If you’re new here, you probably don’t know how invaluable sleep training is in our house. Braden did the classic 4 month sleep regression and it was during one of Jay’s busiest times of the year, during seeding in the spring of 2010. It was really, really hard on me as I had absolutely no help because Jay’s parents are very busy with seeding and at the time Jay’s oldest sister had just given birth and was struggling with her health and needed all the support she could get.
Needless to say, one of my friends introduced me to SleepEasy sleep training and I am forever grateful as it changed our lives forever. A brief summary of the SleepEasy method is supported crying-it-out (CIO). Babies have to be 4 months old and 14 lbs in order to “qualify” to be sleep trained and they are weaned from their night feedings which is one of the best things about the method. They learn to self-soothe without the help of a soother being reinserted 426 times a night, being rocked, or fed to sleep. They do cry, you go in and lovingly tell them that it’s okay at intervals…you get the drift.
It’s not for everyone, I’m not trying to sell it to you…unless you want me to and I’d be super happy to help you out with any questions you have. But, since it has worked SO well for Braden, I knew that I would do it with every child I had…if I had to. So far Ethan has a early start on sleep training. He very effectively can self-soothe by sucking his right thumb…which is awesome for a baby at such a young age. He’s been doing it for about 2 weeks now. He doesn’t self-soothe 100% of the time, but now that I’m using the video monitor on him, I can see that if he’s having a monster 2-3+ hour nap…he self-soothes at least 2 times, if not more, during that napping session.
Another extremely important part of Ethan’s early sleep training, is that he’s capable of falling asleep on his own when he’s awake. I think we can all agree that we love that sleepy newborn phase where they fall asleep as they’re eating and all warm and cozy, you can lie them down anywhere, during anything and they just sleep. When Ethan started not falling asleep at the breast every time…part of me started to worry. I’m pretty sure Braden fell asleep nursing for the first 3 months or so, then we’d have to do a bit of the bouncy/rocking to sleep routine with him, which never took long anyway. BUT, Ethan surprised me and has been putting himself to sleep since a very young age! He can’t do it all the time, only if it’s time for his naps, but I’m really hopefully that he indeed can fall asleep on his own. If he does end up needed sleep training, I know he’ll do so well.
So, just to be clear – I am not actively sleep training my 11 week old baby! I’m just saying he’s got himself in an early start to sleep training with his good sleep habits he’s created. I think I will definitely have to nap sleep train him, but hopefully he’ll adjust and start sleeping through the night on his own in the next month and a half, or until he weighs 14 lbs.
Then there’s still the whole napping thing. Awhile back I posted on the 45 minute naps…and then they turned to 30 minute naps. Ethan seems to still have 1 or even 2 days a week where all he wants to take are 30 or 45 minute naps all day. That’s 4, sometimes 5 naps a day…it makes for a lot of work! But, right now I realize there’s absolutely nothing I can do to make him nap longer so I just keep saying “this too shall pass” and keep on keepin’ on.
A blog friend recently posted about having 2 under 2, and I’m REALLY glad she did. Why? Because she reminded me of the wake-time guidelines for babies. This is a BabyWise thing. I did read that book when I was pregnant with Braden and I like the idea of it, but I just can’t justify doing, or quite frankly make it work, with breastfed babes. BUT the wake-time guide TOTALLY makes sense and it’s working for Ethan. Just a few weeks ago he would have almost 3 hours of wake-time in the morning! For his age now? He’s only supposed to be awake about 1 hour 20 minutes MAXIMUM between naps! It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s totally true. I used to wait for his tired signs and wait for him to start fussing to tell me he was hungry again to put him down, thus the start of an overtired baby. So I’ve started watching my BabyConnect app (seriously new mommies GET THIS APP! It’s a life saver and completely worth the $4.99!) and when he’s been awake for about 1 hour I start our nap routine. Wake-time does count for diaper changes AND feedings…so by the time that’s done he’s been awake for his 1 hour 20ish minutes and he goes down no problem 90% of the time! The other 10%, for whatever reason he’s still wide awake, so I just keep him up a bit longer.
Did you sleep train your baby(ies), did they learn on their own, or did you just live with broken up sleep indefinitely?