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You probably clicked on this blog post about how to sleep train your impossible baby because you’re tired and needing tips from a mom that is or has gone through what you’re going through right now. I was the kind of mom that was nervous to lay her baby down to sleep not only because I was nervous about SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). But because my baby would literally scream and cry nonstop unless I was physically holding her.
I felt like I was the only mom that couldn’t set their baby down for naps or throughout the night. And the moms that wrote about ways to put their baby down for naps made it seem so easy. So why was it that I couldn’t do it?
It was a combination of two things. One reason why I was having a difficult time putting my baby down for naps and nighttime was that I had already created a ‘bad’ habit. I was complacent and accepting that I was not going to have alone time during her naps each day. And I continued to let myself go on like this accepting that it was part of our daily routine.
The second reason was that I felt like it was too late. It felt like all of the other moms have already sleep-trained their baby, transitioned them into their own cribs at like 6 months, and that I was stuck bed-sharing with my baby until who knows when. So I decided to put my big girl pants on and implement a change to my 14-month-old baby’s sleep routine.
How long does it take to sleep train a baby?
The amount of time it takes to sleep train a baby depends on the method used but can generally take about 3 to 4 nights. Dr. Schwartz says most of it comes down to parents having a plan and being consistent with their sleep training method.
Why It’s Not Too Late
Listen. It’s never too late to sleep train your baby. My husband and I don’t always share the same views on things. And it didn’t help that he felt bad when she would scream and cry. Or also think that it was too late for us to sleep train our baby.
But I had to get out of this hole I was digging myself in. You can too. The later you push it, the later you’re going to get the time that you need to be your own person. And after just a week of sleep training my impossible baby, I felt like a brand new person.
I was able to clean the house, work on my website, plan and create new content uninterrupted, and just sit there without little baby hands tugging on me every 2 minutes.
How To Sleep Train Your Impossible Baby
In this blog post, I’ll go over everything I did to sleep train my once, colicky and impossible baby. And I encourage you to do the same so you can feel like yourself again and get back to implementing self-care in your daily routine.
1. Have a plan and stick to it
My baby has 3 go-to stuffed animals which are two bunnies and a sloth and a baby blanket. I created a plan and saying that I would repeat to her every time I knew she was ready for a nap.
The saying would go as “are you ready for night-night?”. I created my master plan on a Friday and got her ready for it over the weekend. And put my master plan into action that following Monday.
Every time I’d ask her, “are you ready for night-night”, she would walk over to me with one of her stuffed animals or drag her baby blanket, hinting to me that she was ready. Then, I’d bring her into the room, place her in her pack-n-play, put on the white noise machine, kiss her on the head telling her, “mama is going to come and get you after you go night-night. I love you so much, baby”, and slowly walk away and shut the door behind me.
Your baby is no doubt going to cry. However, it’s important not to go into the room again when she cries. Instead, if your baby continues to cry, go in the room when they take a break from crying. This way, they aren’t connecting them crying to their mom coming in. I checked up on my baby every 10 to 20 minutes (if she continued to cry off and on), but would only go in during the times she wasn’t crying. I let her know that mama was here and will play with her when night-night time was over.
2. Don’t look back
Your baby is going to cry a solid amount the first few days or even a week. But once you put your master plan into action, you cannot look back. This is especially true during those first few weeks of setting a new sleeping routine for your baby.
3. Pick a room
I used our bedroom as her nap time room and set up a pack-n-play next to my bed. Side story, we actually took down our baby’s crib in the nursery because I had already accepted that she was never going to go down for a nap by herself. And the house we are renting, the bedroom that we used as her nursery was poorly ventilated (would get super cold or super hot depending on the season).
4. Be consistent
Being consistent goes with just about anything in life. If you want to see results- you have to stay consistent. Babies are smart little things. They will catch onto what you say, what you do prior to putting them down to sleep, and what happens when they wake up (you walking in to get them and give them love).
Don’t forget to praise your little one when you walk back into the room to get them out of their crib, bassinet, or pack-n-play. And I felt like this was especially important for the developmental stage my 14-month-old baby was at.
5. Don’t give in
Yes, it will break your heart walking away from your crying and distressed baby. But I will tell you right now that your heart will be just fine.
Do not give in to the crying if you truly want to sleep train your impossible baby.
6. Give it time
Along with being consistent, everything takes time. Sleep training your baby isn’t going to happen overnight. And who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised to see how quickly your baby catches onto their new sleeping routine.
Repeat the steps above. Create your plan and routine that you’re going to implement in your master plan to sleep train your impossible baby, don’t look back, be consistent, don’t give in to the crying, and give it time. Seriously, if I can do it, you can too.
When I tell you I was blessed with one loud, wild, cranky, stubborn, and impossible baby, I was. God knew what I could handle is what I’ve been told by a lot of my friends and family.
After you put your baby down to sleep and close the door, take the time to be your own person again. Work out, take a nice bubble bath, clean if you want to, binge-watch your favorite show, or get back into your hobbies.
I never knew this day would come but I am beyond happy that I finally was able to sleep train my impossible baby. And have created the time for me that I’ve been longing for. Good luck to you mama and please feel free to leave a comment below!