A Picture-less Post about Sleep Training | On the Banks of Squaw Creek: A Picture-less Post about Sleep Training

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Picture-less Post about Sleep Training


This morning, while our preschoolers were in Kindermusik, a couple of the mommies and I were discussing sleep training.  This is the message I just sent them via facebook.

“oh mylanta. I snuggled Isaac for nap. Put him in the crib. he woke up. Repeat.
So, I decided to do the sleep training I did with Adam. I'm waiting the intervals and going in to sooth, and he just starts crying again. I unplugged the monitor and am keeping myself busy with Adam downstairs.
Pray that I have the strength to make this work and that he falls asleep soon!”



When Adam was born, I was FIRMLY against any sort of cry-it-out.   Fast forward 9 months, and I was working full time, and he was waking up 6-10 times PER NIGHT for the pacifier.  At his 9 month check-up, his pediatrician told me we could do sleep training, or he may learn to sleep through the night in a couple of years.

I knew, deep in my heart, that I had to do the sleep training.  I was literally running on empty.  We had tried some “no-cry” solutions and I just didn’t have the energy or patience to make them work.

So, following a modified Ferber method, Adam cried.  For almost 45 minutes.  And then he slept.  For 12 hours.  Ah-mazing.

The next night, he cried…for 3 seconds, while we walked from his room to ours.

Of course, there were regressions, and we had repeat the process a few times over the next year or so.  But overall, we were SO HAPPY that we decided to do it.



This time around, I knew it was probably just a matter of time before I’d get desperate enough to do it again.  And I swore I’d do it before Isaac could stand in his crib – that just seemed to make it harder.  He’s 8 months old now, and today’s nap was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  And I’m so relieved to report, after less than 35 minutes of crying (interrupted every few minutes when I went in to sooth him) it’s done. 

He’s asleep.


P.S.  No hateful comments allowed ESPECIALLY if you’ve never gone 9+ months without sleep and/or a super, amazing, perfect mother, because I am NOT.

P.P.S.  This is pictureless because I looked at all my sweet, smiley pictures of my boys and couldn’t bring myself to post one with such a depressing topic.


  1. Lady, been there, done that! My son didn't nap for 9 months. I tried everything--luckily he slept well at night or we would've all had to check into the loony bin. A long cry one day was all it took in the end. Painful for all parties, but he's so much happier now. My daughters were never so nap averse, so this was quite a lesson on how children are so different in their needs.

  2. No hateful comments here! Been there done that! Hardest thing ever but so worth it! I am also against rocking past 3 months and that makes a lot of mommas cringe....

  3. You will never sleep if you don't train them! Firm believer here! We did it at 5 months for one, 12 weeks for another...and the third, well we were blessed with a sleeping through the night baby at 2 weeks. I know. I deserved it though! They are all great sleepers now. Good work. It's tough being a mom!

  4. Sleep training our daughter was one of the hardest things I've done as a parent. I remember laying in bed, muscles tensed up, with an upset stomach while she wailed for HOURS. We made it through, and it was horrible, but I would still do it again.

  5. My son used to wake up between 6-12 times a night for 18 months!!!! I wish I had known about sleep training, it just about killed me working full time and with a 3 year old in the house too. So you HAVE MY SYMPATHY. Do NOT feel guilty, if it works, then good for you... I don't usually comment but I follow your blog and couldn't let you think you were alone or should in anyway feel guilty xx

  6. Oh I remember those days! Caleb wouldn't allow for the Ferber method, it would set him off more and longer if we go in his room. In the end he knows how to soothe himself, and he will play in his crib until he is tired. I don't know how it works for those who don't sleep train.

  7. You know I'm a believer, so I say way to go! I hope everything goes as well with Isaac a it did with Adam! I bet you'll be so happy you did.

  8. Like all the other Moms have said, you are not alone. I, too, did sleep training. It was hard, but well worth it in the long run. I am blessed with two great sleepers. I will say, it was harder with number 2 because I didn't want her waking number 1 :) Good luck and enjoy the sleep :)

  9. We actually started out with the cry-it-out method. I was BFing for the first couple of months so there were still lots of up-all-nights, but as long as I knew they were fed and didn't have a dirty diaper, we let them fuss. It was easier to break them of it when they were smaller, only taking a night or two. I caught a lot of Hell for that from friends/relatives, but now they're all jealous that my boys go down each naptime/bedtime easily - I just lay them down and that's it. The heartache in the beginning was worth not having to still be rocking them to sleep for hours every night like a friend of mine has to with her 4 1/2 yr old! But, the way I see it - no one can say what's best for each and every family, you have to decide what's best for yours and stick with it.

  10. YAY! Good for you for doing what works for you. Congrats on rest!

  11. well done! my first was a terrible sleeper and it's so hard when you're not getting enough rest - you just don't have energy for all the added value things 'good' mums are supposed to do like home cooked purees and cloth nappies let alone the time. He didn't start sleeping through until a few months before our new baby arrived (age 2 and a bit) and it was after many failed attempts to teach self settling. We'd spent so many hours putting him to sleep for naps and bed - we finally just closed our bedroom door so we only heard the really big problem cries and he obviously worked it out for himself...wish we had done it sooner! It didn't help with naps but he was ready to give them up about then. Our little girl is totally different and has been sleeping through nearly every night since about one month. I think part of it is that from the start we tried to get her to settle herself to sleep for naps and not pick her up when she's just grumbly crying (we read Tizzie Hall's save our sleep and although we don't follow her routines strictly her stuff about baby sleep patterns is really good). With our son we assumed if he was crying he needed to be rocked and soothed and sung to when maybe if we'd just left him alone he might have been able to fall asleep!

  12. We have 14 month old twins and started sleep training with them early on through routine routine routine. For my son, we put him to bed at 7:30 and don't see him again until 7:30 the next morning, he has always been that way. My daughter on the other hand still gets up at night even using the sleep training and anything else I could try. My friend told me that she bought a crib soother that attaches to the side of the crib. It looks like an aquarium and the fish move and it has a low light. It can play white noise or soft music. I got one and am SO happy with it because after having it for one day, she had figured out how to turn it on and off so she uses to soothe herself back to sleep! I recommend it to anyone who is going through sleep troubles with their child :) We have been using it now for over a month and it was the best purchase ever for her :)

  13. I know I'm coming to this super late. But I have an about-to-be-one-year-old, and we've never done sleep training and it's my BIGGEST REGRET as a mom. Haven't slept through the night in a year. You do what you have to do.