J and I decided a couple days ago that we were going to start sleep training Henry. For the past….forever, J and I (mostly J) get up at least 8 times a night, sometimes more to replace Henry’s pacifier and/or put him back to sleep. Getting Henry to go to sleep in the past had not been a problem, but since he’s stopped nursing to sleep it’s become a little trickier.
I’d been reading like mad to see how we wanted to go about doing this. I know that there is a lot of controversy over “cry it out” and the “Ferber” method, and my intention is not to discuss what is “right” or what’s “wrong,” only what works and doesn’t work for Henry.
On Tuesday night I put Henry down for the night at 7:30. Henry went down ok, not great, but ok. At 9:12 he woke up crying. So, J and I went into his room to pick him up and comfort him and see if we could get him to go back to sleep without using the pacifier.
If I could go back in time and smack my past self, I would.
Henry cried/screamed for over an hour while we held and rocked him. After an hour, Js and my nerves were pretty frazzled, so we put him in this crib and walked away, and we were going to watch the clock and check on him every 5 to 10 minutes to let him know that we were near by and that he was ok. He screamed for those 5 minutes that he was alone. When we went to check on him, he screamed harder, and when we left again, again the screaming intensified. Because things got worse when we were there, we left him alone to try and soothe himself and to fall asleep and he continued to scream non-stop for 30 minutes before he was able to calm down enough to go back to sleep.
That experience was terrible. J and I wanted it to end as soon as it began, but for whatever reason decided to keep going (probably from all the books and personal experiences that I’d read that it had worked for other people). Anyway, exhausted from just listening to Henry scream, J and I went to sleep as soon as Henry did. And two hours later Henry woke up screaming again. I don’t know how long he cried for, but I don’t think it was too long because J and just couldn’t take it anymore. We gave him his pacifier and brought him into bed with us, and we still feel guilty on how we handled that night.
J and I have decided that the “cry it out” and the “Ferber” method just aren’t for us or Henry. If he had calmed down after 10 minutes I could have stuck to it, but having listened to him scream for an hour and a half and then have it start to repeat itself two hours later, I just couldn’t do it anymore. My resolve just isn’t that strong.
So, now we’re trying something new. We’re SLOWLY working on being able to put Henry down for bed and naps when he’s still awake. Last night, I nursed him, cuddled him, swaddled him and put him in his crib when he was still awake, but sleepy. He would fuss for a bit and then that would turn into cries. And, every time he cried I’d pick him up and cuddle him and when he started to relax and be tired again, I’d put him back down. It took about 30 minutes, but eventually he stopped fussing and went to sleep. I’m doing the same thing for naps.
My goal is that he’ll be able to go to sleep on his own for bedtime and naptime. And, I’m really really really really really hoping that it will one day start to carry over to when he wakes up in the middle of the night that he’ll then be able to put himself back to sleep. Right now naps are going way better than bedtime. Henry takes about 2-3 naps a day (he’s on his second right now, and has been down for an hour and a half). I’ll be sure to report how we’re doing in a few days and again in a few weeks.
How did you sleep train your baby?