Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sleep Training



I have put off writing this post because, truthfully, I don't want to jinx anything.

Maybe you remember, but about a month ago I decided I wasn't going to worry about sleep training Henry.  Something about I didn't think he was ready.  Well a couple of weeks after that, I cracked.  The final straw came when I read an article that mentioned I was doing Henry a "disservice" by not sleep training him.  He needed the sleep and to learn to put himself back to sleep.  After several nights of NOT sleeping well and too long of being so tired I never EVER spent time with my husband, I decided it didn't matter if Henry was ready... I was ready.

As a mommy friend of mine put it best, the best thing I can do for Henry is show him that his parents are happy, healthy, rested and in a happy marriage.  Not that our marriage wasn't happy, but we were so exhausted we really weren't able to enjoy each other's company.  A few days would go by and I would realize I hadn't even told Phil about my day because I was too tired to talk.  Plus, I need to be rested to work.  It helps when designing things like buildings.

I had been doing research to find a "gentle" way of sleeping training, but all my research pointed to the fact that those methods took a lot longer than the cry it out (CIO) method.  Well my patience was short.  I needed something to happen quickly.  My anxiety about letting Henry cry and cry was overcome by my almost primal need for sleep.

We decided to do a "gentle" version of CIO.  I wanted Henry to know that Mommy and Daddy would come in and check on him, but we wouldn't necessarily pick him up.

Knowing Phil the way I do, I decided to start the sleep training when he wasn't home.  So while Phil was at a basketball game with my brother, I went for it.  And it sucked.

We did the whole night routine... eat, bath, baby massage, nurse, cuddles, bed.

Henry cried and cried.  Every 5 minutes, I would go back in his room, give him back his pacifier, rub his forehead, tell him I loved him and then leave the room.  He cried harder every time I would leave.  It was awful.

Thankfully, my mom was texting with me through the whole thing.  It took 30 minutes, but he finally calmed down.  He put himself to sleep and slept THE.WHOLE.NIGHT.  The next night, it took 25 minutes.  We went back in his room every 10 minutes.  He woke up once and put himself back to sleep.  The night after that, it took 15 minutes.  He was occasionally waking up at night, but would put himself back to sleep.  And more often than not, he would sleep until 6 in the morning.

The downside... by the end of the week, he would begin crying every time I would move to put him in his crib.  But each night, he would fuss less and less.  Now, he doesn't cry or fuss when I put him in his crib at night.  Even if he isn't fully ready to go to sleep, he just hangs out in his crib until he puts himself to sleep.

He was ready.  And I am super happy we finally did it.  The first couple of nights, Phil wasn't exactly on board, but we just had to keep the BIG PICTURE in mind.  Sleep.  I honestly feel like a new person (except that I am currently sick).  He still wakes up, which wakes me up.  But for the most part, we are sleeping so much better.  And since Phil has been pulling a lot of late nights working on his dissertation, we all need all the sleep we can get.

I seriously hope I didn't just jinx anything.

2 comments:

  1. I just went through the same thing with my 6 month old who was a wonderful sleeper from 7 weeks to 3 months and then completely went on a sleep strike. We did "comforted crying it out" which sounds similiar to what you did but in intervals....increasing each time before we returned to the room to comfort him. It worked wonders in getting him to fall asleep on his own when we put him in his crib at the start of the night (it use to take an hour to rock him and get him to stay down) and he did start sleeping better although not perfect...but hey I will take every 3-4 hrs vs every 45 minutes!!! I know it is heartbreaking at first (and I also started it one night when my hubby was out of town!) but then when you see how much better they sleep it makes you feel like it was all worth it!!

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  2. Awesome!! I am so glad you guys found something that worked for you!!

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