I thought I was done talking about sleep training, but after receiving a dozen or so emails, tweets, and facebook messages about the details of what’s been happening over here, it seems the subject deserves one more post.
The last time Austin and I let Waylon cry it out he was 9 months old. He cried for two hours and then threw up all over his crib. It was terrible and we swore we’d never do it again.
Here is the schedule we follow:
So far he’s been consistently sleeping 8:30pm to 8:30am following this schedule. Honestly it couldn’t have gone much better, though I’d like to reiterate that every child is different and has a unique timeline for when he or she can sleep through the night. Also, I am not a sleep training expert. We’ve only been doing this for a week! I will, however, answer some of the questions I’ve been receiving via the Internet to be more efficient. As always, sharing is caring. Please feel free to leave your advice and experiences below.
1) Why did you decide to sleep train your son?
The short answer is that we both needed to get more sleep. We had be successfully co-sleeping for about 11 months, but over the past few weeks he was waking almost every hour and having trouble nursing back to sleep. This was frustrating for both of us. After talking to some of my most trusted momfolk about their successes with sleep teaching, I decided to give it another try.
2) I thought you put away your crib. What is Waylon sleeping in?
The crib is still tucked away in the attic. Waylon is sleeping in a pack n’ play in his own room. Our goal is to move him back to the floor bed sometime before his second birthday.
3) Are you still breastfeeding? How often?
Not at night (high five!), but I do still nurse him during the day. On great days we only do it 3 times; once in the morning and then before naptime and bedtime. On teething days like today, it’s more like 10 times.
4) Do you miss co-sleeping?
Yes and no. I miss him sleeping next to me but I do not missing nursing through the night. Austin has probably had the hardest time adjusting to our new sleeping arrangement. He enjoyed the family bed.
5) Is Waylon sleeping through the night?
Yes! Sometimes he’ll make a little squeak in the middle of the night, but he quickly goes back to sleep. This is amazing to me, but I also know it’s all subject to change with sickness, teething, and normal sleep regression. One day at a time.
6) Why do you think it worked this time but not the other times?
I don’t know. I’d like to think it’s because he understands what we’re saying, but my hunch is that it’s purely biological.
7) What about naps?
We started sleep-teaching during naps on day 4. It was, by far, the worst part of the whole process. He cried for an hour and I almost decided to nurse him to sleep permanently for naps. I’m glad I didn’t, though. He now goes down for a nap with only a few minutes of crying. Usually I take him upstairs around 12:45, nurse him, sing a few songs, and then put him into bed.
8) Were there any moments of doubt?
The first half hour of the first night, I wanted to quit. The rest of the time, no. Although I will say that I did have a few moments of panic during the first few days when Waylon was much more clingy and unhappy than usual. I tried to blame teething, but in the back of my mind I worried that allowing him to cry without comfort was causing him separation anxiety. Luckily he was back to his old self by Friday (day 5).
9) Do you comfort him at all if he cries?
We follow the 5 minute, 10 minute, 20 minute check-in model. As predicted by most every book I read, it’s much easier for Waylon to fall asleep if Austin is the one who returns to pat his back.
10) Are you a new woman with all this extra sleep?
By far the most popular question.
I do feel different, but it’s not any extra sleep. The most rewarding part of this experience, besides being super proud of my kid, is that I’m able to be more independent. Before, I wasn’t able to be away from Waylon for more than a few hours because I was the only one able to nurse to sleep. Now I’m able to leave him with Baby Daddy or my parents for the evening or (hopefully) overnight. This makes us all feel like superstars.
Someone asked me yesterday if I wished I’d done this sooner. Honestly I have no regrets about our first year of sleeping and breastfeeding, but I am excited about this new chapter. Thanks to everyone who gave advice or helped encourage us this past week. It’s been a tremendous support. We feel the love. Waylon, too.