Sleep training has so many negative connotations associated with it, and before I started my journey, it is not something I had considered as an option for my family. A few weeks ago I posted about the lack of sleep in our house and how it was affecting every element of my life. Literally my marriage, my emotional state and my ability to be a mom were all compromised because none of us were getting any sleep. Just ten days ago, Hudson was waking up every hour to breastfeed and was sleeping in our bed. Tonight, he will sleep through the night in his own bed. TEN DAYS. That’s all it took to change my life.
I know that probably sounds dramatic, but to those of us who have children who really suffer with sleeping, it isn’t dramatic at all. I feel healthier, I feel happier, I feel like I can take care of Hudson better during the day because I have more energy; life is good.
Before I go into too much detail, let me just remind you that I am 100% pro co-sleeping and would still be co-sleeping if Hudson would have actually slept. We co-slept for a year and I don’t regret it for even a second. Unfortunately our circumstances demanded that we make a change, and as hard as that was, I do not regret it!
A lot of my instagram followers have been asking me about The Cradle Coach and the role they played in our journey to a full nights sleep and my response is; I never could have done it without their knowledge and support. I think when it comes to ‘sleep training,’ you need someone on your side. You need someone who knows what to expect and what to say when the going gets tough. You also need someone who understands your baby, your family, and your combined needs. The women at the cradle coach do exactly that.
Like I said in my previous post, when you do a consultation with them, they send you a sleep plan tailored to your baby based on age, temperament, etc. This is important because as i’m sure you’ve heard said a 1,000 times, all babies are different! Hudson is a particularly strong willed baby, and we didn’t want to do the cry it out method so she sent us three alternative methods to choose from. Now, I know all of you are looking for a magic sleep solution that doesn’t involve crying and I am here to tell you that a solution like that does not exist. However, you don’t have to walk out of the room and shut the door to achieve results.
Adam and I sat by Hudsons bed for ten nights until he fell asleep. He knew we were there, he could see us, and for the first four nights I even held his hand until he fell asleep. That being said, it was the hardest four nights of my life. When I spoke to Janelle, my consultant, on night four, I wanted to quit. I didn’t realise how hard it was going to be. I didn’t know how hard it would be for me to sleep without him in my bed. It broke my heart watching him cry. I cried with him some of the time. Sleep training isn’t just training the baby, it’a about training yourself as well. What I realised though was that he was safe; He wasn’t in pain, He knew we were there. He was fine. He was just out of his routine and that must be scary for a baby. For a year of his life he relied on breastfeeding to fall asleep and then all of a sudden he was put somewhere away from me and had to teach himself to fall asleep.
By night six, he really understood what was going on. When I put him in the cot he got a little fussy and then laid down and fell right to sleep. He woke up about two times a night until night nine when he slept through the night for the first time in his life and now I don’t dread bed time. In fact, I love bedtime. Wow, I never thought I would say that.
The best part about The Cradle Coach was that when I texted them in the middle of the night saying, ” I can’t do this,” they immediately responded telling me I could, along with ten reasons why it was the right thing to do. Plus they never made me do anything I didn’t want to do. I still breastfed Hudson at night for the first few nights because I wasn’t going to just cut him off. They tailored my plan so that I could do that and still be successful. On top of that, they encouraged me to cuddle with him extra during the day and we still co-sleep at naps sometimes. They really do work around your lifestyle. If for no other reason, that is why I recommend them.
I spent the last ten days teaching my son how to fall asleep on his own and I am so proud of him and so happy for all of us. Now, when morning comes, I am excited to see him, not frustrated because i’m exhausted. Now, I have HOURS of alone time with my husband instead of minutes. Now, I can go to dinner with my friends without having to worry about being home in case he wakes up.
I have asked Janelle at The Cradle Coach to give a few general tips to help your baby sleep and hopefully these can help your family:
- Find a routine and schedule that works and stick with it! Babies thrive on routine and consistency.
- Always put baby down awake or drowsy. This will help them learn the skill of self-soothing and will help avoid sleep associations.
- Find a sleep training method that works for you, your child’s personality, and one that you are comfortable with. Consistency is key!
- Plenty of playtime and sunlight during the day
- Healthy bedtime is 6:30 – 7:30pm for most children. Healthy sleep is 10-12 hours
- Create an environment that is conducive for sleep. We recommend black out curtains, a sound machine on throughout the night, and the room kept at cool temperature (68-72 is ideal)
If you are in the same situation as me and not sure if sleep training is the right avenue for your family or afraid of letting your baby cry it out like me, please reach out to these ladies and voice your concerns. They are so smart and have worked with so many families and I trust them to help you like they’ve helped me. As usual, feel free to contact me if you want to know more about my experience!
Mamas, please don’t forget the importance of your mental health post-partum. Sleeping plays such an important role in your health and if you are feeling exhausted, it’s going to affect your family.