Knee Deep in Sleep Training

Today's post is coming to you from a very weary mama.

I'd love to tell you that we're doing well, that Asher is making great progress, and that we're delighted with how easily sleep is coming to our precious six month old.

But that would not be true. In the slightest.

This is so hard. My heart is breaking hearing my dear son crying his eyes out. How I wish he didn't know how to say, "Mama," as awful as that sounds. 

We started gentle and tried the frequent calming techniques as I vehemently opposed just letting him cry. But the truth? Any change to a sleep history that involves nothing but warm cuddles and closeness from Mama and Dada is going to bring tears. There's is no tear-free sleep training.

Everyone keeps telling me to turn down the volume on the monitor, or put on head phones when I remain in the room. But I'm not going to do that. If he's gonna be expected to cry and endure, so am I. I'm an adult and this is breaking my heart, so I'm not going to try to ignore the massive shift that is going on in my son's sweet heart and mind.

If you're looking for tips to help your own kiddo sleep well in the crib, I can't help you. We're still figuring that out, and I don't believe any one method will work for every baby. I wanted to stay near and calm him often, but that seemed to frustrate my persistent little love. It was easier for me, but making things even more confusing for him. 'Why are you right there but won't help me?' 

So I've stepped back, and he's right smack in the middle of having his world turned upside down. I believe in his ability to learn to calm himself, and I've covered him with every prayer I know how to say. Outside of that, I'm helpless. And I wait.

This sucks. I don't know how this could go down without it sucking. I'd love to hold him to sleep forever, honestly. But I can't. My body is telling me every day that I just can't do that. It's not about time or other things needing to get done. I care about nothing else right now. It breaks my heart and every cry makes me weary. 

This is sleep training an infant. I'm not going to sugar coat it or put an encouraging spin on it because you must know, when you're in the thick of it, there's nothing sweet about this. 


  1. Be strong. We have a white noise machine and it really helped Emerson. We still use it and she's 2! She also became a sleeping champ when she started sleeping on her tummy.

    1. Yes! White noise has been so huge and I'm thankful our sleep consultant considers that a tool and not a crutch. And I think Asher is a tummy sleeper too. That's how he passed out and when he seemed to find comfort was on his belly.

  2. Hey...Hardest mom thing I've done is sleep train. But my 2.5 year old sleeps 12 hours solid every night. I didn't night wean until later, I just needed to get her out of our bed because cosleeping was killing my sleep quality. I am about to start again with baby #2, and it won't be any easier, except knowing that it is so worth it in the end to see her well rested. Blessings!

    1. That is huge with #2 to know that you're fighting the good fight. We actually ended up taking a break (with the blessing of our sleep consultant, and her recommendation, actually) because we weren't seeing consistent improvement on crying times and sleep quality for him. We gave it a week, but he was turning into such a different baby and something wasn't working. We'll attempt again as he's older and maybe when he's not nursing. But we had to make the tough call to stop, but it felt like we got our family back afterward, so it felt like the right call for us for now. Good luck with your little one and getting another great sleeper going. Xo