Jun 19, 2013

Sleep Training, Day 1

I know sleep training is a controversial parenting topic that many people have strong feelings about. While I typically love lively conversation, I ask you to please keep the comments on this supportive. Thanks in advance!

Proof he survived night 1
Last night we made impromptu decision to begin the wee baby Cade's sleep training. At our 2-month pediatrician appointment, our doc suggested the Ferber method of sleep training and said in his opinion, it could be started at that time. Since I was still home and other opinions, including the founder of the method Dr. Ferber, suggested waiting til babies were 3-4 months old, we didn't go down that path right then.

But now I'm back at work and Ross goes back next week. With Ross' work schedule, a sustainable sleep situation is incredibly important for this family. So after a bedtime battle last night, sleep training was started.

Ross managed it, checking in on Cade at intervals to be sure he was OK (though very verbally not happy) and reassure him that we were still around. I busied myself in the bedroom, with the door closed, to help drown out his crying. (God bless my husband.)

I was expecting hours and hours of crying. You read these stories online about babies who cry for 2 or 3 hours the first night. Fortunately Cade put himself to sleep after just 40 minutes. (I say "just;" I'm sure if I had been the one listening to him cry it would have seemed like an eternity.) I think about nights when I've rocked him, held him, etc and ya know what - he's cried for a lot more than 40 minutes on a few of those nights. Crying longer and developing a dependency on mommy to go to sleep, well that just seems like the less practical of the two options to me.

Tonight is my turn to do the interval checks and hopefully it will be an even shorter time period. Maybe I have a sleeping champ and he'll go to sleep like a rockstar. Maybe. Hopefully.

It is certainly hard to hear him crying and not run to him but I try to remember that 1) a little crying isn't actually hurting him, 2) babies who learn to put themselves to sleep go to sleep quicker which leads to 3) mom and dad get more sleep and finally 4) putting oneself to sleep is an important life skill and its my job as a parent to teach him life skills.

We'll see how night two goes!

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