Monday, March 29, 2010

Sleep training

This weekend we had to do some sleep training with Lauren. I am an avid reader so I've read all the books on sleep...Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child, The Baby Whisperer, Solve You're Child's Sleep Problems, Baby Wise - just about everything that's out there. 

I learned tons of great info and firmly believe that adequate sleep is a necessity for happy, healthy children (and their parents!).

Lauren, bless her cute, sweet, little heart, has not slept 8 hours without waking since she was born. Therefore, her mama hasn't slept 8 hours since she was born.

That's fine. I can handle that for a few months. But with two kiddos under two, I couldn't do it any more.

I was tired, cranky, short, lacked energy, and my entire body ached when I got up in the morning because I rarely entered a deep REM sleep. And I just wanted to sleep ALL the time.

My brother gave me a good talking to recently that God never intended us to live with sleep deprivation for months on end (bless HIS heart). So after a really bad night of sleep Thursday night, Ryan said, 'We're letting her cry it out tonight."

I didn't know if I was ready for this. My heart is so tender toward my baby girl. But she would wake up 2-6 times a night. She only ate once but had become hooked on her pacifier to get back to sleep. It had become a "sleep prop" and she hadn't learned how to self soothe back to sleep. From what I've read, I've learned that all babies wake in the middle of the night, it's just that some have learned how to go back to sleep on their own. Whenever Lauren cried I would put the nuk in and she would go right back to sleep. But sometimes that happened hour after hour after hour.

So Friday night when Lauren woke up at 2:20 a.m. we wouldn't put the nuk back in. She cried. I cried. I prayed on my knees for my baby girl as Ryan sat upstairs with her comforting her every so often. It was a rough night on all of us.

And Saturday we were very tired.
But Saturday night when Lauren went down at 7:30 p.m. she didn't make a peep and went right to sleep (without her nuk!). And she slept until 5:20 a.m!!

Last night she went down at 7:45 p.m., cried for 5 minutes and slept until 6:45 this morning! 11 hours of straight sleep. Praise Jesus!

I know that 'crying it out' is a very controversial topic but at 6 1/2 months, having tried so many other suggestions, it was our only option if we were to try and get a good night's sleep again.

My body still hasn't adjusted to sleeping through the night yet, but I am sure it will soon. This definitely wasn't the easy road, but thus far it seems to be a choice that will benefit our entire family. I am so grateful to have a husband who not only supported this decision, but encouraged it and knew in the long run it was the best thing for all of us.

Proverbs 3:24 "When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet..."


Joseph's Mommy said...

Thanks for posting this. My son is just a month younger than your daughter and hasn't slept through the night yet either. At one point he got to 5 - 6 hours, but since getting a mild cold, he has now reverted to 2 - 3 hours. I'm exhausted and have reverted to letting him co-sleep. I eventually want him to get back into his crib for the full night and sleep though the night. 11 hours would be AMAZING!

ads said...

Oh Stacey-

I am an avid reader and we had to do the same thing with Nolen. The hardest thing I had to do, but it made everyone in our house and those outside our house very happy. SH is so wise (it just occurred to me you are all S!)

I am happy for your sleep, and may this spring be filled with colours you can now see through your sleepless eyes!

Anonymous said...

AMEN! That is so awesome Stacy. I've been thinking and was thinking of you guys all weekend trying to think of some advice I could give you to help you with Lauren, but I know you'd tried it all. I'm so happy she's doing good!!! Megan S.

McCaffrey365 said...

I have tears in my eyes. So happy for you all! You are the greatest parents!

Dan and Karen said...


I've followed for awhile but haven't posted. We have a precious, PRECIOUS daughter we adopted at the age of 10 months from China. We came home with her in September 2008. I've had 3 nights of all night sleep since, one of which was the night we first received her. We've been home with her over 18 months now and a "good" night is only getting up 3 times. I have to be at work at 8 a.m. dressed professionally and ready to work in the Information Technology world. Needless to say my sweetie and I are exausted from this schedule with our little one.

I'm going to try and be brave and let her "cry it out" one of these nights. We've tried EVERYTHING else.

So glad you are getting sleep, it's a whole new world, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

yes, some times you just got to do that! our little maya is still waking up once. we did had to let her cry at times and now she does seem to get better sleep.
hoping that things will get better for you guys!

kim said...

Great post! With 3 little Weeds, I've had 3 different sleep personalities. It's so important to get sleep & discovering what works for each baby can be difficult. I am a firm believer in doing what works best for you, your child and your family. Note very family will arrive at sleep in the same way! I'm so glad that you've discovered what's working for you. Sleep is precious!