get that baby to sleep - a huggies post

I've been asked by BlogHer and Huggies to take some walks down memory lane and explore some (what I think will be) FUN subjects about babies and having them and getting ready for them and all the fun stuff that goes with THEM! I volunteered for this series for selfish reasons. I think it will be a great way to document some thoughts and feelings that maybe I haven't before but should have. I hope you will enjoy them, too!

Oh the baby sleep there anything baby related that brings up more opinions? It seems that either you are OK with letting a baby cry and make some noise in order to teach them to sleep or you think it's cruel to not run to them immediately the moment they let out a peep.

I'm on the team that believes that no baby ever died of "cry". With both of my boys we used some form of a cry it out method and I can tell you that there have been NO ill side effects. Both boys have been and continue to be GREAT sleepers. They are independent, secure and healthy boys. I would do the same things all over again and I have no regret over not running in to sooth every sound and spend countless hours rocking a baby who should be sleeping in their bed.

With both boys, by 6-8 weeks they were sleeping through the night with only one short interruption to eat during the night. As soon as it was deemed appropriate, pretty early on, we dropped the night feeding to and got back to being a family where we all slept through the night.

I'm also on the team that believes that you teach a baby how to behave. It doesn't take many times of whimpering and mom running in for a baby to know that whimpering gets her some company. We ignored any cry that wasn't pain or hunger while we were teaching our boys good sleep habits. In fact, once we dropped the night feeding my husband and I slept with a box fan in our room so that we only heard the important noises and not all the night sounds.

Here's the short method:

1) Decide the time when your baby seems tired for the night, from that time start about 30 minutes prior with your bed time routine. We always did bath, bottle, in bed (awake!).

2) When you are done with your bedtime routine put baby to bed awake! You don't want to wait until they are crying and fussy from being over tired. Eventually you will learn to see the pre-sleep drama signs and know to start getting ready to bed beforehand. Putting them to bed awake, without a paci or bottle or nursing, will help them learn how to put themselves asleep without depending on anything but themselves.

3) When putting baby to bed make it short and sweet and mean it! With the boys we sang a special song, said goodnight, put them down and left the room immediately. They have to know that you mean business, that it's time for sleep and nothing else.

4) They might cry. It's OK. Moses cried for 30 minutes the first time we did this and Aaron cried for almost an hour. But each night after each of those was amazingly better and by day three for each boy they went to bed and slept through without a peep! Night and day difference.

5) It's important to let them cry. If you go in shortly after they start, they will learn that cry = mom comes and will be losing valuable sleep training. The more you go in, the longer the process will take.

6) Decide when their feedings should be and try to ignore any sounds you hear until then. This gets easier as you lean.

I promise this works. It's worked on my boys, with little effort and I've seen it work with my nephew, too!

And if you choose this method, inevitably, someone will try to convince you that you are doing irreparable damage to your child, just smile and nod and tell them what a good night sleep you got!
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