My husband and I started sleep training our daughter after a stressful night of waking up several times to a crying daughter. Just hearing her make any sort of noise was sending sheer panic down my spine, and I knew it was time to help Isla sleep through the night!
Ideally we would’ve started sleep training her around the 6 month mark, but because of her still needing nightly feedings on demand (due to low BMI) and living in a one bedroom apartment, we couldn’t begin this process until she was closer to 8 months old.
We moved into our new house just before Christmas, and I couldn’t have been more excited to set up Isla’s very own bedroom so that she could sleep in it that first night. Because she had been in a bassinet and never really liked sleeping in a pack n play, I was nervous as to how she would enjoy her crib. When her bedtime came around, we put her in the crib, and after going in a couple times to help her settle in, she fell asleep in her big girl room! But a few hours later she woke up and started crying…loudly. The kind that lets you know that she’s not just going to give up any time soon. After feeding her, she went back down to sleep. A few hours later, it was another trip back into her room for her Tylenol and Benadryl cocktail.
Morning came around way too soon, and I started off my day feeling exhausted. The following nights looked very similar, so it was no surprise to me that I broke down one night when she started crying right when I had gone to bed. My husband and I decided to start sleep training our daughter the next night. There wasn’t a magic formula to it, we just put her down to bed, she fell asleep, and when she would wake up, whether it be 30 min or 5 hours later, we let her cry it out. We thought this would be so hard on us to hear her cry and even starting with 5 minutes of crying it out can feel like a lot. We were so surprised, however, when she went back to sleep after crying for just a couple minutes! It was like a whole other world opened up to us when we realized that we didn’t need to go check on her every time she made a peep.
Fast forward over a month later, and all of us are much better off after sleep training! There are still ups and downs of course, and not every night is perfect, but the overall application of letting our baby cry it out for a few minutes before checking on her allowed her to learn self soothing, and this well-rested momma is a testament to it!
Side Note: In my opinion, a lot of factors can go into sleep training. If there are any details unclear or if you have any questions or comments on what worked for you, please leave a comment!