When my son was 9 months old he was still waking up every 2-3 hours. He would cry relentlessly. I would sleep walk into his room, pick him up out of his crib, and nurse him (although I was being used as a pacifier rather than an actual feeding). Once his eyes would close I would very carefully pull him off, sneak a pacifier into his mouth, very quietly stand up and place him in his crib. If he woke, we would start all over again. Sometimes I gave in and brought him to bed with us….actually, I did this after 5am every night. But I never actually fell asleep when he was in bed with us. Brutal. I NEEDED SLEEP!!!
Ashley W’s Personal Story
At my son’s 6 month doctor appointment the doctor told me that it was time to get him to sleep through the night. 3 months later I was finally ready. I did my research. Read up on ALL the different theory’s and results. I knew we could keep doing what we were doing, co-sleep, or I could let him cry it out (CIO). We could let him CIO with the method where I came in every few minutes to soothe him, I could sit in his room while he screamed his little head off, or I could just let him CIO while I was listening over the baby monitor. We opted for the latter.
I didn’t think through my decision of when I would let my son CIO through. I just decided that it was time. I nursed him, and right before he fell asleep I pulled him off and placed him in his crib. He looked at me confused and started to cry. I said, I love you, walked away, shut the door, and counted to 3. 1, 2, whaaaaaaaaaaa. He screamed the most awful cry. It was helpless. I hated it. I could not believe we had to do this. I went to my room and blow dried my already dried hair to drown out the sound for 45 minutes. It took him 45 minutes to cry himself to sleep. He woke up several times throughout the night and went through the process all over again. I would put a pillow over my head to muffle the sound. Each time my son woke the duration of his cries would get a little shorter. 5 days. It took 5 days and that was it. Now, over 3 years later my son is a rock star sleeper. I say good night, he puts himself to sleep, and does not wake for 10-12 hours.
A lot of friends, especially older friends, told me how awful I was to let my baby cry it out. They said it wasn’t natural or nurturing. Maybe not. But I am not one to judge. It is what worked for our family and I have no regrets.
–We did the same thing for our daughter, except at 6 months vs 9 months and had the same results. The difference was that she only cried for 20 minutes the first time and for only 3 days before she put herself to sleep and slept through the night.–
Do’s and Don’ts
of Developing Healthy Sleep Habits
~Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle.
~Don’t bring your baby to bed with you to solve a sleep problem.
~Do your research.
Some of our favorite resources to develop healthy sleep habits:
Good luck!!! Send us your stories…we love feedback!