I have a guest blogger! Diana (below) sleep trained her daughter using The Baby Sleep Trainer Program + Support, and she in turn, helped my associate, Rachel, potty train her 3 year old boy. Read on for her experience, and also check out Rachel’s experience with Diana’s PooLogix program too! <3
I would like to start off by introducing myself. My name is Diana Kumuryan of PooLogix. I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Professional Potty Trainer. I have been working with typically developing children and children with developmental delays for over 6 years providing behavioral and potty training services. I am also a first time mom to a little girl. My daughter is currently 7 months and I embarked on the sleep-training journey with The Baby Sleep Trainer when she was exactly 6 months. For the first 4 months of her life she was a fantastic sleeper in part due to her rocking bassinet.
Once she out grew the magical rocking bassinet her sleep went from great to terrible. I enlisted the help of Natalie Willes, Baby Sleep Trainer. I had my hesitations with beginning the sleep training process. Would I be harming my baby by moving her to her crib too soon? Would I lose the connection with my daughter if I didn’t attend to her when she cried? Are these evidence-based procedures? I consulted with my doctor, I did my own research, and had a long conversation with Natalie. Through my research I learned that the procedures the Baby Sleep Trainer applies are research based and have been proven to be effective through multiple replications. As a Behavior Analyst this is very important to me. Considering all of this information and lots of mental preparation on my end I decided to take the plunge. Here is how my experience went.
Pre Baby Sleep Trainer
Before we started the Baby Sleep Trainer procedures my daughter would nap 3 to 4 times a day with varying durations. Her bedtime routine was as follows: bath time, hugs and kisses from dad, feed, and time for bed. I would spend about an hour to an hour and a half rocking her, putting the pacifier in, putting her down, tears, picking her up, more tears, and more rocking until she was so tired she fell asleep in my arms. I would gently put her down and quietly walk out of her room. Throughout the night she would wake up 3 to 4 times at varying times. She would cry, I would go in give her the pacifier, rock her till she fell back asleep, gently put her down and quietly leave the room. After 2 weeks I realized she needed the rocking and pacifier to fall asleep. We were both waking up early in the morning without enough rest and cranky throughout the entire day. Although I have a strong connection with my daughter I was beginning to feel that our long restless nights were resulting in long days filled with lots of tears and frustration for both of us.
Baby Sleep Trainer Day 0
The day before we began sleep training, I watched all of the videos on the Baby Sleep Trainer website, read the written protocol, and reviewed the Q & A series. The material was clear, concise, and easy to understand. The format of the videos was very user friendly and it felt like Natalie was talking directly to me. I spent that night digesting all the information and mentally preparing myself for what was to come.
Baby Sleep Trainer Day 1
I spent most of my day anxious about the night to come. I knew there was no time like the present and pushing it back would only make the decision to begin so much more difficult. At 6:30pm we started the bedtime routine with a feeding, bath time, hugs and kisses from Dad then off to bed. At 7pm, we walked into her room, turned off the lights, turned on the sound machine, started the 5-minute timer and began to walk her around the room. Once my daughter began to rub her face into my arms, I gave her a hug and a kiss and put her in her bed. We watched her closely on the baby monitor as she rolled around for 16 minutes and BAM she was asleep. We were in shock. How did this happen so fast? A short hour later (8:30pm) she was awake and crying. I set my timer for the check in and stood by the door. She cried the entire time. I went in patted her back and left the room with her still crying. The crying continued for over two hours. Then she was asleep and slept through the entire night.
Baby Sleep Trainer Day 2
On day two we also began implementing the same procedures for naptime. Day 2 was the hardest day for both of us. My daughter napped for a total of 1 hour the entire day. Her first nap was 20 minutes, her second nap was 30 minutes, and the third nap was 15 minutes. We were both very exhausted by the time it was bedtime. Bedtime went the same as the day before, this time the crying only lasted 20 minutes and she was asleep. That lasted till 4am and she began crying, I followed Natalie’s procedures and went in for checks until it was time for her to get out of bed.
Baby Sleep Trainer Day 3
At this point I felt hopeless and very discouraged. I needed sleep and just a little relief. It came time for her fist nap and I was ready to go back to our old ways. I followed the same procedures for naptime and after 5 minutes of crying she was asleep. I sat by her door watching the monitor anticipating that any minute now she would start crying and I would have to start my timer for a check in. She slept for 2 hours without interruption, without waking up, without needing a pacifier, and without any rocking. My girl did it all by herself. Her afternoon nap went just as well. Then came time for the bedtime routine. We followed did the same procedures as we had been doing for the last couple of nights. I put her down for her sleep, walked out of the room, and to my disbelief she was asleep within 10 minutes. No crying, no screaming, no pacifier, no rocking for hours.
Baby Sleep Trainer Day 35
It has been over a month since we began sleep training and my girl is still falling asleep without assistance. We had a few hiccups (teething and an overnight stay at grandmas) but she was able to quickly get back on track. Our days are no longer filled with frustration and tears. I feel that because we are both getting the rest we need we are able to spend more quality time together. Instead of spending over an hour rocking her to sleep while she is crying, we are able to spend that time playing and working on building milestones. The quality of time we are spending together is so much better. The fears and hesitations I had going into sleep training are gone and we are so happy to have embarked on this daunting task sooner rather than later.