April 1, 2015

How I Did It...Sleep Training Your Second Child

As I mentioned in Kinley's 8 month update we recently sleep trained her and it couldn't have come soon enough.  Seriously waking up that many times a night was slowly taking it's toll on both Tice and I so we needed to do something and FAST.  With Sawyer I had read in tons of books that told us that sleep training should begin right around their 4 month birthday so being the obedient first time parent I was, I did what the books told me and we had him sleep trained using the Feber Method within 3 nights.  We made sure to strictly follow the method and with that came success. We had a couple of set backs over the months due to teething or illness but for the most part Sawyer was and still is a wonderful sleeper after sleep training him.  

With that success at the forefront of my mind we had the best of intentions to do the same for Kinley but quickly determined that we had a couple of obstacles in our way and let time continue to fade away.  Before we knew it we were waking up 3 times a night most of the time and were giving her a bottle with anywhere from 4 to 8 ounces of formula in a bottle to get her to go back to sleep.  We were creating a bad habit that I knew was going to be hard to break the longer we continued to let it go on.  Finally I came home two weekends ago and told myself that that night was going to be the night that we began sleep training Kinley and we weren't going to stop for any reason.   

A couple of things that I decided to change this time with Kinley included the following:

1) Even though the Feber Method worked great for Sawyer, Kinley's sleep issues were very different from Sawyer's.  Sawyer had a hard time falling asleep at the beginning of the night but not staying asleep.  Once he was down he was out and stayed that way until morning.  Kinley on the other hand has always been great at putting herself to sleep but had issues with sleeping for longer periods of time.  She would wake up after 3 to 4 hours on average and then we would go in to give her a bottle so that she would go right back to sleep.  

2) She typically needed a little bit of reassurance/comfort before she would start to get sleepy again at night once she woke up and even though she would act hungry when we would coming in with the bottle, sometimes (especially lately) the bottle would go unfinished between wake ups.  That meant she wasn't necessarily waking up because she was hungry.

3) That meant that I didn't think that I needed to continue going in to her room to reassure her over and over (which the Feber Method practices) because I might be waking her up more then helping soothe her back to sleep so I decided to go in once I heard her crying for longer then a minute or two and either picking her up and rocking her for a bit or simply tucking her back in and rubbing her tummy.  

With this new thought process in place, my main concern became Sawyer.  Due to the fact that Sawyer and Kinley's rooms are so close together (they share a bathroom) that if we let her cry it out, she was going to wake up Sawyer.  This proved to be an unnecessary concern because that first night she did wake up crying 3 different times, some for as long as 20 minutes, and he didn't wake up or make a fuss ONCE...you read that right- the kid wasn't bother by her crying in the least.  

So that was that...she did become sick shortly after we started but as soon as she was feeling better she went right back to being able to soothe herself back to sleep and I don't even need to go into her room anymore to help reassure her/help her back to sleep.  The best thing that came from this that was completely unexpected was that she started sleeping better and longer during the day too!  Her naps are longer and she is an even happier baby because she is better rested which was a happy surprise!

If you have any questions regarding any details please comment below and I would be happy to help!

Thanks so much for stopping by!