We all know it has to be done. But who would ever in their right mind want to do it! It’s soul destroying. It’s hard. It’s heart breaking. It’s time consuming. But you gotta do it if you ever want to sleep again. It’s better for your child and it’s better for everyone’s general health!
I tried ALL the different ways. Believe me, I’ve had 3 boys who all at some stage were early risers, terrible napper’s and did not know how to go to sleep by themselves. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t their fault. It was mine. I gave them bad habits, I didn’t really know it at the time, but I did. And trying to fix it was awful.
This is what I have tried at some stage over the past few years..
- Pick up/put down method. (Never worked for me. Made them more hysterical)
- Just put them down and leave the room (only ever worked on Ollie temporarily)
- Cry it out. (I have never really done this. I did try a few times but just didn’t have the heart for it)
- Walk in/settle/walk out (once settled you walk out and wait for 5 mins. If you have to go back in, when you come out you wait 10 mins, next time wait for 15 mins. You get the idea..Never worked for me)
- Gradual retreat (only thing that worked for me! It’s the longest method but very effective) HORAY!
James my first born started waking early at 5 months old. At 5am. Every morning! Tried all the above training methods but in the end, it was the gradual retreat thing I had to do. Where you put him down to go to sleep and step away but stay in the room. After every 3 days or so your step back would be closer to the door. Until a million years later you are eventually out the door. Now it did work to be fair. But it was exhausting. And I was pregnant!
Caelan my second born ended up the same but I have no recollection of how I fixed it! That will tell you how tired I most certainly was. There is only 16 months between them! He wasn’t as bad a sleeper as James as I recall. I was adamant I wouldn’t make the same mistakes with him as I did on james. (Lets take a moment to laugh at that!)
And now Ollie. He’s 9 months old and I really feel it’s only now we are getting somewhere. Again I’ve done all the above but it was the gradual thing I’ve ended up doing and it seems to be working. Slowly. His wake ups are better. He can settle himself without me and his naps are better. We still have bad days but that’s life isn’t it?
My one bit of advice for anyone who is pregnant or maybe on their first baby is this..now this is solid gold info here…go write it down if you have to..I wish I did this from the VERY BEGINNING! And it’s very simple…just put the baby down for all naps and bedtime DROWSY BUT AWAKE.
For the love of God, just do that and baby won’t know any difference and will always happily go to sleep like that! Don’t do what I did. Probably what a lot of you did too! (I know I’m not alone on this!) And save yourself the heartache, the tears and the sleep deprivison.
Anyone who is doing sleep training at the moment, I wish you the very best! Keep with it. Have patience. Persevere and you will be so happy when you come out the end of it. And so will your baby!!