Tuesday, December 4, 2012

to sleep train or not to sleep train, that is the question!?

Sleep. We all need it. Even Harley our puppy needs it to be a functioning puppy. Miles on the other hand, apparently he doesn't need it or doesn't think he does. Just writing that sentence makes me laugh. Babies and sleep just don't go together, or at least in my world they didn't. When Miles was a newborn he slept like a champ. People would ask me, "How's he sleeping?" and I'd respond with "Actually he's awesome and sleeping just perfectly". Now when people ask me that same question my eyes are usually bloodshot and I am two mintues away from a nervous breakdown. Well, at least last week I was.

Like I was saying Miles was sleeping great in the first few weeks/months of his life. Then last week it all changed. He went from 7 hours, to 6 hours, to 5 hours, to 4 hours, to waking up every 3 hours and then every 1.5 hours. You can only imagine how thrilled we were on those 1.5 hour nights. We were at our wits end, rocking him to sleep for 20 mins + only to lay him in his crib and have him startle and wake up to RESTART the process over again. It's so hard as a mom to 'invest' in getting them to sleep that once you think you've completed the task your baby challenges you to ONE MORE ROUND. One night it took me 1.5 hours of simply rocking, placing him in the crib, him waking up and me starting over. I just about lost my mind. I was being forced to hold him in my arms to sleep and even worse having to sit upright in his rocking chair in his room for hours just trying to catch a few hours of sleep to be a functioning adult the next day. To sum it up, it was awful and I couldn't take another night of it.

I had been talking with my mommy friends about sleep training and hearing mixed reviews on what to do, when to do it, how to do it, if this was the right time, etc. After about 5 nights of awful sleeping I could see that my patience was on empty, that it was causing friction between Gregg and I and that I just could not function like this with my return to work around the corner, so I decided that this was my rock bottom and that I was officially ready to sleep train.  

There are a million (no seriously) articles, books, theories, opinions on sleep training. I probably read most of them, literally I was obsessed on finding out the right method on how to do this. My eyes were glued to my phone in the wee hours of the night trying to figure out what method was the right method to help my baby and I sleep. I like simplicity and pretty much sleep training consists into 3 stages
1. CIO - "crying it out"
2. CCIO - "controlled crying it out"
3. NC - "no cry"

I decided that instead of letting my poor baby wail for hours (not sure how any mother/human could stand to do this) or picking up Miles LITERALLY every time he cried, I was going for somewhere in the middle, CCIO - "controlled crying it out". I emailed my sweet friend Kami who gave me the confidence and the knowledge and more importantly the name of the book she used to test out this theory. When my book was delivered RUSH order from Amazon, I read those 76 pages in about 30 minutes and I felt like I was ready and armed to battle sleep that night.

It was TOUGH, not gonna lie. Miles cried for a while BUT when he finally learned how to put himself to sleep, I was amazed and thankful and inside SCREAMING with joy. We worked on it all night and the next night, and the following night and the following night and here we are today on Day 4 of our 5 day program and I'm proud to say that Miles only fussed for 3 minutes before putting himself to sleep last night - HE GETS THE CONCEPT, PRAISE THE LORD. Only one word can sum up this progress, AMAZEBALLS.

I could get into the background theory on why this works so well but I'll spare you the details and just believe me when I say that this method will work. That you will need the confidence of super woman, that you will get your nights back with your husband and that YOU and your precious baby will both get the sleep you need and deserve.
Part of our nighttime routine is "affection time" which always consists of a few books. We always end with our favorite, "Goodnight Moon". Gregg captured this beautiful photo of me reading to Miles. I love how attentive he is and how angelic his sweet face looks. My baby boy is incredible, smart and more importantly he is well rested.
Here is a pic of Miles after not sleeping all night. It's amazing how cute they look even after a night of no sleep. Notice there is no picture of me, trust me, you would have been scared!

All in all, sleep training isn't for everyone and I realize that even if he's trained now, he might get a cold or start to really teeth, etc and we might have to start again, but all I know is that Miles slept for a glorious 7 hours straight last night, BOO-FREAKIN'-YAH!


Mara Rae said...

Yay for sleeping! I never really officially sleep trained, but we did have a few nights where we let Jack cry it out. It never lasted more than an hour, and he still sleeps 12 hours a night and naps up to two hours a day. :) I'm with you - NO ONE is happy if everyone's exhausted, including baby!

Mejia Mamma said...

Good job mamma! also remember that they wake up more often to eat more often when they go through growth spurts...which usually occur during the first few days at home and around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months (more or less)... and last about 2-3 days or up to a week! I def remember those!! haha