Evan turned 8 months old a week ago. How is this year going by SO FAST???
Evan spam. I just love this cute little face.
Also happening a week ago? He was still sleeping in the Rock ‘n Play. For naps and at night. Because… we are SUCKERS.
It was a disaster.
For whatever reason, he was refusing to sleep in his crib.
I will sleep anywhere else.
We’d put him in there and then he’d thrash around like it was play time. He wouldn’t cry like all the books said he would. No, he would party in his crib with GLEE. He’d kick his legs, smile, shriek with joy, and laugh. But after about 30 minutes, he would realize that he was partying by himself — and then, wide awake, he would cry. And cry like I had never heard him cry before.
So, like I said, we were suckers. Or just tired. And frustrated. Whatever the reason, if we wrapped him up, rocked and bounced him until he was asleep and then put him the Rock ‘n Play he would sleep. Kinda. So that’s what we did. But, while he WAS sleeping, he was also waking up 4-5 times a night. I felt like a freaking zombie.
While I was away, I REAAALLLY hoped that Dan would figure out how to get him to sleep in the crib. But, that didn’t happen. I mean it’s NOT like he was doing ANYTHING else the entire week or anything.
So, when I got back into town and had an 8-month old who refused to sleep in his crib. It’s funny to think that Braeden was sleeping in his at 6 weeks. Yes, third babies are special.
For some reason hitting 8-months really triggered us and we realized we had ENOUGH. So, we talked about it and after much debate we decided we would put him in his crib, let him party down, and then let him cry. <–hardest thing in the world to do
Dan is much more of a hard ass, than me, about sleep and crying-it-out so we had to compromise. I didn’t feel comfortable with E crying for more than 20 minutes – especially if he was all-out wailing so that it where we (I?) drew the line. Thankfully, we didn’t even come CLOSE to that line.
No, instead he made us look like FOOLS.
We did the normal bedtime routine. Around 7 he took a bath and got into his jammies. I fed him (in his room, in the glider with his Sleep Sheep in the background), and then put him in his crib – sleepy — but awake. I then IMMEDIATELY jumped into the shower where I could not hear him. I took the world’s longest shower (that’s a lie – my water gets cold after about 10-15 minutes) and when I got out. And there was silence. I looked on the baby monitor and he was sleeping. IN. HIS. CRIB.
I was expecting it to be a fluke and I was on guard all night. He made some noise and moved around a few times — but only ended up waking up twice (in which I fed him and he immediately went back to sleep). This pattern continued and has gotten easier every night. On Saturday night he went down at 8, without fussing, and woke up ONCE. ONE TIME. At 5am.
Of course last night, he was up twice again. But you know… baby steps.
I know a lot of parents stress about the whole sleeping through the night thing — and while I too love sleep, I’m don’t expect it until he’s at least a year and walking. There’s just too much developmental stuff going stuff going on inside of that little head. Plus, you know… teething. If it does happen – woo-hoo! But, it’s not my top priority. That said – I will probably try to put the kibosh on the middle of the night feedings sometime next month because I don’t think he’ll NEED to eat then.
So here is my (not-so expert) advice for sleep training…
- Try to get that baby out of the Rock ‘n Play by 3 months. If not… good luck. It is like baby crack.
- Your baby needs to LEARN how to go to sleep on his/her own. In all of the baby books you’ll read “Putting the baby down drowsy, but awake, and letting them self-soothe is key.” It’s kind of ridiculous to understand what this means though until you are doing it. So, just have patience and go with it. This pretty much always includes some kind of crying from the baby, whether you stand there or not.
- Napping is good and CAN help nighttime sleep, but schedule is more important — try to be consistent about the time you put your baby down to sleep. If the baby doesn’t nap or nap well — adjust your schedule to compensate.
- SLEEP BEGETS SLEEP. Put your baby to bed early. Do not keep your child awake because you think he/she will sleep longer. The opposite will happen. It’s against common logic, but the baby gets more sleep if they sleep more. I don’t know, I don’t get it either, BUT IT IS TRUE.
- Letting your (older – not newborn) baby cry sucks, but it can be effective. If you have older kids – tell them that the baby is going to cry, but it’s OK and that they FOR THE LOVE OF HUMANITY cannot get out of their beds to check on him/her.
- Even third time parents suck at sleep training. Every baby is different. In fact, all three of my babies have been completely different. Personality determines A LOT.
- You’ll sleep eventually. I promise. They will get the message that sleep is awesome and necessary. And then you will celebrate. By sleeping.
Was your kid a great sleeper, just plain horrible, and kinda in between? I feel like I’ve had all three now. Please share your tips and tricks! Or just vent. Sleep training SUUUUUUCKS.