Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sleep training Manning

I'm a a BIG believer in teaching your baby to sleep. I've been blessed with decent sleepers, but crap always hits the fan at that 4 month sleep transition. Kess' sleep transition almost did me in. I could hardly function. I was more prepared for Manning's and I was used to not sleeping - so it wasn't a big shock. I've been trying to toughen up and sleep train Manning for a few months now, but I just couldn't get the guts. It's time. It's happening. We are in the middle of it. Knee deep, man.

I actually started sleep training Kess around this age as well - we weren't traveling to McCall and back home anymore - so it was time. Matt helped me because I was losing my cool. It was 1 week of h*ll & then she slept GREAT! So I knew I could do it with Manning, too. But I am way more patient with Manning than I was with Kess. (Sorry, sweetie.) So I haven't been as uptight about the loss of sleep and such. But at this point it's just getting annoying to wake up a few times a night when I know he doesn't need a bottle at night anymore.

I didn't mind getting up with Manning because he was on the smaller side - he needed the extra calories, but he's chunking up nicely and is no longer under his percentile trajectories. This momma is done. And I have some habits I want to make, like waking up for my kids and not to my kids, working out, staying on a cleaning schedule, etc. Those are hard to do when all I can think about is when the next time I get to lay down is.

Alright - lets start with some basics. A few things that I always try to teach my kids is to fall asleep on their own. Manning was brilliant at this. Kess was ok, but that was mostly because I had no idea what I was doing.

I always try to instill a few sleep associations. Remember to not do too many of these because if you baby needs 5 things that help him go to sleep - he needs all 5 of those every time he wakes up and goes back to sleep at night, too. I try to do some sleep associations that don't require ME. Like, a sound machine that is on all night, a pacifier (this one is hit and miss) and a sleep sack. A pacifier gets a little tricky because you could be in 10 times a night to pop that bad boy back in, but once I clipped it to Manning's jammies I was in business. He can find it and put it back in by himself now.

You guys know that I'm a big believer in the ZipadeeZip. Even Matt has said that it's THE BEST baby purchase that we have ever made. I buy one or two for every stage and then by the Flying Squirrel (<eyeing this one for Manning) set when they turn 1. Kess wore that until she was about 18 months and it's incredibly easy to wean from. Like one night Kess wore it, the next she didn't and there was zero issues.

I always push a pacifier. My kids both have loved the MAM pacifiers. I know some people are super leary of a pacifier, but I love them.

My kids always use a Zippy, a pacifier and a sound machine.

I decided to start sleep training Manning on a few weeks ago. I know some people are against sleep training and cry-it-out. I don't think that little tiny babies should ever cry-it-out, but around 9 months old - I personally don't have a problem with it. I never let them cry without checking on them every few minutes - so they never cry alone for hours on end.

For night 1 I decided to let him cry when he wakes up for his 1st feeding. Normally you're not "supposed" to pick them up, but I didn't care if it took longer to teach him to sleep, I wanted to ease into the whole sleep training thing.

I went in, picked him up, snuggled him for a while, reassured him that I was there, gave him love and kisses and laid him back down. He cried. It was awful, but I set my timer for 5 minutes and went back in and did the same thing over again. Every 5 minutes for over an hour. As I was about to give in and give him a bottle - he fell asleep. He woke up 3ish hours later at his normal time and I decided to give him his bottle. I figured crying-it-out once that night was good enough. Night 2, we started the same way... he woke up crying. I did all the same things and he fell asleep after 45 minutes. Then when he woke up again I decided to forego the bottle and do what I did a few hours before.

I continued to do this for the next few days. Eventually it took him less time to fall asleep & I stopped picking him up when he cried. I gave him smooches, gave him his paci and rubbed his back and left. On night 7 he woke up once, I rubbed his back and gave him his pacifier and he laid back down and went to sleep. No crying. He slept through the night on the 9th night. The 10th night he struggled a little bit more. I'm going to blame night 10 on 2 teeth coming in at the same time.

We struggled with those teeth for a few more days, then on night 13 he woke up fussing once and put himself back to sleep. And 14 he slept! All night long! So fingers crossed that this becomes more frequent!

I definitely took the long route here. And on day 13 I switched to the next size up of Zippy. But, I knew I was taking the long route when I picked him up to soothe him. I just couldn't cut him off from a bottle and loves all at once, so I decided to make the transition slower and easier on us both.

We are now heading into night 23 and Manning is pretty consistently sleeping through the night. We will randomly have an off night & I'm honestly chalking it up to teething. He is working on his 4th tooth in the last 3 weeks. IT's been a little crazy around here, but I think he's sleeping pretty dang well for cutting that many teeth. 

Shoot me an email or leave a comment below if you have any sleep training questions. 

Sending you sleepy baby vibes!