Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sleep Training

I've thought for a while about blogging on this particular topic....it's definitely one of those 'hot topics' that parents love to talk about.  For those of you that are not familiar with sleep training, it's basically where you pick a particular method (or combination) and you actually train your baby how to sleep better.

I've posted about Nathan's sleep problems once or twice before, but let me backtrack.  For the first 10 weeks, he was actually a pretty decent sleeper, at least he was a night.  Typically he would only wake up once per night, usually between 3:00 and 4:00 am for a quick feed and go right back to sleep.

Something changed around 3 months.  I'm not sure if it was a growth spurt, new milestones, the fact that my husband got lazy and started rocking him to sleep, etc etc.  There are many possibilites but the end result was the same....Nathan became the WORST sleeper ever.

His schedule started to look like this....

7-8:00 bedtime
11:00 wake up for paci
1:00 wake up for paci
2:30 wake up for feeding
4:00 wake up for paci
5:00 wake up for feeding or paci...bring him in bed to sleep on my boob until 7:00

Each 'wake-up' time would include at least a 30 minute rocking session to get him back to sleep.

At 3 months I also started working again....I was beginning to feel like a zombie.  Hubs and I were starting to fight at every wake-up time.  Nathan was always grumpy and tired during the day.  Nobody in the Epstein household seemed happy.



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So, I found Dr. Ferber's book on sleep training and started the training a week a half ago.  The idea is to put him down while he's awake and let him try and self-soothe himself to sleep instead of us having to put him  to sleep.  You check on him after increasing intervals of time.  The idea is to reassure him that you're still there but not to put him to sleep or even to stop him from crying.

You can find out a little more about the idea (and the controversy) here.

The first night was the hardest, but honestly it went way better than I ever thought it would.  He only cried for 30 minutes and woke up once in the middle of the  night.  By the 3rd night there was no crying and no night wakings.  I just can't believe what a difference it has made!!!!!!  It's like we have a new baby....seriously.

I always said I would NEVER let my child cry.  That seemed like the 'old-school' way of doing things.  But, that's one of the many things I'm learning about being a parent...
1) Never say never
2) Always trust your instincts as a mother

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