Sleep training is a very controversial topic and is not for everyone/every family. I am simply sharing our experience and what worked/didn’t work for us. I am not an expert so always check with your pediatrician before trying any type of sleep training or a new routine for your baby.
I’ve mentioned before that Liam has not always been the best sleeper. We made the decision to sleep train after Tyler and I both were just exhausted and in desperate need of a full nights sleep.
Here is a little recap of how our first few nights of sleep training went.
Liam went down around 8:00pm. He woke up a little before 3:00am and we let him cry for a few minutes before going in there to get him for a bottle. He ate and went back down…or so I thought. I went to the restroom and came out and he was crying again so we let him cry for 10 minutes or so before Tyler went in again. We went ahead and changed his diaper to see if that was what was making him so unhappy. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to do the trick so we decided to let him cry it out. He cried on and off from 3:30am-4:30am. Worst hour of my life.
I read blog posts upon blog posts about parents experience with sleep training and how heart wrenching it is to let your child cry but oh my goodness nothing prepares you for that! Truth be told, I gave in after about 30 minutes because he was crying so hard he was getting into these coughing fits. I went in and picked him up and he immediately rested his head on my shoulder and settled down. We swayed for a few minutes and since he had calmed down and seemed to be sleepy, I assumed he was ready to go back to bed.
Boy was I wrong! He cried for another 30 minutes before finally finding his pacifier and going to sleep…only to wake up at 5:08am crying again. I looked over at Tyler and asked if he was opposed to be bringing him into our bed just so we could both get some sleep before work since it happened to be Sunday night/Monday morning and he agreed. He went in and grabbed him and was walking into our room when Liam let out a big burp. Apparently that was causing him some discomfort and is why he woke up because he went right back down and slept until 7:30am! Hallelujah!
We were prepared for him to cry a little less the second night but still cry for a good period of time based on everything I had read on sleep training. Liam went down at 8:20pm with a big ole bottle to make sure he was extra full. He woke up at 3:06am like usual so I decided to let him cry before I went in there. I went in his room at 3:16 to find him completely soaking wet. I mean we are talking his arms, belly, down his legs, the sheets, his blanket. Everything. Poor guy had a good reason to cry because apparently the size 4 diapers I was using weren’t doing the trick! So we got him all changed and got his sheets changed and down he went. I left his room at 3:21am and he fussed for a few minutes but was asleep at 3:26am. He slept through until 7:10am and I even had time to shower and get my hair done before he woke up. I felt like I had won the lottery!
Side note: Since this particular scenario, we’ve had a really good experience with the Huggies Overnight diapers. We’ve still had a few pee-through diaper experiences but they’ve usually been in the morning when Liam is up for the day thankfully.
Victory! He slept straight from 7:30ish ’til the 6:45am. Again, we felt like we won the lottery. A solid night’s sleep is like a miracle at this point. OK, truth be told, I still woke up 2-3 times (probably out of habit) to check on him on the monitor but he was sound asleep. I know I can’t be the only Mom who does that…and Tyler can’t be the only Dad who wakes his wife up trying to see the monitor to make sure he’s still OK too. 🙂
How we’re doing now:
As is standard with all kids, Liam’s sleep isn’t always consistent. Being sick or cutting teeth has caused him/us some sleep disruptions but for the most part he is sleeping so much better. I’ve delayed posting this a few weeks because I wanted to truly know where we stood before I said we had officially sleep trained.
What helped us be successful:
I honestly think Liam being 7+ months old made all the difference in the world with this experience. We tried a few nights here and there when he was younger to let him cry it out but ended up caving because he was too little, couldn’t find his paci, I couldn’t handle listening to him cry. He is now able to find his paci at night and put it in himself to self soothe which made this whole process much easier. I also highly suggest using a paci clip at night too. Liam knows his paci is always hooked to him so he just pulls on it to find his paci which has helped. Plus, it keeps him from throwing it out of his crib at night and us having to go retrieve it for him.
As I mentioned earlier, I do think the Huggies Overnight diapers helped tremendously with the pee-through diaper situation and, thanks to some suggestions from fellow mommas, sizing up was what really did the trick. Little dude is sleeping in size 5 diapers to help keep everything where it needs to be.
Did you sleep train your baby(babies)? What was your experience like?