Sleep regression was always such a strange thing for me. I read about it and thought about it often. We always slept through the night even when we brought our first puppy home. He slept through the night since day one. Until one day it finally hit us and boy it hit us hard. I had headed back to work full time and things were going great. We slept through the night until one week Cameron was suddenly waking up a few times a night and by a few times a night I mean every two hours. We had no idea where to start or how to make it better. So I did what all moms do, I went straight to Google and Googled anything and everything I could think of. I found sites that offered their tips until I got to certain portions and suddenly had to buy their books and apps that said they would train your babies to sleep but again you had to buy them. I finally gave into one of them, I’ll get into that later.
Boy we were tired, combined with my husbands long work hours and me running from one place to the next we were running out of ideas and thinking this was just going to be the new way of life. We were letting sleep regression happen and realized that we needed to break the cycle.
Finally after having a few friends come to me for help I decided to put this post together! It was always a topic I wanted to touch upon because I know it happens to tons of families. I decided I finally would dive in and write this post. Keep reading to find out what we did!
Cameron has a Dock A Tot and has slept in it since the day we brought him home. I’ve loved it because of its portability, we would bring it every where we went. Instead of having it in our room any longer we moved his Dock A Tot to his crib in his own room. This was right around 4 months since we didn’t want to do this too early. I can remember the nurses at the hospital recommending that we have Cameron in our room for 6 months to a year but I am a firm believe of doing what you think is best for your family and what was going to work best for our family was having him in his own bedroom. We did this slowly of course. I started him in his room just for naps and then we put him in his room for his first stretch of sleep during the night. At first it was about three hours, then he was back in his bassinet in our room. Then it lengthened and he was sleeping a little bit longer in his room each night.
Once we moved him into his room the first thing we tried was sleep training. If you are unaware with what sleep training is you can find more resources here. I decided to finally take the plunge and purchase an app. I purchased Cradle which is a baby sleep trainer. It is AWESOME. You can track everything, diapers, feedings, sleeping, everything. The best part is you can sync the app to your caretaker or husbands phone so they are on top of everything as well. My favorite part of the app is that when you are ready to sleep train, it guides you. It helps you to create a sleep plan and tracks calm time, sleeping time, and crying time. It guides you when you should soothe your baby and adds up all of the sleep time at the end of the day to make sure your baby got enough recommended sleep. It also does the same with your feedings so you can see if your baby is eating enough during the day!
The first night of sleep training was hard. Cameron cried, I cried. But in the end it took him an entire seven minutes to fall asleep. For me this felt like a huge win, we were on the first step to sleep training success. After about three nights we were saying goodnight to Cameron and he was getting himself to sleep on his own. The trouble was waking up during the night.
The next thing we decided to try was a new swaddle. That’s where we decided to use The Ollie Swaddle again. This swaddle had been great for us when he first came home. At night while he was supposed to be sleeping he was flinging his arms around in circles and waking himself up constantly. The Ollie Swaddle has velcro so it is so easy to use and stays on baby hulks like Cameron. But it also moves with him so that he didn’t feel constrained. Since it was starting to get warm out, it was the perfect material to put on him so that he didn’t overheat during the night. Once Cameron started to be able to self soothe we decided to start using The Ollie Swaddle wrapped around his belly right under his armpits. Again it stayed on him all night comfortably. This combined with the dock a tot helped to create the feeling of Cameron being held while he is sleeping and worked wonders. Again we were moving towards breaking the sleep training cycle and couldn’t be more excited!
The next thing I decided to try was changing the sound machine noise that we had been using. We have always been passionate about using white noise and sound machines but we had been using the Bhrams Lullaby setting on our sound machine. After reading that songs or lullabies were not the best we decided to switch it to the “heartbeat” sound instead. I found that this has helped tremendously. Not only has it helped him STAY asleep but it has also helped me! The sound machine we use is the Skip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Nightlight Soother.
The last thing I decided to try was to keep the room as dark as possible. I had remembered reading that you need to teach your baby day from night and this was exactly what we decided to do. We had been using a night light and I stopped doing that right away making the room completely dark while it was time to sleep. We started this during naps and also at night time and finally all of the above helped us to break the cycle!
Since we decided to make all of the above changes, Cameron has been sleeping soundly through the night. Very rarely does Cameron, go to sleep with tears and almost every single morning Cameron wakes up happy! To my friends and fellow mommas, remind yourself that sleep regression is only temporary and you can get through it as well!