I’m so excited, I have to share! Last Friday, I went to a movie night at a friend’s house. I left D with Brian for the first time in a loooooong time. Now D is 15 months old and can survive without me, but he wasn’t very happy at all. His routine up until that time was something like this: diaper change, pj’s on, nurse to sleep, so having Mommy not be there was quite the disruption. He ended up crying for about an hour that night. When I got home and found out, I felt terrible! But I also knew it was time for a change. We aren’t ready to wean, but I needed a break so badly and knew I’d need one again.
So…we changed the routine. The next night, I nursed him first (in the living room instead of in his room), then changed his diaper and got his pj’s on, then rocked him in his room while singing. Well, my singing couldn’t be heard due to the screaming. I rocked him for just a few minutes before laying him down. It wasn’t pretty. But that night, he only cried for about 15 minutes before going to sleep. I still hated the crying, but it was at least getting better.
The next few nights went about the same. He’d SCREAM while we rocked him and sang and then cry for a bit once we laid him down. 10-15 minutes though…never again for an hour.
Well, tonight was the one week mark. I started the new routine expecting the same thing. I nursed him in the living room, then took him back to the bedroom. He talked happily while I changed his diaper and put on his pajamas. Then, I turned out the light and sat down to rock him. This is normally when everything breaks down. But not tonight. Tonight, he snuggled up in my arms. By the end of song time, he was “singing” along. I thought it was great, but expected a fit once I laid him in his crib, but that didn’t happen either. He laid down and I covered him up. I left the room and didn’t hear another peep out of him.
You may be wondering why I’d share this story. I know a lot of moms are very anti-sleep training and I can understand that. But I know a lot more moms who are tired or stressed or just need a break. I share this to let you know that it doesn’t have to be that way. Is sleep training tough? Yes, it is. Is it worth it? For our family, it is. For all three of my children, it’s taken a week or less to have them falling asleep on their own in their own bed. The tears usually last less than 15 minutes and although they are distressing to hear, I can always tell they’re “angry” tears, not “frightened” or “lonely” tears.
Three Reasons Sleep Training is Worth It
1. Mama can get a break. By the time baby is 15 months old (or 6 or 12), Mama needs a break. It’s vital to her sanity.
2. Daddy can have Mama’s attention. If Mama is putting the baby to bed every night and it’s taking an extended amount of time, Daddy might be missing Mama.
3. Baby is happier. What? A crying baby? No…not the crying baby. But the baby after the sleep training is complete. If your baby can fall asleep on his own at night, he will likely also be able to fall asleep easier when he wakes in the middle of the night. This leads to more hours of sleep for your baby (and you!) and a happier baby overall.
So even though it’s tough in the beginning, sleep training really can be worth it in the end!