Austin Dean: 6 Months Old and Sleep Training

We spent thanksgiving at the beach house in the Outer Banks last week. It was Austin’s second trip there, he was just one month old the last trip.

It’s scary how fast these little ones grow and if I think about it too much I start to get anxious. It feels like just yesterday my little man looked like this and now look at him. I saw this hat on pinterest and I had to have it for Thanksgiving. Isn’t it adorable?!

At six months Austin weighs about 21 lbs (he’s a big boy!) and is still working on sitting up on his own. He can sit up with some support behind him but on his own he topples over on his side.

We started solids a few weeks ago. He has some rice cereal during the day and then some fruit or veggie puree at night before bed. He loves bananas, peaches and sweet potatoes!

My biggest update is that we started “sleep training.” Prior to Sunday night Austin slept in a Rock n’ Play next to my side of the bed. Since he was sick for so many months with a bad cough we delayed any change of routine (I always had a feeling it would take me until month six to move him in the other room anyway).

Austin has always woken up several times through out the night. First it was just 2 or 3 times a night and then because he had a cough for so long he got into the habit of waking 5-6 times a night so he can nurse back to sleep. My body and brain adjusted to just about 4 total hours of sleep a night.

Part of me thinks I could go on this way (yes, I am crazy). During the week I don’t get home from work until close to 6:50pm and it’s bedtime right away. I get to hold him for just a few minutes and then we go right into feeding him his veggies or fruit for the night and then on to bath time and then he nurses and is asleep by 7:45pm. I usually continue to hold/cuddle him until around 8:15pm. I love that time with him and it’s been really hard to give it up.

What’s best for Austin

I hate leaving him in the other room instead of cuddling him. I hate hearing him cry for me and not being able to run in and rock him, but I know in the long run, this is what is best for Austin. It’s selfish of me to delay him getting uninterrupted sleep and learning to do it on his own, just because I want to spend the time with him.

I know different things work for different families but if I don’t start structure and independence now I am afraid we never will. What if we have another munchie and everyone (including the dog who still sleeps with us) wants to sleep in our bed? I don’t think I could do it.

The Plan

Austin is making the transition into his crib (learning to sleep without an incline) in the other room and also to sleep through the night longer. It’s a lot of things all at once. We should probably also be doing this without his pacifier, but I can’t take that from him too. Not right now. (I know he could do it but I don’t think I CAN)

I’ve been reading “Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child” and I felt much more comfortable starting out with the Ferber Method where I can go in and check on Austin if and when he starts to cry. This is what it looks like:

Day 1 – 3 min (1st wait); 5 min (2nd wait); 10 min (3rd wait); 10 min (subsequent waits)
Day 2 – 5 min; 10 min; 12 min; 12 min (subsequent waits)
Day 3 – 10 min; 12 min; 15 min; 15 min (subsequent waits)
Day 4 – 12 min; 15 min; 17 min; 17 min (subsequent waits)
Day 5 – 15 min; 17 min; 20 min; 20 min (subsequent waits)
Day 6 – 17 min; 20 min; 25 min; 25 min (subsequent waits)
Day 7 – 20 min; 25 min; 30 min; 30 min (subsequent waits)

This blog here has A LOT of info and I have it saved on my iPad for reference through the night. I haven’t been following it 100% but we do what works for us.

Nick checks on Austin and pets him and replaces his pacifier if it’s before 12am. This way Austin knows that there is no food and that he should go to sleep. I feed him at 12am and again at 4am.

Night one he woke up a lot (5 or 6 times) and it was hard for all of us. Night two (last night) he only woke up twice, at 12am and 4am. Each time he woke up it took about 12 minutes of crying or fussing to get him to fall back asleep. I’m actually really excited about his progress and crossing my fingers that tonight will go just as well if not better.

I think I am actually more tired today though since I am not used to all of that sleep consecutively. I got to work a little later today so that I could help Austin get ready for daycare and make sure he wasn’t traumatized. I was worried he would be mad at me (silly mommy guilt) but he was giggling and smiling and happy of course. I am hoping he has a better day today because he is getting more sleep!

Has anyone else tried the Ferber Method? Did it work? How long did it take you?

P.S. Many thanks to all my mommy friends for their advice. I don’t know what I would do with out you.

14 Responses to “Austin Dean: 6 Months Old and Sleep Training”

  1. Melissa posted on December 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm (#)

    I just want to let you know that every stage, age, “routine” is temporary. You wanting to hold him is in no way a “bad” thing. If you are gone all day and that’s when you can and you love it and little Austin loves it then by all means, keep it up! You are the momma! Don’t stop listening to your momma voice! “Sleep training” is also temporary. When he gets teeth, another cold, a growth spurt, he will not be “trained” and things will change again.

  2. Melissa posted on December 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm (#)

    Seriously, I don’t know why I try to type anything on the iPad. Anywho, I only say these things because it sounds like you are talking yourself into doing something you don’t want to necessarily and I wanted to let you know that what you feel is right is! Both our boys didn’t sleep through the night consistently until they were closer to 12 months and I know lots and lots of other mommas that are in the same boat, and I know mommas who have newborns that sleep 8 hours. I really think it depends on the child. Lastly, 6 months is still really little! I promise whatever you do now will not leave you with a 16 year old still in your bed. Or even a 3 year old for that matter. Anywho, I hope you follow that momma voice and follow some of Austin’s lead. I hope you get more sleep soon and that he fits into that turkey hat for a long time. 🙂

    • Michelle O replied on December 3rd, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      I was thinking last night how I know when he starts cutting teeth we will have to start over again! Bah! I will keep following the momma voice. It really is important. My momma voice says this is the right thing to do. If he has a hard time with it for days and days we won’t continue and I will know something else is better for Austin. I hope he always fits into that hat too! It’s so stinkin cute!

    • Melissa replied on December 3rd, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Perfect. That is the best advice I have ever received, following that voice. That, and that my job is to get them from 100% dependent to 0%. Good job momma!

  3. Corndog posted on December 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm (#)

    We just did the Ferber method on our 4 month old and we are so, so glad we did. It was much easier than I had been anticipating, we never had to go in and reassure her more than twice and she hardly fusses now at bedtime and for naps. I think she was partly ready to do it and she is a much happier, well rested baby. If you are already seeing progress and know this is the right thing for you then don’t look back. You have to do what is right for you and that adorable baby!

    • Michelle O replied on December 3rd, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks Corndog 🙂

  4. Robin posted on December 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm (#)

    You are doing what is right for you and your family… so it is the right thing to do. Now… food for thought. My business partner was still laying down with her son when he was 11 and didn’t break the habit of him coming into her bed. So feel good about your decisions or you could be like her in 11 years 🙂

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