With the help of a certified sleep consultant, we were able to train our baby to sleep through the night.
I’ll never ever sleep train. I’ll never ever let my baby cry, not even for a second. That’s what I told myself, and my husband, at the hospital on the day Luna was born. But fast forward to today and I have to say I didn’t stick to that promise. Did I think I would be ashamed for not doing so? Definitely yes. Am I ashamed now? Absolutely not.
If you follow me on Instagram and you watch my stories, you know I struggled a lot with Luna’s sleeping, or shall we call it not sleeping? But if you don’t then here’s a little recap.
From birth until about 8 months, Luna was an okay sleeper. She wouldn’t sleep through the night, but her occasional wakings didn’t bother me that much. It all changed however when we decided to take a trip to Slovakia to visit my parents and in-laws. In just one day, Luna went from being a decent sleeper to waking nearly every 35-45 minutes, so basically every sleep cycle. I would put her down at 7:00pm for bedtime and she would be up those every 35-45 minutes until she was completely up at 5:00am, sometimes even 4:45am. And the only thing that would make her fall back asleep was my boob or my arms. This lasted for the entirety of the trip, which was two months, two very long months. What a great vacation, right? I’m sure you’re asking why I didn’t sleep train while in Slovakia. Trust me, I wanted to, but my family was against it and didn’t understand it so I just had to let it go. But as soon as we landed in Canada, I started working with a sleep consultant.
I’m now going to share a few things we did with Luna. I’m not going to share everything because one it was all tailored to her and won’t necessarily work for your baby, and two, I have to respect our sleep consultant’s work.
So the goal of our sleep training was to teach Luna to fall asleep on her own, which would allow her to connect sleep cycles and therefore sleep through the night. We started with bedtime and this is how it went down:
We did our usual bedtime routine: bath, massage, pjs, turning on the sound machine, Nested Bean sleep sack (Brenda15 gives you 15% off), short bedtime story and short lullaby. Once I finished my bedtime routine, I would put Luna down, tell her I love her and leave the room. I had to make sure she was ready to go to sleep and not sleepy/drowsy. She obviously started crying right away. I was allowed to go in and reassure her every 5 minutes but only for 30 seconds. During those 30 seconds all I could do was rub her back and tell her things like mommy loves you, everything is okay, you have to go to sleep now. Most babies cry for about 45 minutes on the first night, but unfortunately Luna surpassed the 45-minute mark and because of that the 5-minute check-ins had to turn into 7-minute check-ins. We would do those check-ins until she fell asleep and we would do them all night until morning. And every night after that, the check-ins increased in length.
It took Luna about a week to learn to sleep through the night, although the average baby learns it in 3 nights.
So how do I sum up our sleep training journey? It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done both physically and emotionally, very much harder than actual labor. But it was so worth it!
*And if you’re wondering about night nursing, I stopped cold turkey.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments.