Monday, October 19, 2009

Sleep Training 101

Remember this post from last week?

Well, after my research online, consulting my mommy friends, and finally, contacting our pediatrician; we started sleep training Bobby. Basically, the purpose of sleep training your baby, is to allow them to learn to fall asleep on their own. We wanted to do this for two reasons: 1) Bobby was waking up in the wee hours of the morning (4 am/5am), and not falling back asleep on his own. 2) More days than not, I would find myself rocking him for 20 or so minutes for each nap, only to have him wake up 20 minutes later. The first issue was something that we had been dealing with for over a month. The second issue reared its ugly head last week. But, there were certainly times where I would rock him for 45 minutes! I love to rock him, and still do. But, doing that for each nap can be very time consuming. Hence, the need for him to learn how to fall asleep on his own.

Now, I'm sure there are mommies that read my blog, who will not agree with the method we used. However, it is what we were comfortable with, and after discussing it with our doctor, it was perfectly safe to do so. We decided that we would let Bobby cry it out (CIO). My pediatrician said that the entire process normally takes 5 days or less. She gave us some advice, and we got started on Saturday.

warning: The rest of this post may be very boring to some of you. If you've gone through this, or are now, it may be interesting. It's more for my own personal records (especially if we decide to do the same thing with any future children.)

Here's what went down:

Saturday - Day 1

Nap #1 - cried/fussed for 6 minutes, and fell asleep.
Nap #2 - cried/fussed for 13 minutes, and fell asleep.
Nap #3 - we were at a cookout by this time, fell asleep in car going to and from.
Bedtime - fussed for less than 10 minutes, and fell asleep.

Sunday - Day 2

Nap #1 - cried/fussed for 10-15 minutes, and fell asleep.
Nap #2 - same as above.
Nap #3 - cried/fussed for 20 minutes, and fell asleep.
Bedtime - cried/fussed for 35 minutes, and fell asleep.

Monday - Day 3

Nap #1 - cried for 5 minutes, quiet for 10, fussed for 5 minutes, and fell asleep.
Nap #2 - fell asleep in car seat, slept for 2 hours.
Nap #3 - the worst instance yet; cried for 5o minutes. He never napped.
Bedtime - 0 minutes of crying.

Tuesday - Day 4

Nap #1 - cried/fussed for 8 minutes, and fell asleep.
Nap #2 - cried/fussed for 6 minutes, and fell asleep.
Nap #3 - fell asleep in car seat, slept for 1 hour.
Nap #4 - cried/fussed for 17 minutes, and fell asleep.
Bedtime - 0 minutes of crying.

Wednesday - Day 5

Nap #1 - fussed for 3-4 minutes, and fell asleep.
Nap #2 - cried/fussed for 12 minutes, and fell asleep. (would have probably been less, but I had to go readjust his position; his arm was stuck in the crib slat.)
Nap #3 - fell asleep in car seat for about 30 minutes.
Bedtime - 9 minutes of crying.

So, there ya have it! I also have to say that he is still improving. For his first nap of the day, he has now started talking himself to sleep, which is so cute. He has done this the past two days. As for the third nap... he still fusses, but today's nap was only for a few minutes (less than 10.) I can't wait to drop that 3rd nap, because he really does fight it. I'm not sure how much longer he'll continue with it. As for him waking up in the wee early morning hours; well, that has pretty much been resolved too! Over the past week, he would sporadically wake up once or twice in the night, and fuss for a minute or so, before falling back asleep. The only times we've really had any issues is when he gets stuck in an awkward position in his crib. He moves around quite a bit! I bought this yesterday at Babies R Us, and it works great! No more loose limbs between the slats.

Luckily for us, the longest he ever cried throughout this entire process was 5o minutes. Our pediatrician assured us that he would not remember doing it, nor would he hold a grudge ;-). But, in all seriousness, it was tough. I feel for the parents that have had to let their babies go even longer than that. I just kept reassuring myself that he was ok. He had a full belly, had a clean diaper, and was safe.

I hope you don't judge us too harshly for doing this method. But, trust me... it was so worth it! As our doctor says, "The end result of this will be an infant who sleeps well, which will lead to a toddler who does, which will lead to a child who does."

Edited to add: If you are interested in this method, do your research. I also recommend consulting your pediatrician. We did check on Bobby after 20 minutes of crying, and we also had our video monitor on too.


Autumn said...

So happy the CIO method is working for you!

We had to do this with my daughter because she was waking up at the wee hours of the morning and not going back to sleep AND I was doing a lot of rocking to sleep. It was wearing me out.

It took her about 5 days and then we had no more problems. I now go in, give her some milk, sing a lullaby, say a prayer and stick her in her crib and she is out within seconds! it is wonderful!

Keep in mind though that when there is teething going on or sickness, or a growth spurt of some sort, their sleep patterns can be thrown off. When Sophia was around 15 months she started waking in the middle of the night and would test me. I would go to rock her and put her in her crib and she would start crying all over again. The only thing that nipped it was to just let her cry. it was hard, but it worked!

Katherine Breehl said...

Great job Jen!! We had to do this about 14 years ago with Cam. I was so hard, Len had to hold me back. But it was well worth it when I knew that he was out of the habbit and sleeping snuggly in his bed. I knew that he felt safe and secure. He knew that if there really was a problem, we would come running. :) Your insticts are great!!


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