Let’s start by going back a few years to when I had my very first little newborn baby. I held him all day, every day and never gave him a single chance to learn to soothe himself to sleep. When I would put him down he would cry so I picked him right back up. Mother’s instinct, really.
Almost three-years later he still sleeps in our bed every night. That’s another post for another day.
When Paityn was born I vowed not to go down that road again. There is not a single spot left in our queen sized bed. But, again I had a preemie and again I had a baby with reflux and she just wouldn’t sleep on her own. She did fairly well between the three and six month mark sleeping in her rock and play after I rocked her to sleep and carefully put her down so she wouldn’t wake up.
She was sleeping ok but tricking her into sleeping alone for a few hours was not my goal. Plus, what she was sleeping in was no longer a safe choice for her age. I knew I wanted a baby that I could put into bed and walk out for her to fall asleep on her own. I wanted to have a simple, easy bedtime routine that wouldn’t have me sitting in a dark room rocking for an hour, only to put her down and her wake up and start the process again.
I also knew that if I was going to sleep train I would have to do it soon. I tried to sleep train Brady once when he was already able to stand in the crib and the crying lasts 100x longer.
So. The good stuff. What did I do?
I ordered the Mom’s On Call 6-15 month online seminar. I heard so many other mom’s singing its praises and I thought, what the heck. For me, the program wasn’t too much different than most other cry it out methods, BUT, what does make it different, is that it gives you a very strategic pla/n to follow. I liked that it told me exactly what to do and when to do it. I didn’t need suggestions, or theories, I needed a step by step plan.
For instance, it doesn’t tell you that maybe you should try a sound machine. It said use a sound machine and put it on the white noise setting, loud. No waterfall, no ocean, just white noise. And that’s what I needed. Someone to say DO THIS and do it everyday.
So that’s what I did. And she cried. And cried. And cried for several days, but each time she would eventually fall asleep. After a week or so she didn’t cry at all when I laid her down. Some nights she did great and other nights she needed to fuss. It took a few weeks before she finally would consistently go down without a little fight. And every so often now and again she still needs to fuss. But nine times out of ten she goes right to sleep.
I put her to bed every night at 8:00pm and all I have to do is walk in the room, turn on the sound machine, hug her and kiss her and say a prayer, then lay her down. She finds comfort in that space and LIKES sleeping there. It was completely worth the crying and completely worth the money spent on the seminar.
Sleep training has made our night times so much more peaceful. If you’re looking for a little help, I really suggest trying Mom’s On Call.
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.