I’m almost afraid to post lest I jinx it.. but last night Jasper didn’t make a PEEP!

Sure, he woke up to have his usual 1am and 4 am snacks, but he whined a little, ate and then went right back down.  The amazing part is that between those feedings we didn’t hear from him at all!!! No crying in his sleep, no thrashing around, NADA.

This is a miraculous development. So much so that I fear its some sort of crazy aberration. Even if he’s quiet from bedtime until his 1am snack he usually cries intermittently (in his sleep) until 4am and then from about 4am until 7am he is so restless that one of us has to have him sleep on our chest just so we can comfort him before he wakes himself up.

Last night he even slept through from 4-7:15 am when he woke up for the day!

I’m sure that with our luck we’ll have one or two nights of this and then BAM the four month wakeful period will hit. Or maybe it already has?

As much as he’s been sleeping better, he’s been fighting being PUT to sleep tooth and nail.  Our normal routine was to swaddle him, put the pacifier in and either bounce on the exercise ball or rock him in the glider until he fell asleep. It used to take him about 30 seconds to 5 minutes depending on how tired he was.

But over the past week it’s been 30 minutes to 90 minutes of trying to get him to go down no matter HOW tired he is.

And the rocking/bouncing thing has got to stop because as Jasper is getting heavier it is killing our backs.  I couldn’t even do it for more than 2 minutes last night.

So we now need to seriously start looking into some sort of sleep training which I dread because all of the ones that work seem to involve some sort of CIO (Crying it out.) I can’t stand him crying for a minute, let alone 10 or 15!

I still feel like he’s a bit young for sleep training, but I also know we physically can’t go on how we’ve been going.  And then later (or at the same time?) we’re also going to have to start breaking the swaddle because he  barely fits into his miracle blanket anymore.  The idea of putting him in a crib unswaddled and awake (but sleepy) and expecting him to go to sleep seems so preposterous.  Can it really work?

Please share your sleep training experiences.. we’re going to need all the help we can get!

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tryingin2007 says:

wow!I have a lot of catching up to do with your blog (and everyone else’s.) yikes.
I am a HUGE fan of the EASY method (the baby whisperer.) we finally (touch wood) have a pattern that we all can live by. I have to say that when ginny is in “daycare” her schedule get’s a bit screwy.
our routine at night is bathtime around 9 pm followed by a small bottle (size depending on last feed.) I bundle her up in her sleep sack, put on the rainforest soother, crank up the ocean noise machine, put the pacifier in her mouth and down she goes. she’ll fuss for a few moments but she is usually so relaxed from the bath that she’s asleep in no time. like 5 minutes.
between 3-4 am she starts to stir. I get up and put the pacifier in her mouth over and over again. she then sleeps until 5:30 or so and finally she comes into bed with me and we get up around 7-7:30. last weekend it was even 9 am!
I hope this helps. sleeping happens to be my favorite hobby. I cannot get enough of it!

Anna says:

Find a “baby whisperer”..sounds crazy but it worked for me. I asked around until I found one. Nothing I read or was advised worked for me or Sebastian…I am over in Australia otherwise I would give you her number but I’ve recommended this pathway to a couple of friends who live in different places around the world and eventually they found someone through word of mouth as did I. My “baby whisperer” (or “miracle of the universe” as I ended up calling her, street name Ruth) came and stayed two days and a night and then did some follow up night work. It was great to have a third party work with my husband and me…I didn’t realise how truly stressed we both were and having someone with us was very reassuring and also gave us a bit of a fresh perspective on it all. Ruth looked and listened to our bub and watched how Sebastian responded to what we were doing and then made some recommendations and then SHOWED us how to do it and it WORKED!! It was so good to have hands on help rather than just listen to someone and then go home alone and try and work it out. Lack of sleep and being my first baby made me feel incredibly useless and having an “expert” who wasn’t going anywhere and who was going to see what Seb was like in action was reassuring. I also think that an individualised approach was needed. Now I have baby no#2 and I can see the signs I missed before. Good luck, I really hope you will be able to find something or someone that helps. xa

Sarah says:

Yes it does work IF your willing to make the effort. Our first didnt’ sleep through the night until he was 6 months! I did the cry it out and it took literally the weekend to have him sleep through the night. My hubby doesn’t like the crying either, but I muddled through knowing we would all sleep better once he slept through the night.Your life will be a lot calmer once you establish the bedtime routine.
Does he wake up for his 1am feeding? Remember that this is all new to you and I commmend you on actually asking for suggestions and help for this. Its hard to ask for help, but I really hope that you’ll be able to find something that works for you and your family. Thoughts and Prayers, Sarah

Melanie says:

We followed the baby whisperer’s method of tank feeding and dream feeding. It totally worked. We started it at 8 weeks and she was STTN 9 days later. We continued to swaddle her until about 3.5 months, and when she started waking up in the night busted out of it, we decided it was time to stop swaddling cold turkey. Much to my surprise, she still STTN! Now the only trouble I have with her are naps. Somewhere around 7-8 months she decided she hates napping!

Stephanie says:

Chloe was a champion sleeper – we didn’t have to do a thing. Ginger is a terrible sleeper, no matter what we do. I did find a few helpful tips in the “No Cry Sleep Solution.”

How old is Jasper now? Around four months, Ginger went from having to be swaddled to go to sleep to HATING to be swaddled. Seemed to happen overnight for her. It took us several days to figure out, but when we stopped swaddling her, she went down much more easily – she just seemed to reach the point that she decided it was more comfy to stretch out than it was to be bundled up. Don’t know Jasper’s opinion on the subject, but you could give it a try. :-)

ariana says:

Sounds like the bedtime routine is a key component. We started doing this with J and kind of gave up because if he wasn’t “sleepy” he wouldn’t go down after our routine and if he was he was too overtired already and didn’t need it. Sounds like we need to revive it again!

jbhat says:

Swaddle Designs makes a great blanket for swaddling. It’s a big square, so it’s the perfect size. I know the woman who developed it, and you can buy them online. Plus they are adorable–white, with tiny polka dots.

My other advice is to just always have a consistent bedtime routine with him, one that will last even when he’s not nursing, swaddling, etc. Our kiddo is a fantastic go to bedder because we have always done the same thing every night and he just knows what to expect from the comforting routine.

Bath–even a quick one for the warmth and soothingness (and he’s graduated to me giving him a handheld shower now)
Toothbrushing–good to start even when there maybe are no teeth to brush
Stories–just 2 or 3–always read on the same couch
Songs–the same 2 songs every night.
Say good night to house–to the same things in the house, to the moon, etc.
Into bed
Say I’ll stay for 3 minutes and then count them down (usually never a full minute for each).
good night and I love you!

It works so well for us. Good luck, Ariana.

ariana says:

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences!

Marybeth, yes, Jasper does take a pacifier.. I’m also thinking of getting him a wubbinub so he can hold it in his mouth easier, though like yours he does sometimes get it back in there. Does your son still fit into the leg part of the miracle blanket?

Chantal, great idea about the DIY swaddle blanket. Will try that if operation unswaddle fails!

Hayley, glad to know the sleep easy solution works. Incidentally I used to work at the publishing company that publishes that book :)

Hayley says:

We used “The Sleep Easy Solution” book when Noah was 6m old. Its a mild method of CIO. Worked like a charm. While it is difficult to let your baby cry…I just think of the fact that learning to sooth themselves is a lifelong lesson that will go a long way in helping them to be happy and confident in life. I think one of the most important things you can teach your baby is to be able to put themselves to sleep…both at the start of the night and if the awake in the middle of the night. I find it makes naptime much less of a struggle as they get a “will of their own” later on.

Oh, I so dread the day my baby grows out of the Miracle Blanket. He’s 5 months now, and is breaking out of it a few times a week. When he’s in, he sleeps so good. When he’s out, he’s immediately awake and crying.

Does Jasper take a pacifier? My baby is starting to realize his is at the end of the ribbon on a clip, and he’s getting it in his mouth sometimes. I’m hoping that when we have to abandon the Miracle Blanket, he’ll be able to find his pacifier on his own.

Christine Gray says:

Hello! I have posted a few times before and I wanted to share my experience. My son was similar with his sleep habits but with out the severe GI problems. He had lots of issues with gas and poop (pooped once a week for the first four months) and seemed to always be in constant pain. Our cure was the Happiest Baby on the Block (HBOB)just as you have been doing. Swaddle super tight, bounce on ball for anywhere from 1-10 minutes. Same thing happened about 3-4 months. Our routine took longer and longer and longer. Finally we used the Ferber method. I won’t lie. It was awful. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But the truth is – IT WORKS!! After 3 or 4 hellish nights it got easier and easier. Now at 12 months, he goes down on his own, sucking his thumb or jabbering to himself. He’s been doing this since he was about 4 1/2 months old and I tell ya what, it has made us all a little bit more sane! Good luck! ~Christine

Chantal says:

I just went through all this with Annora. First, I tried not swaddling her because she was too tall for the miracle blanket – bad idea! What I did was buy two lengths of material with a bit of stretch in it, and I swaddle her in one of those for the night. It really helps, and because I went to the fabric store instead of buying something fancy pre-made, it was super cheap. I say give that a try, just be sure to tuck the fabric under his body the way you would with the inner flaps on the miracle blanket so he doesn’t wiggle out of it.

We did a mild CIO method with Annora. I couldn’t stand the thought of letting her cry, and the first night she cried for about an hour and it was awful. But the next day she had three long naps in her crib (her longest nap before that was 20 minutes in her swing) and was so well rested and happy it was like I had a different baby. She’s still up approx. every two hours during the night, but she’s a real lightweight (only 11 lb 10 oz at her 4 month appointment) that I don’t think I can help that much. We’ve started giving her a bottle of formula at the beginning of the night to help her to sleep for a longer stretch, and it’s helped get her weight up a bit since that was a concern.

CIO methods SUCK but I’m so glad we tried it. She’s falling asleep within 10 minutes now whereas before it would sometimes take 90 minutes to get her to relax and fall asleep. And it’s given us a bit of our evenings back too, finally!

Bri says:

I rocked and cradled my first daughter for far to long. I needed a break. Unfortunately when I read the much praised ‘Happiest Baby on the Block”, the advice given was that if the baby was beyond four months old (which she was) that it was probably too late. I felt that my only option was to allow her to cry it out. I felt huge pressure from other moms and from the trend of the day that by doing this I would certainly be doing irreversible damage to her.
I had such anxiety on the days leading to the night we decided to start.
You know, it took her two nights to get the idea of it. I used the “Ferberizaton Method’ which I liked because I could go and check every 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 etc. Most important was the routine leading up to bedtime. She is now 2.5yrs, I also did this method with my now 1 year old. Keeping in mind that both my daughters were in relative good health, I definitely feel for Jasper’s sensitivities.
There’s ample information on this method if it sounds like something you could do. My sister-in-law found it helpful to leave the house and go for a walk when she was trying this, her husband could stand the crying a bit more than she could.
Of course you have to do what seems ‘right’ to you regardless of the advice of others. I found it helpful to remind myself that eventually everyone sleeps and that I wouldn’t be doing this for my daughters when they were 12, eventually they will be able to sleep on their own.
Much love. Bri