Sleep…it is medicine for any mom. But how can you find it? Sleep training. The impact of sleep training on our home has been a huge success and everyone wins.
Let me begin by saying sleep training is a lot of work in the beginning. It demands consistency and patience most of all. But when it is done in the early years and done well, it is well worth all the work. While the early years are key, it is NOT impossible to sleep train toddlers. It will just take a little more time and probably a little more patience.
Baby Wise: Sleep Training Baby #1
My journey with sleep training begins with On Becoming Baby Wise, by Robert Mucknam M.D. and Gary Ezzo. While there were several books I relied on throughout the process of sleep training, this was my main go to.
I had my first daughter at the age of 32. I was well aware of the fact that being a full-time working mom I would need sleep in order to be the best I could be. However, when I began researching the idea of sleep training, I realized how important it was for brain development in children.
For me, I began sleep training Day 1 of our return home from the hospital. My goal was for my baby girl, Falyn, to love her bed and to love to sleep. I followed the process laid out by these authors, but for my own peace of mind I didn’t quite leave her alone. I had my husband blow up a mattress in her room and there I slept with her for the first three weeks at home.
Those first three weeks were critical for both Falyn and myself. She was able to become comfortable with her new environment and not rely on me to help her fall asleep. But for me, I was there to know if she was comfortable and to have easy access to her when she woke up to nurse.
Since this whole process was so detailed and subjective, depending on the baby’s personality, I used Valerie Plowman’s blog as a constant guide. She has four children and used Baby Wise with each one. She chronicles each experience and the differences she experienced throughout her sleep training journeys.
After the first three weeks, I decided to venture into the spare bedroom that was beside Falyn’s room. Our master bedroom was further down the hall so I was a little nervous to go that far just yet. By six weeks her pediatrician told me that she was fine to sleep through the night without nursing. That was a breath of fresh air and by 8 weeks, Falyn was sleeping for 12-13 hours a night without waking up.
For me, my whole experience as a new mom began to change because sleep gave me my energy back. By setting Falyn’s bedtime at 6:00 pm, my husband and I were able to have evening hours to ourselves. This was definitely one of the many benefits to sleep training.
Baby Wise: Sleep Training Baby #2
Fast forward four years, I have since then been using the same process for our 2nd daughter, Farrah. Farrah has been a little bit more of a challenge and that is for several reasons. First, she is definitely more persistent and willing to wait me out by crying. Second, she is an extremely loud crier (AKA: screamier) and it has been a challenge to not wake up the rest of the family. However, I decided to get consistent and I spent one night allowing her to cry and waiting every 5 minutes to respond. This was the night that got us on track.
Farrah now sleeps 12-13 hours a night and sleeps all night long. She wakes up so happy and energized and so do I! While there are different methods that many people choose to follow, this was the one that worked best for me.
If this post was helpful or you would like to know more about sleep training, comment below with your questions. I have spent many hours doing my research and would love to share more.