A Journey Through Sleep Learning

well, i bought the book.

and this time, i even read the book
(okay, i am, admittedly about 88% through it)

and we tried it out.

Day One – Wednesday – just so happened to be the same day that Baby B had his 4mo check up (75th percentile across the board, thankyouverymuch!) which also came with two shots.

AJ and I were chatting about our tactics on this sleep training learning hill to climb, and how we were going to be a team, because making your baby cry is not a task to attempt on your own.

over lunch, i asked if we should start — “tonight” or in two days (a friday) so that we could spend the whole weekend on it (training learning).

AJ’s response: “i don’t know why you didn’t start this days ago,when you first mentioned it

so that was that. i vowed to suck it up and start that evening.

7:45pm, Baby B was rubbing his eyes and acting tired. “This is it!” i thought to myself. So i rocked him, read a book and put him down.

total. utter. frustration. (on both our parts)

The book says to go in after 5 minutes.

then go in again after another 10 minutes.

then go in again after another 15 minutes.

then 15 minute intervals after that until the babers is asleep. “Most babies only cry about one hour the first night” says the book.

ONE HOUR? that’s a lifetime.

at one point, i say to AJ “are we sure this is a good idea?” and he says, ‘My vote would have been to start this on Friday”…

Really? Really! (i’ll revert you the luncheon conversation held previously)

well, about 75 minutes in, i just can’t take it. “What if he is crying because his legs hurt?” i ask myself. he did have two shots today… so up i go, and pick up my baby boy and rock him for a wee bit. all the while thinking, “is this bad?”, “is this against what i am supposed to do?”, “he’s my baby! i can hold him if i want to!”

he calmed down. i calmed down, and we started again.

well, in retrospect, i might as well start that clock over at ZERO…

in total – the first night brought almost two hours of crying, and intermittent crying throughout the night, with me waking up at 4am to feed him – because he must be hungry!! (should have read more of the book, huh?!)

well, we were happy to wake up to a sweet and smiley little boy the next morning. so far, we didn’t break him. (hopefully, his therapy bills aren’t too large, one day!)

Day Two – Thursday – waited for the night time signs, and tried to make bedtime by 8:15ish. also made more of an effort to put the baby down drowsy instead of wide awake, as may have been an issue on Day One.

Mommy stays just out of earshot, so as not to self-destruct. Daddy seems to be able to hear crying while watching NCAA Football, so he is much stronger than Mommy.

total cry time = about 27 minutes.

Day Three – Friday – i put him down, and i don’t know what i did wrong, but he cries for about 53 minutes. my first thought, “we are going backwards, here, people!”… but i try to stay strong and stick with it.

Day Four – Saturday – though AJ has to work, neither Baby B, nor I have to be up for anything, so we both take the opportunity to sleep in until 8am! (pardon me, while i insert some extra “!!!” here!) and, this is the day that i vow we will stick close to home and work on the nap-time sleep learning, in an effort to make this a 24-hour thing.

nap one, i catch him headed toward sleepyville, and whisk him up to his crib. lay him down, say “it’s time to nap, Sweet Boy!” and float out of the room.

I believe the txt msg i sent to AJ said, “Nap #1, not a peep”

oh, but he peeped about 30 minutes in. i considered this a minor victory, rescued him, and enjoyed some Saturday playtime.

I also wanted to fit in one tiny errand between naps… so we headed out- and wouldn’t you know it- on the drive home – as i drive out of the parking lot, i look back and he’s sleeping like a, well, baby. shoot.

so we go home, and i think – “he needs to be in his crib” – so i get him out of his car seat, and of course he wakes up, but i transfer to crib… yikes!

txt msg to AJ “nap #2 went down quiet, then cried for just under 10 minutes”…. later that night, AJ pointed out that i probably should have just let him sleep in the carseat…. (this must be the “learning” part of Sleep Learning – and it’s more for the Mama than the Babers.)

nap three, if my memory serves, he fell asleep while eating, and i ended up holding him.

i am a bad mom, huh?

i really don’t care – he’s my Sweet Boy!

that night- i laid him down – mind you, we were dealing with Daylight Savings… what was I thinking?!… and he cried for five minutes. so i went in for my 30-second-or-less check-in which sent him in to a very frustrated cry (no me gusta!)… but then, by the time i got back down the stairs, he was quiet… almost as if he needed to let out that last squeal to fully fall asleep.

Day Five – Sunday – naps went semi-okay. i blame the time change. (that’s a reasonable enough argument, right?) and then that night – after a full day of fun – i laid him down – and he cried for a bit – i went in after five minutes and simply said, as calmly as possible, “sweetie, it’s time for bed. i love you, but it’s time to go to sleep now.” and it was as if he said, ‘Okay, Mama…” and rolled his head away from me and closed his eyes.


middle of the night, he woke up and started to cry. i waited five minutes and then walked in and said roughly the same thing… quiet.


Day Six – Yesterday – at bed time, we did the whole routine – rocked, read a few sweet books, he rubbed his eyes… so i said, ‘It’s time for bed, sweetie. i love you!” laid him in his crib.


not a peep.

just one sleepy boy.


i fully understand that this is a process, and there will be times when we take steps backwards (probably tonight, now that i am writing this!)… but maybe, just maybe, it’s working.

and oh! what a happy boy he is when he wakes up so well-rested….

and oh! what a happy Mommy and Daddy!

PS – i just heard from my mom that she tried it for a nap, and he went down without a peep and slept for a whole hour… Christmas came early!


One thought on “A Journey Through Sleep Learning

  1. Sleep training was my least favorite part of having a baby. With Sarah, something clicked with her at 5 months and she has been a great sleeper since. Lauren is now 3 and does not sleep through the night on a consistent basis. I never have been able to figure her out. All the tricks that worked with Sarah, did not work with her. At this point I do a lot of crying it out. As a mom, you get to know their cries. I can tell if there is something really wrong or if she just wants me to come up and see about her for no reason. Good luck and I hope the sleep thing has clicked for him. Maybe you can come and try your magic on Lauren. Momma is tired after 3 years!

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