Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sleep training - a necessary evil

Last week, I started sleep training my son. His evening routine was stretching out and out to the point that it was two hours just to get him down, then he was awake again within 45 minutes and I'd be back in his room, rocking and feeding and begging him to just sleep.

Up down, up down, eventually I'd fall asleep in the recliner with him latched to me.

For eight months, I didn't sleep more than three hours at a time, except once. One time I got in five hours. It was a fluke. My son was exhausted from a new experience - going to the splash pad.

I have been exhausted for eight months. So I finally said it was time.

We sleep trained our daughter and had amazing results. She now has a pretty easy bedtime routine: Bed, stories, drink of water, she gets into bed. Now that she's a little older, she doesn't go right off to sleep - she usually sits in bed for a bit, playing with her dolls or reading a book. But after a bit, she nods off and sleeps until morning.

This is what I want my son to be able to do - put him down, he rolls over and goes to sleep.

That's the dream, right?

I'm always amazed how many people ask what sleep training is - and why we need to do it. The "why" is what I've already talked about. The what sounds a little harsh to some people - the system we followed (Sleep Easy Solution), involves basically letting your baby cry it out but you check in at regular intervals.

It's a hard thing to do, but for us, oh so necessary. And every day it gets easier. That first night, he cried for half an hour. The next night, still about 20 minutes. Now, five days later, he still cries for five minutes, but is usually asleep within 10. And he puts himself back to sleep if he wakes up. AND he almost sleeps through the night - last night we had one wake up at 1:30. I do two dream feeds - 10:30 and 3 - so while I'm still not getting a full night of sleep, I know we're on our way.

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