:1 nap thing which will prob take several months of playing with his awake time. He is doing A LOT of early waking at 5:30/6 which is because of the 2:1 thing and him getting OT. I also know that there some prop issues and this might be part of the prob also. Right now I am rocking untill drowsy and pd. But if he is not very drowsy, he will sit up and cry pretty hard. He used to go down from wide awake to sleep by himself. He had seperation anxiety when I leave the room, but is getting better. The prob is when I'm putting him down for naps and at night the seperation anxiety kicks in. But I dont know how much of this is props issue or OT or seperation anxiety. I do know for sure some of it IS seperation anxiety. The thing is I REALLY need to do some sort of sleep training. Im just thinking that waiting 2 more months untill he is 12 mos. is a long time. What do you think? Should I just be patient and wait until when the Bedtiming book says? The book makes since and has lots of science to back it up. Even the wonder weeks book says we shouldnt train during a wonder week and be patient. So I'm up against a rock and a hard place here. I dont want to continue the rocking prop. But sometimes when he is having seperation anxiety I think he may need it.
    Sorry for the long post...I'm confused and need advice from someone who has already read the book.

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    1. RachelStella @ My Baby Sleep Guide - Says...

      Rochelle,
      The thing with bed timing and the wonder weeks is that it's ideal not to sleep train during those times since many babies (but not all) will have a tougher time or take a longer time then but you have to take all factors into account. If you feel you can no longer handle things as they are right now, that is a very important factor. So I think sleep training may be ok in your situation. I would try to move maybe slower than you did in the past given what is going on with your little guy or try some techniques, like the baby whisperer, that offer a little extra support (maybe you alteady offer a bunch, dunno). Actually, if possible, I'd try to get as many variables as you can straightened up before you start and try to make sure you have some time to be consistent. You can always adjust what you are doing for st or stop it if things aren't going well (but make sure to give it a reasonable try before determining this).

      Rachel

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