The Night My Baby Finally Slept; The No Tears Method
Let me start with this disclaimer. This blog post is not a post to bash moms (and dads) who believe in the cry it out method (CIO) this to give my personal opinion on it and share my beliefs and experiences. Meaning if you believe in the CIO method this post is NOT for you if you feel easily attacked this post is NOT for you. Feel free to check out my other blogs. Thanks
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Now that I have gotten that out of the way let’s get this story going..
I am a firm believer in enjoying your little ones why they are young and needy because there will be a day when they will not need you anymore. As much as it took a toll on me that my little one woke up so many times in the night, I knew one day it would be a distant memory that I will miss.
The Night My Baby Finally Slept
The night my son finally slept, I completely didn’t notice until about a few days later. Yes, I really didn’t — crazy right.
My son was a breastfed baby; let’s start there. From my recent conversations with experienced breastfed mothers, being a not so great sleeper is common. One because breast milk digests a lot faster than formula, which in returns makes your little one wake up starving more frequently. Two, because breastfed babies are used to your warmth and smell, so they sleep better next to you than away in their bassinet or crib—which all to me made perfect sense.
In the first two months after my sons birth, he was an AMAZING sleeper. He would sleep four-six hour stretches for naps and night time. I remember one night he did an eight-hour stretch, and I jumped out my sleep just to see if he was breathing I was so scared.
Once that 4-month regression hit, his sleep turned for the worst’; at least during the nighttime. My son went through a regression around the time he grew out of being swaddled. That was a rough time for both of us. One thing that I can say about my boy, he is an excellent napper, 2-3 hour stretches at a time. It was just something about night time sleep that something didn’t click.
I heard, “let him cry it out he is too dependent on you” not only from friends and family but from his pediatrician. The CIO method was NOT something I considered for neither one of my boys. I honestly don’t believe in letting a baby stress him/herself out to sleep. That is, in my opinion, exactly what you are doing when you leave them to cry into a slumber. Believe me; I know it works because babies are quick at adapting when they are “abandoned” at bedtime and left to figure it out. The baby will have no choice but to depend on self. Eventually, they will give up the fight, after weeks or months of crying (cringe), and go straight to sleep.
Here are two articles explaining why the CIO method isn’t ideal in case you want to know. (I know articles are going against this, but that’s not what we are here for, mmkay)
I've tried EVERYTHING to get my baby to sleep through the night, sleep sacks, the scent of lavender in his bath soap and lotion, a bedtime snack to help hold him over. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. (except the CIO method). I tried the "tire him out" method, adjust his naps or bedtime, and nothing seemed to help. Fast forward, so here I am with a 12-month-old who wakes up 2-3 times through the night. (cringe) At that time I was convinced that I will never see a full eight hours (let alone six) of straight sleep ever again.
My son before him started to sleep through the night around ten months. He was formula fed and very independent; he loved sleeping in his crib and hated when I put him in my bed—just a good sleeper. So this was all so very new to me, and I felt a bit lost.
The crazy part about my youngest son was that he was able to soothe himself to sleep around 9 months. But he just couldn’t stay sleep or soothe himself back to sleep. I was thankful for that but I just wanted him to stay asleep for at least a 6 hour stretch. He started soothing himself to sleep once we made the transition from co-sleeping to crib sleeping. Which explains his constant night wakes, he was use to sleeping next to his father and I. Crib sleeping was a new sleeping environment for him.
The magic night…
After being sleep deprived for 15 months, YES FIFTEEN, one random Thursday night, I noticed that all week my son hadn't woken up not one time in the night. I guess all the sleep I was getting and my daily life stressors did not allow me to notice IT FINALLY CLICKED. At fifteen months it finally CLICKED! I was so nervous that it was just a phase and that he would be right back to his regular schedule, but I'll be damned he continued to sleep through the night. THANK YOU, UNIVERSE!
To be honest, I don't know what clicked for him; his bedtime routine stayed the same. I was very adamant on him sleeping in his crib (around ten months) and not in my bed, that was the ONLY shift in his bed/night time routine. However, I am thankful for the fact that it happened.
I said all of this to say that if you are not a fan of the CIO method, it is perfectly okay not to be. It isn't for everyone and it damn sure wasn't for me. I have two boys that I did not use that method for, and they are SUPERB sleepers now — my one-year-old for the past four months, and my 5-year-old for the past four years. So if you decide to let your little one develop their own sleeping skill, remember that every baby clicks differently and at different times. You have to help your baby become independent in their cribs/beds when YOU are comfortable and stay firm on it. Meaning when they wake during the night, soothe them, and place them back into their crib or bed. One day they will get it, and you'll be back to finally getting some rest. YAY!
I can admit, I miss my son waking up in the night and me being able to soothe him back to sleep sometimes. It was our odd hour bonding time. Just remember your baby is only a baby for a short time. They have their WHOLE life to grow up and be independent.
Also, what didn't work for me may work for your little one. I mentioned above about a sleep sack; his sleep sack helped give him that warmth that he needed, which caused him to wake up less but still too often then I wanted. His lavender bath, along with his soother, helped him relax and drift off to sleep. Some of those items may be the magic tool for you, so I suggest giving them a shot.
Other than that, a good bedtime routine is always a good one. If you don't have one, I suggest creating one asap. My sons routine goes a little something like this.
Hugs and Kisses
Lay him in his crib and give him more kisses.
Turn on his soother (BOTH of my boys loved their soother, it is a lifesaver)
Turn off the lights.
Sit and watch him drift off to sleep. It usually happened within 3-10 mins. And yes, I sit in the room with my son when he goes to sleep. It is something that I did with my first boy and continued to do with him. Sitting in the room with him are my moments of relaxing, more bonding, and doing nothing. I love it.
Remember to do what makes you comfortable. Good luck on your journey and I pray that that click happens for you soon. Stay strong mama.