Sleeping Training. The good, the bad and the vomit.

My oldest, Christopher, was sleep trained at 7 months old. We watched a DVD called the “The Sleepeasy Solution,” followed it to a T and he was sleeping 12 hours a night after 5 days. It was a miracle. And when I say a miracle, I literally mean, it was a freaking miracle because Waverley, who is now 3, was sleep trained at 24 months old. Yes, as in when she turned 2. TWO f*cking years of not sleeping a whole night with that little one.

When I was still pregnant with Waverley, I read the following sleep training books in preparation:

  • The Sleepeasy Solution
  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child
  • The Baby Whisperer
  • Baby Wise
  • Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks
  • The Baby Sleep Solution
  • The No-cry Sleep Solution
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block

I wanted to be 100% ready to have her sleeping 12 hours a night by 12 weeks old because there was no way in hell I was going to be waking up multiple times a night when she was 7 months old. When she was born, I joined the two Baby Wise groups on Facebook and started recording every minute of sleep time, feed time and wake time.

The first few weeks Waverley was a wonderful sleeper. She went down at 8 PM, I woke her for a dream feed at 10 PM and she would sleep until 4 AM where I’d feed her and she’d go back down until 8 AM. She did this starting her first week of life. I swear, she was AWESOME and I remember thinking just how lucky I was. She was 10 lbs. at birth (a whole other story) and on day 5 she took a 4 oz. bottle and slept a solid 5 hours.

I thought with all of crap we went through with Christopher and his colic and waking up 2-3 times a night that Waverley was my savior. She was my little sleep angel.

I followed Baby Wise religiously but at 12 weeks she was still waking once a night. How can that be? I followed all of the rules and did all of the right things so I should be rewarded. After 12 weeks, I started using the guidelines in Sleepeasy Solution which worked so well with Christopher. The first night we let her cry it out and within seconds, she started screaming at the top of her lungs and it must have triggered a gag reflex because she threw up — like full-on vomited all of her formula onto the floor and crib. We ran in, picked her up, cleaned up the vomit and gave her her bottle. Day 2, same thing:

Wavy: *Cry

Wavy: *Scream at top of lungs

Wavy: *VOMIT

Me and Chris: *Run into room, clean up vomit and feed her bottle

This happened for about a week and we decided to give it a few months before we tried crying it out again.

We waited until she turned 6 months old and started CIO again. Same result. Cry, Scream, Vomit.

When she turned 1, we tried again. Same result.

18 months. Same result.

24 months. Same result. All ending in vomit.

Thank god my husband got up to get her in the middle of the night through those months (actually years) because I was literally ready to throw her out the window. Those two years of life were a blur — A horrible f*cking blur because I don’t think either of us slept more than 5 hours at a time and I was seriously going to kill her.

Finally at her two year checkup I asked my pediatrician what do and she asked me, “Does she vomit inside the crib or outside the crib?”

Most oftentimes she’d be standing at the edge of her crib and most of the vomit would land on the floor, which is what I replied. Then the doctor suggested that we let her cry it out, vomit and not go in to get her. Genius right? I didn’t even think that was an option.

Anyhow, we were desperate (for sleep) so we did just that and Wavy cried, vomited and then cried some more and then passed out. I’m de-emphasizing the last bit because she did cry continuously for about 2 hours but eventually she did pass out. That’s what’s important right? We went in the next morning and she was perfectly happy waiting for us at the edge of the crib. We cleaned up the vomit and followed the same thing the next night. She cried, vomited, and then passed out. This time she only cried for about an hour. The third night she cried, no vomit and then passed out after 10 minutes. It took a whole week before there was no crying at all but alas, she was sleeping through the night.

I know there are people thinking we are horrible un fit parents, but honestly letting her cry it out was the best thing we could have done. We were f*cking miserable. The lack of sleep was making everyone grumpy and angry and we were so exhausted that we basically didn’t do anything or go anywhere for two years. So we decided to end the suffering. With some tears and vomit and it all worked out in the end. For now at least.

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