Why We Decided to Sleep Train

Pre-baby, my husband and I decided you didn’t need to reply to every cry the baby produced. Theeeeen we saw his adorable face and we were instantly at his beck and call. The first few weeks, he was an amazing sleeper and I had been waking him up every 3 hrs to feed (first time mom).

After a month or so, he’d only nap if you held him, otherwise he was up in a half hour (if you held him, he’d nap for at least 2-3 hours). I started wearing him for his naps, but if I didn’t rock and walk him to sleep, he wouldn’t fall asleep.

By four months, I made it my mission to get the kid on a consistent nap schedule AND in his crib. IT WAS A FIGHT until we got a consistent nap routine. After a few weeks of diaper change, getting into nap clothes, and reading through a short book twice it took 10 mins of rocking until I could put him in his bassinet asleep. Then, in 30 mins he’d be up. EVERY TIME. I read books about the ‘no cry’ methods. Didn’t help.

By six months, he was napping in his crib. My husband was home with him for a few days while I was at a family event that we weren’t ready for the baby to fly to. Somehow I this time, my husband had gotten the baby to sleep 1-1.5 hrs for one of his naps. AMAZING! But, he grew more and more aware of being put down and would instantly wake up the moment he left your arms.

My husband grew frustrated that he wasn’t able to put the baby to sleep on his own. The baby also began waking more frequently at night. Some nights, it was every hour between 8-midnight then once more between midnight and 7am. We were exhausted. The baby was now 7 months going in 8 months old. He should be sleeping better, not worse.

So we finally did it. A modified cry it out. It was painful, but not as bad as not sleeping. I’ll write another post on our exact method, how much crying, and how long until he got with the program.

At 9 months, he maybe wakes up once during the night (I’m still breastfeeding and don’t wish to wean this night feeding yet). His naps are consistently 1-3 hrs with an occasional 30 min nap if he’s slept really well previously. We’re also able to put him in his crib easily and not go in for every cry. He still cries, but it’s usually less than 5 minutes with an occasional 10-15 minutes unless he really needs something. He knows we will come in if he is hungry, gassy, messy diaper, hurting teeth or just really can’t get back to sleep. He still has a secure attachment with me and will go off and explore with children and strangers. All my fears have proven to be unnecessary AND we’re sleeping!

What’s your best tip to get your babies sleeping??

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How I Weaned My 7 Month Old Off A Nipple Shield

I was given a nipple shield in the hospital by a nurse with no explanation on pros and cons or hints to not use it long term. Being a first time mom and not knowing anything beyond the basics of breastfeeding, I didn’t know any better. While NS can be really beneficial in helping women breastfeed, it caused us many bumps in the road. By 7 months, I was comfortable enough in my supply and felt it was time to kick the NS aside. Below are tips that helped me, but be sure you have support from a pediatrician, lactation consultant or someone knowledgeable who can help you.

1) Reintroduce Latching Without the Shield

By 4 months, my LO wouldn’t even latch without the shield. A strategy that could help is to try at night or when your LO is drowsy and may not realize there’s no shield. After a few minutes of nursing you can try with the shield to be sure LO is being fed and that your supply is being stimulated

2) Try Different Nursing Positions

Once LO is latching, a position that really helped us with many issues was when I laid down on my back (in bed or on a couch) and had LO laying belly to belly with me. In this position, gravity is pushing LOs head down for a deeper latch. Again, follow up with NS time to be sure LO is satisfied. I didn’t do this for every nursing until I was sure LO had a good latch and enough milk was being provided.

3) Following Up With A Professional

Checking in with a lactation consultant, or someone reliable who is familiar with Breastfeeding, is crucial. You want an outside opinion on if LOs is latching properly, getting a satisfying meal and gaining weight at a steady rate.

4) Increase Frequency Of Nursing Without the Shield

Once your latch has been approved, start increasing the amount of times you nurse without the NS. Do what is comfortable for you and your LO.

Good luck and be patient!

Which tip did you find most helpful or what are your reasons for trying to ditch your NS?

How I Weaned My 7 Month Old Off A Nipple Shield

I was given a nipple shield in the hospital by a nurse with no explanation on pros and cons or hints to not use it long term. Being a first time mom and not knowing anything beyond the basics of breastfeeding, I didn’t know any better. While NS can be really beneficial in helping women breastfeed, it caused us many bumps in the road. By 7 months, I was comfortable enough in my supply and felt it was time to kick the NS aside. Below are tips that helped me, but be sure you have support from a pediatrician, lactation consultant or someone knowledgeable who can help you.

1) Reintroduce Latching Without the Shield

By 4 months, my LO wouldn’t even latch without the shield. A strategy that could help is to try at night or when your LO is drowsy and may not realize there’s no shield. After a few minutes of nursing you can try with the shield to be sure LO is being fed and that your supply is being stimulated

2) Try Different Nursing Positions

Once LO is latching, a position that really helped us with many issues was when I laid down on my back (in bed or on a couch) and had LO laying belly to belly with me. In this position, gravity is pushing LOs head down for a deeper latch. Again, follow up with NS time to be sure LO is satisfied. I didn’t do this for every nursing until I was sure LO had a good latch and enough milk was being provided.

3) Following Up With A Professional

Checking in with a lactation consultant, or someone reliable who is familiar with Breastfeeding, is crucial. You want an outside opinion on if LOs is latching properly, getting a satisfying meal and gaining weight at a steady rate.

4) Increase Frequency Of Nursing Without the Shield

Once your latch has been approved, start increasing the amount of times you nurse without the NS. Do what is comfortable for you and your LO.

Good luck and be patient!

Which tip did you find most helpful or what are your reasons for trying to ditch your NS?

Help Getting Your Infant on a Schedule

So you’re thinking about or currently trying to get your babe on a schedule, CONGRATS! When I started making that decision, it ended up being one of the best choices I made parenting wise. It’s hard knowing where to start to setting up a schedule unless you’re following an already set up system. The link below has helped me for many months!

Sample Schedules

In the above link, you choose the age of your baby then either bed time or desired wake time. At the very bottom you can even find a few helpful tips on what your baby is going through at this age. However, keep in mind all babies are different and your babe won’t fall in perfect line. My babe, for instance, has better naps when they’re spaced 3 hours apart.

Write below and let me know how it’s going and what else you’re using to help your babe get on a schedule!