So, Liam is about 10.5 months now, and I’ve still been reading up on articles about baby sleep, sleep training, best sleep practices, and any other combination of words that will help me teach Liam how to sleep through the night, and go to sleep on his own. Nothing I have found has worked for us.
I’ve been a firm believer since pregnancy that for Liam and myself, the Cry It Out method just wasn’t going to be something we did. As the months of no solid sleep rolled on though, I tried it for a couple nights when he was around 6-7 months, which is when they say a baby is ready to learn through that method. Long story short: I just couldn’t do it. Liam hated it, obviously, because his whole routine changed, but I also think he just wasn’t ready for it, and his personality isn’t a good fit for it. I had lots of people around me telling me he just needs to cry, or he needs you to let him figure it out, etc. For some babies, I think that could be completely true, but for Liam it wasn’t. And. That’s okay. I am his Mama and I learned that I know what is going to work for the two of us. Liam isn’t all of these other kiddos. He is his own little person. So, that meant that Liam would get rocked to sleep before bedtime, when he would wake up to eat in the night we would have a little snuggle time (sometimes a long, long snuggle time…) and then he would go back into his crib. It meant that some nights went better than others, but I knew that having him and us get lets sleep wasn’t going to make anything easier. We did what we felt was best.
I would say this pattern of a couple wake ups a night went on from 6/7 months until just about 10. At his 9 month check up, our Dr. told us that we could cut out Liam’s middle of the night feeding. Up until this point he was genuinely waking up hungry in the night, so I continued to feed him. Once I stated working on cutting out that night feeding Liam’s sleep really progressed. He had been having a night or so a week of really good nights, so I don’t think it was all due to the feeding being cut out, but I’m sure it helped. Within about 3 weeks Liam went from 1-2 wake ups in the night needing to eat/at least be with me to maybe 1 wake up, and just needing to be given a quick hug, and his nuk. He now has been doing much better being put down and soothing himself to sleep.
The moral of my story here is this: Your baby is going to sleep through the night when they are ready. I don’t believe that there is a magic age when you can force your child to understand that when they go into their crib it’s time to stay in there until 6:30 am the next day. Yes, we waited a lot longer to do something about his sleep than some parents, but that’s because they, and we, know our own kiddos the best. I truly think that Liam’s temperament and personality just needed more of a check in during the night until he was more independent and confident in himself. If you want to do Cry It Out, a Non-Cry it Out Method, or just enjoy as many baby cuddles as you can get it’s okay. What’s going to be most successful with your child is what you and they are comfortable with. They will sleep through the night, and they will understand it. Just maybe not as quickly as we may think.
From one tired Mama to another: I hope you trust your instincts, and hopefully get some needed sleep!