Needing tips on gentle sleep training

Hi moms, today at my daughter’s one-year appointment, I told her ped about how she still has about one, sometimes two feedings at night, and her ped suggested we wean her from nighttime feedings because she is afraid she will form cavities on her teeth at a young age. She cosleeps and is breastfed but her daddy and I wanted to start gently sleep training soon, anyway. Anyone have any tips for this? Maybe some tips on a gentle sleep training approach as we are not fans of the CIO method. Any advice welcome, please no judgment. We are first time parents and are new to this kind of thing.


You could try putting her in her crib for naps first. Once everyone gets comfortable with that then just try nighttime. I continued to nurse just before bedtime just to make the transition a little easier for baby.


Start out with naptime by putting her in her own bed. Then work to sleeping her in her own bed at night once she is taking a nap in her bed and not having an issue


I kept a baby brush or a wash cloth and a cup of water mixed with a little baby tooth paste next to my bed, I’d dip it and brush/wipe her teeth after feeding. Real quick and simple. You could literally use a toddler tooth brush and water, or just brush before bed and first thing in the morning and she’ll be fine. My kids are 4 and 5 now no cavities ever and I used both ways. I personally see more babies with bottle rot rather than from breastfeeding. Focus behind the front teeth and on flat surface of any back teeth. Also don’t give and soda or juice and candy, and definitely not before bed. After eating junk food or “treats” brush teeth even if only with water during the day. Usually it’s not the breast milk but the other things they eat or drink. Also your diet is critical, eat less sweets and lots of water and veggie and wholesome foods.

Try rocking her to sleep first then laying here in crib. When she wakes, don’t rush in as soon as you hear her stir, now I’m not saying wait till she’s purple crying or anything, but if it’s just some light fussing give her a little time to see if she may with through it on her own. Most likely in the beginning she won’t, and that’s fine! When you do go in if she’s not super upset, try just laying her down and patting her back to sleep without actually picking her up. If she doesn’t go for that obviously hold and console her, get her back to sleep, and do it all over again. It’ll probably be a slow process, but the transition will be to get her from co-sleeping completely, to sleeping in the crib with many wake ups but being able to be put back into the crib when back asleep, to being able to not have to held everytime she wakes up and patting being enough, to eventually soothing herself through most wake ups. Just be patient with her and yourself, don’t give up, and expect a few set backs

This is an excellent group for sleep training. There are a ton of options and this group is very supportive and informative.

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Controlled crying worked well for my 4. You put the baby down in the crib and then go where baby can’t see you. When baby starts crying hit start on a timer set for 3 minutes. When timer goes off go pick your baby, comfort them for 1 or 2 minutes, and then put them back down and repeat.
Slowly bump up the time you wait. After an hour bump up to 5 minutes. After another hour or so bump up to 10 minutes.
If after a couple hours he isn’t starting to self soothe and in real distress stop wait a month or so and try again.
Doing it this way baby learns to self soothe and that just because they cannot see you does not mean you are gone. It teaches them if they cry for you that you will come.
That being said before I began the process I started warming them up for it. Naps on their own and when they roused I would wait an extra 60 seconds before getting up to get them. At night I would an extra minute before getting them as well. We had them in our room but not in our bed so that made that easier for us. If you all Co sleep in the same bed maybe set up a pack and play or portable bassinet in your room and try getting baby to sleep in that first for at least part of the night might help.
All four of mine were sleep trained within a 2 or 3 days and they actually slept better after and were happier babies after. I hope this method works for you, but if it doesn’t there a lots of different ways to go about it. Hope you find the way that’s best for you and baby.

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Will she take a bottle or sippy with water? My son is having a hard timr and hes almost one and ive started to try to judt give him a bottle with water. She might just be thirsty and not hungry. Feed her and grt her tummy full and give her a lavender bath everynight and a massage before bed. I do put my son to bed with a bottle but try water when she wakes up. I hope this helps

We did cosleeping with my son and when I eventually weened, I actually slept on the couch :joy: we found out that if mom wasn’t in bed when he woke up that he was fine going back to sleep, but if I was there he’d push to eat. So I slept on the couch for a few nights and let my husband take the reigns and when I eventually started sleeping with them again we made sure to have a water bottle full of water for him if he were to wake up. It took a little bit but he eventually started just drinking water and quit asking to feed at night. Also lots of snuggles and his pacifier helped to curb the mid sleep fussiness when he wanted to eat.

If you’d like to avoid sleep training and use a different approach look into They Beyond Sleep Training Project Facebook group. They have great advice and offer alot of support.
My son is 2 and still sometimes wakes for milk during the night. We just make sure to brush his teeth before bed and after breakfast.
We did cosleep for awhile and now he usually starts the night in his own bed and comes into us for a cuddle around 4am and sleeps a few more hours.
You can also try offering water at night instead of milk and see if that helps. Sometimes that works for my son, others he just wants milk.

Just try out putting her in there, feed her and put her to bed. I co-slept with mine and she would still wake 2 to 3 times, the first night she woke up a couple times but I’d just go feed her and she’d go back to sleep. She’s been sleeping in her room for 3 months, and she sleeps through the night now. She actually wont sleep with me at all now

I’d start with weaning the nighttime feed and then move on to sleep training, trying to do both at once would be a lot for any age to take in.

For what it’s worth, I nursed both of my children at nighttime. My son was 2 & 1/2 when he weaned & he didn’t have cavities until he was like 4 or 5 yrs old (he’s 6 now.) My daughter is 3 & only nurses herself to sleep & has no cavities yet… :woman_shrugging:

I co sleep 8 month old j we cries give him q ninky or two sucks from q bottle right back asleep period.

We don’t let our daughter go to sleep in our bed. We lay her on the couch beside us until she goes yo sleep or sometimes rock her if she is having a bad day. She 1st slept in our room in her playpen/bassinet. I started by taking her into her room and letting her lay in her bed and we explored. Lights on lights off, her little noise machine/light machine elephant on. Then the next week we added one nap a day in her bed. Then all naps in her bed. And now after about 5 weeks she sleeps in her crib usually from 9pm to 4 or 5am.

We had a very similar issue, and still do at 18M (but it’s getting better). My son still wakes up throughout the night, especially during growth spurts, teething, and sleep regressions. During those times he still wants milk in the middle of the night. I recommend not rushing things, and gradually setting goals. If that means starting out with putting her in her own sleep space, but keeping the midnight feedings, then start with that. I recently got my son to start sleeping in his own bed, instead of with me (as he’s done since 4M). Once he got the hang of sleeping by himself, I started avoiding the midnight feedings by trying to ignore him (as hard as that is!!). I make sure he has a teething toy or his lovey in his bed, and usually all it takes is a little fussing and playing before he eventually falls back asleep. It took some time, but we’re getting there. Of course, there are still nights where he desperately needs something to drink. You can also try offering water instead of milk. If you start with small goals, it’ll be easier for everyone involved! We just found that getting used to sleeping alone was harder than eating all night. :woman_shrugging:t2:

So, maybe start by trying to get her to sleep on her own, then work on the late night feedings. It may mean laying her down and letting her fuss for 15 mins, then checking on her and giving her cuddles, then leaving for another 15 mins. Eventually she’ll learn to self-soothe without feeding . In the meantime, just make sure you brush her teeth as often as possible! I actually keep a toothbrush handy on the changing table, so whenever I’m changing my son I give him his toothbrush. I do the heavy work twice a day, and during diaper changes he tries himself!! It works for us. :gift_heart:

I gave my daughters a bottle of water in their bed at night so if they got thirsty they could drink no milk or juice just water water no cavities

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with your daughter getting a feeding at night. As for her teeth just make sure that you brush her teeth daily. My granddaughter gets a night feeding every day at the age of 3. And for the record she has excellent teeth. Her dentist cannot believe the beautiful teeth that she has. Good luck Mommy. Remember…she will not stay little forever.:wink:


The only thing I really suggest is no matter what you try be consistent and patient and loving

Give a bottle of water, she will realize it’s not waking up for.