I expected to be exhausted as a parent of a newborn, but at three months old I knew she and I were both ready for sleep training. While my little angel was doing fairly well at night – waking about every three hours, eating, and then going right back to sleep – it was beginning to wear heavily on me.
So I dove head first into a couple of sleep training books. I wasn’t a fan of crying it out and was very wary of the books that promoted strict schedules. The first book I read was The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, the second was The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest for the Whole Family by Dr. William Sears. I would recommend both of these books, by the way. Enlightened by Dr. Sears’ explanation of how a baby sleeps, I began to implement some of Pantley’s techniques and began to feel like maybe I had some direction to getting my baby to sleep better and longer. For two long months I did everything I could to get my baby to sleep. I even wore her to bed a few times and slowly took off the sling! If you are pregnant and reading this, I say this to you: I know you are most likely receiving all of the parenting information you never asked for, but I promise you one thing, you will do what you need to in order to sleep.
Now, let me clarify, this baby wasn’t just up screaming for no reason. What prompted me to begin sleep training was I needed her to sleep longer stretches at a time and be less dependent on me to fall asleep (namely nursing to sleep).
Fast forward two months (five months old), I was even more tired. Things seemed to have gotten worse! I don’t know how, I don’t blame the authors of those books, but I just could not get her to sleep like I needed her to do. When I seemed to make headway on a particular issue, she seemed to pull the rug out from under me! We would take two steps forward and one step back. I became so discouraged, confused, and just… at a loss as to what to do. I reread the books and with every new day I awoke, bleary eyed and tired, with a new resolve to help us both get better sleep. As any new, sleep deprived mother does, I turned to those who had been there and done that. I asked questions on Facebook and did more research on the Internet, all to no avail. There were plenty of suggestions, but I don’t think anyone really understood what was going on. When you tell people your baby isn’t sleeping, they assume that you’re up all night with a screaming child. ‘Tisn’t so my friends. One dear friend of mine had previously had sleep issues with her little one as well and she urged me to contact the baby sleep consultant she had used at Belly to Bean Sleep Consulting.
Now, another month later (baby’s 6 months old), I’ve contacted Nicole (the sleep consultant) and am anxiously awaiting my consultation. I’ll be blogging about my journey with this sleep consultant, but not revealing any secret methods she may have.
In case you’re having the same issues, here’s what I’ve been facing:
-Rocking and/or nursing to sleep
-Wakes upon being laid down
-Night time is anyone’s guess
-Wakes too frequently at night (I’m trying to get night wakings down to two wake ups at least)
-Can’t settle herself back to sleep