It’s hard to believe that Cubby is 8 1/2 months already. Time is really flying by! I’ve been having a particularly difficult week as she has regressed with her sleep and is now waking up again 3 times a night for feeds. Most of my new mommy friends’ babies have been sleeping through the night for a few months now and I was doing the wait and see approach. I kept thinking, “ok, when she hits 15 lbs, she will sleep through the night” or “ok, at 7 months, she will sleep through the night”, “at 8 months, she will sleep through the night”, etc. It’s really wearing on me and I can say that not only am I exhausted and really cranky during the day, I’m frustrated beyond belief because I keep getting sick and I feel like I’m not losing weight because of stress/ no sleep. It’s a vicious cycle!
I know many moms from the beginning told me to sleep train her and let her “cry it out”. I felt so bad because she came 1 month early, was low birth weight, had jaundice, wouldn’t latch for feeding, took the bottle, didn’t take the bottle, etc . etc. I could go on and on. I felt guilty and really thought that she would eventually sleep through the night on her own as everyone else’s babies did. I also thought that once she started solids, she would be eating more and would be less hungry at night and would subsequently sleep through the nights. To my dismay, none of this happened.
I was doing sleep training at 6 months old and I had Cubby on a routine where I would put her down for naps drowsy, but awake and she would put herself to sleep. At night time, the same would happen and she would put herself to sleep. Then came Christmas and it was back to square one after 3 days of going to bed late and wrecking her routine. I was going to start sleep training her again, but then there was our trip to Mexico where she had to sleep with me in the bed because she would not sleep in the crib. Because we were on the go all day, she slept in the stroller or on the beach for naps and at different times each day. Again, the sleep schedule was out the window.
It’s been about a month since our vacation, and Cubby has regressed even more with her sleep. Part of the reason (if not all of the reason) is my inconsistency with her sleep routine. I have been reading the Sleep Site lately and they say that her nap times should be the same time every day and she should have her first two naps in her crib at home. I have been going on play dates, to Mother Goose and to appointments, so that hasn’t been the case. Also, since January, after the Christmas regression, I began nursing her to go to sleep for naps and at night. It was easier and took less time. I know I undid all of the sleep training that I had previously done as I made the sleep association for her that nursing = falling asleep. She could no longer fall asleep on her own, nor was I giving her the opportunity to do so.
Now, I am determined… determined to get rid of nursing her to sleep and to teach her again how to fall asleep on her own for naps and night time. Then my second item of business, is to wean her off of her night feeds. I think she really could go for 8 hours at night without feeding (she did it when she was sick!), but her body is in a routine of waking up every so often to feed. The Sleep Site said that she will learn that she doesn’t get food at night and she will start eating more during the day. (This is also the theory that everyone has told me from the beginning, I just chose not to accept it!) So, sleep training is going to commence again. If I do social activities, I guess I will have to delay them until at least 1 pm when she has taken 2 naps.
I have to admit this sleep training is really hard. It’s easy to blame Cubby and wonder why she has regressed, but it’s probably in response to my regressions. I started off great at 6 months and then Christmas and vacation came and I fell off the wagon and did what was easier for me (nursing her to sleep). I also wanted to have a social life and do activities during the day and not have to rush home at 6 pm to put her to sleep by 7 pm. I guess it’s going to have to be the straight and narrow path so I can regain some sanity and sleep back.
Please feel free to share any tips on sleep training or what worked for you. Any advice would be much appreciated!