Sleep Training: Part I

I’ve been wanting to write this post for months now.  My husband advised against it because it’s such a controversial topic, and I was too tired to follow through on it anyway.  But if you don’t know already, you’ll find out soon enough that everything parenting-related is controversial.

If you’re a mom, you know that there is plenty of unsolicited advice out there when it comes to how you should raise your kid.  People will judge your choices no matter what you do.  From formula vs. breastfeeding to crib vs. co-sleeping.  Can’t we all just get along?  Anyway, I digress…

For those not in the know, I’ll give a quick briefing about sleep training before I dive into what we did.  There are essentially two schools of thought when it comes to getting your child to sleep.

Camp #1: the Cry-it-out (CIO) method – associated with Babywise and Ferber.  Proponents of this believe that your child should be left to cry and learn to self-soothe.
Camp #2: Non-CIO/Attachment Parenting – associated with Dr. Sears.  Proponents of non-CIO believe crying is our babies’ main form of communication, so when they’re crying they’re asking for a need to be met.  In order to develop confidence in your child and ensure secure attachment, you should try your best to meet all their needs.

I didn’t read any sleep books while pregnant, so I ended up reading like 8 different sleep books the first month after delivery from varying perspectives!  Talk about information overload!  There’s so much info out there, it’s no wonder most new moms are practically walking around with their heads cut off.  That first month, Noelle would only sleep in our arms.  The moment we put her down anywhere, she would wake up and cry.  For naps, I often strapped her in my Ergo and let her sleep in there while I sat on the couch watching episode after episode of Friday Night Lights (my favor-eeet).

We had a twin-sized bed in her nursery, so at night my husband and I would take turns “sleeping” in there with her on our chest.  We often brought her into our bed and co-slept with her too.  Anything to get some sleep (and maintain a semblance of sanity) right?  The thing is, when she was on our chest she easily slept from midnight to 6am and we all got some much needed rest.  When we didn’t sleep with her we were waking up every 2-3 hours for cuddles and feedings.  However, we knew we couldn’t do this forever.  Or rather, I… I couldn’t do it forever.  I was the one with the boobs attached.

Stay tuned for Sleep Training: Part II.  I’ll be writing about the resources that helped us get to where we wanted to be.

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13 thoughts on “Sleep Training: Part I

  1. I totally agree – can’t we all just get along? I too was SO confused. Everyone and every book says something different. I just say – do whatever works for you. That’s the best thing a few moms told me.

    • yes just do what works for you!! i don’t know why ppl have to get all crazy – we’re all trying to do our best here and most mom’s have their baby’s best interests at heart…

  2. Oh my. I am SO glad that you are a few months ahead of me! You have no idea just how much you have already helped me and Brian adjust to this new little life! We are currently in the co-sleeping/ONLY sleeping on the chest phase. Yes, he sleeps AMAZINGLY, as long as he is on the chest. It’s totally working for now, he sleeps long stints at night, and we feel rested, but I know eventually we’d like to use the crib. Can’t wait for Part II!

    • aww i’m so glad we could help – you’re doing so well with brian! right now you just gotta do whatever it takes to get some rest. restful mama = happy, healthy, well-fed baby!

  3. Hey Ange,
    ugh.. sleep training… I contemplated that also but since I was at my parents for a while, I couldn’t let him CIO (my parents don’t agree too much with sleep training). J is a very good sleeper once he falls asleep but we had hard time putting him to sleep especially around 4-6 months.
    For naps, I used to carry him in my ergo or put him on a stroller and push until he falls asleep. This didn’t work at night time for some reason though. He would just end up falling asleep really late but he did get a good night sleep overall.
    Now I feel like it’s a bit late to sleep train him because he would just stand in his crib and cry or bite the bed frame and cry. I just end up laying in bed with him until he falls asleep and then I put him to his crib. He tosses and turns A LOT during the night, but unless he hits the crib hard or has teething pain, he just falls right back to sleep. He’s definitely not one of those blessed children who sleeps 12+ hrs at night but he gets about 8.5-11 hrs at night daily. 🙂
    I do hope that he does a better job falling asleep eventually though. I don’t actually carry him or pat him much so he does fall asleep on his own but it takes some time.
    anyway, parenting is so hard!!!!! why do we have to grow up so fast? hehe

    • seriously, parenting is tough! thanks for sharing!!!

      sam’s parents moved in with us about a month after noelle was born (long story). thankfully, they’re not the pushy type and followed along with our parenting methods (for the most part). i’m just glad we had a spare room for noelle because i don’t know how (or if it’s possible) to sleep train with only a one-bedroom apartment or something like that… there are SO many factors to consider and the environment definitely has to be right!

  4. I can’t believe there’s so much controversy about parenting and taking care of your baby! I had no idea! Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about this stuff anytime soon but I enjoy learning through your blog.

    • i know!! i guess it’s human nature to just compete and compare with each other and think that their way is the right/best way. you should read the stuff out there, some of it’s really mean!

  5. Pingback: Sleep Training: Part II « BabyChin

  6. Pingback: Sleep Training: Part III « BabyChin

  7. ange, you’re the best at sharing mom-formation! thanks for this post 🙂
    with all the “advice” out there, it was hard to feel like i was doing the “right” thing or being a good mom in those first few months. now i feel like i understand luke much better and feel free to try one thing and if that doesnt work, not to worry and try something else. you’ve been a huge encouragement to me, thanks ange~

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