Assya is 8 and a half months old.
She sleeps in her cot, next to our bed.
Many times, she takes her naps in her stroller.
When Zoard was this age, we lived in a hotel and we had to be quiet, not to disturb the guests. I did his sleep training when he was about 10 months older than Assya is now and it was horrible. He slept on a mattress and I had to prevent him of getting out of bed by laying down on the floor, in a certain pose. I remember, he pulled my hair so hard, I had to wear a hoodie when I was doing his sleep training. He was strong and furious. And he could already talk a bit and my heart and soul fought a battle through out those days.
For a year and a half, Zoard could only fall asleep with the help of my breasts. If I tried moving away from him, he would wake up. This picture, you see here, is Assya. She is being exclusively breastfed but she has a very different relationship to nursing, compared to her brother. “Nene” – as she calls it, is about eating/drinking and that is about it.
When she is in her stroller, she turns her head to the side and you can easily tell, she is about to fall asleep.
Since Assya can stand up, you cannot just put her down to sleep and hum a few melodies. She kept standing up so one had to put her back on her tummy and pat her bum until she would close her eyes. This ritual got longer and longer.
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO START SLEEP TRAINING?
I am sure that there is never a perfect time to do this.
Zoard just started kindergarten again, after a month of summer break.
Sad things happened in our family.
I started getting low moods.
I still wished to start Assya’s sleep training, because I knew that putting it off will just make it worse.
Our sleep training went like this:
Keep telling yourself that it will be super emotional (bad) and it will only get better, later IF you do not give up!
You can promise yourself a reward for each battle.
It was NIGHT time when we started the sleep training.
Here is our bed time routine:
Breast (not letting your baby fall asleep while nursing is key here)
Bag (sleeping bag)
Blinds (to make the room dark)
The first time lasted for 160 minutes!
Assya had red, swollen eyes the following day from crying so much.
During the sleep training, I had to hold her down to prevent her from standing up.
The second time lasted for 90 minutes.
I stayed at home for nap times to practice more!
A few times I got lucky because she was so tired, that she fell asleep right away.
Today is the 5th day and it took me 20 minutes to put Assya down for a nap. She does not cry any more.
Breast, Bag, Blinds…
So more specifically what we did was:
My husband entertained Zoard while I was in our bedroom with Assya. He also cooked for me as he most often does. Sometimes, we switched and I read to Zoard while he was in the bedroom with Assya (for example, when it was 2 and a half hours long to help Assya fall asleep).
I always tell Assya that it is going to be “sleepy, sleepy time”.
She lets me put on her sleeping sack and we make the room dark. She starts nursing and I sing rock-a-bye baby to her.
I put her in her cot, on her tummy. That is how she sleeps.
When we started the training, I stroked her back or patted her bum if it made her calm down. (Sometimes it did not. For example, stroking her head made her more hysterical.)
Now, I just put her down and I start humming while I lay down close to her. Then I move farther away, I sit on the floor or our bed.
I move again, so she does not get used to me being in one place.
I move close to the door. I keep humming.
I go out and either I continue humming or I stop.
At half time of her nap, she woke up yesterday and today (meaning: after 50-60 minutes) so I went back to the room. I stroked her twice and started the humming and moving farther away from her.
I noticed: she does not get up to stand up anymore. She just needs time to let her eyelids get heavier and heavier…
THANK YOU AND PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT.
On Instagram: @zoardandassya