Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sleep Training

Ella has been sleeping through the night and sleeping for 2 hours at naps but she doesn't fall asleep on her own. She would fall asleep eating all the time. So we decided to do some sleep training. Also, going to sleep only works if she's nursing. So if I was gone for any reason then Ella refuses to sleep and cries a lot.

We did Ferber's Sleep Training or sort of did it. You check in on the baby at intervals. There's a book and a million blogs to help with this. My favorite were random blogs I found of real people. I was addicted to reading them. (There were more but I'm lazy at linking them up again since it was weeks ago.)  Most were completely awful before the training. I didn't actually read the book though. I probably should have. Also most people only did this method when their kids wouldn't sleep through the night and were having difficulty falling asleep.
Above is a summary of when we put her down and when she fell asleep. Below are specific details.  (Dave said I should add a column when we started the bedtime routine because sometimes she eats for longer than others but I did not do that yet. I also don't have specific times for bedtime routine. I do know when she started eating but that's it.)

I always want to change just one thing at a time but it never seemed to work out. Also I hear if a baby does a new milestone then sleep is worse and she learned to crawl and go from lying to sitting during this time.

I almost didn't post this because of all the negative associations with sleep training. Even since we started doing it multiple people have shared links on facebook saying how awful it is. Then I decided to do it because I enjoyed reading other blogs so much. I'm afraid the anti-sleep trainers will think this is awful. Then I'm also afraid the people who read a lot of books will think it's awful for not doing enough background research.  I also don't know how much it helped.  Some days she falls asleep. I feel like I have so much more time in the evening.  She's way more pleasant in the morning or when she wakes up from naps. This could be a coincidence since she's getting older. Sometimes she just plays in her crib and squeals in delight for a half hour without yelling loud enough to trigger the baby monitor. Since Ella has been sleeping through the night for months now, if she wakes up in the night, I do go to her because there is a reason for it.

I noticed a lot of other bloggers would post after less than a week and mention all the improvement. I think she bounces around.  I didn't see some magic improvement like so many bloggers showed.

Did you do any form of sleep training? What worked best for you/your baby? I know every baby is different and I am curious what worked for you. I'm even curious if something specifically didn't work.

Night 1(6/28) we started at 9:33 and gave up at 10:08. We are weak. Mainly Dave was weak. The first 15 minutes or so she was just talking and playing in the crib. She wasn't even crying. She also had an extremely late and long nap so I wasn't sure she was even ready for sleep. Then when she started crying it was awful.  She also rolled around in her crib like crazy.  Normally she's not swaddled but she was 1 arm swaddled because of my neck. She moved like she had full use of her arms though.

Night 2 (6/29) was different. Ella wouldn't nurse right and kept crying. I wanted her to have a full meal first but she sure wasn't cooperating.  I put her down at 9:20 and she fell asleep at 9:46.  She cried from the beginning. She moved all around in her crib again.

The first nap I was trying it on was after the first successful night. (6/30)  (I'm pretty sure you are supposed to get nights taken care of first before moving to naps but I said we didn't read the book so we did naps.)
She ended up falling asleep eating. I woke her up by talking to her as I put her in her crib. It always wakes her up. I told her to go to sleep for a nap. She kicked in her crib as I put her down (aka clearly awake). I put her down but then turned her on her side how she likes to sleep and she just went back to sleep.

Second nap she fell asleep on me while nursing. I didn't realize it was nap time and sure enough I checked my app and she had been up long enough that it was nap time. This is why I still use the app. I cannot remember anything. I woke her up putting her down. I thought I didn't wake her up enough since she didn't kick like normal but once I left the room she was kicking for a couple seconds when I loaded the app then she was fast asleep.
6/30 (awake)
Third nap I didn't wake her up to put her down. She had to be swaddled to eat (because of my neck) and it was 84 degrees in her room. I had the fan on us while nursing but in the crib she would have been so hot.

Night 3 (6/30)I put her in the crib at 9:22. She was awake. She didn't cry once. She moved all around. I feel like when we checked on her we woke her up more. She fell asleep at 9:42.
Nap: She fell asleep on me. When I put her in the crib I woke her. This was accidental. I wasn't going to since I wanted her to get a nap in before the doctors. She was kicking and everything. She wanted to play and get up. 37 minutes into it she started crying. 1 hour and 3 minutes into it she finally went to sleep.

Nap 2 she fell asleep in the car and we didn't wake her.

Nap 3 - She didn't seem tired but I thought she should nap since her previous 2 naps were cut short because we had to wake her. We quit after 49 minutes. It started to get too late that if she went to sleep it would ruin her bedtime.  The day was all messed up.

Night 4 - She was sad crying the entire time. It took her 47 minutes to fall asleep. We checked in on her at 9:13, 9:25, and 9:43.  I put her down at 9:03 and she fell asleep at 9:50

I didn't do sleep training for naps on the 3rd. She fell asleep on me and I didn't want to deal with it since her nap timing was good based on my doctors appointment and stuff.
7/10 (taken throughout the day nap and night time)
Night 5 (7/3) - I put her in bed at 9:55. We checked on her at 10:08. She was asleep at 10:17. I thought she was asleep at 10:13 but she moved at one point. She might have been asleep. She only had 2 baby cries at 10:12 and stopped.
7/13 nap (She fell asleep with an afghan on her feet on me so I moved it with her. She kicked it off!)
7/4 - Did not do sleep training since she was teething and there were fireworks going off.

7/5 - Ella fell asleep around 7:00 and slept for the night. I didn't think she'd sleep the night. Also she woke up only a little as I was putting her down.

7/6 9:29 I put her down and she cried right away. 9:38 or so no crying with a few patches of no crying earlier. Then 942 she was definitely asleep. (I wasn't monitoring every second so not sure what time she went to sleep for sure.)
I stopped doing sleep training for naps until we got her bedtime taken care of.
I also started reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child while doing this. I kept falling asleep reading.

Overall since we started her naps have been way worse!


  1. We did the Ferber sleep training method too - it was very hard but within a week Oliver was putting himself to sleep. Some days he still fusses a bit at bedtime, but for the most part he goes down much easier than the days of having to bounce him, sway or rock him to sleep. Now I'm working on night weaning because he still wakes up at least once, sometimes twice to eat. I almost feel like it's harder!

    1. Within a week is what I kept reading from people. Ella not so much.

  2. We attempted sleep training multiple times, but it never worked. Parker was always too stubborn, so we gave up. Plus hearing them cry is heartbreaking. :( I'm glad you waited till she was 6/7 months to do this and not at 8 weeks like some people say. That to me is ridiculous.

    1. At the beginning she'd be happy for 15 minutes and not even cry. Now she cried at the first sign of going in the crib. I also done know if she'll be able to get milk not from me and go to sleep. Some days her crying is worse than others too.