Who knew sleep training was such a controversial subject?!
We are all friends here so I thought why not have a little chat about it? I think you are either on one side or the other and whichever side you choose, you will defend your decision to the hilt! And so you should. I genuinely believe that Mama’s know best and whatever way you decide to sleep train your baby will be what is best for you and your baby. No one else knows your baby like you do.
I’m here to tell you about what worked for us. We did follow the controlled crying method. Rosalie was exclusively breast fed. She had started to sleep through the night from quite early on at about 3 months old ( I know I’m lucky!) I would give her a last feed at about 7pm and she would sleep through until morning. Rosalie would fall asleep whilst feeding and I would simply transfer her to her cot. This worked for the first 10 months of Rosalie’s life but as she got older, it became harder and harder to transfer her to her cot without waking her. Rosalie didn’t know how to fall asleep on her own and I knew we had to do something. You can read more about how I sleep trained Rosalie in the blog post I wrote at the time.
Controlled crying is when you put your baby down to sleep, you say ‘night night, I love you, it’s bed time now’ and if they cry you leave them room and wait a short amount of time before going in and trying to settle them again. I would lay her back down, tuck Rosalie in again, stroke her face, keep shushing and telling her it was night time and she needed to go to sleep before leaving again. You do this after a few minutes at first and gradually extend the time between your visits.
The MOST important thing whilst doing to controlled crying is to not get your baby back out of the cot. Whilst researching sleep training methods I read an article that said if you let your baby cry for 2 hours and then pick them up you have taught your baby that if they cry for two hours mummy will come and get them. I imagined my little baby thinking ‘I’ve just got to carry on crying!’ This really helped me to not pick Rosalie up when in my mama heart that was all I wanted to do.
I filmed a video of Rosalie’s sleep training as we did it. In the video I say we are doing the cry it out method but actually I have since learnt that is something different. We actually did controlled crying. That first night was pretty hideous. She was hysterical for nearly 3 hours. In the end I just sat in Rosalie’s room next to her cot reading her stories, fighting with myself to not pick her up and give her a cuddle, eventually she fell asleep. The next night was a lot easier and by day 3 Rosalie had fallen asleep in under 10 minutes. We were amazed!
The thing with controlled crying is that it is a horrible experience to go through but it works quickly. You get results. Your baby learns to fall asleep on their own in a matter of days. Sleep is so important for a happier mum and baby and I was prepared to take a few horrible nights in exchange for a healthier and happier baby. I would do controlled crying again if I have another baby.
Did you sleep train your baby? What are your tips for getting your baby to sleep?