I hate that title. It sounds like I’m teaching our kid to do tricks. Next I’m going to tell him “good boy” for sitting on command. Ugh! But that’s what we’re working on… sleep training. Because God knows he needs his sleep and God also knows that his parents need their sleep too.
Baby Boy had been a pretty good sleeper since about 2 months. That’s when we bought the DockATot. I highly, highly recommend ordering yourself one if you have a little one on the way. These are the best! If you want to try one out, then you can use my referral code for $10 off. We transitioned him into his crib at around 5 months, we used the DockATot for the first few nights, but eventually we stopped using it since he was getting a little too big for it. And he was doing great. Asleep by 8:00 and minimal late nights and midnight feedings. Then it all went downhill… FAST!
Back in early December our little guy came down with a cold. I took him to the doctor where the RSV test and Flu test came back negative. Hallelujah! A week later I was back for his second round of the flu vaccine since he was feeling better. He was just a little trooper for Momma. Only a few tears and then he was back to his smiling self. Thank you!
The week before Christmas his fever spiked – like whoa! It hit 103.9 at around midnight. So the next morning I took him to the doctor, but this time we weren’t so lucky with his RSV test. It was positive. We loaded down with breathing treatments and this fancy machine with these tubes and cords that just scream “PULL AT ME!”
After 5 days of doing breathing treatments every 4 hours we were back in business. But not when it came to sleep. Since he was sick and the doctor said to listen for any labored breathing while he slept, which meant I didn’t sleep for 5 days and he slept in our room so I could hear, see and feel him next to me.
For one month we had been struggling getting him back in his crib and to sleep at a decent time. I’ve ready countless studies that all basically said a 9 month old should be getting over 13 hours of sleep between night and naps. Ugh! He wasn’t anywhere near that.
I had it settled that on Sunday night he would be back in his crib. We were going to sleep train that beast! No, he’s not really a beast… but he can be when he’s tired, or hungry, or drops his toy and can’t reach it.
At 7:00 I would start getting him ready for bed. Bath, pajamas, big bottle and story time. Then it’s off to the crib for sleepy time. If he woke up, I would gently lay him back down and rub his back until he fell asleep again. No picking him for anything! Unless he peed through a diaper or couldn’t stop coughing because that meant projectile vomit coming.
Night 1: Sunday started at 7:00 took 2 hours and 5 minutes to get him to fall asleep. Then probably spent 15 minutes getting up 2-3 times through the night to rub his back. He woke up for the day at 7:10.
The first night was rough because he started crying. So I went back in and laid him back down (usually he would sit up or stand up) then rub his back while the dog continued to play music. When he was pretty much asleep I would sneak out of the room. Then if he woke up and cried more then I would go back.
Night 2: Monday started at 6:55 took 1 hour and 10 minutes for him to fall asleep. Then spent 20 minutes throughout the night by getting up 3-4 times. He woke up at 7:10 again this morning.
Night 3: Tuesday night was rough. My parents watched him and it’s hard to get someone to follow your routine exactly, but I think he still did pretty good. I ended up sleeping on my parents’ couch so that I didn’t have to wake him up completely and ruin the whole evening. My parents put him down at 7:05 and it took him 30 minutes to fall asleep. Then about 10:00 he woke up and was awake for an hour and 20 minutes. He slept the rest of the night through until 8:10.
A little after 11:00 he woke up, sat up, whined and then when he didn’t see me or hear me, he laid himself back down and went right to sleep. So now I usually wait a minute or two before going into his room. He has sat up a few times, looked around and then laid back down.
Night 4: Wednesday night we started our routine at 7:20 and it took 30 minutes to fall asleep. Then we spent about 45 minutes with him until the night was a complete failure. I was exhausted from being home with a sick baby and not sleeping too great, so J watched him. Again, I really wanted to watch him the first week because I was following the same steps each time he woke up. It’s hard to get anyone else to do it the exact way you would. So after 45 minutes J couldn’t take it anymore and I was too tired to care so he came into our room. He slept great until 7:05 the next morning. J and I slept awful!
Night 5: Thursday night I was back on it! He was so tired so we started getting him ready at 7:00 and within 40 minutes he was out. Then I spent about 10 minutes rubbing his back, but this time I only had to get up one time. He woke up at 6:55 that morning.
Night 6: Friday night he was falling asleep playing so we started our routine at about 6:50 and it took only 20 minutes for him to be out. Then I got up once to lay him back down and rub his back for about 5 minutes. He woke up at 6:25.
Night 7: Saturday was the best night yet. He was struggling to stay awake since he didn’t have a good nap all day. We started getting him ready for bed around 6:45 and within 40 minutes he was passed out. At around 10:00 he woke up, sat up and started to cry. So I walked in his room, laid him back down and he was out cold. He woke up at 6:30 the next morning, which was too early for J and I. So we laid around and he eventually fell back asleep at around 7:30 for another hour! Yes!
Here’s our nightly routine in case you are wondering.
7:00 – bath, if needed
7:10 – pajamas
7:15 – bottle, 8 oz.
7:15 – rock in a chair in his room while reading a story
As soon as he finishes the bottle he is usually pretty out of it. So I lay him down in his crib, he’s not fully asleep at this point. He has a stuffed dog that plays lullabies for 15 minutes, I turn that on and turn off the lamp. I walk out and shut the door behind me. The time I counted above includes everything. The time it takes to give him a bath, finish a bottle and fall asleep.
I also use a CloudPet that we received. It connects to my phone over bluetooth. So if he’s still moving around a lot and the dog has stopped playing music, I can stand outside his door and start playing music through the CloudPet. That way he will fall back asleep and I don’t have to disturb him.
J and I have been talking about getting a white noise machine so he doesn’t have to rely on music or specific sounds to fall asleep to. I have it ordered from Amazon and am just waiting for it to come.
Before J and I go to bed, I crack open his door, but don’t turn on any lights.
I could end this post here and let you believe that all is good. The little guy is sleep trained and it takes less and less time to get him to fall asleep each night, but that would be a LIE. And I’m not about telling lies here. I want to tell the truth… so let’s go ahead and talk about night 8. Night 8 was rough. We stayed in all day Sunday since he was still fighting his sickness and we were now coming down with it. His feeding was all off and his naps were all over the place. During his 4:00 bottle, he fell asleep in his Dad’s arms. I wasn’t paying attention (dang movie!) and didn’t notice. An hour passes and I made a comment about how tonight was going to be rough with him napping so late. J thought that meant to wake him.
Yeah, he woke him up. He was mad. He was also hungry. He had a small bottle at 5:00 and then we played. He acted tired at about 7:00 so we went ahead with our normal routine. But he wasn’t tired. He wasn’t hungry. He wanted to play. It took us close to 2 hours to get him to settle down and sleep. Then he woke up at midnight, and that took about 5 minutes to get him to go back down. Then at 4:30 he woke wide up and it was about 30 minutes until he fell back asleep. He was finally awake for the day at 7:15.