I need to SLEEP

I am self professed morning person,  I love early mornings, sunrises, hearing the house wake, hearing the city wake as traffic increases, when I was in the country I loved hearing the birds warble, everything about mornings I find refreshing and lovely.

You know when I don't like mornings?  I don't like mornings when I have been up every hour or every two hours with a screaming, crying baby!! It sucks the life right out of me, I don't even like afternoons, evenings or nights at that point.  I still love mornings in theory, but in actuality with three kids one a baby that won't sleep through the night I knew I needed to do something so that I could sleep through the night.

I would say it's been a good year since I've had a decent nights sleep. I suffered from heartburn when I was pregnant so that would wake me up in the middle of the night, my baby would try to Irish Dance on my bladder around 4 am every morning as well (To clarify, 4 am is too early in the morning for even me).  Then the baby was born and I'm nursing so we had night time feedings and we co-slept (mostly because I was scared I'd drop the baby on the floor if I fed him in the rocking chair) and he'd nurse that way as well.  But now the baby is 8 months old (TIME FLIES) and really he should be capable of sleeping through the night.  I don't need him to repeat Lil Man's habits (Lil Man did not sleep through the night until he was 18 months old NO THANKS)

I will admit my first child spoiled me, he was so such a good baby (too bad it doesn't always translate into his teen years, I jest he's a good kid, he could have been worse).  And in comparison Lil Man was horrible so I need to find a nice comfortable middle ground for Prince T.  And I'll admit when I talk to other mom's Lil Man wasn't that bad, but I not only like to be up in the mornings I like to have a good 6 solid hours of sleep and if this baby doesn't start to allow me to have this sleep I may turn into a sobbing mess!!

So as is the kismet of the universe, there were a couple posts on my Facebook wall about sleep training.  I've read them, I've got a good understanding of what needs to be done and I've talked to my family expert (my mom) about some strategies to help me get the baby to sleep through the night.  I always find it interesting how the universe gives you what you need right around the time you need it.  And reading about sleep training was something I needed, and I needed to resolve myself to do it, because listening to my baby cry is not something I like to do nor is it something I want to subject my entire family to, because as much as I need sleep so do my other children (especially the teenager, if he doesn't get enough sleep he's crankier than a PMSing 13 year old).  

So after a (terrible for sleep) holiday back home in Saskatchewan one of my New Year's Resolutions was to sleep train my baby.  Now there are different ways to sleep train babies and they all have different parameters and it becomes a personal preference.  You can do the Cry it Out Method, the No Tears Method, there's another one too that I don't remember what it's called, I chose to do a hybrid of the Cry It Out and No Tears method which I read about on the linked in blogs from Baby Center.  I do not believe in allowing my child to cry inconsolably for more than 15 minutes in a row, I just personally don't.  But I also don't buy into the picking your child up every time they squeak, now by no means does the No Tears Method say that, but that's sort of my interpretation, you would pick your child up and soothe them then put them back to sleep and I really needed the baby to learn to be a self soother. So here's what I put into action.

Prince T was waking up 3 times a night, he'd go down for bedtime between 7 and 8 and would sleep until 11 or 12, then he'd be up at 2 and again at 4 and up for the morning at 6 if I got up (6 days a week we do get up a six for school and hockey).  Now because babies can't talk you don't know if maybe they are hungry or sick or whatever so I wasn't firm on "No eating between 7 and 6 from now on!!" I had decided that when he woke up at 11 or 12 I'd just let him cry it out until 2.  I was hoping he'd go back to sleep and then just wake up a 2, but in that time I would not offer to nurse him at all.  I'd go into his room and comfort him at 15 minute intervals if he was really crying, not that whiney cry that's just him making noise, but real crying and while he was doing that I'd watch Netflix or something on my PVR. Then at 2 I'd nurse him so he could go back to sleep and I could go to sleep as well, and if he got up at 4 I'd nurse him then too. But I'd work to eliminate one night time nursing at a time.  The next time I wasn't going to do the 2 am nursing but the 4 am nursing.  That way I could get at least 3-4 hours before the 2 am nursing, and 3-4 hours of sleep until it was time to get up.   I was ready to offer the baby a bottle of water (he doesn't take a bottle, but he needed to know if he woke up this was all that was on the table) which was advice my mother passed on to us from our family doctor growing up.  
you think I should drink from a bottle HA No way!!

It's now been almost a week since my last HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE sleep, and I've got a baby that is sleeping through the night!! Legitimately, sleeping through the night!!

The first night was rough, he woke up at 10 and at 12, I comforted him but I let him whine alone in his bed and I offered him the bottle, which he hated, but I kept the breasts away.  After midnight though he fell asleep and slept until 6,  I was up at 2 and 4 to check on him to make sure he was breathing (yes I am that parent).  The next night he slept until 2 no problems, so I nursed him then put him back to bed and he woke up at 4, and I didn't nurse him, then he was up at 8 for the day.  The third day he slept from 8 pm until 5 am straight through.  I'll get up at  5 am to feed him NO PROBLEM, especially if he's sleeping this long.  And now he's been sleeping from 7:30 (on average) to 5 every morning!! I'm so happy I made this decision and I'm sure Prince T is as well, he's getting so much sleep, he's a happy, happy baby!!

I can't say what it would be like for you to try this, if you are reading this and thinking about attempting sleep training with your baby, each baby is different. My only advice is do what works for you and your family and adapt the suggestions so that they become your own path.  People can always tell you how to do things, but they tell you based on what's worked for them and if you don't tweak it for yourself it may not work because you are not the person who gave the advice and your baby is not their baby.  

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