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Proxies submitted by the Internet or telephone must be received by. Eastern Time on May 12, Canada on a touch tone telephone. Elliot was a lot more stubborn and willful than Charlie was at this age, so I put it off for weeks. But like I said above, that little girl had my number and she was ringing it, texting it, IM-ing it, and doing all sort of Facebook notifications with it all night long. It was the week before she turned 6 months old. I had become personal friends with her, she still sits a lot for us and we hang out, plus both kids are super comfortable around her.
So, I hired her to help me get through the night. Which brings me quickly to weaning — she was nursing at night but mostly pacifying because I was too tired to rock her to sleep. I only wanted to do this once and as long as she can healthily go hours without food at night, then wean I will. Massage possibly with some lavender oil. Repeat until no crying. Our script was this:. Good night. You must be happy, loving and positive. Kids mirror emotions as we all know, so if you are panicky and stressed, you are making it worse.
No picking them up, rocking, and ideally no pacifier. We did the Ferber Method with Charlie which starts out with smaller increments and then gets longer and longer in between going in, a few have written their experiences with it as well , and it worked to get him to sleep without rocking, he never needed middle of the night sleep training as he slept through the night at 9 weeks.
Recently we had to re-train him when he regressed after traveling abroad, because he was dying to come sleep with us as he had in the hotels. We turned the monitor off but we could still hear her. When is she going to stop crying? Wait, is she stopping? Is she stopping??? Sometimes she cried more when she heard me come in and sometimes less. She was definitely losing steam around 25 minutes but technically she fussed for 50 minutes before she passed out.
Once she was down for a while, I relaxed and went to bed. Around 2am are you guys still awake and reading this? Turns out she caught on kinda fast. The next two nights I did it on my own because I felt confidant, and they got easier and easier — she cried less and less. Of course since then she started waking up at then 5am then At first I thought that she was hungry pm — am is 10 hours after all , but when we were approaching am I realized that we had to do it again. So three nights ago we went back to the 5 minute method. There were some props involved. The white noise monitor.
Both our kids have these and they are essential to their sleep. The sleep sack. Again both our kids have these we love those for our winter sacks and while they are strangely expensive the cheap ones always break or rip. A lovey. Both our kids have teeny-tiny blankets that bring them comfort and signal sleep time. Charlie sometimes wants this while we watch movies but generally these are blankies for when they are ready to go to sleep.
A comfortable mattress pad. Due to SIDS the mattresses these days are rock solid. With both our kids, we found that they slept so much better in our bed or in a bassinet than in their hard, hard crib for obvious reasons. Around 7 months with Charlie we added a thick blanket folded on top of the mattress but under the sheet to make it feel softer but tight. Ours is very soft, though and she loves it. Get through it with love and crying infrequently. I know that this is only temporary and that things will digress, regress and undress over the next 5 years, but she has learned that she can get through the night without me now which means freedom, sleep, and sanity.
And that is the recipe for happiness right there. Also, can we all agree that having a friend who has once sleep trained to help you is a really important gift? It should be some sort of rite of passage or tradition. Are you anti-sleep training? Is co-sleeping a good thing? Timely post! We have mostly been cosleeping with intermittent efforts at getting our now 11 month old to sleep on her own. Especially as we get closer to her first birthday! Parents who have no problem training their babies to sleep away from them right off the bat should feel no guilt — get sleep wherever you can seriously.
But I like to remember that I sleep best with my husband in bed and even as a child, I slept best with my siblings in my room. I had plenty of years sleeping alone, but it was never restful. I love the verbal method of sleep training — talking to them, but not picking them up. I miss him of course, but that glorious feeling of total rest is like nothing else. We tried the script, too — she would just get furious with every repetition. Not her favorite. Parenting is not for the faint of heart! Will you say more about the impact extensive travel has on your kids and their sleep schedules?
I love to travel but am petrified of disrupting sleep schedules, which are not perfect anyway but making them worse seems like a terrible idea. How do you soldier on and travel and make memories and cope with the reality that a big trip means regression and sleep training all over again when you get home? We immediately put her on the new schedule when we get there and focus on getting outside, into daylight, lots of walks but maintain our same sleep routines normal bedtime, books, song etc.
I should say, though, that my daughter is generally a very good sleeper, so it might be different if you have a more restless sleeper. I will write about it soon, I promise. With one it was fine — not awesome, but still worth the trip. So lake house vacations for us for a while. One was fine, two is too much. As Jennie said if you can get them on their schedule asap they do adjust. The less getting into cars the better. Stay tuned and good luck. Totally agree! I just spent a week in Austin, TX with a 17 month old and a 5 year old.
The 5yo could totally deal and even shop, but the little one was ruling the show, with all the sleep needs, food particulars and desire to roam. Told the husband that it was going be mellow country trips with as few options as possible for a while. Or wait until baby is totally weaned and go away on our own. We try to arrive at our destination in the late afternoon, so we can unwind a bit, take a relaxing bath and then go to bed early.
We pretty much throw naps out the window while traveling, but they do get some sleep in transit either in the car or carriers and are plenty tuckered out by 6 or 7 pm. I vote for family traveling! Love this post! The crazy thing is we all survived! No one has been scarred for life and they all still love me!! I also used CIO with my 3 kids, starting at 6 months. It was extremely hard for the first 2, by my 3rd I knew it had to happen and it worked and we were all so much happier afterwards.
Babies need to learn how to self soothe eventually we did it at 6 months as well. With my other two, I used a very similar style as emily with the soothing… combined with sometimes laying on the floor below the crib, etc. Whatever works. Ha, ha! I feel the same way. I used CIO with both mine—at 8 months with the first then at 4 months with the second. It was quick and effective and we were ALL so much happier for it. No regrets whatsoever. I will say that CIO involved more than just letting them cry, there was a routine and schedule implemented along with it that helps them learn to soothe themselves.
I think this is a really good post — and I completely agree with the happy family approach. We sleep trained at 6 months and did Ferber, along with a very similar bedtime routine to what you talked about. So the first night we waited three minutes, the next night five minutes etc.
It worked great and I found it much better than the total CIO for me, that is because we could set the timer and know that there would be a point when we would go in there. We were lucky that at 6 months she was only waking once at night around so we night weaned at the same time. And I completely agree that self-soothing is a vital skill, once they are old enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel like a sleep training failure… My first born slept through the night like a champ at 8 weeks, but my now 7 month old son has my number too and rings it off the hook.
Oh man. I can completely understand. Good luck, mama. I can help you potty train Charlie. You need 3 days of just you and him or Brian can do it, or I can or your nanny…but no Elliot around. Read Potty training in a weekend. Its insanely cheap on Amazon and you can finish it before Elliot finishes 1 nap. Hi Shauna, Is this the potty training book that you recommend? Thank you so much for this post!! Man, I loved you before you had kids, and now I love you even more. I love how genuine you are.
Your posts are the ones I legitimately get excited to read. As a mom of four, I concur with everything you said! So happy you get to sleep! Your post came at the perfect time! Congrats on this HUGE milestone! Unless of course, the second one turns out to be one of those unicorn babies who sleeps through the night on their own from 6 weeks. Fingers crossed! Thank you for this perspective! I feel like no one talks about sleep training because it really seems to bring out the nastiest comments on the internet—but you are so right. We are a FAMILY and we all have to work together for our health and happiness, whatever that might look like for each individual family.
Our rookie mistake was swaddling our guy wayyyy too long when he clearly wanted out. As soon as we stopped he started sucking his thumb which is his preferred way to self soothe. PS That noise machine is the best ever. And it travels so well! Haha saving for the braces…. What a great post. My boys are now 10 and 13, but I read every single word. Really, really good work. What I like about your approach is that you really broke down the problem into smaller, manageable parts, then solved each individual part. Sleep training can be so overwhelming, so this is very admirable.
What is that adorable sleep sack? Thank you, Emily, for sharing our sleep sack! Both of my girls started sleeping though the night around weeks old. This was a blessing since I had to go back to work at 6 weeks. We did the CIO when there were relapses but turning off the monitor was probably the best thing we did. Our bedroom was on the first floor and their rooms were on the second. So if I could hear them without a monitor that is when I knew it was something more feeling sick, hungry, wet diaper, etc.. Thanks this is super fascinating and helpful!
But losing sleep is my biggest fear, and I feel just a little bit more prepared knowing that there are ways to make it work! My It is hell. We tried letting Her cry with us in the room soothing her, but I was a wreck. That is so hard! My little guy has always had a hard time sleeping. Sometime he would be up five times a night and sometimes for hours. It was awful! Come to find out he had all these food intolerances that were bothering him and giving him itchy skin as well.
Once we cut out those foods, he started sleeping much better! Like, sometimes he would wake but just once and then fall quickly back to sleep, and sometimes he would sleep all night. It was a game changer for us! I hope you find something that helps your baby sleep better! Good luck! Been there! My daughter had acid reflux—maybe just rule anything like that out? Even with medicine, though, she basically had to age out of it. The medicine did help, but not THAT much. I never knew how tired I could be until I was awake non-stop for basically nine months.
My nearly 7 month old is struggling with naps! Does that method work with naps as well?
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Does your friend have a sleep guru recommendation in Seattle area? Sometimes waking up crying from naps is because the baby is too warm, or going through a developmental phase that raises anxiety. Even better if you can circulate fresh air from the window. Hope it does help. How did you work on naps? My baby had the same issue, would wake precisely 30min into his nap, Every Single Time. For months. Regardless of anything I did, or how tired he was. It suddenly resolved itself at 5 months. It drove me totally crazy but it was a temporary developmental phase.
When we started letting our 9 month old CIO his naps went from 40 minutes to 2 hours. I tried ferber for a while but his crying would intensify every time I left without picking him up. I think you just have to try everything until you find what works for your family. BUT should i start up the ferber intervals when he wakes..?
I timed his naps and when I heard him start to rouse but before he woke up, I went into his room and very gently shook the crib or bounced the mattress by putting light pressure with my palms until he went back to sleep. After about a week of that, he started connecting his own sleep cycles and became a champion napper. Work suffered, health suffered, relationship suffered. Was it worth it in the end? Probably not. It sounds gentle but effective. Congrats on rejoining the living Emily and thank you for sharing!! A lot of the tips there are written here, like putting the baby to sleep awake and talking to them like they can completely understand you.
Love love love love the French parenting books! I had no idea which parenting style I identified with until I read those. We Ferber-ized our first. And apparently waited too long because she was actually able to talk by the time we tried. The circle of life! When my 3 year old was a baby, I took classes and read everything I could on getting him to sleep through the night, but this post is better than any resource I came across!
I love all the detail! And I appreciate the non-judgmental tone. Thank you! Did you know the number one distressing sound for a mom is the cry of a baby? For a dad? My advice to all mom is go to Vegas for the weekend when you baby is ready for sleep training and have your husband do it. I went away for three days and when I came back my baby girl was sleep trained. That is VERY good advice. So most of them have sneakily done it while the men were out of town. So crazy. I love my husband, but he was OUT when he fell asleep. Meanwhile, I was on constant alert.
Sleep was terrible with our first daughter until we embraced co-sleeping. I loved having her in bed, it was such wonderful snuggly time, especially since I work full time and miss her during the day. When she nursed throughout the night, I barely woke up for a second to help her latch, then passed back out. Around 10 months she started preferring to sleep in her crib and I was so bummed! Wish us luck …. We did a similar letting her cry for 5 min thing when our daughter was about 5 months old. Thank you for this post!
I am currently pregnant with twins. I unintentionally did the cry it out method with my son — I had the flu and was too sick to get up multiple times a night.
I am very hesitant to do that again because it will wake up everyone. This method sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing! Good for you! He is almost four now and has no trust or abandonment issues. Each family and each child is unique, and we should all respect those differences and cut the judgements. We also have concerns of the screaming will wake the older child. The timing of this post is spot-on for my Not to get bogged down on the details but thanks for the post. Great post Emily! Sleep training IS such a hot button topic. My first sounds like your first when it came to sleep.
He started around the 7 week mark after giving him formula GASP! So he got a bottle of formula and slept the entire night. Well we went with what worked after that! Last night he called out a few times and I went in and his diaper had failed and he had wet the bed. He seems to be pretty persistent when he knows something is up. Thank you so much for this. My 2-year-old sleep trained herself, and was sleeping through the night by maybe two months?
Point is: its possible. You can get two easy kids. I think this is a very brave, well written post. I applaud your post and the open, accepting way that you wrote it. So glad you are all sleeping! Like all parenting decisions, there are many ways to tackle sleep issues and each family has to do what works for them. I am also mom to a little one now 13 months old and I reluctantly sleep trained at 7 months old. OMG what a huge difference. JK but only kinda. This is a great article Emily but the really special thing is how fabulous, helpful and non-judgemental all of the comments are.
I know!!! Thanks, everyone, seriously. I totally agree! How pleasant and nice it is to read thoughtful, positive comments. Love the details and the tone of this post! I have a 5 month old and we are in a good rhythm. Us mamas have to support each other! I have a friend who says that she really really loves her kids…between 7am and 7pm!!! Outside those hours all bets are off! Because someone needs that real bad. I am not the original poster, but I adore my child. That said, being sleep deprived for months or years is very, very hard. My friend almost went mad.
It changed her whole world.
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She is completely entitled to say that motherhood is not easy and frame it as a funny anecdote. She has just recently become a single mother to her three gorgeous, kind, smart, sweet, well adjusted children. She well and truly knows that parenting is not a part time job. I did CIO with my twins but with my 3rd tried and failed.
Different baby, different needs but we got there in the end. Just wanted to give a word or two of advice on potty training your toddler. With all my 3 kids I waited til they were 3 and showed sign of readiness I. Then I set aside a few days when we could mostly stay home in only underwear with a potty close by.
All of mine had only 2 to 3 days with accidents then no problems. Pull ups are fine until they are consistently waking up dry. But pull up comes off as soon as they are awake. Hope that helps. Parenting is hard work but it gets easier every day and all the bad phases pass eventually. We did the Ferber method with all three of our kids at the age of about four months. And it worked like a charm. They all weaned themselves around nine months.
I truly believe that Ferber has saved our entire familys health, happiness and sanity. When you have three kids in a row in the course of exactly four years and one week, getting the sleep routine right from the beginning is crucial to survival at least for the parents!
After all: sleep is one of the best things in the world. Congratulations on teaching Elliot to self soothe, and welcome to the world of happily sleeping parents! Greetings from Norway. I love your take on this and know you must craft these sorts of posts trying not to offend anyone, which is difficult! They all turned into fantastic sleepers. Timely post for me as well. Been up since since we tried to CIO with intermittent check-ins and it lasted for 2 hours with our 6. Your method is up my alley. Will check out the book. Thank you for sharing! Thank you so much for honestly recounting your sleeping journey.
I did a similar thing as you with check ins at 5, 10, 15 and then 15 until they slept. My kids are sleeping angels now at 3 and 5. I am so glad that I did this. I also hired a sleep consultant because I read too many books and got myself confused. My good friend is going through all this right now and I am definitely going to send her your blog post.
You are lucky to have a friend to hang out with you through that first hard night. Cheers and thanks again for being so candid. I am a parent educator at a hospital and teach newborn sleep classes and I want to hug you!! This is such an awesome and up front way to break it down. I think sometimes it seems so overwhelming to parents. Our oldest went through a crazy sleep regression at three and my husband and I lost count at times he got out of bed and we put him back in one night…I almost lost it.
You should resign. This type of pro-sleeptraining bs is incredibly damaging. Abandoning children at night is showing them that your love is conditional. Hey there, nobody is abandoning anyone :. Professional opinions, anecdotal stories, and scientific research exists to support almost any method. Even more confusing is that scientific research is ever changing, limited, and has and can be wrong.
Earlier this year you talked about mild depression after giving birth and I lovingly pointed to a study that suggests some correlation between epidural and post partum depression as an attempt to encourage you to consider checking your hormones. Other commenters went nuts and someone mentioned a study that showed no correlation between epidural and post partum depression.
The study she suggested followed a total of women and the author of the study herself said it was inconclusive and more research was needed due to the small population etc. Both points of view had imperfect information. You seem pro-organic but then Instagram advertise air-wick products. All around an odd approach. A baby may not know its been left under a rock, but a 3 year old should realise that getting up times a night is probably not doing anyone any favours.
Just like calling yourself a dr and leaving negative remarks is helping no one either. She slept through the night for a week and then started waking up times a night wanting her pacifier.
So we let her cry it out at that point. My first son was a blur but I do know around 5 months I finally let him cry it out. My second son slept through the night last night for the first time!!!!!! I moved him to his own room a lot sooner than my other two and I would try to settle him down with a pacifier and bum pat two times before feeding him. I was mostly a SAHM part-time WAHM when my son was tiny, so I never felt a huge need to get him to sleep through the night or even close to it until he started waking every hours.
Then we worked on just skipping nursing sessions first wake up eliminated first, then went from there until he could go back to sleep without milk, then falling asleep on his own in his crib. We sleep trained at 5. The best gift we can give our children is the ability to self-soothe. Not just for sleep, but for life. And being able to put oneself to sleep when your tired is also a skill that will serve them well.