Those of you that do sleep training like myself- we often need a reminder of the reasons. In the throws of CIO, every cell in your body feels like it's crying along with your baby, and it is easy to lose sight of the reasons behind this difficult choice that we've made. We all know that we need a plan going in, so that we don't give in and change plans mid cry- because it is so easy to do! We have all second guessed ourselves and gone against our plan, only to realize that we made things worse and prolonged our misery along with the baby's. Occasionally, there are set backs and we have to retrain so to speak. It get's easier and quicker each time, though. Sometimes, in the moment, when my baby is crying, however....I need a reminder of my choices as well!
Why am I doing sleep training with my kids?
Those of you that are cringing at even reading the words and you are very anti cri it out- I know that your answer to the question above most likely has something to do with me being a selfish mom. Well, yes there are some selfish reasons, but there are a lot of other reasons as well. But I'll start with my most selfish reason...
So as a reminder to myself, and for some insight to those of you that are maybe thinking of trying it, or as a glimpse of understanding for those of you that are completely against it... here are my reasons:
1. The obvious "selfish" reason-
My husband and I get more sleep, and we get some alone time together. My husband gets up at 3am for his job most days, so he goes to bed early. He is an awesome dad and an amazing husband, so if our baby is up, he'd most likely be up with us. I'd like him to get some rest before 3am rolls around.
Using this technique helps our baby fall asleep on her own if she happens to wake in the middle of the night, so it prevents us from having to get up as well. Again equaling more sleep for us and also for her. The more sleep we get, the better we can be at parenting. We will be more patient, and have more energy.
Another added benefit is that we have more time. Because she can now put herself to sleep, my husband and I get a tiny bit of alone time in the evenings. We get to be husband and wife instead of mama and daddy. And let's face it...we all need a little time to just enjoy our significant other! Lately, we sneak downstairs and enjoy some oreos and milk and some good laughs. So we might be adding on a few pounds, but we are having a fabulous time!
2. The baby gets more sleep-
We did CIO at 4 months as our doctor had recommended. Her naps and nights benefited greatly from this. She goes to sleep SO quickly for naps (within a minute or so), and most nights she goes to sleep without any crying at bedtime. It takes her 5-10 minutes before she is completely out at night. She sleeps longer for her naps, and she sleeps longer at night (7pm to 7am). If she wakes in the middle of the night, she rarely cries, she just puts herself back to sleep. Now, if she cries, its out of the ordinary, so I know something is wrong and I respond accordingly. She went from having 30/45 min naps, to having longer more restful naps of 2 hours. This means she is getting into her deep sleep cycles, which means she is happier when she wakes.
3. Happy baby
Since we started sleep training, she has been so well rested and so happy. Because she is sleeping so well, she has more energy to learn and observe during the day. I have seen a definite change in her. She is never upset because she is tired (unless for some reason I cause us to get off schedule- which rarely happens). If she is upset I know it is due to some other reason.
4. Healthy baby
We all need sleep. Babies need something like 12 hours of sleep. It get's slightly less as we age, and adults need 8 the last I heard. We are all getting that amount of sleep in our house - except for daddy. I think this will likely continue for our family as Caroline grows because she will know how to sleep well, and she will be accustomed to her early bedtime.
5. Routine and schedules are good for us and babyCaroline knows exactly when her naps and bedtime are. She tells me that she's ready if I forget and she's not even 6 months old! She also tells me if we need to adjust our schedule. Caroline pretty much builds her own schedules because I watch her cues and she tweaks what I've put together. She knows what she needs and she lets me know. Then we stick to the schedule until she grows out of it. So, for her to be able to go to sleep at the same time every day give or take 5 minutes, helps her to know what to expect. Sleep training has helped us stick to these schedules so well. She is in bed by 715pm every night and sleeps all night long.
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