Now before I say anything about how I accomplished this, just know that I had long sleepless nights and I even weaned my baby (slowly) from breastfeeding at night. Just know that this method is what works best for me and honestly it does get better!
The minute we got home from the hospital we attempted to teach Lennon to sleep in his crib (small crib next to our bed) and we tried for about two weeks but then we quickly realized he wasn’t going to sleep on his own. I don’t know if it was the fact that his crib was pretty big or uncomfortable but we tried all sort of swaddles, and in the end swaddling did help some but literally Lennon wanted to be touching me. It was fine in the beginning but for a while, David slept on the couch and finally we all slept together. For about 5 months he slept fine between David and I because I would nurse him to sleep and I even slept through it! I don’t care if it was “Dangerous” so I followed my motherly instinct and NOTHING bad ever happened.
Everything started changing at 5-6 months when Lennon started waking up at night and always wanting to comfort feed and even wanting to play! David and I were both losing sleep and I was especially losing a lot of sleep that it got to the point that I wanted to pull my hair out! I was constantly trying to keep Lennon asleep and quiet so David could get rest. I finally researched ways to solve my problem. (At this time I was even getting up to pump 2 times at night) I legit was losing my mind, I started feeling so vulnerable and I know it wasn’t Lennon’s fault but mine.
So here is what I did:
I slowly introduced a schedule.
I searched different schedules that other mothers on Pinterest posted. I went off of that and the baby cues. At first nothing was working. I even reached out to my other fellow mom friends and they told me that I just needed to let Lennon cry it out and he will sleep through the night. As much as I wanted to believe that this method would work, I felt guilty and wrong to do something like this.
Finally I decided to move Lennon to his nursery and in his own crib. This was the hardest time I have ever gone through. I say this because I was separating my baby from us and I felt guilty. I just knew that I had to stick to it because I needed my sleep and bed back! I knew that if he could just learn how to self-soothe he wouldn’t wake up so much at night. I think it’s totally true that your baby senses you are in the same room and therefor they want you. I think its pure instinct to do so and when I moved him, it was a game changer.
I purchased a few items to make things easier and I truly believe that it aided us to be able to get him to sleep on his own. The first thing was a rocking chair. I don’t know why I didn’t even get one or put one in my registry from the beginning but I actually still use it today!! I also purchased the Dohm white noise machine and Munchkin Vibrating pad for his nursery.
I started rocking him to sleep after nursing or bottle-feeding him and he fell right asleep but it started getting more difficult to get him to sleep on his own as well. I personally think this helped him get used to his room but didn’t allow him to fall asleep on his own. I finally stopped rocking him and nursing him completely at 7 months. I began to place him on his crib laying down and bottle feeding him until he fell asleep and handing him his pacifier for soothing. Lennon did not like me leaving him in his bed alone and he would cry and wouldn’t give up. I felt like it was never ending crying and knew that I would be able to get him to go to sleep without CRYING!
Overtime he would get up and cry but I wouldn’t say anything. I just picked him up and put him down again with his pacifier. This method I knew he would know that I am serious and that I am still there. Lennon slowly caught on and was able to soothe himself to sleep.
He still wakes up once or twice throughout the night but is able to fall asleep fairly quickly after a 2 oz bottle or pacifier. He is 9 months now and is able to sleep 6 plus hours without waking up. Currently, I am in the process of eliminating night time feedings but it is slowly getting there!
The white noise maker is the most amazing thing ever because it blocks house noises! I highly recommend you get one if you have a noisy house! It doesn’t block everything but somehow people get better sleep with one. You seriously don’t need an expensive one but I knew I wanted a good brand so that's why I went with the Dohm machine.
The vibrating pad was useless because it was battery operated and it killed my batteries very quickly. I seriously think that once it shut off Lennon would wake up so I immediately stopped using it.
I honestly feel more powerful knowing that I was able to get Lennon to sleep on his own by 7-8 months and without having him CRYING IT OUT!
All you mamas out there: It gets better and you don’t have to let your baby cry it out. Just keep trying and don’t give up! Even when you feel like the world is crashing all around you and your baby won’t let you sleep, just know that it will get better!!
You can purchase these items here: