Definitely read the post below. But HERE is my most recent sleep training post since I’ve had my daughter. It’s much more detailed!
I just talked to a friend of mine about sleep training. Our conversation prompted this post. It’s definitely NOT easy! In fact, it’s probably used as a form of torture in some countries! I started sleep training around 5 weeks. Some would argue that it’s too soon, but I say it’s never to soon to get on a schedule! Honestly, when you’re in that phase of parenting, I feel like anything that can comfort you and give you hope is worth a shot!
I started reading Preparation for Parenting by Gary Ezzo (author of On Becoming Baby Wise) when Turner was about 2 weeks old. It gave me comfort that SOME DAY my baby would sleep! I talked to two women who read this book and implemented the sleep routine at an early age too. Their advice was, “babies cry! It’s their way of expressing themselves” and my nurse’s advice was “If you’ve fed him, changed him, he’s not cold or hot, them put him down and let him cry for 15 minutes. He won’t hurt himself. You’ll go crazy if you don’t!”
Needless to say, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do! I would let him cry for MAYBE 5 minutes at first. I’d pick him up, he’d stop crying, I’d put him down and he’d start again. I basically did this during his whole “nap time” for a few weeks. I would let him go a few more minutes each week. Eventually, his crying went from lasting the whole nap (with me picking up and putting down) to lasting 15 minutes and then passing out, to lasting 5 minutes and passing out. He got to the point where I would put him down and he would just fall asleep without making a sound!
People can’t believe how “content” Turner is! The girls that watch him at my gym say how he’s content when he’s by himself and plays on his own. My in laws can’t believe it either! They are amazed at how calm he is. Now, he was not always that way! When he was first born, he was eating every hour to hour and a half. Stew and I were sleeping in 30 minute increments. I really didn’t think I’d survive. I had to use a pacifier to stretch out his feedings (also my nurse’s advice). It took a few weeks for the pacifier/sleep training to set in. But it is the BEST thing I’ve ever done. Turner started sleeping through the night (8:00pm to 7:00 am) around 10 weeks. I attribute it to the sleep training. He will wake up and fall right back to sleep on his own and he is such a happy baby!
Here is a sample of our daily schedule now at 5 months as a work at home/breastfeeding mom…
7:00 am Turner wakes up (in his own room and crib) talking to himself. I change him and then feed him in my bed.
7:30 He sits in his Boppy next to me in bed while I pump and drink coffee :o)
8:30-10:30 He naps while Mommy gets some work done. If he wakes up early, he likes to do tummy time and roll around in his play gym
10:30 Change Turner, breastfeed, give Turner his veggies (which I make with the Baby Bullet and completely recommend–this week is zucchini)!
11:00-12:00 Turner hangs out in the office with Mommy working and listening to music.
12:00-2:00 Turner naps while Mommy works
2:00-3:30 Change Turner, breastfeed, take a walk/play, get some work done.
3:30-5:00 Turner plays in his bouncy seat while Mommy works.
5:00-6:00 Change Turner, breastfeed, second helping of veggies. Turner sits in his high-chair while Mommy makes dinner.
6:00-7:00 Daddy comes home and plays with Turner. Mommy and Daddy eat while Turner sits at the table in his high-chair.
7:00-7:30 Bath time
7:30-Mommy and Daddy read Turner a book, sing him some songs and give him his night time bottle (5 oz. pumped)
8:00 Mommy and Daddy watch TV and eat ice cream. Currently our favorite shows are Flashpoint and The Voice (even though there are new coaches). Mommy pumps before bed.