Sleep training: How did I manage to get my baby to sleep through the night after sleep regression.
Updated: Sep 14
Potete leggere questo articolo in Italiano qui.
Then 4 months came along and the sleep regression knocked on the door. It took me by surprise because it happened suddenly, even if I read about it and I knew it might happen. I had three difficult weeks, but I will write about sleep regression in a separate post.
After sleep regression made its way out of our lives 😊, at around 5 months, I decided to sleep train my baby.
My decision was based on the fact that, even though my baby was able to soothe himself and used to fall asleep on his own for the night time, he could not do so for day naps. During the day he was able to sleep only if I was rocking him, being pushed in a stroller, carried in a carrier or if I breastfed him.
I decided to go with a smooth “cry it out” method, the Ferber Method. This method worked for us but I can understand that it is not for everybody.
The original method is the following:
During day one, the parent should let the baby cry for 5 minutes before checking him. Then check after 10 minutes, then after 15 minutes. Then should continue checking at 15 minutes intervals until the baby is quiet;
During day two, the intervals are 10, 15 and 20 minutes. Then the check is at 20 minutes intervals until the baby is quiet;
During day three, the intervals are 15, 20 and 30 minutes. Then the check is at 30 minutes intervals until the baby is quiet.
My method was inspired to this one but I “personalized” it a bit. The maximum time I allowed my baby to cry, overall, was 10 min. It took longer, more or less two weeks for him to learn how to calm down and fall asleep.
When I started the sleep training:
I eliminated all the activities that could get his adrenaline up;
I moved my baby to sleep in his own bed, so that he could easy by easy associate the bed with sleep time;
I eliminated sleep associations as breast or bottle feeding right before bedtime, so that he was not falling asleep during his meals;
I started rocking him less and less and putting him in his bed when he was sleepy but not yet asleep;
I was not taking him in my arms during the checking times, I was rather trying to soothe him by slowly massaging his head and back, always shushing (shhhhhhh!);
He was sleeping at home, in his cot, for at least 2 naps during the sleep training.
Of course he cried enough, and of course it was painful for me to hear him crying. But his cry was not from pain but from frustration, he cried because he was tired and he did not know how to fall asleep. After two weeks, my baby was sleeping well again but this time he was falling asleep on his own.
At 6 months he usually had 3 naps a day, without any problem sleeping 7-8 consecutive hours during the night, waking up for milk and falling asleep again until 7am.
From that moment I noticed that when we were taking him to our bed 😊 he could not sleep well. He was waking up many times during the night, touching me and my husband and looking to play with us instead of sleeping. I realised that my baby needs his personal space in order to rest well.
As you can see, for me there was no miraculous solution on how to make my baby sleep through the night. Actually my purpose was to help him sleep well.
The secret of getting your child to sleep well is to not to get him overtired and to make him sleep as much as he needs. Remember, the more your child feels rested during the day the better he will sleep in the night!
Please see my post on how I managed to get my baby to sleep through the night before he was 4 months old.
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