With my older son we sleep trained him so he was sleeping through the night by like 8 weeks. However, he was formula fed and my little girl has nursed exclusively. She won't take a binky either... so I have been her bottle and binky! Which was fine and I loved the nighttime cuddles, but once she turned 10 months and was still getting up like 4 times a night I had to take action. It was beginning to affect my physical and mental health.
I debated whether or not I should even share this post because some are very opinionated when it comes to crying it out. So as you read please take into consideration that I am a mom just like you and we are all trying to do what we think is best for our kids.
With Jake I didn't mind letting him cry it out if I knew all of his needs had been met. Has he been fed? Yes. Has his diaper been changed? Yes. Has he been burped? Yes. Has he been cuddled and coddled enough during the day? Yes. Is he sick? No. Has he been hurt? No.
If I knew all his needs had been met I was fine with letting him cry a little bit. However, I don't know what it is about Chloe but I never let her cry it out until this point. She also has some lungs and endurance on her so I never wanted to let her cry!
After posting about how she still didn't sleep through the night I got a lot of responses saying I needed to sleep train. I also talked to her pediatrician about how she was getting up 4 times in the night still and he said it's because it's an automated response. They think, "If I cry, then mom comes and I get to nurse and cuddle." Which was fine! For 10 months... and then I decided for my mental health something needed to change.
I was either going to be considered by some to be a "bad mom" for letting my baby cry it out at night or I was going to be considered a "bad mom" for having no patience and being irritable towards my kids during the day because I was getting NO SLEEP.
So I decided to be the bad mom for letting her cry a couple nights. My pediatrician said that it usually only takes two or three nights at her age and then they're sleeping through the night. I tried letting her cry it out about a month ago and every 5 minutes I'd go in and rub her back and comfort her... turns out that actually would just make her more upset. I could tell she was just thinking. "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING LADY?? Stop rubbing my back, pick me up and let me nurse!" So really me going in there would just escalate the crying.
The next time I tried the crying it out I sat outside her room and let her cry. It was painful because I just wanted to go in and pick her up but I knew it was what I had to do for both of us. The first night she woke up at 3 am and cried 30 minutes. Me and my husband just laid there awake wanting to go pick her up so bad.. she's so dainty and sweet! But I needed sleep to be a better mom. She woke up again after that at like 5 AM and cried another 5 minutes and then went to sleep.
The next night she woke up at 3 AM again and cried for like 15 minutes and went to sleep. Then she woke up at 5 AM again and fussed a little before falling asleep again.
I should add, the days after this she got extra extra cuddles. Also whenever I went in her nursery to get her up for the day she was smiling and as happy as ever. Not thinking that I abandoned her like some critics of crying it out think. She still loves me just as much!
The third night SHE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT! Wahoooo. She was so much happier during the day because SHE was finally getting the uninterrupted sleep her little body needed. I was a much more patient and loving mom during the day because I was finally getting the sleep that I needed!
So here is how our days look now
7 AM- Wake up and nurse.
8 AM- eat breakfast solids and have sippy cup of water available
9:30 AM- Nurse and then lay down for nap
Noonish- Wake up from nap and have lunch solids with sippy of water available
1 PM- Nurse before mom begins her work out
2:30 PM- Nurse and then lay down for nap
4 PM- Wake up from nap
6 PM- Dinner
7 PM- Bedtime routine
Our bedtime routine includes having a bath, put on nighttime diaper, rub on aveeno lotion (the best), rubbing some lavender essential oil on her feet, turning on the diffuser and diffuse some lavender essential oil, turn on our white noise machine, read a book, nurse, and then lay down for sleep.
Before I go to sleep (usually around 10 PM) I will go in and pick her up and nurse her one last time and then lay her back down. She pretty much stays asleep that whole time.
Here are the items we use. And I got them on Amazon because of course!
I hope this helps and that you sleep deprived mamas are able to find some relief like I have FINALLY found. Thanks for reading and for your continual support!