Sleep Training: How, What, Why and HELP!

Whether you call it crib training or sleep training, it blows. I personally prefer to call it crib training. Sleep training gives off this illusion that it involves sleep when in reality it is quite the opposite. Sleep training = mama ain’t getting NO sleep! It’s one of those parts of parenting that is rather unpleasant. Your kid will cry, you will feel useless, and it’s just one of those hurdles you have to jump over. There are MANY different methods when it comes to sleep training, and some involve much less tears than others. You really have to research, and ‘trial and error’ it until you find what works best for you and your little! I’ll briefly be going over some sleep training methods in this post (:

beautiful baby girl sleeping on stomach with unicorn pillow. sleep training.

WHAT in tarnation is sleep/crib training?!?!

Well for this my dears, I’m going to give it to ya straight out of the dictionary.

sleep train·ing
noun
the process of training young children to fall asleep on their own, typically by means of techniques in which the child is left to cry without being comforted, either for gradually increasing periods of time or until they fall asleep.
Pretty straight forward, amiright?? Then why is it that such a simple concept TUGS AT THE STRINGS OF YOUR SOUL AND MAKES YOU QUESTION EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER KNOWN ABOUT PARENTING?!?!?! Sorry for the dramatics, but I’m keeping’ it real. It’s emotionally draining. On the bright side, I hear it doesn’t last forever! Once you get over the hump, and your little *finally* learns to sleep on their own, life can get ‘normal’ again. Whatever ‘normal’ actually is, anyway!

Cry It Out Method

  • Firstly, this method in and of itself is a WHOOOOLE controversy- just take a gander into a parenting group or google it. It’s a bit crazy. Nonetheless, I’m going to lay it out for those who want to know!
  • The second thing you should know about this method is that it does not mean ”leave your baby to cry for however long it takes for them to go to sleep’.  There are many different variations to this, and setting a time limit + how you choose to soothe them is up to you.
  • To better explain, I’ll be leaving different examples below of how you can put this method to use.
  • After completing your bed time routine, you put your baby to bed, soothe them by rubbing their back or singing to them, and walk away. You choose to let them cry it out for 5 minutes, before going back in to soothe, and repeat until they fall asleep.
  • Now, a variation of the aforementioned would be: letting them cry it out for 5 minutes initially, and then slowly increase the time increments before going back in, i.e., 5 minutes turns into 10 minutes, 10 turns into 15, and so on and so forth until your child falls asleep.

My Attempt

Just to give you a glimpse into my life real quick, my darling daughter has slept in our bed since day one. She is breast fed, I’m a light sleeper, and it is just what worked for us. Now, she is a year old and is starting to eat food and be  a big kid. So naturally, I decided it’s time to start getting her acquainted with her crib. Oh Lord Jesus take the wheel because this is the hardest thing I’ve had to do to date. I try to put her in her crib but as soon as I turn my back a screeching gremlin consumes my sweet angel and my heart simultaneously shatters. I’ve lasted about 5 minutes of her crying before I get her and cuddle her myself.  What can I say, she’s quite the princess!

Attachment Parenting: No Cry Method

  • If you practice attachment parenting, then you already know the cry it out method is NOT for you. Luckily, there are several more subtle ways to go about teaching your baby it’s okay to fall asleep all on their own!
  • Tending to your baby at every cry- this is the simplest way to limit the amount of tears shed, but it will take longer and it will take all of your time and sleep.
  • When your baby wakes, simply pick him/her up and soothe back to sleep. Whether that be by rocking, playing a lullaby, or nursing. Do whatever works for you.
  • Repeat the above steps as much as necessary, and eventually your little will know it’s time to sleep!

The Bottom Line

Regardless of the method you use, tears WILL happen. It’s just a matter of how much. The more time you have to put into it, the less likely tears will be abundant. If you’re not quite ready to start sleep training, there are some preemptive things you can start now. Firstly, it will greatly benefit you and your little if you already have a solid nap schedule. Secondly, it’s never too early to have a bedtime routine. If you already have a smooth bed time routine, you’re golden! It will only make your life easier when it comes to sleep training.

If you don’t quite know where to start, and maybe don’t have any sort of schedule at all yet, I highly encourage you to start keeping track of your littles patterns so you can better determine what kind of schedule to implement! One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to developing a schedule is to go into it blindly. If you try to force a nap at 10, but your little usually gets tired around 11:30, you’re going to have a very hard time! Jot down your babes cues, find the pattern, and create a schedule from there. I promise you will be much more successful!

click the photo to get these freebies sent directly to your inbox (:

And lastly, for my fellow mamas and daddas out there, BE STRONG. It is going to be tough. It’s going to take awhile. But it will get easier, and you will feel so accomplished when it’s all over! Be confident in your parenting abilities.  Don’t second guess yourself. Keep your sanity in check by staying calm and understanding that every parent ever has gone through the same thing. You’ll be alright, and so will your sweet babes!

 

Gabby
Semi-sane and overly-caffeinated. Happy mama & happy wife. Everyday is an adventure, so you might as well tag along!
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *