Émilie is 10 months old now. When she was 9 months old, we suffered a terrible sleeping problem with her.
My husband and I have a queen size bed. Emilie had to share the bed with us. She only fell asleep while breastfeeding. And normally the breastfeeding need 30mins and even longer. During the breastfeeding, she was never stop moving, she changes to lots of position to eat, sitting or standing up, but except laying down. She woke up the 1st time after 20 mins of sleeping, and she usually woke up because of a little bit movement of the bed. During the night, she woke up at least 5 times to look for breast, and each time she ate only several seconds.
Due to the sleeping problem, she never had a fix time to sleep, to get up and to eat. My husband and I were exhausted. We can’t spent time together after he came back from work, I can’t eat diner sometimes(because I was in bed with Emilie and was doing breastfeeding…), I didn’t have time to do housework and I didn’t have free time for myself…
I felt tired, my husband felt tired and I guess Emilie felt tired also.
I knew I was enjoying that close relation with my daughter, the dependence of breastfeeding, the soft comfort for Emilie and for me. But by comparing with all those bad effects from Émilie’s sleeping problem, I knew that somehow I need to change it someday.
Before I made the decision to change my baby sleeping my habits, I asked my self several questions. The most frequently question was ” Am I ready? “. A change of sleeping habit means changing on lots of things.
- Am I ready to stop enjoying that soft mutual comfort between Mom and baby?
- Am I ready to never share the same bed with my baby?
- Am I ready to choose to do nothing when I hear my baby is crying alone in crib?
- Am I ready to accept all the changes due to a change of sleeping habit of my baby?
Am I ready?
If no, I need to go back and sink in those problems again and again.
If yes, I knew that I have succeeded already 70%.
Yes, I was more than ready.
My baby learns to fall asleep not only with breastfeeding.
Emilie fell asleep only during the breastfeeding. The first thing that I need to do was let her learn how to fall asleep in another way except breastfeeding.
I chose to use “baby scarf carry”.
I started with the little nap in the morning roughly from 10.45 to 11.30.
When it was the time for morning nap, I put her in the baby scarf carry. I think she likes it. I walked her, sang several songs and lullabies to her. She tried to look for breast, but I put her higher from breast. Then she struggled and cried, and I cuddled her very tight.
She struggled for a while, then fell asleep. This process lasted 15 minuets. But for the first time that sleeping without breastfeeding, I was satisfied with this result. On the second day, I did the same. She tried to find breast again, but it only last several seconds. Then she fell asleep pretty fast. On the third day, she fell asleep without any cries and didn’t try to look for breast.
Sometimes it is very long to make her fall asleep in the scarf. Normally, I walk her 15 mins-30mins. But at least I freed my hands. I drink coffee, I check my phone, I do chores and sometimes she just fell asleep while I am doing the aspirator.
After one week, she fell asleep very easy in the baby scarf carry.
The first step finished with a big victory. Then it was the time to start the night sleeping part. And night sleep part would be the most difficult part.
My baby learns how to fall asleep by herself in her own bed.
We shared the bed for a quite long time. There were several night that my husband had to sleep in sofa. Emilie woke up lots of times when she was in 8 months. We were so tired because of it. I can’t stop dreaming if my baby could have a good and long sleep through the whole night, so I would have lots of time for my husband and myself. I decided that I will change her night sleep habit.
The beginning is always not easy. The first night was really tough. I put her in cribs at 20.00. The first 10 moms was quiet. She played by herself in bed, she stood up, she sat down and she crawled around. I went to back to her at 20.10, and tell her “sleep”, she looked at me and stood up. She wanted to come out from cribs. I didn’t take her. But oppositely, I left the bedroom. Then she really started to cry.
Well, the war begun.
I sat in sofa with my husband. I had my watch in my hand. I went back to check her each 20 mins. Every time I said one same word “sleep”, then I left the bedroom. Time passed slower when you expect it pass faster. She cried 50 minutes, then finally she fell asleep. During the night, she woke up once at 1.00 and I feed her with 90 ml bottle milk. After she finished the milk, I put her back to cribs. She started to cry again and I left the bedroom, again. She cried about 15 mins, then she fell asleep.
The birds start to tweet, and the sun comes out. I look inside the cribs, my little baby was still in dreams. Life started to be beautiful and i have time to enjoy.
In this step, the baby cry could be the most difficult to bear. I told myself that she needs to learn, she needs time to settle down, she needs good sleeps and if she crys so much, it means she is a normal baby. I couldn’t stop imagining the happiness of victory, then we succeeded on the first night.
She slept very good that night. She has lots of space for her turning left and right, to roll around and change positions. I guess that she is most happy baby in the world because she made it to sleep alone and we are so proud of her.
photo: For the first time that Emilie fell asleep by herself and in her own bed.
The second day was a little bit easier then the first day. I put her in bed at 20.00, she started to cry without surprising. I went back to her at 20.20, told her “sleep”, then I left. The crys was a bit different from the first night. On the second night, she cried off and on. The cry was weaker than the first night. It was more like a moan. I would say an off and on and weaker cry is more torture than a continuous and loud cry. The moan lasts about 45 mins. She stopped for a second, and then started again. I sat in sofa with my husband, and I was in crazy. I didn’t stop walking around and scratching on my head. But finally, she fell asleep and the world is back to quiet. She woke up 1 time at night and I made 120ml bottle milk. She drank the milk, I put her in bed and I left the bedroom. She cried just for seconds, then fell asleep again very fast.
Besides of crying and separation, we were satisfied by that result. Even I had to get up one time during the night but this is too normal for me compares to those endless waking up nights.
Somehow, she still woke up once each night. During the 9 months old check-up, the pediatrician also said it would be better if she sleeps through the night.
My baby learns how to sleep through the night.
We decided to go to Paris Disneyland. We slept in hotel for two nights. The first night, we put her in bed at 21.00, when it was a bit late then normal. She fell asleep in 3 minutes. Her umbrella baby bed is just beside our bed.
During the night, she woke up at 1.00 and started to cry. The cry was not as strong as before. It last about 20 minutes, then she fell asleep again. When she woke up the second time, it was already 6.00 in the early morning with a beautiful sunshine. We were so proud of her.
The second day we put her in bed at 21.00. She fell asleep still very fast. During the night, woke up and cried about several seconds, then fell asleep again.
In the morning, I took her in my arm and then we prepared a big milk bottle together. She drank it all.
In this step, I imagined that she would stand up in bed, then cry and scream for at least one hour. But oppositely, this step passed faster than I imagined.
Conclusion and thanks to my husband
Well, above is al my personal experiences about baby’s sleep issue. If you want to train your baby in the same way, make sure that everything is safe at the beginning.
I think the most difficult step for me was to let her sleep by herself in her own bed. After this step, all other issues just solved naturally.
Now I am so happy that I can see my little one sleep through the whole night. And I am happy that my husband could sleep back again in our bed. I am happy that I have a bunches of free time for myself.
Life is getting beautiful again. 🙂
And the most important is that I want to say “thanks” to my husband. He is always by my side to company me and help me. He was the biggest support for me to went through each of those difficult nights. If it was not him,we would not have those long and good sleeps now. I love you honey. 😉
Choose a right bed for your baby
Besides the topic, “How to make sure that my baby is secure in the cribs” was always an issue that I concerned the most. Especially when Emilie started to learn how to sleep by herself, I was more than concerned on this issue. Whatever, at the beginning, she crushed her head lots of times on the cribs and this brought her more cries.
It was the bed that we rent from hotel during the Paris Disneyland trip solved this issue. The umbrella baby bed can effectively prevent baby to crash their head. Especially for the baby who just started to learn to sleep by themselves at the same month of learning how to stand up and sit down. So we put the hard cribs aside, and we started to use umbrella baby bed. It helped us a lot. We don’t see the red crashes on our baby’s head anymore and it reduced the times that she climbed up to check around.
She started to fall asleep faster and my husband and I were getting more relax about her sleep.
(All above is my personal experiences.)