Wednesday, January 28

Sleep Training 101

I had a couple of mama's out there ask what method I was using for sleep training Lucy.  Let me preface by saying I am no means a mama expert or want to come across that way.  This method is what worked for us and hope that it may help someone else get their much needed beauty rest.

Penelope was an amazing sleeper.  I think it helped being the first child.  I was able to keep her on a tight schedule and focus completely on her every need.  Lucy came into this world during such a crazy time with my photography business and with the holidays.  The poor thing didn't have much of a schedule to go off of.  This led to horrible nights and not so good days.  For the past five months Lucy had been waking up two to three times a night.  It was starting to wear on us.  Tyson and I started to feel like walking zombies.  I knew something had to be done, I just didn't know where to start.  Everything I tried with P, did not work for Lucy.  P loved her binkie and being swaddled.  It was a quick soothe for her.  I have really had to play around with things to find what works best for the little miss.  

A couple nights ago Tyson and I decided to let her "cry it out."  I had heard about his method, but was a little weary on trying it.    I just couldn't bear hearing Lucy scream.  She is not a light crier by any means.  When she is mad she lets everyone know.  I decided to feed her the first time she woke up and then let her cry it out the rest of the night.  It was rough!  She cried for over an hour the first time, slept for an hour and then repeated this until morning.  I finally grabbed her out of bed and fed her.  I felt so bad.  I quickly put her back down to bed and let her sleep the morning away.  I wasn't sure if what I was doing was correct, so when all else failed I called my mom.  Mom's always know best.  Am I right or am I right?!?!

My mom has worked for the most incredible pediatrician for many many years.  I take his advice to heart, because he has never steered me wrong.  He deeply cares for his patients and is an amazing father himself.  I asked my mom if she could get some advice from him as to what I should do.

Obviously, you may have to tweak the method to what works for you and your baby, but this worked magic for us.  You essentially are training your baby to sleep through the night in a three day period.  Some babies may do it in less, some may have to work on establishing their routine for a couple more days than that.  As the parent you decide their sleep and wake times.  Write down what time you want them to nap during the day and then stick to your plan.  Start with the night first.  I put Lucy down at 8:00 pm, because that is a realistic bedtime for our girls.  You then allow them to self soothe through the night(making sure to check that they don't have a messy diaper or are tangled in their blankets), until your established wake time arrives.  7:00 am is the ideal wake time for my girls.  Once you make it through your first night, it's time to tackle nap time.  9:00 am, 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm are the nap times that worked for us.  For the first three days, only allow them to sleep for one hour at a time, during nap time.  The hope is they are so exhausted from staying awake most of the day and crying it out during the night before, that they will sleep better on night two.  Once you get your baby sleeping through the night, you can return to normal nap times.  

He suggested a sound machine and vibration maker to help her sleep, popcorn and movie for mom and dad because it's going to be a long couple of nights and to pat yourself on the back each time they are crying reminding yourself that you are a good mom.  When his kids were younger, he even went as far as wedging his babies pack n play between the washer and dryer and putting in the loudest article of clothing he could find.  Back then it was the OshKosh overalls.  We all know how those sound in the dryer.

I took everything that he advised my mom to heart and immediately found my way to Buy Buy baby to purchase all the sleep remedies I could get my hands on.  Below you will find the things that helped Lucy.  
Sleep Training

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1. Sound Machine - We recently purchased this for Lucy's room and she seems to be a fan of the ocean sounds.  The crashing waves seem to take her away into dream land. 
2. Baby Monitor - We have had this monitor since P and have loved every bit of it.  It's wonderful because it syncs with your iPhone.  I love that no matter where I am, I can always check on my baby. It helps tons in the sleep training department.  Just knowing your baby is safe and sound can make all the difference. 
3. Serenity Oil - I have yet to try this blend, but have loved some of the other blends doTERRA offers. My cousin swears by this one.  I am going to be placing my order as soon as possible. 
4. Sleep Sack - Ty and I are big fans of Shark Tank.  This sleep sack appeared first on their show. I loved the concept, especially because Lucy hated being swaddled.  I sleep better knowing she isn't going to be tangled in any blankets.  We ordered her the cute leopard print.
5. Baby Vibration Maker - Dr. Dave suggested this and from the one night I used it, I can say I am a believer.  Lucy woke up crying, so I walked into her room, quickly turned back on the vibrator and a few minutes later she was fast asleep.
6. Lavender Sleep Mist - You better believe I sprayed this all over Lucy's bed, pj's and sleep sack. Not sure if it work, but the peace of mind was all I needed.

I also made sure to have enough chocolate and Diet Coke to get me through the night and days to follow.  I also don't know what I would do without my Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

I use the Baby Wise method when it comes to feedings.  I make sure to feed Lucy every three hours upon her waking up in the morning.  The only time I nurse her before putting her down is right before bed time.  Again, this is what worked for us.

I still have a couple more nights to go with this method, but so far it has been a great success.  I would love to hear what worked for you and your baby.  I hope this helped and made any sense at all.  Speaking of sleep, I am a little sleep deprived myself.  Feel free to comment or email me with any questions.
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  1. Great post! Love your blog! Your girls are beautiful :) My 4 month old has been a rock star sleeper until she turned 4 months?!!!? I feel so terrible letting her cry it out Ekkkk but I know its supposed to work. Right? Ill be making a vibration maker purchase, I had no idea they made those for the crib. Hope shes sleeping through the night!

  2. This is sounding more and more like my second daughter. My first was easy as could be when it came to sleeping and getting on a schedule. My second has been far more difficult and a complete opposite. Isn't it weird how that works. I wonder if the the third child will be a mix of the two. I am glad, things worked out for you with sleep training. My poor aunt never had that success and her almost 2 year old gets 5 hours of sleep total during the whole night/day and she is so exhausted that they finally put a TV in his room to entertain him. I only hope when my little turns 6 months it will have worked it self out (I hope), because I really don't do well on so little sleep :)