Are you or thinking about transitioning your baby to their own crib? Here is what worked for us.
Having a baby is one of the best moments in life. Everyday is rewarding but also very exhausting at the same time. I remember very clearly the first couple sleepless nights after bringing Emma home, walking around like zombies. Taking turns with this precious little human because we were past the point of exhaustion. But with the help of family and friends we got past it and settled in this new life as parents.
Everyday was scary, we were now in charge of this little person. She depended on us and we had never done this before. Slowly, we got the hang of it but just when we thought there was nothing more to learn….there always was! By 5 months we were feeling confident as parents and decided to move Emma in her own room. Until this point she was sleeping in our room, next to us in a bassinet , which was the best for those middle of the night diaper changes.
By this point we had a nap time/bedtime routine. Quiet time, read books and cuddled until she fell asleep in our arms then laid her down. We followed that routine but instead like before now she would not stay asleep. We would continuously rock her to sleep, hoping she would stay asleep when laying her down. It was like Russian roulette, never knew what you would get. Sometimes taking longer than an hour for her to fall asleep. She didn’t want us to leave her there….that’s when I started doing some research.
I read a lot of different advice, suggestions and methods and decided to try out the Cry It Out Method. Its probably not a lot of peoples favorites. I believe when practiced in moderation, it can really work out for you and the baby.
So, here is how we did it. First, we decided on routine that we all would follow for both nap time/bedtime. We also got everyone else to follow this routine when watching Emma. Then we decided on a start date, that day, we followed our routine for nap time except instead of waiting for her to fall asleep in our arms, we would have quiet time for 10 mins before nap time, read a couple books, cuddle for a couple minutes and then lay her down while drowsy but not asleep.
The first time she cried, we didn’t go in before 5 minutes, then went in, comforted her by rubbing her back for a few minutes and leave. We continued this, increasing the time by double before comforting her until she would fall asleep completely. The next nap or day, we continued where we left off but increased the time before comforting her, from 5 mins like the first time to 10 mins, 15 mins and so on.
This lasted about 4 days, after those days, she realized that she could not rely on us to sooth her and that she did not need us to fall asleep. Ever since, we have a pretty easy time getting her to sleep for naps and bed, unless shes teething and she stays asleep through the night.
Having a strict schedule, same nap time/bedtime daily is also part of the success. Now days she knows its nap time as soon as I say “nap time”. Even if shes not quite ready for nap she will just babble in her crib until she tires herself out because she knows we wont go back in to comfort her.
This method worked for us, but every baby is different. The first couple days will be difficult no matter the method but if you stick to it, it will be rewarding, just like raising a baby.