To preface this post, I know that there are many ways to transition your baby to their crib and even MORE ways to sleep train your baby. These are the ways that were successful for Raegan and I wanted to share them in case another mom could benefit from them!
To see my post on how we transitioned Raegan to her crib from her rock n play, click HERE.
Picking up where we left off yesterday, I had shared how we transitioned Raegan from her rock n play to her crib. To put Raegan to sleep every night we would rock her and let her have her paci until she fell asleep. Then we would gently and carefully, remove the paci, and place her in her rock n play. We continued this as well when we moved her to her crib.
One night we were having a really hard time getting Raegan to go back to sleep once she had woken up about an hour after we put her down. This was a normal occurrence that would continue happening all night long. We would have to go in and put the paci back in her mouth until she fell asleep, then gently pull it out so that it wouldn't fall out and wake her up.
We had always planned to use Dr. Ferber's method of modified crying it out and thought, this was as good of time as any to start since we had tried all our normal tricks of putting her to sleep and she just wasn't having it. It was time to let her learn to put herself to sleep. Our pediatrician had said to at least wait till she was older than 3 months and Dr. Ferber's book recommends between 4-5 months.
Dr. Ferber's method was perfect for us. We wanted her to learn how to put herself to sleep and we were fine with letting her cry, but we still wanted to be able to check on her and reassure her that we were still there.
So we kissed her on the forehead, said we loved her and walked out. What I loved about Dr. Ferber's book, "Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems", is that it gives you a chart to help you navigate modified crying it out (CIO).
The first night you go in at 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and then every 10 minutes until the baby falls asleep. You comfort the baby for about a minute then leave again. We chose not to give Raegan her paci during our check in time because she can't hold it in her mouth anyways and would just get upset all over again when we left and it fell out. The first night it took her a total of 17 minutes to fall asleep. We were shocked. We expected at least an hour.
The next night came around and we did the same thing. Fed her, put her in the bed, kissed her on the forehead and walked out. Night 2 has you check on baby at 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and then every 12 minutes until baby falls asleep. Tonight it only took her 15 minutes to fall asleep. Now on this night she did wake up about an hour later, and we just started the timer again. Checked on her at 5 minutes and she was asleep before we went in to check on her after 7 minutes. We were shocked AGAIN!
Raegan is a stubborn little girl and we thought she would put up more of a fight, but she responded amazingly to sleep training. By the end of the first week, she would take about 10 minutes of babbling to herself and then fell asleep. No more crying at all. And when she woke up through out the night, she was able to put herself back to sleep.
Here is the chart if you are wanting to try the modified CIO sleep training schedule.
And now, 6 weeks later, she's a sleeping champ! She goes down about 6:45-7pm and sleeps until 3:30am-4am, eats, then is back down until 8-8:30pm. Now naps are a different story! Girlfriend naps a TOTAL of a little over 1 hour a day. Yes, poor momma. We will get naps under control one day! I'm just not sure how.
Now I know that every baby is different and responds differently to sleep training, so I was ecstatic when Raegan responded so well to it. If listening to your baby cry is hard for you, but you are desperate and need something to work, just try it for 1 week. Grab a glass of wine or something stronger, hunker down, get out your timer, and give it a go. If you still don't feel right about it after 1 week, that's ok! Do what you think is best for you and baby.
Now when she wakes up in the middle of the night, my heart doesn't skip a beat, wondering if she will go back to sleep. Now she may talk to herself for a bit, and then she's right back to sleep. Another tip if you choose to do this sleep training route, if baby wakes up and it's not in their normal feeding window (Raegan's feeding window is 3:30am-4:30am) do not go into baby's room. Start the timer when they begin crying and stick to the schedule.
On day 7 of Dr. Ferber's sleep training schedule, he has the first check in at 20 minutes and that's what we use every time she wakes up now. And more often than not, she is back asleep before the 20 minute timer goes off.
Our next hurdle was transitioning her out of her swaddle. Things were great for about 1 week into our sleep training when she decided to roll over in her swaddle in the crib! Well, we decided to just go cold turkey, take her out of the swaddle, take all of the towels out of the crib, and lower it to the ground. We continued our sleep training like we had before. It took her a few days for her to figure out how to handle not being swaddled, but she took it like a champ, and now sleeps on her tummy with her bottom in the air.
The cutest thing around if I do say so myself!
Have a question about Dr. Ferber's method or how we handled sleep training? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd be happy to help you in any way I can!