August 19, 2018

Mom Talk Monday: Our Sleep Training Experience

Happy Monday!  I hope you guys had a great weekend!  We actually had two date nights which was such a treat.  Is anyone else so excited to get back into a routine?  Coco starts school this week and getting our family back on a solid routine will be so nice.  I feel like we had an amazing Summer and threw all schedules and routines out the window so it's time to get back on track.
Giraffe Print: Home Goods/ Crib: Pottery Barn Kids/ Rug: Wayfair/ Bedding: Pottery Barn Kids: Bumper (on sale)/ Crib Sheet (on sale- these are the SOFTEST)

Speaking of getting back on track, as I'm sure you know from my Insta Stories, we've been in the thick of sleep training Griffin.  I always wished that I had children that naturally fell into a sleep rhythm but I don't.  One of the main reasons I feel this way, is because I am not emotionally or mentally equipped to handle the work that it requires to sleep train little ones.  #mentallyweak

I listen to my friends with envy when they talk about how their kids have "always just been great sleepers"...or "started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks".  With Coco, I finally sleep trained her at 17 months and it was a constant work in progress until she was about 3 years old.  We hired Melissa, from SleepShop OC to help us with her and also hired her again to help us with Griffin.  Melissa has exactly the type of personality I need to walk me through this process.  She is equally firm and compassionate. She also has 4 babies of her own and has helped thousands of little ones sleep through the night.

For starters, Griffin was sleeping in our bed starting at around 7 months when he got too big for the SNOO.  I cannot tell you how much I used to judge people who would sleep with their babies.  I basically felt like they were voluntarily putting their babies in danger.  Coco never slept in our bed - not even once because I felt so strongly against co-sleeping.  Isn't it funny how things work out?  Here I was...sleeping in bed with Griffin for 4 months after all of the sh#t I talked about people who did that.  To be honest, I really loved it.  The snuggles in the middle of the night were so special and hearing him breath next to me in the wee hours was heavenly.  It never once felt dangerous and I was always aware of him next to me.  I am by NO means promoting this BUT I think you have to do what works for your family and it just worked for us.  Once he started to really move, it began to tip the danger scale and the week he learned to crawl, I hired Melissa.  My goals were to transition him into his crib and get one long stretch (over 7 hours) of sleep. We decided together to keep one night feeding (for my milk supply and the snuggles).  Keep in mind, when we started, Griffin was nursed, rocked or walked in his stroller to sleep and he was waking 4-6 times per night and napping once (maybe twice) each day- always at a different time.  Bedtime was around 8:30 PM. We had all sorts of issues!

Melissa has several packages to choose from based upon your needs.  You fill out a detailed questionnaire so she can really get to know how your family operates and any sleep crutches you have (we had a lot! Lol). We discussed our goals, and decided on a two week package where she provides a day by day plan (including meals (solids and milk), nap times, bedtime routines among so much more.  Melissa is there for you via text and phone NON STOP during the two weeks (or the length of your package).  She called it unlimited access.  And I'm not going to lie, I texted her a LOT during our two weeks.  I'm the type of person that needs a lot of support when it comes to something like this and that for me, was invaluable.  I felt like she understood my limits and respected the fact that I was a big baby when it comes to change for my kiddos. I printed out my 4 page plan and my favorite part was reading this:

"Remember, you are his Mom and Dad.  I can give you direction but don't want you going totally outside of what you feel comfortable with.  So be honest with me if it is not working for you or we need to change things up a bit.  It will get better over time.  I promise." I just felt so much comfort in the fact that I would never be totally out of my comfort zone.

We started night one on a Thursday and I have to say, for the first two nights, Griffin did really well!  I was so proud of him (and me!).  Nights 3 and 4 were the worst for us. It doesn't always happen that way according to Melissa but they were pretty awful in that there was the most crying on those days and nights.  By day 5, I was seeing the LIGHT.  He was napping consistently and hardly crying at ALL when we put him down!  It was truly incredible to see this evolution...he woke up so happy, waving at all of the animal pictures in his room!  He was sleeping longer stretches every single night.  It felt like a miracle.  Every morning, I texted Melissa about the night before and she gave me a specific plan for the following night.  It felt so empowering to have a plan for each day and night!

So where are we at?  Our two weeks finished yesterday and Griffin is happily taking two naps a day, sleeps from 7PM-6:30/7AM and hardly cries when he's being put to bed. He wakes up once per night for a feeding and Melissa will work with me to drop that feeding when I'm ready.   The best part for me is having a daily routine again!  I know what each day will look like and have gained my bedroom back among hours to myself each evening.  I feel happier, less anxious and proud of him and I.  Was it hard? YES.  Was it worth it? 1000%.  I cannot recommend Melissa or SleepShop OC enough and am so grateful I found her.  If any of you use her, tell her I sent you!  I promise, it is worth it and you can do it. Did you sleep train your babies?  Or do you need to?  I'd love to hear!  As always, thank you so much for following along! xo





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