Please let me say that we do not think one way of sleep training is better than another. After weeks of research, we simply chose what we felt would work best for our baby and what we felt comfortable with. We know each family is different and that not everyone agrees with all methods. We do not judge others on how they’ve helped their children learn to become better sleepers, so please do not judge us.
At 4 and a half months old, we couldn’t take it anymore and put our baby through torture.
I kid! We do not feel like this!
In all seriousness, our terrible sleeping, difficult, high maintenance baby has handled it better than our easy, laid back baby did. More simply, Rilyn is doing really well.
We, actually I, as B has been for a while now, got to the point where I was just ready to do this. Weeks of being up every 1-2 hours and trying for 40-60 minutes to put the babe back to sleep will do that to you. There were so many nights where I just felt like she needed us to just lay her down and cry it out, so many nights where I didn’t know what else to do.
We made sure we had a good bedtime routine in place, trying to be as consistent with the time as we could be. Then, after one terrible night including being up for an hour and a half at 2am trying to get an overtired baby back to sleep, we decided the following night would be the night.
We went through our routine and instead of swaddling Rilyn, put her in a warm sleeper and settled in to nurse her before bed. Usually I would nurse her to sleep then lay her down, no burping. Burping her would wake her up and then we’d have to start the whole process over again to get her back to sleep since she associates nursing with sleeping. Read: She thinks she has to nurse in order to fall asleep.
This time, I nursed her, then burped her, then laid her in her crib and told her that it was time to go to sleep and that we loved her. She stared at me. I’m pretty sure she was saying something along the lines of “Um, Mom? What the heck are you doing?”
I then walked out.
Brandon and I had a plan. We would go in at increasing intervals to soothe her without picking her up out of her crib. We’d start at 2 minutes then increase by 2 minutes each time before returning. We also decided that if this went on for 3 hours, we’d stop and try again in a couple weeks.
We braced ourselves for the worst. I was fully expecting to hit that 3 hour limit, but the kid didn’t make it past 30 minutes!
We couldn’t believe it! Could it really be this easy? Was the swaddle part of the problem all along? Who knew! Who cared! She put herself to sleep!
That night she was asleep at 8:33, up at 11, 2, and 6:30. I fed her each time, putting her back down awake and she fussed, not crying, for a few minutes and went back to sleep. I woke her up at 8:30. I was so happy!
She then fell asleep on our way to church but woke up while we were walking inside. Miraculously, after about 30 minutes, she put herself to sleep while still in the carseat when we were inside!
After we got home, I put her down for another nap. This time didn’t go so well. She screamed for 2 hours. After talking with Brandon, we realized that maybe our timing was off and she wasn’t ready to go down for a nap when I put her down. We decided we’d bring her downstairs and try again when she was ready to sleep. I felt a little discouraged.
We tried again later and it was much better. She cried for about 20 minutes and then slept for an hour (normal amount for her 3rd nap).
Last night we went through the same routine and she cried for about 30 minutes before putting herself to sleep. She slept from 8:30-2:30, I fed her and put her down awake and she didn’t make a sound as she went back to sleep! She slept until 7:30!
I feel amazing!
Naps were great today, both about 2 hours long.
I’m hoping things keep following this trend. I’m so surprised she’s done so well with this. We honestly expected this to take a lot longer and for her to put up much more of a fight. Maybe she was trying to tell us all along that she needed us to do this.
So proud of her and so happy to be reunited with sleep!