Adventures in Sleep Training
I had just about waved the white flag when it came to getting my daughter to take naps and sleep better at night, but then I found the right fix to get her more zzzzz's.
A few things I did to set up her first night of sleep learning was to get rid of the sleep sack she was sleeping in, remove the magical seahorse, which we used as a crutch to soothe her back to sleep, and get rid of the couple of pacifiers we had in the crib because occasionally, she’d take it for a few minutes to soothe. We already had a sleep routine set up, so that remained the same. In addition, the night before I slept with a lovey I purchased for her. That’s the only thing in her crib. And it’s placed to her side so that if she wants it she can have it, but there’s no pressure.
On night two, I only had to do one check after five minutes of whiny crying, and she passed out. Night three she cried for maybe three or four minutes and she fell asleep without any checks. And by the fourth night, she let out one little whimper, rolled to her side where the lovey is placed, and fell asleep. On her own. On the fourth night!
The sleep learning method also says it’s best to work on naps the day after the first night of sleep learning. I didn’t have high hopes. Naps have been the biggest struggle and I’d pretty much given up on them. Waldburger and Spivack even said that it would most likely take longer to get naps regulated than it does to get baby to fall asleep. I tried it out, even though I thought I’d end up listening to her cry for an hour, as that’s the recommended amount of time to keep baby in the crib, with check-ins of course.
Before I could set up getting baby to nap, I had to understand the amount of time she should be awake and to plan naps accordingly. Missing the right window could throw the whole getting her to nap thing off. My oldest daughter did really great with naps and I never really had to know the wake time vs. sleep time, because she just got on a good schedule herself. My youngest daughter, not so much.
The first day of naps, I had to do three check-ins, and then something magical happened—she napped! For two hours. Then for her second nap, I filled my husband in on The Sleepeasy Solution methods and made him promise to not give in to her cries. To just do the check-ins and I promised him that she would nap. And guess what, after three check-ins, she napped again for another two hours. And for four days now, I’ve gotten two naps a day out of her. Some have been longer than others. Some have gone easier than others. But she’s gone from not napping unless she’s in someone’s arms to taking two naps on her own overnight!
I know that it’s not always this easy for sleep training/learning to happen. But my little girl, well she’s responded amazingly well to The Sleepeasy Solution.
I’m not out of the woods yet with sleeping. My daughter is still waking up at night to eat, and that’s to be expected as she reverse cycled once I went back to work where she knows I’m home at night and wants to nurse and spend more time with me. I’ve been recording the times and duration of her nursing for the past four nights, and now I’ve got a good idea of her routine and can begin the process of weaning her from night time feedings. It’s going to be a slow process, especially because I don’t want to cause a tremendous dip in my milk supply. The Sleepeasy Solution has got a game plan for that too.
Ultimately, it’s been a huge game changer for me. No longer am I having to nurse and rock the baby to sleep for an hour only to have her start crying as soon as I put her down. No longer am I having to rock her for one to two hours to get her to take a nap. I’ve got time back. I’m not as exhausted. She’s less fussy too because she’s getting the rest she needs. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, I can successfully wean her from night feedings and really feel what a good night’s sleep feels like!
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