Sleep Training

So I know this isn’t the most popular of subjects with parents, but we sleep trained our eldest doing the cry it out method.  It is heart wrenching, but its long term benefits totally outweigh those moments of horribleness.  Our pediatrician said it was fine to do so since he was gaining weight and meeting all his developmental milestones.  He didn’t need to eat at night since it was quite apparent he wasn’t eating, just nursing for comfort.  So we sleep trained, and I couldn’t have done it without my husband telling me to be strong and let him cry a little.

For those that think I am torturing my child, you don’t leave your child in a dark room to cry for hours upon hours until they fall asleep.  We lie our baby down half awake, give a kiss, and say goodnight.  If they cry, we go in at a minute to console them and say it is ok, another kiss, and then another goodnight.  If they cry again, we’ll let them cry for 2 minutes before we go in.  We do keep doing this, adding an additional minute to the last crying fit until the baby falls asleep.  We never let it go past an hour because at that point it is abundantly clear the baby is not quite ready for sleep training.

Anyhoo, we are doing it with my daughter right now.  Though it isn’t hard to get her to fall asleep (no rocking or holding, just needing to be next to her), it was making my son upset.  Here I am next to my daughter half asleep, holding her hand, and next to me is my son yelling, “C’mon Mommy.  Come play on the floor.”  So I decided it was time to sleep train.

I know my daughter was ready for it because she is gaining weight and is meeting her developmental milestones.  And it just seemed like she needed that extra nudge to get her to sleep on her own just because all she really needed was someone to hold her hand.  I felt like this extra push would be a good thing for her, and it has.  She no longer cries when we put her in her crib at night after 2 days of training.  Naps aren’t quite there yet, but we just started yesterday.  And when she is crying, the crying fits are no longer than half an hour and she is asleep.

It feels good to have her be able to fall asleep on her own, but also sad at the same time.  It just means I can use that time I usually spend on putting her to sleep with things that are more productive, like playing with my son, cleaning, etc.  But it’s just sad cause she is growing up.

Sleep training is definitely not for everyone.  Please don’t interpret this as something I recommend for everyone.  This is merely a post to say it works for our family and if you want to read someone who’s done it successfully and is happy about it, then yes, that’s us.

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Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit

baby_merlins_magic_sleepsuitThe last week we’ve put Sammy in the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit.  I noticed that when she woke up in the middle of the night she wasn’t hungry (only nursed to sleep), but was half way out of her velcro swaddle.  A mom in my mom’s of 2 group swears by the sleepsuit, and so I thought why not.  And guess what?!  She now sleeps between 8 and 10 hours straight!!!  Milking an extra 2 hours is definitely well worth the $40.  Although sometimes her wake times fall at an awkward time where I think I should probably just stay awake (I’m talking 6am).  My only complaint about the product is her hands are ice cold, but her hands would probably be cold in a sleep sack too.

It’s not quite a swaddle in that she can move her arms or legs.  When Sammy is trying to fall asleep she will move her hands to play with her pacifier.  But when she is finally asleep the suit does muffle any movement she makes with her arms so that she doesn’t accidentally smack herself in the face and wake herself up.  She now wakes up when she makes deliberate moves with her hands to rub her eyes.

It definitely is a great product to transition away from the swaddle instead of cold turkey.  We went cold turkey with my son, which eventually worked for us after we did a bit of sleep training.  But I am hoping that we have instilled good sleep habits with Sammy that no training will be required.  Ultimately we are going to have her in sleep sacks, but I think she still likes the cozy feeling a swaddle provides.  And this product gives her that.  So far so good in our household.  Let’s hope she keeps it up!!!