A Gentle Baby Sleep Experiment: The Conclusion

I used gentle baby sleep methods to try to get my bed-sharing baby used to sleeping in the crib. Did I make it till the end of the 10 days I challenged us to? Are we sleeping peacefully with baby in the crib using only gentle methods? Here’s a re-cap of our 10 night challenge. 
NIGHT ONE

Asleep in our bed by 7, woke 4 times before 10pm. Transferred to crib at 10. Woke every hour until 5am. Putting my hand on her chest only worked once to get her back to sleep. Brought her into our bed at 5am, slept until 6:30.

NIGHT TWO

Passed out immediately upon nursing at about 6:40, slept in our bed until 10, moved her to her crib. Woke every 2 hours and I nursed her back to sleep. 6:30 wide awake and ready for the day. 

NIGHT THREE

Not a good night. It took 3 hours to get her to fall asleep and she nursed and kicked and punched me the whole time. Transferred to crib at 10, woke and demanded the boob every 45 -90 minutes.  Up for the day at 6:30.

NIGHT FOUR

I caved. Typical evening, only woke once before 10 pm crib transfer. Once in the crib, woke every 15 god damn minutes for 3 and a half hours. I had to pick her up and hug her for just a second to calm her and then she would go happily back into the crib, for 15 minutes. By 1:30am I caved and brought her into bed with us where she slept beautifully until 6:30am. 

NIGHT FIVE

Another terrible night. Went to sleep well in our bed and transfered well at 10. Then she woke every 15 min again. At 3:15 she went to sleep and stayed asleep until 5, brought her into bed with us, slept till 6:30. She woke underslept and cranky. 

NIGHT SIX

She was super tired so we let her go to bed early, asleep by 6. Crib transfer at 10 – she protested being put down in the crib for 2 hours. Lots of crying and rocking. Finally at 12:30 I got her to stay sleeping and she woke every hour until 5am, brought her into our bed,  slept till 7am. 

NIGHT SEVEN

Daylight savings time change. We adjusted her bedtime to 7:30 instead of 6:30 so she wouldn’t feel it. Transfer to crib took 3 hours (10:30-1:30). Any time I put her down, awake, drowsy or asleep, she immediately cried. Brought her into bed with me at 2am. I felt like it was cruel to deprive her of any more sleep that night. Woke at 7:30.

NIGHT EIGHT

Oops, I fell asleep during bedtime routine and neither baby nor I woke up again until 7:30am. Bed shared all night. 

NIGHT NINE

Transfer to crib took half an hour. Woke every 30 to 90 minutes. Woke for the day at 7:30 (loving the time change). 

NIGHT TEN 

Tried something new. Put her crib mattress on the floor in her room and I put her to sleep there at bedtime instead of in our bed. I stayed with her most of the night and she only woke when I went back to my own bed twice, briefly. Slept till 6, brought her back to our bed so I could get an hour or so of good sleep. Woke at 7:30.
So did it work? No. Not at all. But we did come out the other side of these rough 10 nights with a new plan, thanks to feedback I got on the No-Cry Sleep Solution Facebook group. We’ll try the crib mattress on the floor of her room for as long as I can hold out in discomfort. 

My original goal with this 10 day challenge was to get her used to sleeping in the crib. I hoped that if we just pushed through, she’d get used to it as a function of spending more time in it. We may have tried to bypass a necessary step: recreate the sense of safety/comfort that she currently gets from being next to me. The Lovie that we conditioned is not sufficient for her. 

The goal now is to make her room a safe and comfortable place to sleep, with me there at first to make this association. We realized that she generally slept well alone in our bed between her bedtime and our bedtime, so we know it’s possible for her to be left alone to sleep. 

Perhaps I’ll have another 10 days in me before caving… I know consistency is key, but it is very hard to be consistent with the things you do in the middle of the night when you’re exhausted. 

Wish me luck. 

7 thoughts on “A Gentle Baby Sleep Experiment: The Conclusion”

  1. I’m so glad you took this on and got results for all of us, haha. We’ve developed a terrible pattern of baby stirring (not even waking) every 90-ish minutes just to put my nipple back in her mouth. She doesn’t even eat. I don’t mind the sleep loss, but my back is killing me from holding it at just the right angle for her to stay latched! I had been planning the mattress on floor in her room, but maybe I’ll start that sooner rather than at 1 year, as I’d previously planned…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh man. Good luck. We’re in the midst of no cry sleep solutions. Day 20 here and I see a few improvements. Though last night was pretty horrendous. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Hope you get some quality sleep soon mama!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Luck, so so so much luck I wish you. I feel like we keep paralleling each other. I think you’ve got the right idea that she might need a gentler transition to her own room after getting to cuddle up close in yours for so long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Part of me would love to continue with bed sharing for as long as my baby wants to. It seems so natural to me. But another part of me has a really sore back and kind of wants my bed back…

      Like

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