Sleep Training an AP Child

My bosses and I are about to work on putting the little one down without rocking her. But we are a no CIO child rearing. The little one is rocked to sleep and then laid down but if she wakes up, and if she's crying - which is a no no, we rock her to sleep again if she isn't crying. Even rocked to sleep if she's crying then no of course. She has a lovey and paci she uses to be rocked. Those also go with her when she's laid down. She cannot be laid down to sleep in her crib unless she is fully asleep otherwise she freaks and cries. She has the lung capacity of an opera singer, so how do we sleep train an AP child without CIO? I LOVE rocking her to sleep but she's getting older and we are moving to a new phase so we'd like to try encouraging her to go to her crib and fall asleep there without getting upset. Any suggestions? :) - Anonymous


♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Sorry OP, but your post was a little tough to comprehend. But I will try.

I am 100% against attachment parenting. I think it is just spoiling the child to death and will eventually lead to a society of self-entitled adults.

If the family does not allow crying it out and opts for massages to get the child to sleep, then there is no way (in my book) that this child will EVER fall asleep on his or her own. Just no way.

Crying it out is going to be part of the process of teaching a child to sleep on its own.
No ifs, ands or buts.

Bethany said...

Try patting her back or gently massaging her head to sleep with her in the crib. If she wakes up lay her down and pat her till she calms down and sleeps . You can wean her off the . Can't think of anything else all other strategies allow for a little bit of crying. Good luck. Hope things work out for you.

MissMannah said...

Completely agree with Amy. You can't sleep train without a little bit of crying at first.

MissWi said...

Where is the "like" button on here? Amy I agree with you need to learn to self soothe. I've met adults that can't fall asleep that well and they said it was because they dis not have to self soothe as a child.
Crying it out will not hurt her. It won't mentally damage her either...and eventually she won't have to cry she will understand that her body wants sleep and know what to do about it.

missQ said...

Amy, when I first read your comment I must admit I was slightly upset and offended. I didn't quite know what to say. Forgive me for feeling this way. I have a very well-behaved kid, excellent grades, many friends, etc. But, it took reading MissWii's comment to calm me down. This is really hard for me to say but I saw myself in your words MissWii. I'm an AP mom. I love my children more than life. I always wanted to do what I thought was best and CIO didn't seem like a loving way to raise a child. Part of me actually believed it would scar their psyche.

Hear me out. I have a child that has an extremely difficult time getting to sleep. He claims he's an insomniac. I told him that even though it can take hours for you to fall asleep, if you can sleep for 6-8 hours, undisturbed, you don't have insomnia. There are some nights he wants to fall asleep next to me on the couch (and typically does so rather quickly) or seems to need some kind of emotional/physical contact in order to go to sleep, and it's only now hitting me hard because he never learned to self-soothe! How blind could I be? I cannot tell you how clueless I was until just now. This must be what the problem is. So what can I do, how can I fix this?

OP said...

OP here. The mom thinks crying for 2-3 minutes is OK but longer is NoT ok. She is still nursed. So This new nap routine woul start with me and her dad. We would put paci in crib and lovey and hopefully he wants to go to crib and is able to relax and fall asleep BUT who knows. This LO does not take lightly not being held when ready to fall asleep.

been there done that said...

How old is she?

My charge is 3 months old, and I went through a bit of the same thing recently. He would go to sleep just fine on his own, but would wake up after 30 minutes, sometimes just fussing around, but sometimes crying. The goal was to get him to go back to sleep on his own. It's been a few weeks and he almost never cries now and is typically able to fall back to sleep much more quickly on his own. I think the only reason that we haven't had 100% success yet is that MB doesn't always follow through and sometimes gives in and gets him up. Here's what we do.

I lay him down, awake, in his crib with his pacifier in and white noise going. I kiss him and say "night night". Then I leave the room, closing the door behind me. Whenever he cries, whether it happens right after I leave, or 30 minutes later, I don't rush right back in. I give him 3 minutes of crying. Of course, if he sounds completely frantic I don't wait that long. If at any point in the 3 minutes he calms himself down for any length of time and then starts back up, I start the time over.

If he cries for 3 minutes, I go into his room, give him his pacifier back, and put a hand on his chest. I shush him and whisper soothing things. I don't make eye contact, talk out loud, or pick him up. I just stay there with him until he can calm down. As soon as he stops crying I get up and leave again.

You don't want to wait for her to start falling asleep to leave, because the goal is to get her to learn to do it on her own, which is not happening if you're the one soothing her to sleep. You just want to be there to help her calm down.

Then wait another 3 minutes. And do this again and again and again until she falls asleep.

How long it will take depends on how old your LO is and how persistent. It only took my charge three naps to really get the hang of it, and now he only has issues occasionally. And yes, this has more than 3-5 minutes of crying, especially for a persistent older child. But the baby never cries for more than 3 minutes alone. You're there helping her to work through it. But that's the difference; you're HELPING her, not doing it for her, which I think is where AP gets it wrong. Before too long she'll be able to do it for herself.

You say in your OP that you want her to be able to go to sleep in her crib without getting upset. Well just get rid of that hope right now. She is used to being rocked to sleep. Of course she isn't going to want to sleep in a crib alone. She is going to be upset; just accept that now. However, she will learn to sleep in her crib, and she will grow to like it. My LO now starts to get cranky if I rock him for too long before setting him down. As soon as I put him down he's a happy baby again. But it's not going to magically happen.

Again, it would really help to know how old this child is.

Linda said...

Your situation is just one example why I do not approve of Attachment Parenting as well. While I believe it is completely normal to love and bond w/your child in many ways, AP is too extreme.

It is perfectly normal for a child to cry when he or she is forced to do something they do not want to do. Trust me as a mother of four, I know this. However, children need to learn that the parents are the authority figures and what they say must be obeyed. Most children do not like to go to sleep. However, early on in their lives, they must learn to do it on their own w/no one coddling them or bribing them to do it. Sure they may at times fuss and holler, but it is not the end of the world. Many parents hear a child crying and immediately run to them as if there is a crisis happening, etc. If parents continue to cater to the child, then they will only have themselves to blame when the child grows into a spoiled brat who demands things from their parents. It is best to nip this behavior in the bud ASAP. One way in doing this and establishing authority as a parent is by teaching the child to fall asleep on their own w/no parental interference at all. No massages, no rocking, etc.

OP said...

OP here. She is 19 months. Mom said if it doesn't work out then it doesn't t but would like try it.

bostonnanny said...


This is going to be a tough transition for him at 19months. Caregivers should really start sleeping training immediately after the baby is 3 months old. I would start by patting his back until he falls asleep and staying in the room until he's in a deep sleep. continue to pat his back every time he wakes and slowly reduce the amount of time you do it for. This will take weeks.

I also agree with everyone else regarding AP. I like some aspects like baby wearing but for the most part I can't understand why parents believe they are damaging their children if they are not being soothed after every hiccup. Great eating and sleeping habits start early.

oceanblue said...

It's my view that babies know how to fall asleep on their own. Without outside help. We make them dependent on things like rocking, massages, music, stories etc. Think about they fall asleep on their own at playtime. Anyways ,op since mob will allow a little crying I would start to rock the baby until drowsy put in crib and pat back the rest of the way for a few days then just put them in crib and pat back for a few days reduce the patting over time until there is no patting at all. If she wakes up mid nap don't pick her up just pat. If you notice she wakes up at a certain time like after sleeping 40 minutes go in after 30 or 35 minutes and pat her to try and transition her into the next cycle soon she won't wake up at all. Also do everything at the same time every day if nap time is 12 put her down at 12 every day. I would pick an end time maybe 2pm and continue the routine until 2 , she will eventually learn that its sleeping time. Let your boss know it's a process and can take 2 or 3 weeks and will get worse before it gets better

MissMannah said...

Ocean, I used to think that too, re: babies know how to fall asleep. But some just don't and they have to be taught. We sleep-trained my charge at a very young age, and she still never immediately falls asleep. I usually put her in her crib and she'll play for up to 30 minutes before going to sleep. And she's never fallen asleep while playing. She has always known how to keep herself awake until she's so overtired that she is just miserable.