Something I wasn’t told going into becoming a parent 6 years ago with my son is that about 6 months into it, my wife and I would be faced with a dilemma: Our baby would no longer require feedings throughout the night but he would wake up and cry like he did anyway.
It meant one of two things:
A) We would continue to wake up with until one day he just magically began sleeping through the night on his own; meaning the parents continue losing much needing sleep and continue a stressful situation.
B) We would commit to the controversial “Cry It Out” method, which would either effectively train my baby to sleep through the night, or forever traumatize him.
I opted for the 2nd option.
Though my wife wasn’t thrilled with the idea, she didn’t complain after the first night, as it easily proved our son fell asleep after just 30 minutes of crying it out in his crib, then remained asleep for the rest of the night.
In other words, it worked after just one night. Granted, he was 7 months old at the time, where as our daughter was only 5 and a half months when we started this with her a month ago.
For my now 6 year-old son, the “Cry It Out” Method proved to be easily effective. And I must note, he turned out quite normal after all. It’s got to mean something that I recently learned from his Kindergarten teacher that he’s on a 4th grade reading level.
So for any first-time parents out there, I submit this documentation to you. Here are the notes from the past 30 days, which document the process of me successfully training my now 6 month-old daughter to sleep through the night:
Night 1 (Sunday October 10, 2016): I began sleeping in the guest room upstairs near her. She went to bed around 9:30 PM and had her final feeding for the night. She woke up twice, both times for a duration of 20 minutes. Both times, I had to quickly flip you over after she was exhausting herself by crying on her stomach, while holding herself up with her arms. The first time she started crying, she got your foot stuck in the bars of her crib. But after letting her cry for a few minutes that way, she revealed that she easily knew how to remove her leg from the bars herself. From that point on, I knew not to fall for it.
Night 2: She went to bed around 9:00 PM and had her final feeding for the night. She only woke up once, this time for just 10 minutes. I had to quickly flip her over on her back again- then she immediately went back to sleep.
Night 3: She went to bed around 8:00 PM and had her final feeding for the night. She only cried once, for 30 minutes inconsistently. However, she remained on her back the whole time, meaning this was the first time I didn’t having to quickly flip her back over.
Night 4: She went to bed around 7:00 PM, though I fed her a full bottle at 10:00 PM; which was 3 hours after she fell asleep. Beginning at 2:00 AM, she mildly, inconstantly cried the first time for 30 minutes, then fell back to sleep on her own. Again, I didn’t have to flip her over. She did it herself this time. Then again at 4:00 AM, she did the same thing for this time for only 10 minutes.
Night 5: She slept all night with no interruptions.
Night 6: She was up 3 times, as much as 30 minutes, but wasn’t fed enough (watered down formula), accidentally left the blanket and pacifier in her bed, had to remove them then changed her diaper. She woke up at 11 PM, 2 PM, and 4 PM.
Night 7: She was up twice, but fell back asleep both times, at 2 AM and 4 AM.
Night 8: She woke up twice, both less than 10 minutes; the time 2nd time I had to flip her over. By now, her normal bed time is around 8PM; as opposed to closer to 9:30 PM when this began over a week ago.
Night 9: This was the worst night so far; she officially woke up twice; at 12:30 PM and 4:40 AM. The 1st time I flipped her over 3 times before she eventually fell asleep on her side, then the 2nd time, she fell asleep on her on her side on her own. However, she woke up hourly to at least cry for a minute. Much of the difficulty was sinus congestion.
Night 10: woke up at 4:30, an hour before the right time, flipped over, fell back asleep
Night 11: She slept through the night for the 2nd time since I started this; though there were a few times a few cries were heard along the way. However, she never rolled over or moved.
Night 12: She slept through the night 2nd night in a row. Moving forward, I will be sleeping downstairs again.
Night 13: She easily slept all night.
Night 14: She slept through the night yet again. Even though she wasn’t feeling well, she never woke up.
Night 15: She slept through the night, but fell asleep later, because she was still not feeling well.
Night 16: She slept through the night, but I had to start making sure her sure legs aren’t stuck before I myself go to bed, so it wasn’t distract her in the middle of the night again.
Night 17: She had trouble falling asleep. She didn’t fall asleep until 10 PM. She woke up for 30 minutes at 1 AM. It appears teething is the culprit though
Nights 18 through 30: She easily slept through entire night; no issues at all.
So as well can see, it was more challenging to officially sleep-train our daughter. Whereas it only took one night for our son, it took closer to 18 days with our daughter.
But even with that aside, I know from personal experience that as a dad, I have the ability to teach my babies to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
In the event you’ve read horrifying blogs out there that try to teach you that the “Cry It Out” method is a way to mess up your kids, here’s proof that’s not always the case.