1. The no sleep training way - pure attachment parenting:
2. The mild way - the No Cry Sleep Solution.
|Try and track your baby's sleep and pattern at least for a few days.|
|Try to cultivate a sleep lovely (don't worry, that blanket is well tucked in).|
3. The Medium Way - Pick up/Put Down
|The Baby Whisperer book (isn't 2425 pages unless you also read it on your phone).|
4. The Hot(ly debated) way - Cry it out
- Also, keep in mind that research has shown that crying is a baby's way of communicating and does not actually harm your child. That doesn't mean I am advocating your child screaming endlessly (particularly given that I was completely against even hearing about that and my child's tears make me all emotional too), but I do think that this is an important method of training to at least be aware of before you dismiss it completely.
- Start on a day when baby has napped well.
|Our Lovey during nap time, Bunny Bun.|
- At night, go through your entire sleep routine (massage, bath, nurse, read, etc - whatever it is that works for you and your baby), then burp or walk your baby as you would but only until they are sleepy, not asleep.
- Put your baby down in their bed drowsy but awake, in a crib that is absolutely safe.
- Leave the room. You can go back in to console your child if they are crying a lot, do this at periodic intervals but increasing intervals.
- For example, night 1, go in at 3 minutes, then after 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 12 minutes. Hopefully you won't have to go in again but decide what your maximum is for the night (12 minute intervals etc), and then after that go in only after that. Increase the intervals the next night.
- When you go in to your baby, stay in for only a minute or two and talk to your baby, say soothing and comforting words, pat your child, but don't pick up baby, and leave even if they are crying.
- The key is that you are conditioning a behavior and teaching them to self soothe, so if they fall asleep in your arms, all that crying is actually for nothing because you taught them that crying leads to mommy/ daddy cuddling you (so please cry more).
- When they get that you are there for them, but want them to fall asleep on their own (with the night routine, and the lights off, there are enough clues), they get that they need to sleep.
- Parents who experience this, claim that, the first three nights are the toughest, after which baby sleeps with little or no fuss.
- Most kids, sleep better through the night. Some do wake up more, but if you are consistent even at night it will pass.
- When baby wakes up at night, do the same thing which is ignore/ soothe, with increasing intervals. Put baby down awake. Unless it is time for baby to feed, then feed your child and try and put them back down in their bed drowsy but awake.
- Do not try to alter the bedtime when you are first starting, you can do this gradually over time (10-15 mins a day, as needed).
|The original CIO book|
My experience: Yes, I did try this. I was desperate and I had multiple doctors tell me it was the only way to break my baby's now learned habit of sleeping in my arms or while suckling (for hours at a time). I was exhausted and my milk supply… blah, blah. I don't know why I started to justify this. I know I did the right thing and I know I am a great mother and my child sleeps better, and he is a happy baby, and his trust in me was not affected at all. However, I cried with him the first two nights, before I realized that he immediately (from night 1) slept 8-9 hours without making a sound. He slept better and deeper and woke up happy and well rested. The maximum he cried in total on any night was 30 minutes (the first night), and has not cried that long again ever. I am not claiming that this is the universal answer for everyone, do what you are comfortable with. I am not comfortable with letting my child cry endlessly so I picked him up and calmed him down every time and I put him down awake. He still screams sometimes for about 5 seconds (seriously, thats it), and then turns around and goes to sleep before I am even out of the room. I still do that if he wakes up at night, but now when he wakes up it's usually cause of teething or congestion or something other than that he doesn't know how to put himself to sleep. Two weeks in, he did start waking up more frequently, but we stuck with his plan and he got over it. TIll date, my smart little cookie will, if he falls asleep in our arms, wake up within minutes or an hour or two, but not if he falls asleep on his own.
5. My Way - In summary:
- I still feed on demand (my baby is 7 months now), even though he has set mealtimes, I nurse him whenever he wants. However, at night I won't nurse through the night (unless he is crying uncontrollably and won't stop, which he really doesn't do). He gets one 9-10 hour gap between nursing sessions at night. I pump before I sleep to keep up my supply.
- Remember: Just cause baby is sleeping through the night, doesn't mean you will. You are likely to still wake up and wonder why your little one is actually asleep!
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