When Isabelle was first born, I didn’t like the sound of sleep training and I really didn’t think it was for me. From back when Belle was a very little baby we were extremely lucky because she slept through the night from being about 4 weeks old. It wasn’t until she was almost 9 months old before things started to change and I found exactly just how valuable sleep training can be. Read on to find out all about our sleep training experience!!
What went wrong?
At some point in the last few months, a switch was turned on inside Isabelle and all of a sudden, our perfect little girl who slept through the night had transformed into what I can only describe as a little night time monster!
She was waking in the night, tossing, turning, moaning and crying. I was exhausted, and so was my hubby, and the dogs too probably!. The peace of the household had well and truly been disturbed and with all the lack of sleep, I had become a true Mombie!!(Think The Walking Dead!)
Everything came to a head after around a month or so of getting barely any sleep and to top it off, we had all become sick with the dreaded Norovirus. Something had to give.
Enough is Enough!
First of all, I researched, planned and finally prepared for our sleep training. Here is how I did it.
I researched all the methods of sleep training I could find, I liked some of the concepts in certain methods, and knew that other methods were not for me. We decided that the “crying it out” method was really not going to work for us, AT ALL! I know my baby and she would get herself into such a mess if I just left her to cry. We didn’t feel that putting either of us through that was either necessary or productive (but i’m not judging any Mums out there who it worked for).
In the end, after researching everything I could find and failing to find anything that clicked with me, I decided to just wing it. I used some of the concepts from a few methods and sort of mixed them all up into what would eventually become Isabelle’s sleep training routine.
I made a list (Amazon Basket), of all the items I thought I would need to get through this in 1 piece. After reading all the suggestions on line, here is what I bought.
- White Noise Machine
- Light Projector with Stars
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Warm Fleece Sleep Suits (for the colder months coming up)
- Story Books. I had heard about a great bedtime story book. I know she’s a little young for it yet, but we got the rabbit who wants to fall asleep.
Once my toolkit arrived, it was time to jump in at the deep end!
Here is our new routine.
1: In the 30 Minutes leading up to bed time, we keep everything calm, no tickling, shouting, or anything too exciting. Calm playing is allowed.
2: Bath time, Nappy Change and Pyjamas on. Again, keeping a calm atmosphere.
3: Give Belle with her bottle and read a bed time story to her while she drinks, being sure to keep her awake (remember the idea is for her to take herself to sleep in the cot)
4: Have a 5 minute cuddle, this also helps get any wind up before she lays in the cot.
5: Turn on the Noise Machine(We use the white noise option) and Night Light.
6: Place a few drops of Lavender Oil on a cloth close, but out of reach of the cot.
7: She says good night to mummy(or daddy) and the teddies in her room and we lay her down in the cot.
Here comes the hard part…
Most of the time Belle will stand up and protest by having a little cry and a moan but I would say to her in a calm voice, “lie down Belle, its bed time, shhhhh, go to sleep baby” and I lie her back down, sometimes I have to do this multiple times but eventually she stays laid down and rolls around to get comfy and then off she drifts.
Finally, I leave the room (like a stealthy Ninja warrior), and take the baby monitor with me in case she wakes again, if she does I lie her down again and tell her it’s ok and she usually goes straight back to sleep.
For the first few nights, this was tough and took lots of patience and reassurance before she took herself off to sleep on her own. It is hard, but stick with it!
It’s now been 2 weeks since we started this routine and I honestly didn’t think it would be so easy. I am so glad I decided to try sleep training with Isabelle. Not only do we have a routine before bed, but if Belle now wakes during the night, she is able to soothe herself off back to sleep without needing one of us to help her. This has been wonderful for everyone, including the dogs!
Sleep training is not as horrible, or as scary as it sounds and I recommend it to all parents having issues with sleep too. You don’t have to leave your baby to cry it out. Work out a way that works for you and your family and make sure you prepare before you begin. Feel free to try our little routine if that works for you.
The key is to being successful is definitely being consistent. It hasn’t always worked perfectly. There have been times that I have been sat on Belles bedroom floor at 3am, freezing, tired and all I wanted to do was scoop her up and bring her into bed with me so that we could both go to sleep but I knew though that it would do more harm than good in the long run, and so the best thing to do is stick to it no matter what.
If you have already gone through a similar experience and have tips you would like to share, let me know in the comments below. If you haven’t tried it and you want to, I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and subscribe for more blogs from LifeofWife.
Thanks for reading!
Love from Me <3