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What happens at sleep school?
Is it all cc/CIO etc?

11 replies to this topic

#1 WaitForIt

Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:59 PM

I losing the sleep battle...
I've read Pantley, we'd stopped feeding to sleep, every now and again I could get her to self settle with me standing next to her or lying down in a bed next to her cot.
Now all of a sudden we are back to square one, feeding to sleep and having real difficulty getting her into her cot. There is a lot of crying, both her and me. I'm getting a lot of pressure from people to CIO and I just can't. Although after last night and today I must admit im wondering if CIO will actually result in less crying... I'd still like to avoid it if I can.
I think I'm going to have to go to sleep school, but I'm scared to do that (and feel like such a failure). I don't want to get there and feel pushed into a corner to do something I don't want to do. So I'm wondering, what happens at sleep school?

#2 BB1511

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:21 PM

The sleep school I took my DS to did not do controlled crying or CIO. There was some crying/grizzling but he was not left to cry on his own until he stopped. I learnt to listen to him and watch and help him go to sleep. He is now a dream sleeper and has been for ages. I say give it a go or call and ask what they do. You aren't a failure and no one should force you to do something you aren't comfy with. I was at breaking point so needed the help or who knows what would have happened.

#3 Soontobegran

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

Two of my DD's have attended two different sleep schools and each of them had slightly different routines but neither involved CIO but rather responsive settling. This did involve some whinging and light crying but the babies were never left alone and not attended.
I am very against CC and CIO for young babies but am quite open to the techniques used at sleep schools as I have seen such positive results.

These two babies went from 40 minute sleep cycles at night to sleeping 10-12 hours within a week.
I didn't believe it possible, but it sure is true. It saved their sanity, it refreshed their relationships and made for happier babies.

In Victoria it is quite hard to get into one in a hurry so bookings will often take a couple to a few weeks to get you in, I am not sure whether it is the same in other states.

#4 cuddlebud

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:40 PM

Timely post - we just got back from sleep school ths morning! The one we went to was more controlled comforting. It was basically put bubs down, tuck them in and leave the room. When the complaints became actual cries and were escalating you went in and comforted them till calm and then left. Every time they escalated, you comforted them and if it wasn't working, you set a time limit for yourself and got lo up and went for a walk, had a 10 min play and tried again. The only time i actually left lo to cry was when she was getting angry for me being in there but not pickking her up - I left and she fell asleep. The staff were lovely and if you ever felt uncomfortable with any of the techniques they adjusted them.

We've gone from being completely wrapped and rocked to unwrapped and sometimes falling asleep without resettling in 4 nights. But it's just day one at home so we'll see how we go. I would ring around dufferent sleep schools and speak to them about the techniques they use. It was v helpful to have them supporting you when you were listening to the grizzles and trying to figure out what to do when bubs had been rolling around in the cot for 40mins.

Difinitely don't be worried about asking for help - teaching your baby to sleep independantly is one of the best things for them.

#5 mandala

Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:00 PM

I won't lie, there is crying at sleep school, but there was crying at home for us anyway! The place I went to used responsive settling and they helped come up with something I was comfortable with, and that was appropriate for the age of my baby.

I suggest you give them a call to find out if you're willing to use their techniques.

We had five nights at sleep school. The first day DH and I spent about three hours with a nurse doing an entry interview where she went through his typical day, his development, what we tried, how we felt. She watched him feed and then she and another nurse took it in turns to try to settle DS to sleep in a cot.

DS and I both cried. It was a huge change for him, and we were both massively overtired which made it even harder. However, I was at the end of my tether so we persisted.

The idea was to listen to the noises DS was making to see if he was trying to calm himself down. If he was calming himself, then we'd leave him. If he was getting more upset, we would go in and do the minimum required to calm him. That's why it was called responsive settling - we responded to his cues, rather than leaving him a set amount of time.  They had infrared cameras in the room so they could show you that even though DS sounded upset, he was actually lying calmly and sucking on his hands.

I found it really helpful as they helped me understand DS's cues more clearly. I thought he was hungry but he was usually tired instead. I also discovered that he hated being touched when overtired and wouldn't respond at all the patting or shushing, which is all anyone ever suggested to me. It was also good when they all tried to calm him down and failed - I discovered that it wasn't just that I was a bad mother if six expert nurses couldn't settle him. That gave me 'permission' to just give up if it was too much and try again later.

It was also fabulous to speak to other mothers who understood the torture of a bad sleeper. While I was there, most of the mothers were there with their second babies - because their first babies all just slept! Remember that a lot of people just haven't experienced how bad at sleeping some babies can be.

And please don't think it's a failure to go to sleep school. It's okay to have a problem and seek professional advice to solve it. It would be more of a failure to drive yourself past breaking point original.gif

#6 SeaPrincess

Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:06 PM

My friend stayed overnight for a few nights.  When she put the baby to bed, she watched on a video monitor, so she could see what the baby was doing and learn to recognise grizzling noises vs actual crying.  She had flown in from interstate to do it, and they encouraged her to have an evening out, so I picked her up one night and we went out for dessert.

#7 WaitForIt

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:10 PM

Thank you, I'm feeling more and more like this might be the best thing.

Ironically, DD just went to sleep without complaining. I thought I'd try introducing a lovey. 99% sure it was the novelty of it but it was enough to distract her from her fear of the cot. I still rocked her cot, I didn't dare not!

However this isn't enough for me to think we are about to turn a corner, we've been here before!

Eta: well there goes that, she woke up and we spent two hours tag teaming, trying to get her to sleep before she finally fed to sleep... Again...

Edited by WaitForIt, 03 February 2013 - 09:02 PM.

#8 nik_klinger

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:33 PM

Sorry this won't help at all, fluff answer & i'm not being rude i just had to say it,

What happens at sleep school? ...... Stays at sleep school.

Hope that made you smile a little.

#9 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:01 PM

I had a similar experience to PPs - responsive settling rather than CIO (which I don't think any of them do) or timed CC.

Bear in mind that you get different mothercraft nurses helping you, and they all have slightly different views on where the boundary lies between "distressed" and "grizzling" and some can be a bit old school and pushy.  You are still the parent and you make the decisions - after all you need to be able to be comfortable doing it when you get home, and if there are relapses (say after teething, illness, holiday etc).  

If you do a search there are a few threads on particular sleep schools and some practical info like what to take.  

A lovey made a big difference to my son - but we created a monster.  He has 6 now and sometimes wants all of them in a pile which he sleeps on.   If he sees any in the washing machine, he cries and tries to get the door open to rescue them.   Some times he has to carry one in his mouth if he needs his hands for something else.

#10 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:01 PM


Edited by meggs1, 03 February 2013 - 08:03 PM.

#11 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:01 PM


Edited by meggs1, 03 February 2013 - 08:03 PM.

#12 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:01 PM


Edited by meggs1, 03 February 2013 - 08:02 PM.

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