Posts Tagged ‘newborns’

Wow, what a dramatic headline, right?! Well it’s true. It saved our lives by saving our sanity.

But let’s start at the beginning. Let’s start with a 20 month-old boy who we love with all our heart. We love him so much that we’ve been patting and rocking him to get him to sleep his whole life. It got so bad that at one point only a few months ago we were patting him for up to, and sometimes over, an hour every single night. One of the worst nights it took me two and a half hours to get him to sleep. That’s right folks – we have a little man who suffers from Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).

My husband has written his account of the sleep training we undertook with our son here, so feel free to read it. But here’s my version.

baby sleeping

We decided to start sleep training one night when we were at our wit’s end. Rob’s back had given out from leaning over the cot patting Harrison for over an hour, and I was cranky because dinner had been ruined while we were trying, once again, to encourage our son to go to sleep. We’d both had enough, and knew it had to stop. He couldn’t move into a big boy bed until he learned to settle himself to sleep, and that wasn’t going to happen the way we were going. In hindsight, I wish we’d done the sleep training when he was 6 months old, as it would have been less emotionally gut-wrenching, but we put ourselves into this situation, so now we had to get ourselves out.

So the next night we started. We basically followed the “cry it out” method discussed here. We had tried the “no tears” approach before, and it had never worked, so this was the new regime. We would put Harrison in his cot, sing “Rock A Bye Baby” a couple of times to him, then say “Goodnight my love, sleep well, Mummy/Daddy will come and check on you in 5 minutes”. We would leave the room and the crying would commence. We’d leave it for 5-10 mins and go in, comfort him and resettle him in his cot, then do the same thing. And so on, and so on.

The first night he was absolutely knackered from a fun day out, and there was only 45 minutes of crying/resettling. The next night, it was 1.5hrs. The next night it was 2 hrs. Then slowly the crying time reduced, and by the end of 7 days, we put him in his cot, sang “Rock A Bye Baby” several times, said goodnight, left the room and there was no crying. He proceeded to have a chat to himself about Thomas the Tank Engine or the doggy he’d patted that day, or whatever else came into his mind, then gradually wound down and settled himself to sleep. HOORAY! It worked!

This all sounds fairly clinical, but let me tell you we were both emotional wrecks by the end of the 7 days. One more day of it and I would have given up. In fact I would have given up every night had Rob not talked sense into me.

And the irony is that now he can self-settle himself to sleep, when he wakes up during the night he goes straight back to sleep now too, whereas before he would have cried out for us and it would have taken us a while to get him back to sleep. He’s sleeping longer, and he’s sleeping better. So it’s better for him, it’s better for us, and I really can’t think how we put up with such a ridiculous routine for so long, except for the fact that as a parent you do whatever you have to do to get through that particular stage, and that’s what we did.

Now for the next scary but necessary activity: toilet training. Although I think we might give ourselves a break for a few months before we dive into that. Ah, the joys of parenting 🙂

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

 

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