Sleep Training

Sleep training. There are dozens of books, which translates into a dozen or so methods. You’ve got the Ferber method, Healthy Sleep Habits – Happy Child method, BabyWise, there are sleep training experts, to Dr. Sears co-parenting/co-sleeping method, to every other method in-between. In one way or another, each of these methods are in essence some form of cry it out, well maybe except Dr Sears. Each method is to teach or help train a baby to be able to fall asleep on their own and be able to self sooth themselves.

I co-slept with BabyBird from when he was just a few weeks old to up until about 14 weeks old. I moved him to his own crib in his own room when he got too big to be cuddling next to me. And when I realized that when I woke up in the morning, I was sleeping on only a few inches of the bed and sweet little BabyBird was fast asleep with his arms wide open. I took this as a sign that he was ready for his crib.

At first, I was really hesitant on doing any cry-it-out methods just because I felt that he was too small and that at night he just needed his Momma. Plus, I also felt that he needed the nursing and bonding time with me at night because we were separated during the day while he was at school and I was at the office. He went from 100% nursing time, to 50% and now we are down to maybe 25% of the time he nurses for his meals. So I just wasn’t ready. But fast forward a few more weeks of so-so sleep, of getting up every 3-4 hours to either nurse or comfort and I was tired! As the weekend approached, we decided to work on a better night routine and night time parenting.

The first night was extremely hard. It goes beyond every human and Momma instinct to not comfort your crying baby. It took every fiber of within me to not swoop up my crying child, nurse and rock him slowly back to sleep. If it wasn’t for Daddy’s stern and firm resolve that night, I would have broke down and just comforted him. That first night felt like he cried forever… but it was only about 40 minutes. Then he fell asleep and stayed asleep until his next feeding which was about 4 hours later. He ate, then fell back asleep and slept until the morning.

Here’s a brief recap of our last few nights:

 

Day 1 – Saturday Night: 3 attempts at putting down. He wailed each time we set him back down in his crib, waited 8-10 minutes then picked him up to comfort him and then tried again to set him back down in his crib. On the 3rd attempt he fell asleep for a total of 36 minutes or so of crying.

 

Day 2 – Sunday Night: Fell asleep after 2 attempts, for a total of 25 minutes. Woke up 20 minutes later, cried and then put himself back to sleep.

 

Day 3 – Monday Night: Put in bed sleepy, he rolled over and kicked his rainforest toy watched that for a few minutes, then fussed for 10 minutes, and then fell asleep. There. Was. No. Crying. None. He did fuss and we heard him get a big cranky, but no full blown rage crying. It was about 20 minutes from the time we set him down to when he fell asleep. Win!