7.24.2016

Sleep Training || How I Finally Got My Baby To Sleep In Her Own Crib

If you had asked me eight months ago when my daughter was born if I would implement the "cry it out" method of sleep training I would have adamantly told you no. I didn't hold any judgement against parents who use that particular method, but it wasn't something I thought would work for us. But what did I know? I was a first time mom who knew nothing about sleep deprivation and would rarely put my newborn down long enough to take a shower. 

When we brought Charlie Beth home from the hospital I couldn't get her to sleep anywhere but on my chest or in her swing. I was strongly against cosleeping (it just made me way too nervous), so nights were brutal. By week three we invested in a rock n play for her to sleep in next to our bed. That was a game changer. Finally, I could put her down and she would stay asleep (at least for a few hours). Hallelujah! I also gave into the idea of cosleeping. After all, it made those 2:00am nursing sessions so much easier. Most nights I would put Charlie Beth in her rock n play, she would sleep for a few hours, and when she woke up I would pull her into bed next to me and nurse her until we both drifted back to sleep. That routine worked for a while. Then Charlie Beth decided at almost six months that she would roll over while in the rock n play and we had to do away with it. Back to square one we went. 

For the last 2+ months our night routine went a little like this: bath time, pajamas, book with daddy, nurse and rock to sleep in mommy's arms. Once she was asleep I would hold her until I was ready to go to bed. That meant every night for two hours or so I was confined to the recliner in the livingroom with a sleeping baby in my arms and my husband across the room in his chair. Once I was ready for bed I would pick her up and place her in bed next to me. We would both sleep cuddled up next to each other until she was ready to get up the next morning. Occasionally Steven would sleep in the bed with us, but more times than not he stayed in the living room and slept on the couch. It wasn't a healthy routine for any of us. Steven and I had no time alone together, nor did I have anytime to myself. I loved, loved, loved the cuddles with my baby, but things had to change. 

We had literally tried every single method, used all of the tricks, and implemented any and all advice we received to get Charlie Beth to sleep in her own crib. Nothing worked. As a last resort I decided we would give the "cry it out" method a try. I researched the ferber method and decided we would try it for three nights. If I didn't see any improvement in those three nights we would stop. 

I'm not going to lie, night one was rough. I was a complete mess. Charlie Beth cried in her crib for 50 brutal minutes. Steven and I took turns going in and consoling her during that time. We used the chart below and stuck to it until she finally rolled over and drifted off to sleep. She did it. For the first time ever, she put herself to sleep. Was this going to work after all? 
The next night we stuck to the same routine. This time, she was asleep within 35 minutes. I was so hopeful! By night three she cried for a mere 10 minutes before drifting off to sleep. Did this really work? I couldn't believe it!

We have been sticking to this same routine for a little over two weeks now. She no longer cries when I put her into her crib, and each and every night I am even more amazed the she is finally sleeping in her own crib. About a week ago we started the same routine for nap times. In fact, Charlie Beth is peacefully napping in her crib as I type this. My baby, the one who has been a notorious bad sleeper since night one, is finally sleeping in her own crib. 

Are you thinking about trying our the Ferber Method of crying it out? Here are some things that I found worked for us:

 - Stick to a nightly routine. Our routine consists of bath time, lavender lotion, pajamas, story time with daddy, nurse with mommy, and then taking her into the bedroom and putting her down in her crib awake. I tell her I love her, I pray over her, and then let her know it's time to go night night. 

- Put baby in the crib awake. The whole foundation of the Ferber Method is to teach baby to self soothe. I nurse Charlie Beth until she is finished eating or until she closes her eyes and starts to use me as a pacifier (something that she has done since she was a newborn). Once she is finished eating I carry her to the bedroom and lay her down in her crib. Some nights she will immediately drift off to sleep, and other nights she toss and turns for a few minutes, even whines for bit, but soon falls asleep. 

- Don't give up on a bad night. I read that on night four or five some babies begin regressing. Sure enough, on night four Charlie Beth cried for 40 minutes before falling asleep. I was tempted to pick her up and give up right then and there. Thankfully, Steven kept me levelheaded and we stuck to our routine. She eventually fell asleep and hasn't had another night like that sense.

- This method doesn't guarantee that your baby will sleep through the night. This is a go to method for a lot of people when they are trying to get their baby to sleep through the night. My baby has never slept through the night, and honestly I didn't go into this approach in the hopes that she would. I just wanted her to fall asleep in her crib so Steven and I could have time together and I could get some things done around the house. Most nights she will sleep until 2:00am or so. When she wakes up I bring her into bed with us and nurse her back to sleep. Over the weekend she did sleep through the night for the first time ever, but it hasn't happened again. I know she will do it when she's ready. 

- Find what works for you and your baby. When we moved to our new house I wasn't quite ready to move Charlie Beth across the house to her own room. She had been sleeping next to me her whole life, and her room just seemed so far away. The solution? Her crib is currently set up in our bedroom. We had to paint her nursery anyway, so it didn't make sense to put her room together just to move it again when we painted it. Luckily, our master bedroom is pretty huge, so the crib fits in there just fine. It's definitely not a permanent solution, but it's helping me ease her into her own sleeping space. It works for us.

I know that sleep training isn't for everyone. Like I said, even I was adamantly against it until every other method failed. We were all sleep deprived and desperate for a solution. It wasn't fair to our marriage and it wasn't fair to Charlie Beth to continue the bad sleeping habits that we had implemented. Now everyone is sleeping better, and I am so glad we decided to go through with it. If you have any questions about the method we used or just need some extra encouragement, shoot me and email at morgan@themamarazziblog.com. I'm certainly no expert, but I'm more than happy to offer my support in any way I can.

7 comments :

  1. Luckily, Hadley has been sleeping in her crib since day 1, but we are still not quite to the point where we can lay her down wide awake. We're looking for a method to use, but haven't quite decided which one. I think we might start with this one tonight!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We've had to let R cry it out some, and it is so hard! But ultimately it really has helped her learn to go to sleep on her own, which I think can only be a good thing. Sounds like you are doing a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is great! We definitely plan to do this when our baby girl is here, thank you for the tips! It would be awesome though if Rory takes after me and sleeps through the night from day 1 (my mom was so lucky) *knock on wood*.

    http://dogmomchic.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. So glad that she is finally sleeping in that crib for you!!! I am sure Steven appreciates it too :) I hate how people can be so judgy about anything related to raising a kid. Sometimes you just have to do what works best for you and your family. Every kid is different.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm about twenty-five weeks pregnant right now and my biggest anxiety is the lack of sleep that comes with a new baby. I've done a little research here and there on sleep training but nothing has stood out like this has. I love the easy to use chart and will definitely be looking even further into this as a possible option to use when the time comes. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ella has been a decent sleeper from the beginning. We kept her in a pack n play bassinet in our room until she was 6 months before switching to the crib. She handled the switch with no problems, but the last couple months she got to where she would cry out, without waking up fully, needing her paci put back in or she got in an uncomfortable position etc so we would go in there and fix the problem. This would happen sometimes 4+ times a night. Definitely made for some rough nights. I kept trying to get my husband to let her cry for a few minutes before going in there, but he was afraid that letting her continue to fuss would wake her up completely. We went to her 9 month appointment last week and talked to the doctor about it, and she said to give her a few minutes before going in there. Finally Scott agreed to try it. We tried it that night and it was a complete success. We had 1 night since that was rough, and we went in there once last night. Other than that she's been sleeping for close to 12 hours every night. Thankfully it didn't take a whole lot of effort for us.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As mom to a 4 month old, we are slowly starting to develop a sleep routine. Definitely pinning this. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete