As you all (or most of you you) know, sleep can become a pretty rare commodity when you have a very young baby at home. Luckily for me, I work from home, so I’ve had the flexibility to just sleep a little later in the morning to make up for having to wake up multiple times at night to nurse Zoe and rock her back to sleep. But, with the start of classes fast approaching, that flexibility is out the door, and replaced with a desperate need for a good night’s sleep. So. I decided it was time to sleep train Zoe. Just.Like.That.
So, Zoe turned 9 months old about a week ago. 9 months is actually a little on the late side to start sleep training, but hey, our usual sleep method was working, until it wasn’t. Zoe started out co-sleeping with us. At around 6-7 months, I transitioned her into sleeping in her crib, in her room. I would sit in the rocking chair and nurse her to sleep, then put her down and sneak out of the room. She would wake about every 3-4 hours, either hungry or just wanting to know where everybody was, so I went to her. Around the 8.5 month mark, I started noticing that she was barely nursing when she would wake at night, so I knew she wasn’t hungry, which helped me come to the decision that she was completely ready to sleep through the night. She also started a bit of a longer stretch, about 6 hours, then shorter stretches of about 2 hours. So, I would but her down around 9pm, and she would wake, like clockwork, at 3am, 5am, then 7am, and then sleep until about 10am. Not exactly a restful night for either of us!
After a particularly stressful Sunday night of waking every hour, I did a little research to refresh myself on sleep training. Then, on Monday morning, I headed to Target and grabbed this:This is a white noise machine and projector. They call is a SoundSpa. It costs $24.99, and I’m pretty sure it’s the best purchase I’ve made all year. It has 3 white noise options, 3 lullabies, and 3 different projector disks with cute little scenes. It projects onto the ceiling to give baby something to look at while the white noise soothes them into drifting off.
My plan was to do the Progressive CIO(cry it out) method, which involved putting her down to sleep, and then checking on her, soothing without picking her up, etc, at 5,10,15,25,30 minute intervals. I wouldn’t let her cry longer than 30 mins without picking her up and REALLY soothing her, calming her down, and then starting over.
So what happened?!
Monday afternoon, around 1pm, it was time for Zoe’s nap. So I gave her a bottle so her tummy would be nice and full, changed her so she was comfortable, turned on her SoundSpa, and left the room. She.flipped.out. I went to her after 5 minutes. She flipped out again. I went to her after 10 minutes. She flipped out again. I went to her after 15 minutes. She flipped out again. And that’s when I realized that my method wasn’t working. So. I didn’t go back. And after about 26-ish minutes…..there was silence. She was asleep! And she woke up THREE hours later in a great mood! Success!
That night, after bathtime, and storytime, it was bedtime. So, I did the same thing, only this time, I didn’t go to her in the intervals, because I realized at naptime that it only made it worse. She cried for about 24 minutes, and then went to sleep. She woke up once that night, at her usual 3am time. I went to her initially, to make sure she could find her paci, check her diaper, etc. When she was all set, I left. She cried for 32 minutes, then went to sleep. Woke up at 8am! Again, success!
The next day, Tuesday, I changed up the naps a bit, and she took her naps at 12pm, and then 4pm. She cried for about 10 minutes at each of the those nap times, then for about 7-8 minutes at bedtime. And she slept all night!
Wednesday, she cried for about 5 minutes at the nap times, and about 5-6 minutes at bedtime. And she slept all night!
Thursday, she cried for about 2-3 minutes at the nap time, and she just whined for about a minute at bedtime. I did have to go to her last night because she started crying, and when I checked on her, she needed a diaper change, but once that was taken care of, i got her tucked back in, and she cried for maybe 30 seconds, and then went right to sleep!
As I’m writing this tonight, she is in her crib sleeping away after crying for about a minute before she went to sleep. I couldn’t be happier! She seems so happy, and always wakes up in a great mood. Plus, she started walking this week, so I know she needs the consistent rest.
I’m very excited to be able to cross getting Zoe on a schedule off of the long list of things I need to do before classes start!