DAY 1 First of all, I mentally prepared myself for the worst and I’m glad I did. I told myself she might cry for two hours and set the intention that we would not pick her up. I know this sounds cruel and I honestly was torn up inside, but I knew from experience that this shit works.
When we sleep trained krish, I did it almost robotically and wish I wrote it all down. So I’m writing it down this time, even though we are doing it a little differently.
A lot of haters will tell you that letting your baby cry will result in all kinds of consequences of neglect etc. but this is literally like a week MAX for a short amount of time. It is not for her entire infancy and childhood. She is a very loved and cuddled baby.
Now that I got that out of the way. Here how we started….
I set up her room to be dark with a night light. She has a white noise machine and we have a video monitor set up as well.
I bathed her at 7 pm and gave her a coconut oil massage. Then I dressed her and fed her. Unfortunately, she fell asleep on the boob so I had to wake her a little bit to put her in her crib around 7:45 pm. It’s best if they are put in the crib drowsy, but awake so they learn how to self soothe. She went to sleep immediately, but I knew she’d wake up and then the training would really begin.
The process of sleep training, in my opinion, isn’t to get her to sleep through the night. It’s to get her to learn to self soothe so when she is disturbed at night, she knows how to go back to sleep. Kareena is a peanut so I don’t think she’ll be sleeping through the night for a couple of months, but who knows.
She woke up at 8:11 PM and began crying. We are using the Ferber method with the time table below.
I went to check in on her at 3 minutes and she gave me the sweetest smile (my heart broke cuz I knew I couldn’t pick her up) I told her “Hey baby. It’s nini (nini means sleep) time right now so go back to sleep. I love you and I’m here.”
I closed the door and walked out. After a minute, the crying ensued. We followed the time table and took turns going in to comfort her and let her know that we’re there. After about 30 minutes, I popped in my headphones so I wouldn’t cry as well. I also stayed in convo with my mom friends for support and encouragement.
At 9:20, she started quieting down and she wasn’t crying. Little whimpers here and there, but quiet enough that I was relieved. We almost gave in and got her about 4 times leading up to this. At about 9:40 pm she fell asleep.
The next time she woke up, she moved around and went back to sleep immediately! =) Then around midnight, I fed her and put her back down. No fight. She woke up around 2 AM and I knew she wasn’t hungry. She yelled/cried for about 8 minutes and fell back asleep. Next waking around 4 AM I fed her, but I also realized her room was cold so I brought her into bed with me (FAIL- but that’s ok).
For night 2, we’ll set up a little heater in her room so she won’t be cold and it’ll give us peace of mind. I’m hoping she’ll cry a little less initially because my heart can only handle so much.
I was nervous that Kareena would cry for an hour or something so once again, I prepared myself for the worst. I kept the positive vibes that it would work in the back of my mind and told myself that if it didn’t, she wasn’t ready and we’d try again in a couple weeks.
I put her down drowsy, but awake at 7:10 after her bedtime routine. This time I fed her a bottle first then changed and cuddled her.
Initially, she didn’t cry, but after about 3 minutes, she started to cry. She cried for about 20 minutes total and I only did 2 checks (both times she smiled at me). She laid in her crib for an additional 10 minutes and soothed herself by sucking on her hand until she fell asleep.
Her cry this time wasn’t as sad or piercing as night one. They were more like little yells so I knew she was just calling for our attention. I was relieved when it ended within 20 minutes! It gave me so much hope that night 3 would be even better.
She woke back up around 9:35 PM and yelled for an additional 4 minutes and fell back asleep. She woke up again at 11 PM so I nursed her and put her back down no problem! She had two more night wakings where she was able to fall back asleep within 5 minutes then nursed again at 5 AM.
She finally woke up at 8:20 AM and chilled in her crib until 8:40 AM! I think it’s so important for them to chill in their cribs awake and not expect you to get them right away. Krish also chills in his crib when he wakes up in the morning. I call it his self reflection time.
I was feeling really positive when I put her down. I expected like 10 minutes of crying, but guess what?! NO CRYING. I fed Kareena a bottle and nursed her so I knew she was extra full. I put her down at 7:20 PM and she was asleep by 7:30 PM without any yelling or crying! I seriously thought I’d cry from happiness.
As you know, my plan was never for her to sleep through the night and I will continue to feed her if she needs it, but KAREENA SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. She had one small night waking and she went back to sleep within a minute. I fed her 5 AM (and it was daylight savings so really like 6 AM) She slept 10.5 straight hours! Then, she went back to bed until about 8 AM.
She woke up all smiles and happy! I can imagine that she felt really well rested!
My 3 month old who was comfort nursing several times at night and refused to sleep anywhere but next to mommy, slept 10.5 hours in a crib after she put herself to sleep.
That, my friends, is the magic of sleep training. Let’s hope it sticks and the 4 month sleep regression doesn’t hit us too hard, but I’m staying positive!
Sleep training is a small sacrifice for a big reward. It means saying no to going out, dinners and making other small social sacrifices for a short period of time so everyone can get good night’s rest. A family who sleeps well is a happy family in my opinion. We will be making sure to be home to get her in bed by 7 pm every night for the next couple months so she gets used to her routine and bedtime like Krish did. That’s our commitment. If we do our part, she’ll do her part. It’ll become second nature for her!
P.S. she also learned how to take a bottle this weekend so we had like a really good weekend!