July 21, 2010,
A.L. asks from Placentia, CA on July 20, 2010
Anyone Used Extinction Method with the Pacifier??
I have a baby who LOVES her pacifier. It has gotten to the point were it is disrupting her sleep at night (waking up every hour looking for it) and my ped recommended weaning her. My daughter just turned 4 months old so she is at an appropriate age to sleep train. During the night she will fall asleep but I'm having problems with her naps. She will cry and cry and cry. It was recommended to let her cry as long as it takes to get her to fall asleep even up to 2 hours. Do you think I should let her cry for a set period of time and then get her up and try again later??? Has anyone else tried to sleep train with taking away the pacifier?? I should mention I nurse before I put her down and her room is dark with white noise in the background.
PS I am NOT looking for your opinion on CIO method. I am looking for anyone's experience with taking away the pacifier earlier rather than later. Again, the pacifier IS a problem for my child since she can NOT stay asleep for even an hour of the night . She needs consolidated sleep and taking away the pacifier is the best option.
So What Happened?™
Let me begin by saying I have nothing against the pacifier ( I only started to have issues with the pacifier once it began to hurt my child rather than help her) and I have found that 4 months is not to young for her to learn how to sleep on her own. I decided to stick with taking away the pacifier and after 3 days I'm so happy I did! It was the best decision I have ever made. My precious baby will now sleep through the night only waking to nurse 2-3 times. The absolute best part is she is now a HAPPY baby! I can't believe how much she has changed. No more fussing all day and crying on and off. She is finally rested! My goal was to have a happy healthy child not to simply have her sleep for a set period of time. By taking away her pacifier I ultimately HELPED (not hurt) her learn how to have consolidated sleep on her own (not cruel as some of you would infer). The plan that worked for us was to have the same sleep routine she had before but to simply do it all without the pacifier. For naps I only let her cry for half an hour then got her up and would try again in a half an hour. The second time around she would drift right off. For evenings I didn't have a set period on her cry time but she usually just fussed/complained on and off for an hour. Now, she usually doesn't fuss more than 10-15 minutes. Thanks for all the well meaning advice. We're now well on our way to happy sleep habits.
B.B. answers from Los Angeles on July 21, 2010
I had the same situation with my daughter and took it away at 6 months. After a few nights of crying it was forgotten....
K.M. answers from Kansas City on July 20, 2010
My kids were binky babies and they turned out just fine. I think four months is a little young to take it away, especially if she loves it so much. We used to put extras in the bed at night and surprisingly, it worked!
If you are concerned about pacifier use, keep it contained to the bed only. My kids only got their binky at nap and bed time. It actually made getting them into bed easier because they looked forward to having binky time!
Two hours is much too long for a four month old to cry. Give her another month or two and then start your training. I know it's hard right now, but she's a baby for such a short amount of time - this phase will be over before you know it!! Good luck and keep us posted!
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D.K. answers from Washington DC on July 20, 2010
I have to say that I do NOT believe in CIO. I think it's cruel. I also think that "sleep training" sounds like something you do with a dog, not a child. So any advice I can offer is going to be slanted in the direction of my own experience. However, I've also heard that 6mo is the age you want to start if you do choose CIO. I thought 4mo was too young still.
I just wanted to give you another opinion since you say things like "it was recommended" etc... is this a decision YOU made or is it something you think you HAVE to do? I'm here to tell you that I co-sleep and attachment parent my kids and they have healthy sleep habits. Sure my 2yo still crawls into bed with us in the middle of the night, but he's right on track to voluntarily give it up soon just like his brother did. My older son sleeps very well in his own room in his own bed now. I believe in soothing babies to sleep. I personally think that forcing an infant to cry it out is insane. They are crying for a reason. Expecting them to emotionally mature on their own and learn to "self-soothe" AT THIS AGE is total bunk, IMHO. The only thing this accomplishes is to teach them that mom isn't going to be there when they need her and that they should just give up and learn to be lonely. They fall asleep because of exhaustion and despair, not because they've learned to "self-soothe."
I co-sleep and my boys are very well adjusted kids. They are emotionally stable and very happy. Co-sleeping does not have any negative side-effects so what have you got to lose by trying it?
Some people swear by CIO and some, like me, would never consider doing it to our children. It's a personal decision every parent has to make for themselves. I just hope that it is a decision you made for yourself and not because other people told you that you had to.
I recommend trying attachment parenting and co-sleeping. Especially since you're breastfeeding. They go hand in hand truly. I think if you try co-sleeping you'll never want to go back. It's so much easier if you're nursing. You get so much more sleep. I think your daughter is so attached to her paci because she feels a need to be attached to SOMETHING. It's actually strange because most breastfed babies I've ever seen or heard about don't generally take to a pacifier at all. Maybe you should consider letting her become attached to YOU... I don't think you'll ever regret it. There's really nothing sweeter than your baby falling asleep with your hair or finger grasped in their chubby little fist. It's natural and so good for them too.
Just food for thought.
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D.W. answers from Gainesville on July 20, 2010
Ummm....4 months is not the appropriate age to begin that kind of sleep training (personally I don't think there is an age appropriate for any type of cry it out method). Even Dr. Ferber (whose method is often referred to as cio) believes it should begin around 6 months. You are right not to be ok with an infant crying for up to TWO hours. That is absolutely insane in my book. I could never stand on the other side of the door and allow that to happen. There are far kinder and gentler ways to teach baby to sleep. Check into Dr. Sears Baby Sleep Book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution and The Baby Whisperer. They will all teach you tips and tricks and how baby sleep works. Once you understand that it will make formulating a sleep plan for your baby much easier.
She is 4 months old! Give her the pacifier. Why flood her system with stress hormones and have to listen to her wail!? And yes, she will eventually learn to sleep without it. Try putting several pacifiers in her crib where she can easily get to them. My kids were never much on pacifiers but I have heard of other moms doing that trick.
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N.O. answers from Phoenix on July 20, 2010
I think it might be too much to try to sleep train and wean off a pacifier at the same time for a 4 month old. What worked for me with both of my kids is to swaddle them tightly for naps and bedtime. I would tight swaddle them and then give them their last feeding of the day or the one right before a nap and when the bottle was finished give them a pacifier.
Once asleep (still tight swaddled) I would place them on their side in their crib in between the propping triangles and they would stay sound asleep all night or for 1 1/2 - 3 hours for a nap.
My son would spit out the pacifier when he was ready but my daughter went through a phase where if she spit it out she would wake in the night wanting it again so I would simply put it back in for her and sleep would resume. I swaddled both of my children until about 5-6 months of age. My daughter heavily used a pacifier until she was 2 and then we cold turkey took them away. My son is not so in love with them so we will see how it goes (he is 7 months).
I put the method of the 5S's from the book "Happiest Baby on the Block" to work with both of my kids from day 1 and achieved sleeping through the night around 2 months with both of them. i do not think it is too late to try it with your 4 month old.
BEST OF LUCK!
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J.O. answers from Chicago on July 20, 2010
I would not let a infant under the age of one cry any longer then 20 mins ever for any reason. They lived inside a very noisy place for 9 months it will take at least that long to get used to the idea of being totally alone in a very quiet place. As for the pacifier do what you think is best for your baby. She may have a very strong oral need to suck. Good Luck !
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K.F. answers from Santa Barbara on July 21, 2010
Your daughter LOVES her pacifer because she is trying to self sooth herself. If you are letting her cry for 2 hours at 4 months, no wonder she is hyper vigilant about her "soothing" item. I know many peds recommend the crying method but if you put yourself in your baby's place, try to pretend to feel like her, you will easily come to the conclusion that crying for 2 hours is not okay. You are teaching her that someone may come when she's in need or maybe not. How scary for her. Please go get the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block". It absolutely will help you help your child. I know you are exhausted but this phase doesn't last long and you don't get any do overs. (as for the pacifer, leave 5 or 6 in her bed next to her, add short ribbon to make them easier to grab - once she feels "safe",she won't "need" them so badly) Also have you tried an exercise ball instead of rocking? Some babies prefer gentle bouncing vs. rocking. The balls are great because you can do both. How about a sling? My daughter learned to nap starting in the sling where she felt secure. Is your daughter not wanting to take both naps or just one? Perhaps you are not accurately judging her natural rythmn for naptime. My daughters timing was 9:45 and 1:00 but my son was 10:30 and 2:00. If I tried to put them down at other times, it was always a struggle. Please go get the book and I wish you all the best.
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M.B. answers from Philadelphia on July 20, 2010
Just my opinion, but 4 months seems a little young to take away the bink. Also, if you are planning to "sleep train". the paci will probably be a great tool for her to self soothe. I would maybe hold off on "extinction" and resurrect the binky! :)
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J.M. answers from Boston on July 20, 2010
I agree, 2 hours is a very long time for a 4 month old to cry. I do believe in sleep training/CIO, although you'll probably get a bunch of posts that beat you up about it. I don't think it's a bad thing, but I do think she's a little young.
My advice? Give up on the sleep training for now, let her have the paci. In my opinion, it's much much better for her to associate sleep with being comfortable and relaxed then something that's a struggle. Then either sleep train in a couple of months when she's not as attached to the paci or when she can move around enough to find it herself in her crib. You might find that you don't have to sleep train once she can find it, because it will enable her to self-soothe already (that's what happened with my son and his thumb).
It's very easy to lose perspective, so I don't mean this in a mean way at all, but relax, yes, she will learn to sleep without it. She's only 4 months old. You were pregnant for more than twice as long! 4 months is very little. At some point several years down the line this will seem like nothing more than a blip.
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