Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Adventures in Sleep Training, Chapter Two

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I am often vowing to nap train my son and then chickening out. It's not that he doesn't nap. He does - he just naps for very short periods. As such, he needs to nap often because he gets tired quickly. I've always had a suspicion that the reason for this is that I rock him to sleep at nap time. So when his short sleep cycle is over, he doesn't know how to fall back asleep on his own.

So I've known for a long time is that what he needs is some good old-fashioned cry-it-out sleep training at nap time. Having survived sleep training for his nights, I knew how hard it would be, so I procrastinated. Having to listen to your baby cry while you're home alone, more than once a day, is simply brutal.

But here we are today. He's almost 11 months old, I'm going back to work in a month and we're still no better off than we were.

So yesterday I started the nap training. I'm determined to see it through this time. But let me tell you, it is rough. He may be tired, but he is perfectly capable of standing in his crib and crying for an hour straight if I let him. And he does. Sometimes he'll fall asleep after 45 - 55 minutes of crying or sometimes he won't fall asleep at all.

I've never felt this much tension in my shoulders. I've had a headache since yesterday morning. My nerves are worn completely thin. But I am determined. I will get through this. I have to remind myself that it is worthwhile and that the suffering will pay off the way it has for our nights. Right? Right? I need all the encouragement I can get here.

Even if he doesn't extend his nap length, which is possible, I at least want him to be able to fall asleep on his own. Because I won't be around to rock him to sleep every day very soon...

In the meantime, misery loves company so I'm blogging about it. If you haven't had children yet or your babies are still very young, take my word and don't make the same mistake I did. Let your baby learn to fall asleep on their own and you will be a much happier parent for it!

Have you tried nap training? Any advice for me? Wish me luck...


  1. Hi Christina, I'm not sure if this is the kind of "encouragement" you're looking for, and I hate to come off as rude or critical especially since you just left a very positive, motivating comment on my blog, but I wanted to say this: I question why you're feeling so hesitant to do the "training?"

    I will bluntly say that I am very much against the CIO method (which you probably already know because you read my blog) and would encourage you to think about possibly trying more gentle ways to help your little guy fall asleep and stay asleep.

    Have you heard of the "No Cry Sleep Solution"? With all this said, my 10 month old doesn't sleep the night. I'm tired too! Her naps are short too, we just deal with it.

    At home, my daughter still falls asleep either by me breastfeeding her or her dad rocking her. I was really nervous to put her in daycare for this reason, but we did it and it all worked out very well.

    Most providers will tell you there are all kinds of babies that come into their care lacking the tools to fall asleep on their own, and that somehow, it just works out.

    We managed to find an excellent daycare that gently rocks her to sleep in a stroller. Her naps are getting longer and longer on their own (she took a 3 hour nap the other day.)

    Anyways, I'm not sure if this is just really annoying or if it might help. If it's the latter, you know where to find me and I would be glad to share with you anything that might help your little one fall asleep gently.

    Courage, mama!

  2. Hi Jenn,

    Thank you for your comment and don't worry, I'm not offended or annoyed. I'm actually encouraged. I know you're not in favor of CIO and was curious to know how your little one is managing to nap in daycare. I'm glad to hear that some daycares are accommodating and accepting. I guess it makes sense that all children have different sleep patterns and habits and that daycares have to deal with all kinds. I just get obsessive about the whole sleep thing, possibly for selfish reasons (I admit I'd love more time to myself!) but also because I fear that lack of sleep will affect my son's development and behavior long term. CIO has worked for us at night so I'm gonna keep at it for a few more days but we'll see if I can stomach it long-term. Thanks for the support and I'm happy to hear from a fellow mommy blogger!

  3. Good luck with it all, Christina. I am stubborn too, and can relate in this serious decision NOT to CIO! My daughter was up like 12 times last night. Seriously. There is something going on, whether teething, coming close to a milestone, or maybe just missing me while she's at daycare, that some nights has her looking for milk like I'm an open bar. It was me that cried it out last night and luckily her dad could wake up with her while I slept in this morning. Not everyone's arrangement, I'm sure. May you sleep well soon, mama!

  4. No sleep happening over here either. And I always make up an excuse. Daylight savings. Teething. Sickness. Growth spurts. SIGH. Wishing you sleep, soon!

  5. Thanks for the solidarity, mamas! I've officially given up. My baby and I are both happier when I rock him to sleep for his naps, so that's how it will have to be! His nights have improved since going back to our old ways, so it's worth it!