With Lorenzo his sleep patterns at the beginning were bad and the only way he would sleep was with me so we used to co sleep for a little while until one day we worked out he was a tummy sleeper and ever since then he has been a great sleeper. once he began sleeping in his own cot and not on me we began sleep training. Because he was used to sleeping with me it took us time to get him adjusted to his own bed. I got advice from a friend who was also a mother about ways to get Lorenzo to sleep in his own bed and sleep well. she came over and showed and helped me with the cry out method, at first yes I found it so very hard! But it took a week and he goes down to sleep by himself and now self sooth’s to sleep at only 3 months old.
But I will say the cry it out method is not for everyone and I really didn’t want to try it as well but that was my last resort to get him to sleep because when Lorenzo was a new born the most he would sleep was five hours which is 100% not normal or ok for him being so little. So I do recommend trying other methods first but unfortunately they just didn’t work for me.
My helpful tips for you mummies wanting to try the cry out method are simple.
- You need to be prepared for what you are about to face, you need to stick with it. I know it’s hard and its horrible hearing your baby cry and you just sitting outside the door listening, at first I cried too so that’s why I recommend the cry out method being your last resort! there will be times you just want to go in and pick your baby up or just let them sleep with you because it’s easy for you but this will just make things worst. trust me some nights I still am making up for my mistakes of just letting Lorenzo back in my bed after that 1am feed.
- Sleep training will only work if you have the same support from your husband or whoever may be helping you with your little one. trust me the nights you try and walk into your babies room to get them after you only just put them to bed, that’s when your support person comes into save the day and talks to you and calms you down or if you need a break you tap out and they tap in.
- set a timer, so when I first started sleep training I only let Lorenzo cry for five minutes then I would go in and sooth him, I set a timer but for each time he stopped crying in the five minutes I would re start because he had settled himself. the older Lorenzo gets I add a extra minute longer for example I started on five and I’m currently on seven minutes now before I walk in and sooth him.
- When you go into to sooth them, don’t talk to them or smile, that sounds harsh but you don’t want to confuse them with facial expressions and have them thinking your picking them up to pat them or get them out. When I night feed Lorenzo I don’t talk to him I feed, change and put him back in. but his day feeds I talk, smile and play with his feet. this way Lorenzo can tell the difference between day feeds and night feeds.
- Have a set night routine that you follow with your child every night for example every night we read a book to Lorenzo as a family and then we change him and get him ready for bed and feed. it’s the same routine every night at the same time so that he knows what’s about to happen.
- It took Lorenzo a week of sleep training for him to get used to his own bed and two weeks for him to self sooth to sleep so it does take time so don’t give up so easy.
Pros to sleep training:
- Your child can get themselves to sleep and your not up half the night rocking them or walking around the house like a zombie
- babies will learn the difference between naps and sleep
- It stops bad sleep habits
- It only takes about a week so if your baby is anything like Lorenzo was and not a sleeper at all then good news they soon will be, Lorenzo only wakes now once a night and goes to sleep so easy every night and for his day naps.
- The science in sleep training shows that it is the most effective way and works the best.
Cons to sleep training:
- As a mum you feel like the worlds worst person listening to them cry and fear they will hate you… or at least I did
- In some babies it doesn’t work
- at First you baby will most likely cry for about 15 to 20 mins but that you walking in and out and just letting know your their or putting their dummy back in so it is hard work.
- Studies do show that it will effect your child in the long run I don’t know how true this study is.
- Other mummy’s will judge you or at least some will.
But in saying all this I will say even tho I was not a fan of trying the cry out method it did work for Lorenzo and I and I am thankful for doing so. it was very hard for me at first so I still don’t recommend it in anyway unless you have tried everything like I had. Lorenzo was a horrible sleeper with only sleeping at night if he was near someone and during the day he never did sleep so I really had no other way and had tried buying all those silly things people recommend but are a waste of money to be honest. So if your baby is anything like Lorenzo was and you’ve tried everything and nothing work then yes try the cry it out method and hopefully you will see improvement like I did.