Our third child has been nothing but different in the sleep department, compared to my two oldest children. I don’t want to say difficult, because what sleep pattern is normal? But it’s safe for me to say that he loves his Mama, and co-sleeping is his preferred sleeping arrangement.
Since our son was five months old we have been working relentlessly to get him sleeping in a crib. We have tried many sleeping methods, many tactics, I joined countless Facebook groups, stalked multiple sleep consultants on Instagram, I even paid a sleep consultant to help us. By the end at ten months old, I was laying in the crib with my son. Like a wannabe ninja, I would climb in and out. In hopes that one day it would just magically work.
Finally one day, we said ENOUGH! We took apart the crib and got it out of the house. We just knew it was never going to happen. The “cry-it-out” method wouldn’t work because we discovered when my son was six months old, he vomits when he cries. And crawling in and out of a crib throughout the night is not the greatest on your body. We knew to get our son out of our bed, we were going to need to do a method we have never done before. A technique that would be gentle on both him and I.
I say me, because mentally all this “sleep training” was exhausting, pretty much draining. I felt like a failure. Most of it stemmed from going into sleep training my son naively. Thinking I was a professional after successfully sleep training my two oldest children. I quickly discovered I am no professional. And it took me a while to realize that every child is different, and it’s not that I was doing something wrong. We just hadn’t found the right technique that suited his personality and needs.
We knew right away that we were going to need to do a mattress on his bedroom floor. Cut him off from our room cold Turkey. But a large bed not only for his safety, but for our comfort during the night. I tortured myself by squeezing in and out of the crib for months, and it was horrible. I’ve learned that success not only comes from meeting your child’s needs, but yours also.
So we got a queen mattress and laid it out on his bedroom floor. Spent an afternoon baby proofing his room for safety, and hunted around the house for blankets and pillows to protect him. We are planning on building a Montessori bed frame with a railing. For now we are testing out this sleeping technique before we commit the time and money towards the new bed frame.
The plan is to just get him comfortable with his new room. It will most likely involve me being there to help him fall asleep, and me going in throughout the night if he wakes up. He still feeds once a night, usually around 1am.
From there, I plan on staying in the room but patting his back and not going in his bed. We want him to drop needing me to sleep, so we can move onto me hopefully not being in the room at all. In the near future I will be weaning him from breastfeeding. So having me out of the room, and hopefully not needing me to sleep with help with weaning our son off breastmilk.
But, we understand that this will take a while. It’s not going to be a one week success story. We are taking a couple, maybe even few months. There is no rush this time around. As a busy household of five, the extra stress from being on a timeline is not beneficial for anyone.
What I want you to take away from this post is that there is NOT one way to parent. Something that may have worked for one child, may not work for another. There are so many factors, and it’s not because you’re doing something wrong. Trust your gut, your heart and do what is best for everyone.
And try not to get caught up in what other parents are doing or saying. It’s easy for “Melissa” down the street to give you a ton of advice on what she did for her kids. Take it in, but don’t let it make you feel guilty.
Just know you are doing a great job!
I will keep you all posted on this transition, so stay tuned!