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Old 09-02-2016, 07:33 PM
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Default Teaching 3 Month Old to Fall Asleep On Her Own

Hello daycare.com. I love reading this forum, and while my daughter is not in daycare, you guys have SUCH great information on child rearing and I've learned a lot. I hope this question is OK even though it's not daycare related. I've read a lot of threads about children who haven't learned to sleep on their own and so can't be in daycare because they can't nap without a lot of intervention, with lots of great advice on training children to sleep. I've fallen into that trap, though! My daughter can't sleep on her own! I believed all the "fourth trimester" stuff and have been soothing her to sleep for the past 3 months. She is 14 weeks old now I am ready to start sleep training her (not to sleep through the night, just to fall asleep without being nursed, swaddled, rocked, bounced, held, etc.) but I have read a LOT saying that letting your child cry it out at all in the first three months is wrong developmentally, they can't self soothe at that age, etc. I can't tell what is legitimate and what is just the new school of parenting.

I LOVE my daughter and want her to learn to fall asleep on her own but I don't want to cause any issues either. What is OK to do at this age? Can I use the Ferber method of putting her down, letting her cry for a few mins, checking in, increasing crying time, checking in, etc.? Even if I just try to remove some of the ways she's soothed, she will cry, so I see no way of teaching her to sleep on her own without tears. I'm not afraid of her crying! I just don't want her to be crying UNNECESSARILY, if it's too soon for her to learn to do these things and it will just be traumatic and a waste of time. You guys seem to be the most level-headed bunch of parents and caretakers on the internet, so can you please give me the REAL scoop on what is developmentally appropriate for me to be doing for my daughter at this age?

Thank you!
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:30 AM
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Here is a previous thread that may help: http://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=79842
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:15 AM
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Thanks for finding that, Michael! I'm not sure how much value it is for me though, as I believe there are a lot of developmental differences between a 7 week old and a 14 week old. What actually prompted me to post here were posts about 12 week olds in day care, and I thought to myself, surely these daycare providers are not going through this rigamarole to put those infants to sleep.. And if they can do it, so can we! I'm just not sure how to start making a chance if letting her cry isn't appropriate yet, or if letting her cry would be OK?
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Thanks for finding that, Michael! I'm not sure how much value it is for me though, as I believe there are a lot of developmental differences between a 7 week old and a 14 week old. What actually prompted me to post here were posts about 12 week olds in day care, and I thought to myself, surely these daycare providers are not going through this rigamarole to put those infants to sleep.. And if they can do it, so can we! I'm just not sure how to start making a chance if letting her cry isn't appropriate yet, or if letting her cry would be OK?
I think it is a common misconception that babies aren't supposed to cry. It's really their only form of communication. You can allow her to let her feelings out about taking her soothers away while still being respectful and present. You do not need to completely ignore her cries for her to learn how to sleep on her own. Understanding her feelings and giving her a chance to let them out while periodically assuring her that you are there and understand why she is upset will help her cope.

I encourage you to check out Janet Lansbury's blog online. She has lots of advice on respectful sleep learning. I think she would be right up your alley. I follow a lot of her and Magda Gerber's advice with my own parenting and with my daycare and it has made a world of difference in understanding why babies and children cry and how to help them deal with their big emotions. Best of luck to you!
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:34 PM
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At that young -

I would just be mindful of not creating bad habit, don't put baby to bed with lots of props (toys, blankets etc)

Create a consistent routine.

I did a version of cry it out with all my kids (and daycare infants) around 6-9 months. Before then, I responded promptly to crying when possible. Sometimes that meant they waited a few minutes while I finished helping another child, but I didn't worry about training them to sleep un assisted until they were older infants.
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