Hi! I’m Kim West, The Sleep Lady, and in today’s video I’m going to answer Sophia’s question about the Sleep Lady Shuffle. Here’s what she wrote in:
“Hi Kim. I have a question for you. Our daughter, Eredine, is 8 1/2 months-old and we recently used a form of controlled crying* with success”. Now, 3-1/2 weeks later, she is starting to wake again. We’re not sure what to do. She’s teething and trying to talk and walk. A lot is going on! If I comfort her as I have, I’m a bit worried I’m reintroducing bad habits. Can we try The Shuffle now or is it too late? She’s never been a great day sleeper and generally isn’t well napped.”
*Controlled crying is what I call in my book “time checks” and what other people in the United States call “Ferber,” where you would go in at 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes to check on your child without picking her up.
An Alert Baby
Sophia, if your 8-1/2-month-old is trying to learn how to walk, then you have an alert baby. Alert babies tend to have a higher IQ, reach milestones early and have more disturbed sleep. They tend to be a little harder to parent and require you to be very consistent!
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Developmental Milestones and Sleep
Walking is a huge developmental milestone that can upset the apple cart. You’re right in that this may be why she is waking up again after having completed sleep coaching using controlled crying.
If your baby was sleeping well post-coaching and then started waking out of what seemed like nowhere, then you may have started to go in and do too much to get her back to sleep. After all, we often can’t tell right away that it’s a milestone that has thrown things off. You may have thought she was sick, or something was wrong, or maybe she had a wet diaper.
If you went in and rocked or patted her to sleep for a couple of nights, you may have inadvertently created a new pattern or negative sleep association. It’s possible that’s happened.
RELATED: Pre-Toddler Sleep Regression
It’s Not Too Late
No, it’s never too late to re-start sleep coaching. I also don’t think that you have anything to lose by starting with The Shuffle instead of controlled crying.
Start At Bedtime and Well-Napped
I would start at bedtime after a day of good naps—any way you can get them. Hold her, rock her, whatever works to get a nap. Sleep coach at any awakenings throughout the night. I would also address naps with The Shuffle starting the next day since you shared that she has never napped well or been a great day-sleeper. Sleeping well during the day is essential and will help with the night sleep.
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