I know, I know... SUCH a controversial topic here! but if you bare with me, I’ll explain the whys whats’ and the iffs’ behind our decision to sleep train.
Being a health and wellness blog, the subject of sleep can not be left out.
There is new research coming out all the time about the affects of sleep on our health, it impacts our hormones, our metabolism, our cognitive abilities ext.. in short, here is no good health without good sleep. Bold statement, but there really really isn’t.. Its as simple as that, some will speculate that good quality sleep is more important than nutrition, I don’t know about that but I am now absolutely positive that all the research is indicating that without good quality sleep ( emphasis on quality not just quantity) we won’t be able to achieve the great health we desire for ourselves and our young ones.
Now that I have explained where I am coming from, here is a bit of background story.
When I was pregnant for the first time, my husband and I decided that we will NOT be letting Jack cry himself to sleep even if its for 5 minutes , we resonated in theory with a lot of attachment parenting techniques, we baby wear, cuddle, kiss, and hold our son all the time, we give him as much love as we possibly can. We knew we will not be bed sharing for several reasons, but we also have decided to not sleep train.
Everything was going great for the first 3 months, Jack was a dream child, he fell asleep easily, and only work up twice a night to nurse very briefly and fall asleep again, I did lots of reading about sleep habits, so we kept a good schedule, and a good routine, we made sure he wasn’t getting overtired, we were in sleep heaven, until growth spurt happened…..
Our family lost all sleep, Jack started waking up 5-6 times a night, having one long-ish stretch in the beginning of the night - 2.5-3 hours, and then up every 40 min closer to the morning hours, and it was getting progressively worst, he could not fall asleep anymore, we tried absolutely everything except for the dreaded cry it out, but we knew things are just getting worst.
At one point we had to take a hard look at what’s going on here, put away the emotional part and look at the evidence.
The reasons why people avoid the cry it out method is because there is a theory that it will cause emotional issues, but actually there is no research to back it up, there were a few studies measuring cortisol release in babies that are being sleep trained, and it showed that there was no difference in cortisol levels, that is related to sleep, there was one related to the fact that babies where taken from their natural environment, into a sleep lab, so their cortisol – stress hormone was elevated the entire time, and not necessary surrounding sleep – and crying to sleep. With that in mind, we begun our research!
We looked at several different techniques, we knew, that if we are going to do something like that, it BETTER work, and work fast to minimize the crying as much as possible, we were not going to experiment on our kid.
IT worked lie a charm! In 2 nights, our baby was sleeping though the night!!!
I believe part of our success was that we did it fairly early, at 6 months, the longer you wait the harder it would be, and Jack was already on a schedule with a good bed time routine, we just added the one missing link, and oh glory! We sleep great, our boy is happy! And we are now expecting our second that we will sleep train as soon as possible following the same methods of the Sleep Sense program. The recommendation is to start at 4 months, and we will follow a schedule and a routine even before that, but before that happens, we will enjoy all the sleeping and cuddling as we can!!
Hope you found this post helpful!
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, concerns or objections.