You love your baby, but neither one of you are getting the adequate amount of rest by having baby sleep on or with you. It's time to finally sleep train baby. But are you ready?
Sleep training is one of the hardest parts of having a baby; apart from labor and teething. It certainly will drain you of energy, and it is really tough on any parent to hear their child crying. Especially when the reason they're crying is because a) you left them there alone in the dark b) they just want to be held by you.
It's going to be hard to sleep train at any age, but in my opinion the sooner you start the easier it is. That's because you're preventing baby from getting used to any bad habits sooner rather than later. Although everyone thought Alayna was young, we started early. She was great, and took the sleep training very quickly. In fact, it was almost ridiculous how much research I did, building up the courage to in fact sleep train her, only to have her surprise me and sleep within a few minutes.
There were a few nights, especially through certain phases as she got older, or napping where it was especially hard to sleep train. But I had to keep reassuring myself that I was doing the right thing for my baby.
It is also super easy to fall into the guilting part of sleep training, but you have to keep in mind and remember that baby is safe and baby is fed. The only reason why they're crying is because they don't know how to sleep without you. That's why it's called "sleep training."
As adults, we wake up many times or toss and turn in the middle of the night and we don't even realize. That's because we are sleep trained, and we know how to put ourselves back to sleep. So now, we have to train our babies to do the same.
Although we are taught not to co-sleep with baby, many parents (but the CDC says that 60% of mothers co-sleep with their babies).
Honestly, CDC, you try having a baby. If it gets them to sleep so be-it! Just kidding. I co-slept with my baby for about 5 months. It was probably the hardest thing I did, because I was so worried I would turn over and hurt her. And my husband made me paranoid as well, so I definitely don't recommend it. But it was so easy to do it because I just needed the rest. Finally, when Alayna was 5 months old I had realized she's not sleeping well nor am I. And we both need rest to make it through the day without getting frustrated.
The best strategy I can say, is sleep train. It will not be easy, it may take weeks, and you may fail. But don't give up. That's why I'm writing a guide on some of the ways I helped Alayna learn to sleep on her own. No, teething will not and should not affect babies rest for the most part. There may be a few days where it does. But there are ways to mitigate it as well and help baby feel more comfortable.
The only times babies will have difficulties sleeping is when they're sick or unwell in some way, and when they're going through their growth phases (3-6-9-12 months).
An important part of sleep training is that you be consistent. It's difficult, but it's a tried and tested way to get baby to learn that you will not be running to them at every whim. They have to learn to be independent for their development as well.
I'm almost done through the editing phase of my guidebook. Soon enough you'll be able to get baby to sleep through the night too. Hang in there mamas! If you have any questions in the mean time, feel free to send me a DM or email.
Have you tried sleep training? If so, what method did you use?