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So the other night I did a double-whammy sleep training night on both Owen and Ava. I had bought on Amazon "The Sleep Easy Solution" dvd because I was desperate for good sleep and both kids have been in our bed every night for months now. All I can say is it totally works! Ava has slept soundly in her bed 3 nights in a row now and Owen is waking up much less now and also staying in his crib. I am working on night weaning him, which you're supposed to do gradually over a few days. Has anyone else tried this method?
I'm not familiar with the method, but I did my own method which I started last week and I am seeing positive results in one week already! Last night Lexi only woke once to eat (at 3:30 am). Then she woke at 8:00 am but put herself back down for a nap until 9:45 am! What I did was basically not offer her the breast when she woke in the middle of the night unless she had gone a 4/5 hr stretch of sleeping. I would go in only to shush her, rub her tummy, and give her back the paci. I did this quite a bit until she went back to sleep (prob 5-15 min intervals). But I did not give in and feed her. Amd miraculously my son did not wake! As the week went on, she would wake, but would go back to sleep quicker as soon as she got the paci back. The night prior to the last, I only had to go in one time for paci duty and she was back to sleep in an instant.
It's very similar to your approach, Kary. So you establish a bedtime routine and always do it the same way (which I'm sure most of you already do). Then when it's time for sleep, you put the baby into the crib drowsy but awake and tell them you love them and goodnight, then leave the room. They also recommend black out shades and white noise. When your baby starts to cry, you let them go for 5 minutes, then go in and verbally reassure them, but do not touch them and do not stay longer than 30 seconds. Then wait another 10 minutes before you go back in (if they're still crying) and do the same thing. Then wait 15 min. After that, go in every 15 until they're asleep. If they wake up in the middle of the night, repeat the whole process (that part I find a bit unrealistic, especially if you have other kids who can be woken up by the crying).
Owen cried for an hour the first night and that was it. He went to bed for me just fine both nights after that. The first night I did this he woke up 4 times (UGH!), the second night only once, and last night three times. If you are still breastfeeding, you can't quit the night time feedings cold turkey. You have to taper off (like you're doing Kary) over a few days.
My 4-year-old caught on to this miraculously well. Hoping Owen continues to wake less the longer I do it. Either way, I strongly recommend trying it. It's hard to hear them cry, but they'll be fine and it's good for them to learn to self sooth.
Interesting. I was pretty much doing the same thing! I eventually went to 15 min intervals and she would finally just conk out. We had maybe one or two nights where it took her a full hour to go back to sleep, with lots of crying. One night it was 3:30-4:30 am and another time it was 5:30-6:30 am. That was not fun. I was terrified of my son waking up, but I figured it's only going to get worse when she's older so I better do it now and get it over with. If he wakes up, we would just deal with it. I can't believe he never work up once! Maybe he was so worn out from all his coughing! He's had a night time cough for almost 3 weeks!
I like this approach because you're not just leaving them for hours crying...you're still going in to soothe every so often. It's still hard to listen to the crying even for only 5 min. The only thing I didn't follow was the touch rule - I found a light rub to her tummy actually calmed her down. But I did have a rule not to pick her up.