So when Tobin was a baby I was so excited to have my own baby that I held him all the time. The only time I ever put him down was when I was finally going to bed. I had a good friend warn me that I really didn't want to do that and that I really shouldn't nurse him to sleep. I ignored her because I didn't really care. I felt like I didn't have anything else to do that was more important than holding my baby. Well, eventually I did care. Tobin was a HORRIBLE sleeper pretty much because of me I think. Although I swear he was born a bad sleeper because even at the hospital I pretty much went without sleep because he would only sleep if he was held. So eventually Tobin ended up in our bed and co-sleeping until he was 2 which was when we finally put him in his own bed. He still wasn't sleeping through the night until he was about 3 years old. Yeah, I know...that's awful!
So when Noah was born, I was determined not to do the same thing. I don't believe in crying it out...mostly because it just does not work with kids (tried it on both of them) and I have also heard negative things about it and how it can actually cause your child to be more clingy and fear bedtime. So when Tobin was 9 months old I bought a book called The No Cry Sleep Solution Book and The No Cry Nap Solution book. Read them and tried it for awhile and nothing worked. I figured he was just too old for it and kept the books for my next baby. So I read the books again before Noah was born and implemented a lot of the same things. I put him down a lot and he was sleeping through the night by 2 months old. Unfortunately at 6 months old he got a double ear infection and continued to have it until last month when we got tubes in his ears. So then Noah became a horrible sleeper and there were many nights I brought him into my bed because I just needed sleep. He also became very dependent on me nursing him and I was nursing him to sleep and every time he woke up I had to nurse him to get him back to sleep. He is 10 1/2 months old and a very healthy baby so he DOES not need to eat during the night. I realized the books I was using did not really help. I was at my wits end when a friend suggested The Baby Whisperer. I looked it up on Amazon and was impressed with the reviews. Apparently this lady's solution was to teach your baby to put themselves to sleep. She doesn't believe in the crying out method (plus for me) and you see results pretty quickly. Most people said by a week in a half to 2 weeks (a lot were even sooner) their baby was putting themselves to sleep and were sleeping through the night. There were negative reviews of course but they weren't really about her methods, just the way the author talked. They felt like she was very condescending, but for me...I know I messed up or what she calls "accidental parenting" and I don't care what you call me, just tell me how to fix it! I love how she does tell you how to fix it and tells you step by step what to do and what to do for the different ages because you wouldn't do the same for a 10 month old that you would do for a newborn.
So I went to the local library to check it out and of course there was a huge waiting list. I waited awhile and then when Noah was waking up EVERY 20 minutes I said forget it and went and bought the book. Best $20 I every spent. I read the book (which is a great book by the way and not only covers sleeping but also potty training, eating, and behavioral problems) and then decided to wait until my husband had a few days off so he could help out with Tobin since once I start, I can't be interrupted and there can't be any distractions for Noah...plus it could take quite a bit of time.
So last night was my first try at the sleep training. The author first of all says you need to get into a routine and her best solution is to do the EASY routine. Which means Eat, Activity, Sleep, Your time. So I implemented that during the day and then watched for the signs that Noah was getting sleepy (rubbing eyes, yawning, getting fussy, etc.) which was close to 7pm. I then put his pajamas on and did our nightly routine. I nursed him one final time before I put on his jammies so he wouldn't think I was nursing him to sleep. Once he was all ready for bed (by about 7:40pm) I put him in his bed. He at first laughed because he didn't know what I was doing. Then when I kept rubbing his back and telling him it was bedtime and that I was right there and wasn't leaving, he knew something was up and started crying. Her method is to pick up/put down. Which basically meant that I would pick Noah up to comfort him but the second he stopped crying I put him back down..and I mean the VERY second he stops crying. He of course starts crying again but you just shush them and rub their back and keep telling them that they are okay and it's just bedtime and you are right there and you know they are frustrated but it's okay. Then since Noah is older, I wait until he stands up against the crib and is screaming before I pick him up again. Several times I don't even full pick him up, I just kind of sweep him off his feet and gently lay him back down so he is facing away from me. You also are supposed to give them some sort of a lovey which Noah isn't attached to anything yet so I just gave him a tiny little blanket that I carried around in my shirt for a few hours so it would smell like me. Anyways, eventually they run out of steam and you are picking up and putting down a lot less. Then finally they fall asleep. You still stay in there for awhile with your hand on their back. At first I kept rubbing his back and then eventually just kept it there. Then finally I took my hand completely away and then when I was sure he was in a deep sleep, I quietly left the room. It took me 40 minutes with Noah which was actually better than I thought it would be. He then slept for 5 hours straight and then woke up and it took me 20 minutes of the pick up/put down to get him back to sleep. Then he slept for 3 hours and then it took 10 minutes to get him back to sleep. Then he only slept one hour and was wide awake at 6:30am.
Today I did the whole EASY routine and for his first nap I did the pick up/put down. I also found that putting him in his sleepsack made him realize it was time to sleep and not time to play. It was actually harder to put him down for naps because usually I nurse him to sleep on my bed and then either roll away and stay in or near the room while he sleeps or I take a nap with him and stay there. So he never takes naps in his crib which I have been wanting to correct for a long time. So I think this made it hard for him and he was MAD! He kept pushing me and pulling my hair and got so frustrated. It took me an hour to get him to sleep BUT he did go to sleep! He slept for an hour in a half! It was heavenly. For his second nap, it only took 10 minutes (well a total of 20 minutes because for about 5 minutes he kept playing in the crib and the other 5 I stayed to make sure he was really asleep but only 10 minutes of pick up/put down. He only slept for about 40 minutes though because my husband and Tobin came home from running errands and they were loud and the dogs were barking at their arrival so it woke him up and I couldn't get him back to sleep.
So he isn't sleeping through the night yet, but I am so impressed that he went all night and for 2 naps without me nursing him to sleep. That is a HUGE accomplishment! He also seemed a lot happier when he was awake today. I am excited for tonight and hoping it will take about half the time that it did last night to get him to sleep and hoping he will sleep for a longer stretch tonight. I am very optimistic and will keep you all updated on our progress.
**This is not a review. I bought the book myself and I just wanted to share my experience.**
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