Sleep training is not the bees knees so to speak. It is super challenging and the hardest part is listening to your little one crying because you aren’t in the same room as they are. We tried to start sleep training my son when he was becoming too big for his bassinet. The reason why we did this was that when he had his arms spread open he would have to bend them as his arm span was far to big now. The hardest part was making that decision. If you are like myself and my boyfriend, we had the bassinet right beside the bed since he was born. Making the decision did not come easy especially when they are so young when you see how small they look in the big empty crib. Have no fear, If we can do it anyone can!
Choosing a method can be challenging at best. You have the cry it out method which we a lot of us probably grew up on. This is where you put them in their crib and just let them cry it out. You make sure they have a dry bottom and are in no distress and you just let them cry cry cry til they fall asleep. They also have the pick up method where they cry and you reassure them everything is okay and put them back down. You typically let them cry if out for about 5 minutes, go check on them, let them cry it out for 10 minutes, and repeat extending the time you take to go in between reassuring them by 5 minutes. Then there is also the one where you sit in the same room as they are. And slowly as time passed or days I could say you you move the chair further and further away from the crib.
We chose the mix between the cry it out method and cuddling them to sleep. We thought this would be the best route as it didn’t seem as harsh as the cry it out method either. The hardest part as you can imagine would be to wait til you have let the amount of time pass that should pass before rushing in to the room. the fact is your little one is probably just fine they just have to make the adjustment to not being right beside you all of the time especially sleeping. It took a few days of this and he seemed to be on a good pattern. Since every baby is different too, it may take your baby a bit longer or less time than others. The important thing is consistency.
Like anything you decide to do with your baby as they begin to age and have some independence, including sleeping in their own room, it is not without struggles. It really is painstaking when you are trying to get them to sleep and you hear them crying. Though after you go in, for what feels like the millionth time and they are perfectly fine. Or they even have a dry diaper, or they have their soother there really is no need. The separation is the hardest part seeing your little bundle cry for you there knowing you aren’t in the room.
Some don’t that we learned pretty quickly were that you have to be dedicated to this. When my son was going through tough times when it came to sleeping we did everything. You can read more about that in this blog. This was extremely essential when it came to sleep training our son because when he was about 6 months of age to about a year old he would wake repeatedly throughout the night. This got so bad to one point I would go in at 2am and he wouldn’t go back to sleep until 4am. And so on and so forth multiple times. It was only after a few weeks of this we decided to let him cry it out when he was waking. We would check obviously to make sure he was dry, we knew he wasn’t hungry since he had been fine for the longest time over night, and we knew that he wasn’t too hot or too cold. This sucked because in the middle of the night all you can do is lay in bed and wait and see how it goes. we did this for 2 nights and suddenly he was starting to sleep better.
Though I don’t want to attribute this just to him sleeping either because we let him cry it out over night. Suddenly he went to one nap a day and that seems to be huge. Though it is tough when you only have a “break” in the middle of the day. He typically naps for anywhere from 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes. I would much rather him sleep a smaller one nap instead of 2 small naps in the day and then barely sleeping at night. Him having one nap in the day time and then having slept super well at night is huge especially when thinking about having another baby around eventually too. The occasional time though we have had to go in and give him a soother if he has dropped it on the floor or if he cannot find it. Other than that though he does so well it is incredible how fast the change happened. Though going to one nap this soon was kind of a shock due to the fact that we know dropping to one nap a day normally happens a few months later and for us it was right around when he turned a year old!
Finding what method works for you can be hard and cause a lot of rifts in a relationship. I know with us it was tough not running in and trying to pick up our son when he was crying. Now that we have another baby on the way I am thankful that he sleeps as good as he does, next step would be to remove the soother from the situation however that will be happening after we get settled into our new home in the not so distant future (If we aren’t already there!).
What are some methods you experimented with when you were doing sleep training?
Was there anything that world right for your family, or some you absolutely hated?
Let me know in the comments below, I might need them with our next one!
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