It has now been exactly one week since we started sleep-training Claire. Although we haven’t made any miraculous changes to her sleeping habits, her sleeping has certainly gotten better.
Starting Friday, she has started to take at least 1+ hour nap per day and only protests napping in her crib about 20% of the time. This is a remarkable improvement from only napping 30 minutes at a time and flat-out refusing to sleep in the crib during the day (she would only nap in her swing).
Her nighttime sleep continues to stay consistent with about 3 wakings per night. Since she is almost 5 months old (21 weeks this Thursday), I have been told that we can start to try for 2 wakings per night, but I want to get her naps sorted our first.
According to sleep experts, nap training is almost always more difficult than nighttime sleep training, and while nighttime sleep training may last a few days, nap training can last as long as 2-3 weeks. And while I would love to cut out a nighttime waking, I can live with it since she always goes right back to sleep after a bottle and a diaper change. Besides, many babies naturally start skipping a nighttime waking as they near 6 months of age and I am hoping that this becomes the case with Claire.
Having having read numerous books and internet resources on infant sleep, I am now certain that some babies are just naturally better sleepers than others. How else you can account for babies such as my next-door neighbor’s, who starting sleeping 10 hours straight every night — without any sort of sleep training — since he was 2.5 months old? And that even a week-long trip to Ireland didn’t disrupt his sleeping habits? (When his mother told me that she wanted to “die” during the first couple of months when he would “only” sleep 4-5 hours at a time, I REALLY had to force a smile to let her know that 4-5 is the norm for my 5-month-old daughter.)
Then there are babies who are just poor sleepers from the get-go. These are the ones who wake up more than 5 times per night even past 6 months of age, will only catnap during the day, and are tremendously difficult to sleep-train.
From what we have experienced so far, Claire seems to be more difficult than the average baby, but is not nearly as high-maintenance as some babies I have read about. And for that, I am thankful.
Many times I have found that other mommy bloggers mention sleep training, but often do not get into the details. For this reason, I plan on writing another detailed post in the near future about how we sleep-trained Claire, complete with the resources we used. I hope that with this post, I can help other mothers as well as future mothers who struggle with their babies’ sleep.
We will continue to sleep-train until Claire’s naps are sorted out. You have no idea how much happier a baby is when he/she is well-rested!
And in the meantime, I hope to return to my regular blogging schedule starting today. Thanks for your patience and support!