SureBaby Blog

Sleep Training: Night 1

Posted by Alissa Robson

After our 8-hour sleeper turned into a 2-hour sleeper, I’d been going back and forth on the issue of sleep training. I wasn’t sure if it fit in with my parenting philosophy.

But after my doctor took away my last excuse for why my daughter won’t sleep through the night – she’s hungry – I decided it was in both our best interests to give it a shot.

My husband and I took one disastrous attempt at sleep training. Or rather, it was my attempt. Since I’d always been the one to get up in the night to nurse, I figured I’d be the one to get up and offer comfort to our baby when she woke in the night, but just forego the feeding and rocking as is recommended.

So I did. When she woke up 2.5 hours after going to sleep, I got up, went into her rub, gently rubbed her stomach and told her everything was okay, she was a brave girl and that Mommy and Daddy loved her very much.

I was treated to, what my husband calls, a face full of scream. And I folded like a cheap umbrella.

I did try leaving the room, waiting 5 minutes and going back in, but her screams just continued to escalate and it broke my heart. We struggled through the remainder of the night with the wakeups, using any method we could to get her to sleep.

The next day, we regrouped. What could we do differently that might help?

I hit the books again and stumbled across the fact that it may be best for Dad to be the one to go in in the beginning, since Mom is so heavily associated with food and comfort.

You’d think I’d be leaping for joy at the thought of not having to get up, but staying in the room powerlessly sounded just as bad. But we tried it.

And it worked…we think.

The first round of scream lasted 25 minutes, with varying degrees of intensity. I stayed in the bedroom with my hands clasped, sending telepathic thoughts to MJ to be a brave girl and that Mommy loved her so much.

When my husband crept back in, I was so relieved – she’d done it. She’d gone back to sleep without eating or rocking.

The next wakeup was even shorter and her screams were barely more than cries of annoyance. And that was the last wakeup till morning.

It was a big night! Neither my husband nor I feel any more well-rested, but we do feel like we accomplished something. While we still have a ways to go – every night has the potential to be different – we’re keeping our fingers crossed and our wills strong.

The best part of the night was knowing that the sleep training was okay for my baby. I know her cries so well, and I know what she can handle, and she could definitely handle what happened last night. It wasn’t comfortable, it wasn’t easy, but in the end, it will be better for all of us.

Wish us luck on night two, and share your stores of sleep training in the SureBaby comments!

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