I've been quiet lately on the blog because I totally devoted myself to sleep training our baby boy. I know for some it's a controversial topic, it's ok if you don't want to sleep train your baby, but it was much needed for us and as the mom I made the call to benefit my family.
After months of struggling with sleep, reading countless books, and considering a three hour stretch of sleep to be a major win, I knew I had done all that I could on my own, and that I needed help. I ended up contacting the Goodnight Sleep Site. I knew that I was so sleep deprived that I couldn't do it alone and I needed some guidance.
They responded the same day and we set up a time for a consultation. I answered a super in depth questionnaire and prepared for our call and sleep plan. The consultant, Jamie, http://goodnightsleepsite.com/halton/meet-jamie/was wonderful and listened to me every step of the way.
For us going to sleep wasn't a challenge. He went in his crib awake, we had nap time and bedtime routines we had followed since he was about six or eight weeks old, and we didn't feed him to sleep. We followed the eat, awake, sleep model. That's why I was so confused why, with all these healthy habits, my little one was waking up ALL NIGHT LONG?
At his six month appointment we had gotten the ok to stop night feeds as he wasn't eating a lot at night and eats a ton during the day. So we were ready to address his (and our) sleep needs.
I was mentally prepared for a tough few nights and with the support of my consultant got down to the business of consistent sleep training. I think that was the key for me, being consistent and having someone who could give me structure and reassure me that what I was doing was the right thing to do. What if they wake up after half an hour? How do I slowly stop those night feeds? What do I do if he wakes at 5am ready to party?
The best part of working with a sleep consultant was having those guidelines. I felt empowered knowing what I would do throughout the night. The first couple of nights were hard. There was crying, and I was ok with that, he was learning a new routine and it was going to be tough. While trying to reduce his feeds he just suddenly started to not need to feed at night, which was great.
By about night four we were down to one wakeup at night (from 4-7 wakeups - what a win!) and often he settles himself before I get to his room. This has been a huge win for us! I am sleeping the majority of my hours together, and just sleeping well in general!
Finnley wakes up happy and is generally happy to be in his crib. He goes to bed without a fight and settles himself down. He doesn't need me to run into his room multiple times a night to pop a soother in. He just doesn't need it during the night anymore.
Sleep has also helped him during the day. He's happier, more alert and actively learning. Our time together is quality now, and I love seeing how much more he smiles.
I don't think I would have been as successful without the help of Jamie. It was great to have an unbiased person giving me support and structure. She checked in with me several times a day and gave me tips for the future.
If you're considering sleep training, I say go for it. If you can do it yourself that's great, if you need help that's ok too. Just know when your child sleeps (and you sleep) you'll both feel so much better. You'll get to enjoy your child more and bedtime won't instil fear in you.
How did your baby learn to sleep? Did you sleep train? Let me know if the comments below!
I love to cook, entertain, craft and create - all while being a wife, friend, daughter and a mom to a little boy.