Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sleep Training...that worked for both of us.

I'm against sleep training....sort of.

My kid doesn't sleep through the night. Well, he's done it twice in nearly 9 months.  But for the past three months, since teething started up, he's been waking up every two hours through the night.  For months I would get up with my little boy, settle into the rocking chair and nurse and soothe him back to sleep.  I would do this a few times a night.  Many people thought I was nuts, and I repeatedly heard the advice to sleep train him and it would all be over.  I couldn't do it.  I couldn't fathom the idea of putting my boy to bed walking away and letting him cry himself to sleep.  After chatting with many moms, and reading many websites about sleep training, the least traumatizing method seemed to be to put them down and let them cry, but go back periodically to soothe.  I thought about this but decided that my boy was too stubborn and it would never work.   That was until two nights ago.

It was midnight, I had just been nursing my wee lad, when I couldn't get him to go back to sleep.  He would fall asleep in my arms just to wake when I put him down in his crib.  This routine had been going on for months and I finally reached the breaking point.  I looked at my rocking chair, the place of so many awful nights of sleep and I couldn't bring myself to go back there.   I had finally reached a point where listening to him cry was easier than sleeping sitting upright.

So, we began some gentle sleep training.

Dear hubby went and got us both some ear plugs, and I went to hug and kiss my boy.  I told him that I loved him, but it was time to sleep.  I walked away...for two minutes.
After the two minutes, I went back in.  I hugged and kissed my boy.  I told him that I loved him, but it was time to sleep.  I walked away....for four minutes.

Lather, rinse, repeat..I walked away for six minutes....8 minutes...10 minutes.  

By this time, he was sweaty and upset, but losing steam.  Some time during the 10 minutes away it worked and he fell asleep.  Four hours later he was up for snack and went back to sleep just fine.  Sweet!   An hour later at 5am he was ready to start the day, but I wasn't.   Thus began round two of lather, rinse, repeat.  This time during his second stint at 10 minute away he fell asleep.

I'll admit, I was worried.  It took longer the second time to go back to sleep.  Was this not going to work?

So, last night we tried again.  8oz. bottle at 8, and went to sleep no problem.  Breastmilk snack at 11, put him down and the fun began.    Lather, rinse repeat.

I hugged and kissed my boy.  I told him that I loved him, but it was time to sleep.  I walked away...for two minutes....four minutes....then all of a sudden it was two hours later!  What?!  He put himself to sleep in 4 minutes.  Ok, it was only for two hours, but that worked, so maybe it will work again.   Two minutes....four minutes....

Suddenly it was 6am, my hubby was getting ready for work, and the little man continued to sleep for two more hours.  I even had an hour of mommy time to write this blog.

It took collectively less than an hour of crying over two nights, for me to have the best sleep i've had in three months.

It might not work for every baby, but it certainly worked for mine.

The best part?   His Applecheeks cloth diaper didn't leak a drop!  Stay tuned for my review of Applecheeks as an overnight cloth diaper.  Thanks to Dawn from Storks and Berries for recommending the diaper!

New Mama Thinks...

1 comment:

  1. P.S. Night three went very well. Up for a snack at 11. Up again at 2, but told him it was bed time. By the time I was at 8 minutes away he was out and didn't wake again until 7. I should have started this three months ago!