When my daughter Nicky was born she fell into a reverse sleep pattern; she slept all day but barely slept at night. People would advise me to nap when she slept but I had household chores in between feedings, making it virtually impossible to get some rest. My husband helped as much as he could, but in working a full time job, he could only do so much to stay fresh for work. Needless to say, I was exhausted and irritable.
A friend of my mother-in-law recommended a book called Twelve Hours of Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old. I quickly did some research and realized that it was a sleep training guide beginning at 8 weeks old. At the time, my daughter was 6 weeks old so I waited a couple more weeks to start. Meanwhile, I ordered the book on Amazon (buy here). When it arrived, I was so exhausted that I could barely get through a couple of pages of the book without falling asleep. My husband suggested we buy the audio version through iTunes (buy here). I downloaded it and immediately sat to listen (approximately 2 hours total).
As I listened to the training unfold, I was skeptical of the potential benefits. Needless to say, by the end of our training, Nicky was sleeping 12 hours a night and 3 hours during the day. The method was easy to follow and very well explained. Training took a total of 4 weeks (weeks 8-12), but the book also explains how to sleep train children older than 8-weeks. At first, progress was slow, but by the last two weeks of training, she went from barely sleeping, to waking up once, to not waking up at all. If she woke up, she learned to sooth herself back to sleep (I'd say thats a miracle).
This form of sleep training was perfect for us because it was compatible with breastfeeding and was a limited-cry method. I was concerned that sleep training would impact her caloric intake given she was no longer eating overnight. However, the method explains how babies gradually increase their intake throughout the day, compensating for nighttime feedings. As an exclusively breastfed baby, Nicky was always above average in weight and height. I am a strong believer in routine and schedule but after becoming a new mother, I felt like everything spiraled out of control. This guide helped put structure back into our lives. For optimal success, I recommend parents remain consistent, patient and follow the guide as strictly as possible. Lastly, no one knows your child better than you, so trust your instincts as the book offers different techniques. To this day, Nicky sleeps 12 hours a night, 9:30PM - 9:30AM. Amazing right?
What are your feelings on sleep training?
*This is not a sponsored ad; just some mommy to mommy advice :)
P.S. Here's an article written by Dr. Perri Klass in The New York Times that gives some insight on the topic: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/05/24/sleep-training-shouldnt-make-parents-feel-guilty/?_r=0