When I became a new mom people told me lots about their children. It’s a scientifically proven fact that most parents will “remember” that their children reached milestones sooner than they actually did. Please remember that when you’re tempted to compare. I exclusively breastfed (EBF) my daughter for the first six months of her life. I now know that EBF babies take longer to sleep through the night. I “just knew” when my daughter was ready to sleep train – maybe it was when I knew she had object permanence or maybe I was ready.
A lot of people say their child slept through the night and then had a regression. What’s probably more accurate is what the parents were doing worked and then as the child matured it stopped working. To me this is why being aware of developmental milestones is key for sleep training. Sleep training is not one and done but a continuous process. That being said, if you lay a strong foundation it is smoother and the “regressions” are brief.
One of the insights I had as a new mother that has really helped me is to think of a baby’s cry as a way of scanning and asking the parents “am I ok?” When the parent can confidently reassure the baby “you’re ok I got you” the baby will settle if there is a strong and secure emotional bond, meaning the baby trusts that the parent will take care of the baby’s needs. That is assuming the baby is well, fed, dry, warm, and has a clean diaper.
Some regressions are inevitable such as fevers (illness or immunizations) and teething. Being equipped to deal with these scenarios is a good topic for another post.
I used the concept of the Ferber method but did go into my daughter’s room at times, not at specific timed intervals but when I could tell she was clearly in distress. I can tell by the pitch and intensity of her cry that she needs reassurance. I also have a great baby monitor that allows me to watch and hear her from wherever I am. When I check on her, I am able to reassure myself and therefore reassure her that everything is ok and she can go to sleep.
Stay tuned for the final post! Questions?