Sleep training: what works?

My son Xander is 6 months old *insert happy mummy dance* and it’s been an interesting journey of sleep deprivation and numerous milestones. I always tell first-time mums that the first year is always hardest, but it does get better with time.

I started my son on a routine when he was 6 weeks old – ensuring that he can differentiate day and night. How did I do it? Daytime was full of play, noise and eye contact except for nap times. Evening started off with a bedtime routine of a bath, prayer with the family and goodnight kisses. Lights were off as he nursed and if he woke at night, lights were still off and no talking or eye contact.

This went on great – until the dreaded 4-month sleep regression phase. I stuck by the routine but he just kept waking lots at night – and it hasn’t gone away! Then came the 6-month growth spurt and now I feel like I hardly get a good night’s rest. Sigh!

I had planned on sleep training him from 4 months – teaching him how to self-soothe when he wakes – but keep postponing it. With my daughter Zara, I began sleep training her at 6 months but was only consistent with it from month 8. She eventually slept through the night at 9 months.

Sleep training
Courtesy of sleepbabylove.com

I choose a no-cry method for her since I cannot deal with hearing my baby crying it out. I intend to do the same with Xander but let’s just be real here, I’m too lazy or tired to do so. I know I have to eventually do it and will share my experience here – when that will be is yet to be answered.

His daytime naps are only 30-45 minutes long. If he sleeps an hour, that’s a miracle! For his bedtime routine, I’m currently nursing him to sleep and every time he wakes, my default response is to place him on the breast and use it as a pacifier. I know this is a negative sleep association, but I’m too exhausted to try something new. Does anyone feel me in this?!

Sleep chart
Courtesy of parents.com

Mums, how did you sleep train? And for those who didn’t, did your child eventually soothe themselves to sleep? Mummies of two or more, how was the experience for each of your children? I’d love to hear from you so comment below.

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9 thoughts on “Sleep training: what works?

  1. Ndindi

    I didn’t sleep train with my first, but for some reason, the twons are learning to self soothe which is great… We are having 2 dream feeds a night now🙌… I’d love to sleep train them without torturing them (read as CIO)

  2. I’m a new mummy. 7 weeks now. Im using a book by Gina Ford “contened little baby to train. IIt’s exhaisting and honest sometimes I just want to give up and feed on demand but I remember the benefits at the end of the day are for all of us. It works most times. My baby only wakes up once a night and usually takes 3 , 1.5 to 2.5 hour naps a day at different times. I have never keshad coz the programme helps you not to have an overtired baby which leads to the kesha.

    1. Congratulations on your new baby!

      I also have Gina Ford’s book. Got it when I had my first born. I took it with a pinch of salt though and only used it as a guide for sleep routines. Both my children have fed on demand. I’m glad it’s working for you – keep going! 🙂

  3. My twins started sleeping on their own since 8 months old because they I don’t have to breast feed them to sleep. When, they wake up during the night, they would go to sleep by themselves but their younger brother is different, he wouldn’t sleep on his own and always want to be fed back to sleep. I want to start training him to go back to sleep on his own and go to sleep without breast

  4. Sleep trained from 3 months! Took him 4 days to get the drift! Slept thru the night at 4 months with no dream feed. Slept from 7pm to 7pm…he is almost 8 months ne he is still sleeping thru the night! Raisng him is such bliss n so much order n free time! God bless routines! #contentmummy

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