December 17, 2018

Sleep Training a Toddler with Baby Sleep School

I got my first Christmas present already! FINALLY, I think I can definitely say that Little Miss Cocoa has been sleep trained successfully. Our journey here has been long and full of tears from her (AND me too). I've practically passed out at work from sheer exhaustion. There were starts, then stops, then restarts and more stops. I've been yelled at, scolded, reprimanded by well-meaning older family members because they don't agree with leaving a baby/toddler to cry. Basically, it's been a long road to get here! And thanks to Baby Sleep School, we have finally arrived!



I had never heard of sleep training until I was pregnant. While going through one of my baby apps, I saw a few posts about baby schedules, sleeping styles (co-sleep vs. NOT co-sleeping), and training your child to start sleeping through the night. Some parents said they started their babies as early as six weeks old! Other parents were struggling with their 7-year olds still co-sleeping with them. Still others were very happy to have their toddlers sleep in cribs in their room.

Before Cocoa was born, I knew she would have a separate room (see her Nursery Tour here). Even though she has her own room, I did not quite have a set plan as to where she would sleep - as I figured we had options. Sometimes I slept in her room, and other times, she slept with me in my bed. I don't think there's any one way to do it - as long as you're not putting your child in harm's way.

Anyway, the first time I started thinking about Sleep Training was when she was about 3-4 months old. I had been back to work for a little while by then, and having to wake up to feed her at night was taking a physical toll on me. It was when I collapsed at work during a time when she was sick and I was running on 3 hours of sleep, that I decided it was time to actively start (she was 6 months old at the time). There are a few sleep training methods out there, and I attempted a couple of them to varying degrees. Some of the challenges I experienced were:

  • Not having the emotional support I needed. Honestly, you almost have to switch off your emotions because listening to your child cry is HARD!!! I believe it's easier to handle sleep training when both parents are together and have agreed to it. 
  • Pushback from the older generations. I was literally yelled at, because someone (I won't say who) said she kept all her children with her, and ran to them as soon as they cried - she wanted me to follow suit. Others rolled their eyes and almost tried to make it seem like I was not being a good mother. No further comment.
  • Inconsistency. I gave it another go when Cocoa was around 9 months old. Just as we were making headway, we had several back-to-back trips within 2/3 months! If you know anything about Sleep Training, consistency and discipline is really key!
A few weeks ago, I got to another point of desperation. Little Miss Cocoa had been waking up in the middle of the night, and staying awake for 2+ hours to play, talk, climb, etc! By the time she eventually slept off, it would be time for me to start getting ready for work. One night, I called my husband in an emotional crying fit, and I mentioned something about my ordeal on Instagram. 

Temi of Baby Sleep School reached out to me, and told me about her program, asking if I would like some help from her. At first, I was hesitant because "I should be able to get my child to sleep by myself. If others have done it themselves, then why can't I? Will I be seen as a bad mother if I can't teach Cocoa to sleep on her own?" But guess what - I was desperate and decided to accept the help. 

We had a short consultation, after which she sent me a questionnaire to learn more about Cocoa. Our next consultation was a lengthy one - we discussed my answers to the questionnaire, talked about some of my past efforts and the mistakes I made, and she recommended a Sleep plan for Cocoa. At a later point, she had to tweak it a little further, because of my unique situation. 

It's been a little over two weeks now, and while there have been a rough night or two (and also schedule upsets because of holiday and family birthday activities), Cocoa is sleeping on schedule and through the night now. I'm almost afraid to even put this post up, for fear that I'll jinx it. But thanks to Baby Sleep School, I am a better-rested mother! I now have more time in the evenings to rest or do chores or read or watch TV or indulge in some Self Care! 

You can reach Temi of Baby Sleep School via her website, or Instagram (@BabySleepSchool). She is a certified Baby Sleep Consultant, and no money was paid for this 100% honest opinion. 

2 comments:

  1. Hmm.... Glad you can have your beauty sleep now. This sleep training thing is something i will want to start from day because i noticed a lot of new moms complain of this. God bless sleep trainers!

    www.stitchadress.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It's not even just about the beauty sleep, but also having more time to myself before I go to bed. Even though I'd rather use the time to relax, instead of doing chores, it's nice to have that extra time. Honestly, sometime right after I put her to bed, I collapse in my room from sheer exhaustion.

      Delete

Reading your comments ALWAYS makes me smile. I hope you smile when I reply :)