I'm a little nervous writing this post because it isn't filled with fun facts or even book recommendations.  We really struggled on how to sleep train Chloe, and did not agree in approach or method.  Papa Jumper is a fan of the Ferber Method, and I'm a fan of the "I will not let my kid cry so I'll do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes" method.  In the end, I agreed to let Papa Jumper sleep train Chloe IF and only if he bent the rules and took cues from Chloe.

Neither of us read any books on sleep training, so the idea and concept was completely foreign to us.  When Chloe was first born, I followed her lead and let her nap when she was tired.  She started sleeping through the night (which is defined as 5-6 straight hours of sleep) around six weeks old.  Her excellent nighttime sleep stopped somewhere around 5-6 months.  I think it was a combination of separation anxiety (Papa Jumper was out of the country for two weeks) and sleep regression.  Her disrupted night time sleep continued as she began to teethe.  We found ourselves getting up 3-4 times a night with our 12 month old.  It felt like we were back in the newborn days, and we were exhausted.  Chloe has always been an awful napper so I wasn't getting any kind of break or rest.

with a face this adorable, it's hard to be angry that you're so tired!

At her twelve month well visit, our pediatrician said it was time to introduce whole milk and wean Chloe from the bottle.  All I could think of was, "Crap.  How the hell am I supposed to get her to sleep now?!" and let me tell you, it took us nearly two months to figure out a game plan.  Chloe and her bottle are BFFs.  She has always taken a bottle to go to sleep and I didn't see anything wrong with this until the pediatrician told me otherwise.  Oops.  It took me a few weeks to wean her from the morning bottle.  She absolutely will not go to sleep without her bottle so we cheat and let her have a bottle with water in it, instead of milk.  Her bottle is like a security blanket.  Sometimes she'll take a few sucks from the bottle, then actually snuggle with it to fall asleep!  Breaking this habit is harder than we thought.

Our pediatrician recommended the Ferber Method to us.  The Ferber method recommends introducing a soothing nighttime routine then putting the baby to bed sleepy but awake, and allowing baby to soothe himself to sleep while checking them in increments.  This instantly made me nervous because my kid is *never* sleepy but awake.  She goes from 500mph to lying down and dozing off with her bottle only.  How were we supposed to pull this off?  I'm also not a fan of letting my kid cry herself to sleep.

Papa Jumper had a 5-day weekend over Thanksgiving, so we finally decided to give this a try.  Night one was awful.  We let Chloe take her bottle as usual, then put her in her crib.  As soon as she laid down, she started screaming... and I started crying.  My gut reaction was to reach in for my baby, but I let Papa Jumper take the lead.  He let Chloe cry for 5 minutes, then went in to soothe her.  He went in every 5 minutes for an hour, before she finally fell asleep.  I will admit:  We argued furiously the next morning over this so-called method.  Hearing my child cry made me heart break into a million pieces and all I did was worry that she was scared and lonely and maybe even afraid of the dark.

Getting ready for bed time!

The second night, Papa Jumper put her in her crib after we finished our bedtime routine.  This time, he sat in the rocker beside her crib, and stayed there until she fell asleep.  She seemed relaxed and comforted knowing her papa was right beside her, so this time it took 10 minutes.  He has done the same thing every night for the last two weeks, and Baby Jumper has been falling asleep without shedding a single tear AND without a bottle.  Papa Jumper went out of town yesterday for a two-day business trip.  Last night was my first night doing our new bedtime routine solo, and we both worried that him not being home (and taking charge of bed time) would really mess up Chloe's routine.  I'm ridiculously excited to say that it didn't.  She fell asleep as soon as I put her in her crib and she slept 10 glorious hours last night.

Once we figured out what "method" worked best for our child, everything else fell into place. Her sleeping better at night has even translated into nice, long afternoon naps.  She's taken a three hour long nap every day for the last two weeks.  It's unbelievable!

Did you sleep train your child?  Did you follow a particular method or figure things out as you went along?