Sleep Training

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This is a boy who needs his sleep.

Since he turned 4 months old, E’s become more playful and social, which we love, but it’s also led to a slight resistance in sleep, because he wants to stay awake to play with us (aww!).

He’s been sleeping ok at night, but his bedtime hasn’t been consistent. He would get sleepy around 7:00 PM but wouldn’t fall asleep until somewhere between 8:00 and 10:00 PM.

The other problem has been naps. Instead of taking a couple of long naps, he would take a 20 minute nap every couple of hours throughout the day, which made it hard for us to do anything or go anywhere without a fussy baby.

When E was 3 months old I started reading this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Sleep-Habits-Happy-Child/dp/0449004023

 

and now that he’s four months old, I decided to try some sleep training.

The method is simple: put your baby down to nap as soon as he shows signs of being sleepy. He might fuss or cry a little at first because he’s been left alone to soothe himself to sleep, but so far it’s worked.

It hasn’t been a tear free experience, but he’s cried less than I expected. We also tend to “rescue” him sooner than the book suggests sometimes too though (especially if he’s already taken what the book suggests is a decent nap.)

We’re only in the first week, but E’s already taking longer, more regular naps, and he sleeps better at night. Now we know that he shouldn’t go to bed any later than 8:00, and he’s getting closer and closer to a regular 7:00 bed time.

Some of the reviews on Amazon don’t reflect success, however, so I’m sure it doesn’t work for all babies. I guess you just have to figure out what works best for your individual child through trial and error.

We’ll stick with this method for a while and I’ll post more about any further progress we’ve made, or if we’ve decided to toss it out and go with a new approach.

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