I will never regret sleep training

When we decided to sleep train Charlie I felt all sorts of invisible but very present judgement, pressure, preconceived notions….etc. People don’t seem to really fall in the middle on this issue-you either think it is definitely necessary and a gift to your child, or you think there is no way you would ever do it and that it’s unnatural.

Frankly, I did fall in between for a while. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it but I also didn’t judge other people who did do it-even cry it out didn’t seem wrong to me as long as it was age appropriate and done correctly. I did tons and tons of research. And at any rate, up until Charlie was eight months old I didn’t really feel the need to formally sleep train. Cosleeping was working for us and she would sleep the first half of the night in her pack n play so I could have some baby free time in the living room.

Then, all of a sudden, what was working just…wasn’t anymore. Charlie couldn’t seem to sleep in our room at all. I couldn’t ever tell what she needed-did she need to be rocked? Nursed? Was I reinforcing bad habits? So we took the plunge and did Happy Sleeper. I don’t need to rehash all of it because I wrote about some of it here. Suffice it to say-it worked for us. Big time. I was able to successfully night wean her gradually and without any trauma to either of us and she started sleeping through the night right around the one year mark.

All of this is well and good, but yesterday I was reminded of how much I appreciate sleep training. I put Charlie in bed and she started to fuss, which is sort of unusual for her. Usually she goes down happily and plays with her stuffed animal until she falls asleep. So I left and watched the monitor carefully. Fussing turned to crying, and crying quickly turned to wailing.

Because we sleep trained I KNEW something was wrong. Charlie never cries at night unless something is up. I went back in and swooped her up to sit in the glider. I expected her to want to nurse but she didn’t. She just wanted to be cuddled. She was clutching her stuffed pig and I rocked her and rubbed my hand up and down her back until her breathing slowed and her weight got heavy. After she had been asleep for about five minutes I was able to lay her (and the pig) back in her bed and leave the room.

Tonight she was fine when I put her down. No problems-went to play with Mr. Pig and Big Bird, and eventually settled in to sleep. I don’t know what was up yesterday. It was a MDO day so she could have been having some need for extra momma time. And I never regret an opportunity to rock my baby to sleep. I’m so grateful that we chose to sleep train so that I could have no doubt that rocking my sweet girl to sleep last night was absolutely necessary.

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14 thoughts on “I will never regret sleep training

  1. Each baby and each parent has different sleep requirements, issues, solutions, needs. You did terrifically for you and your daughter. AND, you continue to respect and understand her. Congratulations. Also, thank you for sharing her with us, it brightens my day and makes memories flow. JOY!!!

  2. Yes. Yes. Yes.
    While I sleep trained differently than you, the end result is the same, and I haven’t regretted it one time. I don’t like it when Oliver has an issue that prevents him from sleeping, but I know that he needs me. And I selfishly enjoy that time rocking him at night, although it’s rare, it’s precious.

  3. I’m glad that you found something that worked for you, and that is still working for you now. I’m already wondering what kind of sleep training (if any) we are going to do once Cadence gets a little bigger. I haven’t looked into ANYTHING yet, as things have been too overwhelming both during the pregnancy and now that she’s here. I feel like I’ll end up just winging it in the end, and hope something works!!

  4. There are really gentle ways to sleep train as you would know. I think those anti it are actually anti some idea in their head that doesn’t really reflect sleep training. I honestly think it is a gift to teach your kid to sleep and self settle. But that’s just me 🙂

  5. I completely agree with sleep training. M will have nights once in a while where she won’t go to bed right away but in can tell if she needs me or not. If she’s just whiny and fussing a bit I let her be. If she’s crying/screaming then she needs something. Every parent does their own thing and many of us are too quick to judge others these days. Unfortunately that makes us question our parenting decisions.

  6. What is Happy Baby? Can you link to the post where you wrote about it? I’m starting to think about sleep training. Not so much night weaning yet, but it’s taking Winnie 2 hours to settle/fall asleep every night. Thank you!!

  7. I feel exactly the same! I love that my baby maybe makes a whiny protest at bedtime/nap time for 2 seconds at most, and that as soon as she hits the bed she relaxes. If she fusses big, I know it is because of something out of the ordinary going on.

  8. Great read! I also believe that sleep training helped me identify when something was really wrong! My 6 & 4 year old have excellent sleeping habits now and if they ever wake up in the middle of the night I know there’s a “real” reason for it!!

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