The first few months of Baylor's life we were spoiled. We quickly figured out he loved to be swaddled and to sleep at an incline in his Nap Nanny and he would sleep all.night.long. It was amazing.
Until he hit about 4 months old and began to outgrow his Nap Nanny and started to roll over. He couldn't stay in the Nap Nanny because he was getting too big, and couldn't be swaddled laying flat because he could roll. No bueno.
The transition from Nap Nanny and Swaddle had been tough. We decided to go ahead and put him in his crib at that time as well. He didn't like to lay flat and would roll all over the place. The reflex of his arms and legs moving would wake him up every hour or so. It was exhausting.
So for the last month and a half we have been trying everything under the sun to sleep train our child. For weeks I was consumed by researching the best ways to sleep train a baby. And let me tell you something about parenting: no matter what it is, if a parent thinks it is the right thing to do, they are firm believers in this. There seems to be no gray area when it comes to parents' beliefs on things relating to parenting. People are either cry it out or not and they will let you know why the other way it horrible. So what the heck were we to do?! The more I read and thought about it, in addition to my lack of sleep, I was beginning to dread night time and start to feel anxious about getting Baylor to sleep.
I read the No Cry Sleep Solution, I read all about Cry It Out Method, I read all about how many naps he should have each day and for how long and how long his wake time should be, I read all about starting an earlier bed time. I was overwhelmed with info! But what is the best for my child!!?
So I would come up with specific plans and I'd tell Matt. "Okay babe, this is what we are gonna do tonight...". He was super supportive and went along with all my crazy plans. We tried the no cry sleep solution. We did short versions of cry it out. We did the pick up, put down method. Nothing really worked better than the other.
And then one day, it hit me. I said "Matt, I'm getting wayyy too obsessed with this sleep training thing. Let's just put him to bed at a decent time each night, whenever he seems sleepy, and just go with the flow. We will figure it out each night what we need to do." He laughed and was agreeable.
I quit being so uptight. I started letting Baylor sleep with a blanket. It worked great. We would tuck him in the blanket in his crib and he would pass out. I think it reminded him of being swaddled. A couple weeks later the blanket wasn't as necessary to get him to sleep. We started to dress him warmer and took the blanket away. He sleeps just fine without it now and we don't have to worry about it getting wrapped up around him.
We let him sleep on his tummy now. He seems to favor it and he sleeps better on his tummy.
Some nights we put him down and he immediately passes out on his own. Some nights he cries and we have to go in and pat him for a few seconds. He has definitely gotten better at going to sleep and staying asleep though. This past week he has slept more nights than not through the night in his own crib without waking or only waking once (and we can very quickly get him back to sleep).
But there are still nights where he wakes and is difficult to put back to sleep, or nights where he fusses and won't go down great. And we pull him into bed with us. Shocker, I know. Those sleep training people would say we doing ourselves and Baylor an injustice. But guess what? The very next night he will sleep just fine on his own in his crib. And we both don't really mind having out precious little baby cuddling with us at night occasionally. He won't be this small for long. I'm pretty sure he won't be a teenager trying to sleep with mommy and daddy.
So I guess the point of this rambling post is that what works for one person doesn't always work for others. And it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Having a laid back, relaxed approach has been so much easier on all of us. As a parent I think it's best to just figure out what works for your family and do that.