Before I start in on the sleep training talk, lets just take a second and look at that photo. Look at how CUTE he is… What in the hell? How is that boy so dang cute. I just want to eat him up and kiss those sweet cheeks all day.
A LOT have been emailing me about the sleep training I have done. I posted a little about it on my instagram, and have been getting loads of emails, so I want to go into detail with you guys.
I know I am opening up a can of worms because we all have different opinions about this as moms, BUT we all have different ways of mothering and different babies.
Before I started training, I would rock Oaks for naps and nurse him to sleep for at least 4-6 hours a day all together. NOT Saying that I didn’t love it. I wouldn’t take it back for ONE second. Those moments, and closeness with him I will NEVER forget, and I LOVED nursing more than anything.
After doing that and co-sleeping for 6 months, the exhaustion started to wear on me and really get to me mentally. I wasn’t sleeping very good at all, I could tell my marriage was struggling over it. And by struggling I mean not spending the time that he and I needed together.
We were both on edge after those 6 months. Not necessarily towards each other, but just in general. There was just tension there.
It took me at least 2 to 2-1/2 hours to get Oaks to sleep at night. Plus the exhaustion I was just so irritated all the time.
We both loved co-sleeping and I really felt like it bonded us as a family, but when you have a baby attached to your nipple ALL night every night for 6 months, WHO wouldn’t feel so much exhaustion. It caught up. No one can get good sleep like that.
I DID NOT move one inch all night, as I was nervous of squishing the little guy.
I didn’t seem to think anything of it really until about 5 months in. I started to really feel it and really feel it catching up to me. A baby that wasn’t napping and a baby that was sleeping with you all night will do that.
In my heart I felt like it was time for a change. I get a little emotional talking about this because It was an ending of special bonding together as well. Don’t get me wrong, I loved co-sleeping and I loved nursing him to sleep and rocking him. AND there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I just knew it was time to move on, and time to get some sleep for the both of us!
One day after putting him down for the fourth try that morning, he woke up again…. I felt this overwhelming feeling of an anxiety like something needed to change, or I was going to lose my flipping mind.
I then went downstairs and opened up my laptop, and looked up Sleep Sense training because I have read it is the best. Also, just fyi this is not sponsored, I just really wanted to share what worked for me.
As I was reading, I just started sobbing and sobbing. I was DEVASTATED. Because I felt so sad that I had to do what it was telling me to do. (Mostly letting him cry)
I was unbelievably exhausted. Tired. tired. tired. I felt like I was at my wits end. I felt like an awful mom. I felt like my career was going down the drain. I felt like I didn’t even know who I was anymore.
That day I read the entire ebook. I felt better after reading it and I knew I needed to do it.
You need at least 2 weeks of not going anywhere like vacations, lunch dates, anything that is going to interrupt you trying to implement a schedule.
I had a vacation planned so I had to wait a week, which was terrible because the ENTIRE vacation all I could think about was I couldn’t wait to get home and get it over with.
When I got home I took a nap with him, and nursed him to sleep for the last time. I didn’t know it would be the last time but I knew it was near.
I will never ever forget that moment. It really brings back so many emotions that were flowing over me that day.
It says to give them a routine every night. Bath, reading, singing feeding then “night night” kiss them, and put them down and walk out of the room.
The goal is NOT to get them to cry, it has nothing to do with crying. That is just usually what happens because they want you to pick them up, and they don’t know how to fall asleep on their own yet.
The idea is to get them to self soothe. For some reason I hate the way that sounds just from “meet the fockers” haha I don’t know why but I always felt like that was so mean just from that movie. If you’ve seen it you know what I am talking about.
The kid is there just crying and crying. BUT now that I understand it better it makes sense.
We all need to learn to calm ourselves down and fall asleep. We as adults have a bedtime routine as well. We all have something we need to do, or sleep with that we can’t go to sleep without. (like our pillow)
Example: I cannot go to sleep without brushing my teeth and washing my face.
Babies need to learn how to fall asleep on their own and we must teach them. I give him his blanket that he loves to help sooth him and its known as a sleep prop.
So when you put them in their crib they grab their blanket as comfort and know its bedtime.
They tell you NOT to feed them to sleep, but I wanted to try something of my own in the mix. You don’t have to follow EXACTLY what they tell you. You will get a feel for what works for your baby.
I pumped a bottle and propped it up in his crib when I put him down and he fell to sleep in 5 MINUTES… 5 minutes people.
AND the good news was is he stayed asleep for 2 hours. I was in complete shock. So I just kept pumping and bottle feeding him like that for every nap and bedtime.
The tricky part came bedtime. Since he got up a least 3 times a night to eat AND he co-slept.
NOW they say your baby doesn’t need to nurse through the night anymore once they are at least 4-5 months old. AND you can’t implement a schedule until that time.
If your baby is gaining weight and healthy at that time, there is no reason they need to be getting up to nurse through the night.
But always talk to your doctor before anything.
Back to that first night. He woke up at 11pm.. fussed a little then started really crying for at least 30 mins. Then went back to sleep (was in shock) then woke up at 2.. fussed and cried a little for an hour. THEN went back to sleep… (SO IN SHOCK).
After that first night I felt a HUGE relief. Naps went well too. It only kept getting better, and by a week later he was solid with bedtime and naps.
Long story short he sleeps, 7pm-5:30-6am. Naps are a total of 3 hours every day. One in the morning and afternoon.
This schedule was PERFECT because we were both getting sleep we needed, plus we were getting the best of both worlds, by co-sleeping/nursing from 6-8am.
It was NOT bad at all. I was in such shock at how quickly he caught on. But babies still have their days and you can’t expect them to be the EXACT same everyday.
In fact, my doctor said if your baby is sleeping that well at night, (10-12 hr nights) then take what you can get for naps.
Oaks still has days where he will wake up to early, but I won’t go get him until 6am every morning unless he’s pooped (which usually he’s been pooping at 5am lately). Or he will fuss before bedtime, but I know he will put himself to sleep.
Babies NEED at least 16 hrs total of sleep everyday. It is so important for them. They are constantly learning and growing, so they need sleep in order to learn new things. It explains a lot in that sleep sense training ebook.
Now, TJ and I have alone time together at night and mama and baby are getting GOOD sleep and feeling rested. Ready to enjoy the day together.
I have time to work during the day (hence right now). Oaks has been napping for 2-1/2 hrs and its his afternoon nap.
I started this when he was six months old, and he is now 8 months (today actually). Happy 8 months to Oaks 🙂
It was all so worth it! He is such a good sleeper now, and it has paid off!
It is so good to have time for yourself at night! Us mommas really do need it in order to be the best moms we can be.
I stopped doing the pumping thing after about a month. I couldn’t pump enough for him. I started mixing in, and doing half and half formula and its been so good for both of us.
I kept nursing him in the mornings until just recently. As I am writing this I feel a little mom guilt about it. Which is so weird to me because I nursed him for a long while, and I did what was right for both of us.
Its crazy how we feel so guilty over things. It has been the best thing for both of us, so there really is no point in me feeling so guilty when we are both happy and healthy.
Why is it that we feel so guilty about everything? Literally everything. I go on a date and I feel guilty leaving him with a babysitter.
For some reason us moms feel like we need our reasons validated by others.
BUT it won’t ever get validated. You have to realize that you’re feeling this way because you care so much about your little babies.
MOM GUILT IS REAL.
I also feel super emotional lately about not nursing him. (probably hormones balancing out haha) but it was SO bonding and I plan to do it with my next baby.
I didn’t have one problem nursing and I know a lot of women do, and I am truly grateful with the way things went.
There Is NO wrong or right way to mother. If you use formula. Perfect you’re a great mom! If you nurse, perfect you are a great mom!
I wanted to share my story with you mommas because I know this is something we all need to hear. We all have struggles with being a mom. Some days are just hard, and some days we just break down. And some days we just want to rip our hair out. And some days we are on cloud 9 in love, and everything goes SO smoothly.
AND some days we feel so guilty for even feeling some of these feelings. BUT remind you we are all human. This does NOT mean you don’t love your babies with everything you have.
Do what you feel is right between you and your baby. Momma knows BEST. Take advice and listen to others, but no one knows the way mom knows about her baby.
Dont compare yourself with other moms (I sometimes have a hard time with this) we are all doing a great job!!!
I want to know what has helped you mommas! Tell me your thoughts!? Share your stories!
The Owlet monitor their heart rate, and oxygen levels, and the Motorola, you can see and hear them. It really helps me get good sleep at night! PLUS that link for the Owlet will take you to get $20 OFF!
OAKS PJS: GAP
Have a great day!