Sleep Training a Two Week Old

Well, my little baby girl is two weeks old today.  The time has kind of flown.  I love the routine we have right now, and I especially love that I can put her down to nap – well, 80% of the time.

With my son I couldn’t put him down at all.  He would only nap in his Ergo carrier (aka magic sleep dust carrier) or on me.  And so we did that for an entire year.  As far as night sleep goes, we couldn’t put him down.  At five months we were in and out of his room every 20 minutes and most nights I would end up bring him back to bed with me – even though neither one of us was able to sleep well that way anymore.  At six months he decided he would no longer cosleep with me at all, and he wouldn’t settle in his crib.  I remember one night, it was 2 am and he was frantic due to lack of sleep and my husband and I decided that we would begin sleep training the very next day.

It was awful.  I had to leave the house I couldn’t bear to hear him cry.  But honestly, it was the best thing we could have done for him because within weeks (yes, weeks) he was not only sleeping on his own, but he was sleeping through the night – that wasn’t even our goal.  We just needed to be able to put him down.

So, based on past experience, my husband and I have decided to be a little more proactive when it comes to teaching our baby girl to sleep on her own.

Now, I’m obviously not talking about letting my 2 week old cry it out.  I’d actually like to avoid the whole cry it out debacle altogether (though I’m not opposed to doing it again – just not until 6 months).

And she’s a newborn, so we’re very flexible at this point.

But at this point here are our sleep training goals:

  1. Get her napping on her own as much as possible.  If she cries we pick her up right away and cuddle her and give her what she needs, but try to put her back down.
  2. Use the swaddle.  We didn’t swaddle my son because he seemed to not like it (probably should have persevered).
  3. Use white noise at night time.  This is something we’ll be using in the future for her, so I figure we might as well start now.
  4. Start the night with her in her crib (which is in our bedroom).  So far the longest stretch we’ve got is 2.5 hours.  Not so bad.  Some nights it’s been 1 hour.  Last night was 1.5 hours.  I’ve found that trying to get her back in her crib after she first wakes is nearly impossible and it just wakes her up more and frustrates me.  So to maximize all of our sleep I’ve decided to just bring her to bed with me for the rest of the night.  Once she starts sleeping longer stretches and I’m more rested I’ll attempt full night crib sleeping.

I read in one of the sleep training books (I think it was Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child) that when it comes to newborns you should start as you mean to go on.  Which is what we’re doing.  I want her sleeping on her own, so we will start that way.  I don’t want her relying on crutches, so besides nursing to sleep I’m not really doing much more in terms of rocking, pacifiers, etc.  Though that may change as her sleep changes.

I have to say though, I’m super impressed with this little one’s ability to sleep on her own.  Compared to her brother so far she’s a breeze.  Sure, we’ve had some rough nights, but overall it’s going really well.  And I’ve been able to nap like a champ during the day (something I couldn’t’ do with my son because I was so anxious).

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