Need help getting baby to sleep? Teaching your baby that it’s safe and healthy to fall asleep unassisted is a valuable life lesson. But it can be overwhelming to know where to start!
Welcome the the Baby Sleep Trainer success stories, where we share stories from the baby sleep frontline. This week we caught up with Elizabeth (and husband Zach), who used the Baby Sleep Trainer method to help their son Timmy when he was a little over 4 months. Read their story here!
I finally decided to bite the bullet and sleep train because ….
As soon as Timmy turned 4 months, his sleep shifted and he was constantly waking up, impossible to get to sleep. Nothing we tried worked (and neither did things that had worked before). If we nursed or rocked to sleep, he would wake up as soon as we laid him down. And he woke up many more times a night crying—it felt like our 2-3 wake-ups a night (which we thought was pretty good) was rapidly increasing to many more wake ups.
My biggest worry about sleep training was….
We were so fearful that there would be a real, legitimate need that he had, but that we wouldn’t be addressing it because we were letting him cry. (It did help that he had just learned to roll over, so we knew that he could at least adjust himself on his own if he was uncomfortable.)
Before sleep training my baby slept…
Fine, but we were waking up at least 2-3 times a night. I grew to dread bedtime (if you could call it that) because I knew we would be up every few hours anyway, and not get real rest. I figured it was just part of the “newborn” territory (which, to be fair, it totally is the first few months).
After sleep training my baby sleeps…
Like a champ!!! When we put him down for the night, he might roll around for a little while but falls asleep without any issues and sleeps incredibly well through the night. People are amazed when we tell them that he gets 11-12 hours a night. (He naps like a champ, too!) He often reaches for his crib as we are giving him our last goodnight hugs and kisses.
Another HUGE perk to the BST—on the very rare occasion that Timmy does wake up and cry, we know it’s because he truly needs us. He’s been sick a few times since, or had poopy diapers in the middle of the night, but once we go in and meet whatever the need is, he falls back asleep very quickly.
The actual sleep training itself was…
So hard and sad at first. I second-guessed myself so many times and really leaned on my husband for support. But once we got through the first couple of days, it wasn’t so bad, and we quickly realized just what incredible learners babies are. Their brains adapt so much faster than our adult brains!
Did your attachment with your baby change after sleep training?
We are closer than ever, and have the sweetest, happiest relationship!
Do you think sleep training is healthy for baby, you, and your family?
Absolutely. You are teaching your child a very important skill, and everyone is better for it. Bedtime is such a happy part of our day (bath, story, lots of laughter and cuddles, followed by a good night’s sleep). I feel like I also learned a lot about my own sleep by going through this process, too.
For you, sleep training is…
One of the best things you can do for your baby and for yourself. Your baby will be so healthy and grow well because he is getting the sleep he needs. He will be in a better mood overall. He will nap better too (this is a huge one). AND you and your husband will get to enjoy some time to yourselves each evening!
How would you respond to hearing, “Sleep training is selfish”?
If it’s selfish: to ensure that your child is getting enough good sleep to grow properly and be in an overall happier mood; for mom and dad to be rested and able to be their best selves and love on their child to the fullest; to be better able to meet the needs of their child because there is less overall crying, and when crying does occur, it’s easier to identify the need; to be at peace leaving your baby in someone else’s care for a few hours, knowing baby can put himself to sleep for his nap; then I want to be selfish. 🤣
How many nights did it take for baby’s nighttime sleep to improve and how many nights did it take for baby’s naps to improve?
It took about 3 nights or so for nighttime sleep. Naps took longer, probably about 2-3 weeks. I don’t think it all really “clicked” and was fully in motion for closer to a month.
Would you recommend BST to a friend and if so, who and why?
Absolutely! It has made this first year with our son SO positive. People often comment on what a happy baby Timmy is, and although it’s true that my husband and I are people who smile and laugh a lot, I can’t help but believe that everybody (including children) feel a lot better when they are well-rested. ♥️
Do you have a sleep training success story to share? We’d LOVE to hear from you. Fill in this quick questionnaire here and we’ll be in touch!
Sleep well, Natalie xoxo