Sleep Training The Baby

Since my oldest was born I have heard so many fairy tales about babies who fall asleep at nine o’ clock and sleep through the night until seven in the morning. However, in our house every night is the same thing. It gets dark out, we all get tired, the toddler goes to bed and for some reason the baby is wide awake (even on days where he doesn’t nap). I’ve read a lot about “sleep training” and I think it’s time..

With another baby on the way, I surely wont be getting much sleep in the future so it feels like the perfect time to teach our little munchkin that bedtime means lights out. I didn’t want to jump right into the “crying it out” method because 1. it seems cruel and 2. I can’t sleep when he’s crying anyways. At the moment though, all of the things that we’ve tried so far have had less than successful results…

  1. We’ve tried filling his tummy with baby food and baby cereal before bed to stop the need for midnight snacking. No dice.
  2. Bedtime = bath time. A nice long dip in a warm bath does make him sleepy but it doesn’t keep him asleep.
  3. Snuggles and lullabies with mom and dad. Again, it causes a sleepy baby but he’s back up just a couple hours later.
  4. Building a baby nest. As in rolled up blankets in a half circle around where he sleeps to make him feel like he’s being snuggled all night. Fail.
  5. The oh so famous bunny basket. It’s comfy, vibrates when on, hugs every little baby curve and yet can’t keep him sleeping.
  6. Eliminate all stimulation around bed time. No tickling, no playing, no bouncing or anything. Just cuddling and rocking and a yet, we still have a wide awake baby.
  7. Let him tire himself out in his crib. Letting him roll around and be silly in his crib until he eventually tuckers himself out, yes? No, doesn’t work.

It’s apparent to me that we’ve tried every method that doesn’t involve letting the baby just cry and cry until he’s pooped out and goes to bed on his own. Even if we let him fall asleep this way, he would surely wake up in the middle of the night anyway and then what? Do you just ignore your baby when they wake up? The whole “cry it out” or “self-soothe” method is a mystery to me. I have considered buying a baby soothing machine, one of those cutesy light up things that play soothing sounds and attach to the side of the crib. These things don’t come with such a cutesy price though, $30 $40 a piece. Ouch!

The search for the best sleep continues.

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