As I mentioned in my last post, we started sleep training with Miss K a little more than a week ago. I had been nervous to do it, thinking there would be lots of crying (on K’s part) and lots of guilt (on my part) involved. I won’t lie; both of those things were involved. However, neither lasted very long, and we’re all feeling so much more rested now!
We are using The Sleepeasy Solution as our guide, and things are honestly going better than I expected.
We officially started at bedtime on Friday night. We did our normal bedtime routine, which includes a new diaper, fresh pajamas, a story or singing and a bottle. I hoped that a little bit of familiarity would help K adjust to everything new that was about to happen.
Things that we had to change included allowing K to fall asleep in our arms, swaddling her, gently placing her in the crib and sneaking out of the room while praying for peaceful sleep.
We lost the swaddle, cold turkey. It was time – especially since she had started escaping it almost every night, at least once. K had also started rolling over while in the swaddle, which made me very nervous.
We also had to get over the hurdle of putting K into her crib while drowsy, but awake. As precious as she is while snoozing in our arms, we weren’t doing her any favors by helping her to sleep.
The first night was so heart wrenching. We put her to bed at 7:30 pm, and let her cry. As directed by the book, we checked in at intervals that got further and further apart – after five minutes of crying, then 10, then 15… you get the idea. We didn’t pick K up, but we calmly told her that it was OK, that she was doing great, we love her and it’s time to go to sleep. She cried for a total of about an hour. As difficult as it was to listen to her cry, I hoped that the result would be worth it.
Once K did fall asleep that first night, she slept the whole night – for the first time in a long time.
During the next day we continued the new routine with each of K’s nap times and again at bed time. That night she cried for a total of 30 minutes, with a couple of check-ins from us. Again, she slept through the night.
Since the second night, K has consistently been sleeping from 7:30 pm to 6:30 am. There have been a couple of nights where she would wake up and fuss for about five minutes, but then she rolled over and put herself back to sleep. We even survived a night in a tiny hotel room, when we visited with K’s birth family over this past weekend!
Now that we are all feeling more rested, I can honestly say that sleep training was the answer for our family. K has always been a happy baby, but she is so much more content now. She doesn’t get as frustrated and grumpy throughout the day. She plays by herself more easily and she’s even eating better!
This does not mean that sleep training is the answer for every family. I know it’s a highly debated subject, and all families have differing opinions on what’s right.
As with so many other parenting obstacles, you have to do what’s right for you and not take it personally when someone has a different technique or opinion.