The Whens, Whys and How of our Sleep Training Process

This post is going to be long-winded and I will probably have to write it in two parts. Choosing to sleep-train was a really emotional decision for us. If you remember, I talked about the evolution of my thought-process regarding baby sleep in an earlier post; at that time I was definitely opposed to sleep-training and even now after having done it – I wouldn’t have done it that early anyhow.
When I was pregnant I read The Baby Book by Dr. Sears along with many of Attachment Parenting type books. I was gung-ho on the idea of co-sleeping and even co-bedding; to the point that we weren’t even going to buy a crib because I wanted our son to sleep with us. Even my husband was on board with this! I figured baby sleep would never be an issue as long as he had the comfort of sleeping with us.

As any parent knows; you can talk talk talk all you want about things you will do, and things you will not do and when push comes to shove; you will do whatever you need to do to get X. (X equals desired result) For example: I said no pacifier! By week three, we had succumbed. I said no crib! By month 3, we gave in.

Of course not EVERY parent is like this and maybe I just suck as sticking to my guns. But in general, your ideologies change with your child’s needs. As is the case with baby sleep.

The When & Why

Cobi hit a sleep regression at three months. It was the day he turned three months that his sleep did a 180. Up to that point he had been sleeping with us and it was grand. He slept in 5-6 hour stretches and when he woke up to eat, he just rooted and we both stayed mostly asleep while he nursed. He’d be finished in ten minutes and we were both back to sleep. It was quite lovely and I do remember those three months with great fondness.

However, with his regression he began to wake every 1-2 hours. It was worse than when he was a newborn. And now, he would sometimes want to stay awake and if we didn’t let him, he would cry and cry. It was really rough. We tried unswaddling, swaddling, nursing, rocking, the 5 S’s, the husband took a turn. We were exhausted. And so it continued for months. Eventually he started sleeping a little longer, but then it turned into him not going to sleep until after midnight which made me even more exhausted because then he’d be awake between 6-7am so we were all getting very little sleep.

I dove into reading about baby sleep and what could possibly be wrong. At one point I was convinced he had night terrors because an hour after I put him down he would wake up screaming. I read The No Cry Sleep Solution, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child and many blog posts and medical articles.
He was a week shy of turning 6 months old when I gave in. I was depressed, sleep-deprived, and it had turned into me hating being a mom. I knew that something had to be done and after three months of this, I was ready to do {almost} anything for some sleep.

to be continued...

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