The Joys of Sleep Training
Every parent has to go through the fabulous phase of sleep training at some point in their child’s life. I have now learned that it’s MUCH easier to do that when they are little rather than 20 months old. We recently just started sleep training our girls after way to many sleepless nights of us squished in one bedroom. Demi, our youngest who is 2 months now, has been a piece of cake to sleep train. I’m not even sure if it’s considered sleep training for her yet since I still feed her during the night. Addie on the other hand is full on sleep training.
Since the day she was born Addie has been in our bed. She was the snuggliest little thing and neither Brady or I could imagine letting that little baby be all cold and lonely in a crib by herself. So we both snuggled her every night up until Demi was born. Once Demi was born night time became a disaster. Four of us in one room wasn’t working. Demi would wake up crying to eat which would wake up Addie who would toss and turn and kick Brady which would then wake him up and there we were. The whole family wide awake at 2 am! This happened multiple times a night, every night. Finally I had hit my limit of sleeplessness and decided it was officially time to get Addie out of our bed. Brady was game and that first night we put her in her crib in her own room, kissed her goodnight, and walked out. We shut ourselves in our room with Demi with our box fan on loud and sat in there while Addie cried. Five minutes after we put her in her crib Brady went in laid her back down, told her he loved her, kissed her goodnight, and came back out. I waited another 10 minutes and then it was my turn. I did the whole laying her back down, kissing her and coming back out. We alternated doing this every 10 minutes and at around the 40 minute mark she stopped crying. She slept for maybe an hour, but each time she woke up crying we just let her cry til she fell back asleep. It was SO hard! Especially since she never cried much in her little life so listening to her cry for mama and dada was a little heart wrenching.
Well on the second night my husband had a little bit of a tougher time just tossing her into the crib. His excuse was, “she’s going to grow up and get big and I’ll never be able to snuggle her to sleep again!” So we came up with a compromise. He could snuggle her to sleep in our bed and once she fell asleep he HAD to move her to the crib. We have done that each night and each night she wakes up when he puts her in there, but then just rolls over and falls back asleep. In the night she wakes up and cries and cries for Dada so sometimes he goes in there tucks her back in and lays down on the twin bed in her room.
After a couple nights of the going in laying her back down and him laying on the twin bed I decided our constant hovering still wasn’t doing her any good. So I told Brady that he could lay her down and then he HAD to come right back out and we couldn’t go in during the night. Guess what. She woke up one time at 4 am, cried for maybe 5-10 minutes and went back to sleep! Finally a complete success.
Naptime on the other hand we are still working on. Addie never was a big napper. When she was tiny she would nap in my arms and if I tried to lay her down that was it, naptime over. Once Demi was born she’s just napped in the car driving or if she was tired enough to lay on my bed with me to fall asleep. Still these naps were only maybe 30 to 40 minutes long. So picking a time to put Addie in her crib hoping she was tired enough for a nap felt like an impossible task. The first day I tried it she cried for an hour and a half and I felt AWFUL! I finally took her out and she rocked with me for a bit and then went to play. The next day I tried it and she cried for another hour and half and still didn’t fall asleep. It was so hard for me to try again but I decided I HAD to put her in the crib from 2-3 everyday even if she wouldn’t nap at least for some quiet time. Well the third day I did it she cried for 15 minutes and then it was quiet! She fell asleep for about a half hour, woke up, cried for maybe 5 minutes, and then back to sleep.
Each day (this has only been going on like a week now) I’ve made sure to be home by 2 to put her in her crib. I’m an extreme extrovert and love to be out and about visiting friends and shopping, so I have to make it a point to be home everyday for naptime. Each naptime has gotten easier and easier. Less and less crying each time and longer and longer naps. Yesterday she cried for like 5 minutes and slept for almost an hour and a half.
I never realized how badly I needed this quiet time for myself, to recollect my thoughts, let myself relax, and to take a break from the constant running and caretaking. Now I realize it’s something every mother needs. I have my fair share of ADD and just the short amount of alone time I get has helped me wonders. I get a big cup of ice water, a cup of coffee, and sit down to either edit pictures or write a blog post.
In a week or so I’ll write another post to update you all on how our sleep training and nap training is going. Hopefully I will be writing to tell you that we are all peacefully sleeping through the night in our own beds and the girls are taking nice 3-4 hour naps (ha in my dreams) while I sip coffee and write blog posts.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the cry it out method or other methods you have tried. It seemed for us the only way to go about it was the cry it out method as she wouldn’t stay in a twin bed and I was running out of time and options.
Thanks for reading and check back in for more new posts (written during naptime;)