Here is an update to the sleep training that I started with Taz when she was 11 weeks old using a limited CIO method. No, I didn't leave my child there to cry all night but I also didn't immediately run to her every time she cried and I knew she was just tired. I feel like I've given her the tools to self soothe.
There are folks (including my Mom and mother-in-law) who completely disagreed with our decision/approach to sleep training but my husband and I did what we felt was in the best interest of our baby. I don't think it's fair for people to judge from the outside since every child is so different and every set of parents are different.
While it went against every bone in my body to let Taz cry at all while sleep training, yes, in the process I felt like a monster, I now know it was the best thing we could have done for her.
Taz is nearly 7.5 months and still sleeps 11.5 to 12 hours straight each night. She goes to sleep between 6:30pm - 7pm and wakes between 6:30am-7am. And most importantly she is a well-rested super happy child! She turns into miss grumpy pants when she missed a nap or we put her to bed a little later than usual.
In the past four months there have been a handfull of times where I needed to go in to get her (i.e. When she wasn't feeling well, her room was too cold, her lovey wasn't in her crib). There are still some nights when Taz will wake up and play in her crib, talking to herself, kicking, cooing but she is comfortable doing this on her own and luckily doesn't cry. Eventually she just goes back to sleep. I consider myself lucky.
Bedtime is no longer a battle. It's quite calming and enjoyable. Complete opposite from the days when it would take hours just to get her to sleep and there'd be no naps during the day.
At night, we have a routine where we change Taz's diaper, put her in her jammies and sleep sack (I'm a huge fan of the Cloud B sacks) and then watch 10 min of an Einstein Video, although as of last night we've transitioned to reading a book. Lastly, we feed Taz a bottle and then place her in her crib awake but super drowsy and she goes to sleep for the night.
She is pretty good about taking two naps a day. One morning nap around 9am between one to two hours and an afternoon nap around 1pm for one to two hours. Taz loves her crib so unfortunately this means that I plan most of our daily activities around her nap schedule. While I would love to be able to tote her around with me and have her sleep in her stroller I don’t mind sticking with a predictable schedule…that is on most days. We break routine for special activities but always get back on track the following day.
The strategies in the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child are helpful and one of the strategies is very similar to how I was able to get Taz to sleep. I still refer to this book often. I know that all babies are different and that sleep training doesn't work for everyone. I'm just sharing my positive experience with sleep training. So please don't judge me. We are all parents and we are all doing the best that we can. The decisions I make are not made half heartedly but with thoughtfulness, research, options available, potential impact on Taz and most important my motherly instinct, which I’ve learned to trust and rely on.
Have you had to do any sleep training? If so, what technique did you use and did it work?