The Story of How Mister NoSleeps Found His Sleep – Our Take on Sleep Training

There once was a little boy, let’s call him Jackson, who refused to sleep alone. Here is how we used sleep training to finally get some rest.  Most nights our sweet little boy refused to sleep at all. This made for plenty of rough days and nights. Naps were unheard of and contrary to popular belief, and all photos, little Jackson was a very very cranky boy-as was his momma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first month of Jackson’s life was spent in his mommas bed. This was where he felt like home. If his mom could go back and change some things, she would have started putting him in his crib from day one and never co-slept. Well, somewhere between three and four months she started putting little baby Jackson in his crib. He loved it! He was sleeping so well and so was his momma. Jackson would wake up around two a.m. every morning for a feeding and go back to sleep in his little crib. The problem, there, was that he would love to fall asleep nursing. The crib was still raised up so his momma would place him back in his crib without waking him. He became attached and unable to fall asleep on his own. Well, this worked well until little baby Jackson got his first cold and an eye infection in December, at six months old. He then started sleeping in his mommas bed-again! This worked well because he could feed on demand and loved to cuddle. He also didn’t move around much so it was a great arrangement at the time.

Mister No Sleep and his dad

January 1st came and Jackson’s little personality exploded. He started sitting up, crawling, standing, cruising, eating solids. His whole little world changed. With these changes came another major change- the lowering of the crib.

The crib. His safety net. His quiet place. His happy place. The crib became the baby- jail. He completely rejected it and decided to hate it.

 

 

 

 

So poor sweet little baby Jackson stayed in his momma’s bed. He stopped sleeping. He just wanted to feed and feed. He would crawl all over his parents-disrupting all the sleeps

So one night, after a night of constant nursing and being a human pacifier… Jackson’s poor sweet sweet momma had had enough. She put him in his crib and walked away.

Oh boy was baby Jackson angry. He was down right upset with his momma. How dare she!

Well, as fate would have it, the world decided to fall apart. Jackson’s room began to flood. It started as a little drip and suddenly sounded like a rain forrest in there-and smelled like it too! There was so much water coming from above! You’re probably thinking, “Wow this is crazy, pics or it didn’t happen.” As you wish….

 

I promise you this story does get better…

Off to mom and dad’s bed he went. He slept happily while mom and dad slept pretty miserably for the next four days while repairs took place. During this time his momma worked on ending this whole sleep nursing business. Within a few days our sweet sweet boy didn’t fall asleep on the boob anymore. On the fifth day, the plan was for Jackson to be put back into his babyjail… I mean sweet sweet cozy crib.

And so we did. Thankfully my husband wasn’t home. He’s a little girl when it comes to crying and angry babies.

Night One: 

Little Jackson was rubbing his eyes and feeling tired around 7:30 p.m., so off to bed he went. He cried for a sad sad sad forty-five minutes. His momma kept going back into his room to check on him, rubbing his back and cute little head. Little Jackson woke up once more an hour later and soothed himself back to sleep within a couple of minutes. One thing you probably don’t know about little Jackson is that he is a fighter. He just doesn’t give up. His momma is hoping he mellows out a little by the time he turns two. Our happy little dude slept until 6:30 a.m..

 

 

Night Two: 

Little sadness reaching for his momma. Don’t worry, she tucked his little arm back in once he was in dreamland.

Around 7:30 p.m., like clockwork, Jackson began to rub his cute little eyes. His momma talked to him about going to sleep, fed him (making sure to keep him awake), and off to bed he went. This time, baby Jackson only cried for a couple of minutes before going to sleep on his own. The momma did go back inside to check on him and ended up waking him up! (!!!) Jackson cried for just a few more minutes before falling asleep for the night.

Our little babe did end up waking up around 4 a.m. and after a minute of crying (the momma made sure to watch the clock), he was in dream land again.

He woke up at 8 a.m. well-rested, hungry, and ready for his day. The momma managed to snap this picture when she realized it was nearly 8 a.m. and he hadn’t awakened yet. Rest assured, she ran to his nursery and smiled at this sight. He was fast asleep snoring away. A few minutes later he woke.  And that’s the story of how Mister NoSleep was of no more.

 


How We Used Sleep Training to End Those Sleepless Nights


We did a lot of research online. Really. We did so much. It was exhausting and sad in a way.

We found that sleep training is just code for crying it out until baby learns to sleep on his own. 

While I did do sleep training with my oldest, it wasn’t called sleep training back then. It was just called doing what the doctor recommended. I really did let him cry it out though… this time around we didn’t really do that-we did a version of crying it out but not the same as I did with my first.

Our version of sleep training and letting him cry it out was just letting him cry for a few minutes and then checking on him. I would pick him up if he was very very upset, hug him, tell him I love him and that it’s time for sleep. Then I would lay him down and give him his blanky for snuggling. I would rub his back and pet his head so that he knew he wasn’t alone. I listened to his body and was sure to step away when he needed me to. He needed to learn to self sooth and for some babies that just isn’t possible with their loving mom and dad in their faces. We also prepped him for this by spending four days ending the boob-sleep ways of falling asleep. We didn’t just throw him to the wolves.

How did you get your little one to fall asleep on their own?

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3 Comments

  • Krysta February 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

    How did you end nursing to sleep? Your son sounds exactly like my son (similar circumstances and age) and we will be starting sleep training this weekend. Thank you!

    Reply
    • The Kitchen Sinkk February 22, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Hi Krysta!

      Ending the whole ‘nurse to sleep’ business was far from fun. It took three days (so if you start now, your son should be ready by this weekend-hopefully). It involved letting him cry it out, in my arms, and not allowing him to fall asleep while eating. Now he won’t nurse to sleep at all and just gets restless until I place him in his bed. (This really is a blessing.. a sad bittersweet blessing but a blessing nonetheless.)

      I fed him and kept him awake… I would take away the boob whenever he would start to fall asleep. I made sure to talk to him and try to play a little while eating to help him stay awake. Just constantly engaging with him during his feedings. (I don’t do this anymore- well sometimes.. but I don’t need to do it if you catch my drift. He would finish feeding and not know what to do with himself. He would cry and cry in my arms. I just held him and tried to soothe him in every other way possible. He once cried for an hour in my arms-I have a stubborn little guy. I just held him, sang to him, talked to him, anything I could think of besides giving him the boob or walking him around the house (another hard habit to break.. so we didn’t want to cure this habit with another difficult one). He eventually- it took us three days- stopped falling asleep while nursing and stopped needing to nurse in order to fall asleep. Once that part was over, I could put him in his crib and work on sleep training him. Taking away the boob was the hardest part.

      One thing we didn’t do but wish we had was to try to help him form another bond with something besides my boob while we were breaking to nursing to sleep cycle. I recommend a small teddy or a little blanky. Just keep it near by when you are feeding (have him cuddle it a little if he’s willing). He should form a little bond with it or at least know it to be familiar. Then when he’s in his crib you can keep the blanket with him and the crib wont be as scary of a place anymore. My son really hated his crib because it was such an unfamiliar place for him. We started hanging out in his room more and I have a special blanky for him (we have a few for laundry rotation reasons and he doesn’t seem to mind when we switch-he more loves the softness than a specific blanket).

      I really hope this helps. Please remember that I’m not an expert and that every baby is different. Your little one may be fine after a day or may take a week to break the nursing to sleep habit. A lot of this involved me staying strong and that was probably the hardest part. Now that he sleeps the night and in his own bed, we have a much happier baby and momma. Please let me know how this works out for you!

      -Monica

      Reply
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        Reply

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