How do they get so big so fast?! Why must they leave us and go into their own independent room? I’m always so sad when this transition happens…but also so relieved once it’s done.
As you know, we decided to move Rafe to his own room much sooner than I had anticipated. We didn’t move Parker into her own room until she was 6 months and didn’t sleep train her until she was 7 months (mostly due to a crazy travel schedule). However, Rafe just wasn’t sleeping well at all. He would wake up multiple times during the night and want to feed back to sleep. He had to be bounced all the way down and if he woke up from a night feeding, he had to again be bounced back down. It was a lot for me and his dad to take on…he’s a big boy and for how much he eats during the day, he should’ve been sleeping more through the nights.
This is when we decided he needed to probably be sleep trained at 5 months. In order to do this though, we would need to move him into his own room. We didn’t want to start the training in our room just to move him to a different room in a month or two. This was extremely hard for me, I definitely cried! I loved having him right next to my side of the bed where I could see him and check on him throughout the night. Yes, it’s always frustrating to have to be quieter and tip toe around your room…but I personally love having them in there.
At first my husband wanted to do sleep training RIGHT when we moved him into his crib, but I was not on board with that. I felt we needed to get him used to his own room/crib, waking up and learning he wasn’t in a strange place. That was what we did with Parker. We started her off with naps in her room, then moved to naps and bedtime. After she was settled with that, we began the process of sleep training her. In the end, we decided to transition him into his crib before sleep training.
First, we just started putting him in his crib while he was awake. We would play with him, talk to him, sing to him…basically just get him used to being in there. He loved it! He would roll around in there, smile and play with his toys. After that, we started putting him in there at night. We would bounce him all the way down like usual and then just place him in there. It was really tough in the beginning though. Not only were we moving him to a crib, but we also took away the dockatot (Derek wanted him to learn to be without it). When we would lay him down, he had a tendency to wake up because he was used to the cuddle support of the dockatot walls. We did try putting just the arched cushion under the fitted sheet, but his weight didn’t end up sinking it down, he actually ended up being lifted off the bed! So, after 2 nights of dealing with this, we thought we would try something different. He was so used to sleeping on us (for naps), that we thought maybe he would be more comfortable on his stomach. At this point, he was already rolling and could lift himself up, so we felt safe doing this. We would bounce him down and then lay him on his stomach. We also decided to start putting his paci in when he was laid down. He was funny in the fact that he would keep a paci in his mouth if he was asleep but not when he was awake (thankfully that changed…otherwise self-soothing would’ve been a nightmare!).
Finally, it worked! We were able to get him down in his crib for bedtime. He still woke up 2 times a night for night feeds, but he was sleeping well in his bed. Our main issue became naps. He wanted to nap on us. Even before we moved him to his crib, we had a rough time getting him put down for naps in his dockatot in the pack and play. To be honest, this didn’t really get better until we started the sleep training.
Keep an eye out! The fourth and final blog in my sleep series will be about sleep training!