Does sleep training babies actually work? Each week we feature a mama & baby who have been through it, survived, and are finally thriving with more sleep and less stress! Aimee Call, mother to Aurelia, sleep trained with me when baby was 4.5 months old. Here is their story…..

mother and child

Photo courtesy Michelle Ahn

I finally decided to bite the bullet and sleep train because….

Rocking my baby to sleep until college was not a manageable expectation for me. She was getting heavy! I needed some freedom to care for myself so that I can in turn take better care of my daughter.

My biggest worry about sleep training was….

That my baby was not ready! I tried sleep training earlier after hearing stories from others who have taught their baby to sleep independently super early – it was not successful. It was horrible, actually. I was still traumatized from that experience and did not want to go through it again or have my daughter go through that again.

Before sleep training my baby slept….

Only on my chest and if I was lucky, transferred to her bassinet, but she only lasted 30 minutes on her own.

After sleep training my baby sleeps….

In her crib (not on me!) and falls asleep on her own in under a minute! She has long, restorative naps and beautiful 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep!

The sleep training process itself was….

Surprisingly positive. Tears were minimal. My baby actually cried LESS during sleep training than when I rocked her to sleep every nap and every night. Keeping her adjusted to the right number of naps is still tricky, but the consistency is amazing and for the first time in 4 months, our days are predictable. Now my baby KNOWS when it’s nap time!

Did your attachment with your baby change in a positive or a negative way after sleep training?

As much as I dreaded rocking my baby to sleep for 20 minutes every nap, I do miss watching her sleeping face in my arms. However, knowing that she is having much more restorative naps in her crib than in my arms is worth it. Also, the freedom I gained now that I can put her down and have “me” time has helped me feel like I regained a part of myself back that I lost in the first few months of the insane newborn stage!

Do you feel like sleep training was a healthy choice for baby, you, and your family?

Absolutely. Now there is structure and routine to our days. Both my baby and I are more well-rested and I am no longer afraid of others being able to care for my daughter now that she’s sleep trained. Having another caretaker care for our daughter was not an option before because I would not subject others to constant rocking and chest naps. Now that my daughter can fall asleep independently, I know others can care for her and I can have opportunities to leave the house and enjoy activities I did before I was pregnant.

How would you respond to hearing, “Sleep training is selfish”?

I believe Sleep training is definitely harder for parents than it is for the baby. However, teaching a baby how to fall asleep isn’t selfish – it’s helping them in their development. Just how independent play is important for children to learn self-confidence, sleep training is also an important skill that is critical for children to have healthy rest.

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?

After 2 nights for nighttime sleep and 1 night for naps.

Would you recommend BST to a friend and if so, who and why?

Yes! I recommend for anyone with a baby!