I had never thought about this issue before having my daughter nor anyone came to me to talk about it. The only thing that I remember was everyone telling me how wonderful it was to have a baby and how my life would be filled with joy from that moment on. The truth is that no one tells you about painful breastfeeding or sleep deprivation when you are pregnant. Not that I think we should discourage new mothers, but maybe we should let them know they will have lots of challenges ahead and for some of them they should be prepared before the time comes.
I've read about babies sleeping through the night at 3 months old or sooner and I have friends with the same experience. That was not my case. My daughter used to take 30 minutes nap every 2 hours and wake up every 2 hours at night. She kept waking up every 2 hours until she was 2 yeas old. I was REALLY exhausted!
I remember talking to my daughter's pediatrician about it and she recommended the CIO method. Even though it didn't sound right to me, I was willing to try anything to have some sleep.
The next night when she woke up, I started to implement the CIO technique. I tried for 10 min until I couldn't take it anymore. 10 min felt like 10 hours. When I finally picked her up, she was extremely upset like I had never seen her before and I felt like the worse mother ever. It took a very long time for her to calm down and fall asleep again. After that day, I promised myself that I would never do it again!
I am not here to support one sleep training method over another nor to judge parents for having used the CIO method. I am just saying that it didn't work for us.
One day when I was reading about this subject on a discussion forum, someone suggested the book: The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night. by Elizabeth Pantley. What a WONDERFUL book! I recommend it to every single mother and I consider it a MUST have. I wish I had read it when I was pregnant so I could start following her suggestion from the time my daughter was born. She advocates gentle techniques to avoid crying. She focus on understanding why baby is waking up and how to fix problems with routines and new associations.
After following the steps in the book, my daughter started to sleep through the night! It was unbelievable! After a few nights she was already sleeping longer stretches and I was getting more sleep as well. The best part is, this was accomplished without one single tear!
"I've always thought that it would be wonderful to have a menu of ideas that a family could try until they hit upon a magic antidote to help their baby sleep all night. Elizabeth Pantley has created just such a menu in The No-Cry Sleep Solution. She has created a book that is clear, easy to read, and uncomplicated. The steps are set up so that even the most sleep-deprived can understand and apply the solutions. At long last, I've found a book that I can hand to weary parents with the confidence that they can learn to help their baby sleep through the night - without the baby crying it out"- William Sears, MD, Pediatrician and Author
Before reading this book, I remember thinking that I only had two options. Either let her cry it out (which wasn't an option for me) or get used to the fact that I had to wake up very often and just feel miserable.
This book made me realize that there is a third option, a gently way to teach my daughter how to sleep without crying. If I had read this book sooner I wouldn't have gone through all the sleep deprivation I went through. I HIGHLY recommend this book!
Note: I haven't received any monetary compensation to write this post. It is my personal experience and opinion.
Image source: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot