So the last post that I wrote on the whole sleeping issue was; I’m Struggling… where I will be totally honest with you I was at breaking point. I spoke with Ash and we both decided that something needed to be done as there was no way that I could continue like that while I was at uni.
We decided to go down the sleep training path. I know that this is not for everyone and if you don’t agree with it then that is fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and everyone raises their children differently. I just want to let you know how we did it in case anyone else is curious.
Setting the Scene:
We decided that we would begin sleep training when Milo was 6 months old. We wanted to do this in Milos nursery, in his cot, because if we succeeded the last thing we would want to do is unsettle him by changing where he sleeps.
To begin with a month before we started I began taking Milo into his nursery more often to let him explore and get used to the surroundings. Then the week before I slept in the nursery with him, just feeding him to sleep as usual. I have to tell you that blow up beds are not the future and there is no way anyone ever gets any sleep at all on them.
I have never had a strict routine with Milo, at the beginning I couldn’t put him on a schedule as i just breastfed him on demand. From around 4 months old I could see a certain pattern with his sleeping, he was always tired around 2 hours after waking. I had got into the bad habit of feeding him to sleep which meant he was pretty much always on the boob so there was definitely no clear schedule with feeds.
I always tried to put Milo down at night between 6pm & 8pm depending on when he last napped, how long for & his mood. During the 4 month sleep regression he would always wake up ready to go at about 9pm and we would have to occupy him until he was ready to go back to sleep, usually at 11pm.
Our night time routine is: bath, massage, feed & cuddle.
After sleep training we still keep the routine pretty flexible but he seems to have got himself into a goof routine and he usually goes down between 6.30pm & 7pm.
We don’t have set times for his naps we just take him up when he starts to rub his eyes. As soon as he gives us the signal that he is tired one of us will go upstairs with him close the curtains, put on his cot mobile, which plays lullabies & projects stars onto the ceiling, and just cuddle and rock him until he calms down. Now that he is (almost) 7 months old he can stay awake a little longer between naps typically, he goes down 3 hours after he last woke up. At the moment he only naps for between 20-40 minutes so I don’t limit how many naps he has, sometimes he as three or four and some days he just has two!
I’m going to keep this part brief as I know some people don’t agree with this and I really don’t want to open myself up to criticism. We tried all the gentler methods first but this was the only thing that worked for us, the only thing that kept me from losing my shit.
So the first night we placed Milo in the cot and went back into the room intermittently. This is the timing schedule we followed:
On the first night Milo fell asleep 40mins after we placed him down in the cot and slept for 6hours, he fed and then i placed him back down in the cot and he slept for another 4 hours, he woke to feed again and then slept for a further 3 hours.
He cried for maybe 10 minutes max and then the rest of the time he was just talking away until he fell asleep. Now he falls asleep within 5 minutes of placing him in the cot. I won’t lie it isn’t like the first night every night but it is amazing that he can get himself back to sleep and my boobs don’t have a baby permanently attached during the night.
Obviously if Milo is having a bad week, like this week because he has a cold I give him extra cuddles and don’t leave him. You will know when your baby really needs you and when he is just soothing himself back to sleep.
If you want to ask any more questions please e-mail me, I like to help where I can.
See you Soon!