Noah has always needed us to help him fall asleep. He fell asleep fastest if we walked and rocked him to sleep. He also prefers to sleep in someones arms. If we ever tried to put him down in his bouncer he would either wake up straight away, or within 20 minutes.
Well now that hes almost 14 pounds he is just getting too big to be rocked to sleep all the time. Not only that, but I think he is now smart enough to realize that we plan to put him down as soon as he falls asleep. When we rock him he stiffens up and throws his head back and has began to wake himself up just as he would drift off and start crying.
This past week, he has also started waking up every 1.5-2 hours throughout the night and want to be held. At first we thought maybe it was just a growth spurt and he was hungry. But as soon as I went to feed him he would pass out within a minute or two in my arms.
And so, after many days of sleepless nights for me, I decided we would start sleep training and break this bad habit.
The way were doing it is putting him in his crib and checking in and calming him down at 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc. I know not everyone agrees with this method as the baby ends up crying alot... but we want Noah to learn how to self soothe. And we are reassuring him every few minutes that we are still here, we love him very much and its time for him to sleep. Only once have we had to go in after the 10 minute check in. On average hes asleep in 15/20 minutes.
It is definitely not easy to do - its the hardest thing Ive ever had to do actually. I have cried multiple times over the past 24 hours because I just hate that hes crying and I want to fix it by picking him up. But that's the big no no because then they learn that you'll eventually give in. Ive had many friends and family reassure me that its okay for him to cry and that it worked well for them (thanks everyone - its been a HUGE comfort to me!!!)
Last night went really well. He went to bed at 7:00pm and woke up at 7:30am this morning. I only had to feed him every 3-5 hours and he cried for about 45 minutes in total during the night. I actually got 9 hours of sleep! Ive heard on average it takes about 4-5 days for a child to learn to go to sleep on their own, so hopefully that will be the case with Noah. We know its working already, because hes already begun to calm himself down while hes crying. As I write this, he is sleeping peacefully in his bed upstairs.
Ahhh....Lets hope the progress continues.