Sleep Training – Why We are Doing it

Morning! How did you all sleep last night?! I’m pretty pumped to say I slept from 10pm until 3:45am! I know that doesn’t sound like ‘sleeping in’ to some people, but any mom to an infant out there knows that getting a stretch of almost 6 hours is pretty amazing when you’re used to waking up all night with an infant. And I probably could’ve slept till Molly woke up at 6 AM but I’m so used to waking up all night that when I woke up at 3:45 AM, I couldn’t fall back asleep (I dozed a bit from 4:30 to 5:30am). So why the ‘kinda’ good sleep? (That I know is going to turn into UH-MAZING sleep!) Well my sweet baby boy was in incredible hands for sleep training last night. As I mentioned to you guys on my Instagram yesterday, Riley started sleep training last night. The wonderful Kimberly Von Slomski from Sweet Dreams LA is staying with us at our home to sleep train him over the next couple days. And let me start by saying it is not lost on me how incredibly lucky we are to be able to hire someone to come to our house like this. With Molly, we did the sleep training ourselves with the help of a sleep coach via online and the phone. It worked wonderfully, but I will admit it was emotionally difficult and very exhausting for the first two day (but worth it!). So this time around we decided it was important for our family to invest in hiring someone to come to our house. It’s definitely something that I highly recommend if you’re able to do it. Even if it means saving for quite some time. It’s an investment in your health and overall well-being and an investment in your child’s overall well-being. I truly believe that when a baby is sleeping well, not only at night but also for their naps throughout the day, it results in a much happier baby. And a much healthier baby!

From the research I’ve done I know that a baby’s development is stunted when they aren’t sleeping as much as they should be. I’ve read stories from hundreds of parents whose babies weren’t hitting their developmental milestones, but after sleep training they all the sudden surpassed them! The stories have been pretty fascinating. These people aren’t doctors and neither am I (so always consult your pediatrician first!), but it makes sense when you think about it! More sleep = better mental and physical growth!

1. CARDIGAN | 2. WHITE DRESS | 3. OVER-THE-KNEE BOOTS | 4. CROSS-BODY PURSE

Sleep training isn’t for everyone. And that’s OK! Some people strongly believe that you should tend to your baby every time they wake up in the middle of the night. And I understand why some people think that, but I honestly couldn’t disagree more. At least not after they reach a certain weight and age. For instance, I know Riley doesn’t need to nurse anymore in the middle of the night. In fact, for the few nights before we even started sleep training he was sleeping until 1AM and sometimes 3 AM without waking up! So 7 AM until 3 AM. That’s 8 hours! And even when I did nurse him a little bit after that long stretch of sleep, he barely nursed. Maybe for a couple minutes before he fell right back asleep. So that tells me Riley is more than ready to sleep all the way through the night foer 12 hours! He just doesn’t know how to put himself back to sleep when he wakes up. And that’s something that sleep training is going to teach him. Will he cry? Sure. That’s part of it. But with Molly it only took us two nights and after that she has slept through the night every single night since! And she’s over two years old now. In fact, I don’t think I have ever gone in her room in the middle of the night since we sleep trained at nine months old. And after we sleep trained her, she turned into such a happy baby! She went from being fussy and barely napping all day, plus waking up every three hours at night, to sleeping 12 hours through the night and taking long naps during the day! I truly feel that we were doing a huge disservice to her by not sleep training up until that point. So I don’t want to do that to Riley. I want to give him the tools that he can use to give himself good sleep now instead of waiting until he’s older! And I also want to sleep myself. I know I’m a better mother when I’m well rested. And I am a much better mother when I’m not rocking him to sleep in my arms for all of his naps throughout the day.

So back to our first night of sleep training last night. Kimberly took control and I’ll be honest, I was pretty nervous when I handed her the baby monitor before going to bed at the end of the night. I wanted to be there for Riley and see how he did but at the same time I knew that Kimberly was the expert and would handle everything beautifully. She has the most amazing energy and really put me at ease before bed. My mother-in-law said “I wish we could bottle up her energy” – she’s that’s great. And I’m happy to report that she said he had a great first night! I knew he would pick up on sleep training really quickly since for the past week, he’s actually done pretty well with his sleeping. But even Kimberly said he picked it up quickly. It just goes to show how ready he was to learn to put himself back to sleep. Once we complete the training I’ll do a more detailed blog post about what Kimberly did to get Riley on track to a healthy night of sleep and a great day of naps! But for now I just wanted to tell you guys why we decided to do it. In case anyone else out there is wondering if they want to consider it for their own family.

1. CARDIGAN | 2. WHITE DRESS | 3. OVER-THE-KNEE BOOTS | 4. CROSS-BODY PURSE

And I can’t go without sharing details on my outfit. I used these photos because I feel like they show me in a relaxed and happy state. And that’s how I know I will feel more regularly once both Riley and I are sleeping well! The white dress I’m wearing is under $50 and comes in a gorgeous olive green color too! I actually originally wanted the olive green, but it was out of stock when I bought this. Now the green is fully back in stock! In the reviews on the website someone said that they wore it with cowboy boots to a concert and honestly that’s why I bought it! Ha! I love a cute summer dress with cowboy boots. But since we are transitioning into fall weather I wore it with a cozy cardigan and over-the-knee boots. I love this cardigan because it’s thick enough that it’s warm but it’s not bulky at all. Sometimes when I wear bulky cardigans I feel like I look bigger than I am. You know how bloggers always post pictures of them in big cozy cardigans but they are off the shoulder? Let me let you in on a little secret, they do that because the sweaters don’t look flattering when they’re on both shoulders. By putting the sweater off the shoulder it looks more flattering. And that’s the truth! So when you’re buying a sweater based on a picture you see online, if it’s off the shoulder make sure the piece of clothing is meant to be worn that way. If it’s meant to be worn that way, great! I think off the shoulder is super cute. I have an off the shoulder football sweatshirt that I LOVE! But something like a cardigan isn’t meant to be worn that way and it’s probably photographed that way because it’s not super flattering on both shoulders. That’s just been my experience when I’ve bought sweaters based off pictures from bloggers online. FYI, I realize in the last picture if my scarf it’s off my shoulder. Ha! That’s why I included BOTH pics of it on and off.

And these over-the-knee boots are maybe my favorite over the knee boots ever! I’ve worn them a bunch for the past two fall seasons and have written about them a lot because I love them! If you search over-the-knee boots on my blog you’ll see me wearing these multiple times. And they’re great quality because they’velasted me into a third season already. And I’ll link my cute crossbody bag here too! I love the detail on it and the color is creamy and gorgeous! And this is the scarf in the pic below. It went perfectly with the colors I was wearing. And it’s cozy!

All right, I just wanted to tell you guys about my look. And I hope you found some of my experience on sleep training in the past helpful. I’ll have lots more to share after we finish sleep training Riley, and hopefully it helps some of you get your kiddos sleeping through the night too! Stay tuned for that!

90 Thoughts

90 thoughts on “Sleep Training – Why We are Doing it

  1. What time does Molly go to sleep? I also have a little girl your age who used to sleep until 7:30. Now that her baby sister is here she is waking up at 6! After nursing all night I just want her sleeping later again! 😩

  2. Will you be nursing at all? My 10 month old still wants to nurse at 4am. I go back and forth feeling like she may need it vs it’s a comfort thing. I hate not knowing. I did work with a sleep coach too. She was great but I asked her so many questions already I feel funny contacting her again lol.

      1. A sleep training book I’ve used for 3 of my kids said your baby should be able to sleep 12 hrs at 12 weeks. (As long as they are gaining weight and progressing normally). A 10 month old definitely can go 12 hrs without nursing. Sleep training is the best thing I’ve ever done for my babies. Good luck mama’s!

        1. Who has tome to read a book on how to get your baby to sleep? If they aren’t sleeping you have no time. I always found that too funny. My youngest used to sleep 12 hours then the 4 month sleep regression hit. She wakes up 1-3 times a night now (she is 5 months). I need help and needs to know how to sleep train!

          1. You can sleep train from day one. Then you never really need to train it’s just part of what they know. If they don’t get in ththe habit of being rocked to sleep etc it just works from
            day one. Obviously use common sense and if they’re hungry feed them but habits form so easy and early which most people disagree with. But with baby number 5 being almost 6 weeks old and having all amazing sleepers… it’s not luck 😊

  3. We sleep trained our 2 year old when she was almost 6 months old and it was the best thing we ever did not only for her but for us as well. She has been going to sleep independently and sleeps around 12.5-13 hours at night. It’s so important!

  4. So happy that it is going well already 🙂
    We were extremely lucky with our daughter, she slept through the night after 2 months in her own crib! My husband and I were terrible sleepers when we were younger, both of us never slept through the night by ourselves until we were in grade school…so we were not going to make the same mistake our parents made lol we were very strict on making sure she was used to sleeping in her own room right away- it took a bit of time for her to fall asleep or get back to sleep on her own but after a few months she was fine, we used a pacifier with her though so that helped a lot! She still sleeps almost 12 hours every night in her own room and she is now 2.5 and no longer using a pacifier we took it away before she turned 2.

    I am a little scared for our second one to arrive and to not be as lucky, we keep hearing stories of the 2nd child being the bad sleeper or just the bad one haha I don’t know how true that is but it still freaks me out a bit! Maybe we will have to sleep train who knows!

    Thanks for posting your experience 🙂

    1. Please don’t say this about second kids! Even though my 2 year old is a great sleeper in the sense that he sleeps through the night, and he naps well, he just doesn’t do enough of it. Only 9-10 hours per night. Second one is arriving soon, and I’m hoping for a longer sleeper!

  5. I completely agree!!! Sleep training is the best thing you can do for your child, and EVERYONE should do it! Good choice. I hope he continues to progress and sleep through the night very soon 🙂

  6. Hi Ali, we are looking to sleep train our almost 4 month old, she has been waking up every hour all night long and I have to nurse her to sleep! She also only takes 30 min naps during the day! Some have told us she is going through her sleep regression, did this happen to Riley at all?

    1. The problem is that she is simply using you as a pacifier. My pediatrician said once they are 12 lbs. they don’t need fed through the night. He told me to tell them (the baby) that nursing is not fast food, it’s fine dining. Don’t feed them sooner than every 3 hours. If they are newborns, this doesn’t necessarily apply. By 4 months, you’re good. They need to be truly hungry and empty the breast to get the hind milk. If babies don’t know how to self soothe, you’ll be nursing or holding or rocking to get them to sleep. Put them in the crib before they fall asleep. I had 3 thumb suckers which was wonderful. They’d go in the crib, put the thumb in, and fall asleep. Napping and sleeping was on a strict schedule, always in the crib. My kids (3 girls) didn’t scream or cry. They slept. They were happy and so was I.

      1. Hi Dara,

        Thanks for the advice. I have tried putting her down but she cries like no ones business!!!! It sounds so horrible so I pick her up and nurse her back to sleep… I just fear that she needs me or something is wrong when she cries like that.

        1. Look into takingcarababies. For one her Instagram page alone has so much free advice and tips, but she also offers classes! One for newborns 12 weeks and under and that one is not sleep training, it’s just giving you the tools you need to lay a healthy foundation for baby. Then her other one is the 3 and 4 month sleep regression guideline PDF and then her sleep training class is called ABC’s of sleep and that is sleep training. It’s a 14 day guide and this is available online to view and get the resources you need. I am currently on week 2 1/2 of the newborn class with my 7 week old and things are going great already. My two year old was a TERRIBLE sleeper. Such a good baby, but if it was nap time or bed time it absolutely sucked. So I am so grateful to have these tools I learned from this class the second time around. Hope you mamas get more sleep soon!!

  7. Ali, I hope you wrote this blog post to help other parents decide if sleep training is right for them and not because you feel like you need to defend your decision. You and Kevin know what’s best for your children!

    We are going to start sleep training with our 6 month old tomorrow night. There’s no way I could have someone come to my house to do it for me because I’m too much of a control freak, haha! It’s definitely emotionally draining the first night or two but I just open a bottle of wine 🙂 I wholeheartedly agree that when we sleep trained our 2 1/2 year old, it was life changing. And I was still getting up in the middle of the night to pump, which I will do again this time because I struggle to keep my supply up when I return to work.

    I hope Riley is a champ for night 2!

  8. What kind of sleep training may I ask? The cry it out method? Or the pick up, put down method? Or something else? Thanks! We’re ready to sleep train our lil one too!

      1. Hi Lisa! We did the program mybabycansleep.com

        I highly recommended it! I felt terrible that were were starting so “early”, but now I wish we started even earlier. There is crying, but when you learn why they are crying it makes sense which makes it easier to deal with. Also, even babies who aren’t sleep training cry, so that helped me. You also get access to the Facebook support group which is worth its weight in gold on its own!

  9. Sleep training has made a massive improvement in my 10 month old’s sleep!

    However, for those reading who may be thinking of starting, I just want to caution that it isn’t always perfect. We worked with a sleep consultant and I really prioritize my girl’s sleep needs (home for every nap, play very close attention to timing, etc.) and she is still a VERY early riser. By that, I mean between 4 and 5 am. There is a sleep regression that can hit hard between 8 and 11 months, regardless of training, and it is the worst! So don’t be discouraged if you don’t automatically get a baby that sleeps perfectly for 12 hours a night and keeps it up. Every baby is different and some are tough when it comes to sleep, no matter how much effort you put in!

    Ali, I’m so glad Molly is such a good sleeper and I hope Riley is too! Maybe my girl will take after Molly when she’s a bit older, fingers crossed…

  10. Do you know of any places (or maybe Kimberly) that offer sleep training in the Houston area? My little one is 8 months old and wakes up every two hours. It’s so hard 😭

  11. I wish more parents would understand what sleep training can do. It only took 2-3 days for each of my 3 kids. I very rarely woke up during the night past the infant phase. People assume that I must not be sleeping and tired with 3 kids but I’m not! I feel great and I’m working full time, with enough energy left at the end of the day.

    On the flip side I have so many friends that are so set on tending to their baby’s every needs and not letting them cry. I believe they’re doing more harm than good, but it’s their way of doing things, not mine. But keep spreading the word!!!

  12. YESSS! My husband and I swear my sleep training and we get judged for it! My kids are all amazing sleepers and it’s definitely because of sleep training

  13. I think sleep training is crucial… I was one of those mothers that refused to sleep train, but by the 8th month of very little sleep I had to try it. It was a rough first few days; he is a stubborn boy and it did take him awhile to put himself to sleep (we also co-slept until he was 8 months old…). Ever since then he has been sleeping 11-12 hours through the night and napping 3-4 hours during the day. He’s 2 next month and he still sleeps like this! He is much happier and healthier when he gets quality sleep. And, he hasn’t regressed. Yet. 🙂 Keep doing what you’re doing. Mother knows best!

  14. I refused to sleep train either of my boys as I was not comfortable with them falling asleep feeling abandoned and alone. Neither slept through the night until they were 22 months old, but you know what? We got through it (and recently, so my memory is fresh). We both work full time, so it wasn’t easy, but their psychological needs were more important to us. Just please be careful with sleep training as studies have NOT shown that it is good for children. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/moral-landscapes/201407/parents-misled-cry-it-out-sleep-training-reports

    1. Totally agree Holly! I’m baffled by all of this support for sleep training. I have 3 kids. Co-slept and nurses on demand. My 9 and 6 yo sleep great! 16 month old has some good nights/some bad, but it’s part of it. And I certainly can’t afford to hire a nanny or a sleep trainer (I’m sure it’s incredibly expensive)

      1. Oh my gosh! Totally agree with y’all. I was reading the comments to see how many people actually supported this. All the research shows that sleep is developmental and they will sleep through the night when they are developmentally ready. Sleep training is very harsh on a little mind. 🙁 I have two girls and I cannot imagine doing this to either of them.

        1. Couldn’t agree with you ladies more! And, while trying to not be TOO judgey, I’m baffled at the idea of letting a stranger respond to his needs for care and comfort by his mama during the night. Meeting my sons emotional needs 24/7 will ALWAYS be the best decision I’ve ever made for him.

          In addition, I’m a mental health counsellor with children and let me tell you….sleep training may result in better sleep for the baby/toddler years, but it sure as hell doesn’t always result in “good sleep habits” forever. And, when they are 6 or 7, you now have poor sleep habits AND some possible emotional disruptions to content with.

          No. thank. You.

          1. Thank you all so much! I am so tired of people telling me I am wrong to not let my kids cry it out! I am just so over it! I have co slept with both my boys… I know what is best for them… I am their mom! Leaving them in their cribs to cry was not what was best for my kids.

  15. Well I’m going to go against the grain her and disagree with sleep training. There is research that shows that just because your child stops crying doesn’t mean they are any less stressed out. Their levels are extremely high. So stating that less sleep is better doesn’t just make every other concern better. Just a word to the wise. Sleep training this young can definitely impact your milk supply. Many women put their baby on a feeding and sleeping schedule and don’t understand why they aren’t making enough milk. It’s a cause and effect relationship. Hello to the women who don’t feel right “sleep training”… follow your gut and don’t feel bad because all these people on the internet are doing it because they want to sleep. Don’t feel pressured. Find other women like me who struggled with this sleep thing and came out the other side not doing “sleep training” or “cry it out”. Don’t worry, your child will sleep. I’m writing this post for you, not for the other moms.

    I understand Ali’s situation is different though because of her husband’s schedule and not being able to help at night. I’m a working mother as well, but I would never hire a stranger to sleep train my son. First it’s a stressful situation for everyone, especially baby, and then you add in another layer of a stranger training the baby whom they are not comfortable with. I’m sure it will go well but sleep training isn’t a one and done fix from other moms I know who have done it.

    1. Yes I couldn’t agree more. I researched, read books and got my bachelor in human development. Babies need adults to ensure trust. If you leave your child alone and crying with a stranger he ir she will eventually get used to it. Poor babies. Sorry Ali, I love you. Don’t mean to be pessimistic but just my take on this subject. Hope it works for you and your family.

      1. I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t believe babies have to ‘learn’ to ‘self’ soothe. why should they ? isnt it natural that a baby who has been in your womb all those months doesn’t want to be alone at night yet? it breaks my heart. it’s not that they get less sleep or develop less if you go to them , they sleep knowing they are safe & protected. they shouldn’t get any LESS sleep by being tended to. I can’t help comparing to animals or cave men & having read how unnatural it is to have our babies sleeping away from us/ alone / ignored 🙁 I do love Ali also! I have 1 autistic 7 year old daughter who has been an awesome sleeper/ napper from the get go & a 3 year 3 month old who has JUST started sleeping in her own bed all night literally last month. I feel the exhaustion, I really do, I just think that’s all part of motherhood. I didn’t have to ‘train’ them, when they were ready they just did it by themselves.

    2. I absolutely agree. My son was a horrible sleeper (I’m talking not sleeping longer than 2 hours at a time for MONTHS). Around 8 months I lost it and tried a sleep training method and it made me feel so bad about myself when it didn’t work. Once I just accepted that my son did really need me to wake up with him every time, and adjusted my expectations to know that I would be up a bunch through the night, everything got so much easier. Once he weaned at 11 months he started sleeping better, plus he was walking shortly after so he was actually getting tired enough to sleep longer stretches. Now at 14 months he sometimes still wakes up once or twice but you know what, it’s not the end of the world. I value him knowing we will be there for him more than my own sleep. And the research definitely does show that the babies left to cry it out are still extremely stressed even when they stop crying…they’ve given up hope that you’re going to come and help them and they shut down, which means they’re not learning to express their emotions properly. Babies learn things in their own time honestly, if you set a good bedtime routine they will eventually go to sleep on their own and sleep through the night. It’s not fair to put so much pressure on a baby to sleep through the night so early when they really do still need their mom’s.
      Good for you Ali if it worked for you, but it was not for us. Accepting the baby you have is my advice – my son is incredibly smart, hit all his milestones early, and didn’t sleep longer than 4 hours in a row until he was about 11 months. He was always busy and wanting to be with us (FOMO!) and seeing what we were up to rather than sleeping, and that’s just him.
      Good luck mamas and please don’t feel like you have to sleep train or like you’re failing as a mom if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night. Trust your instincts!!!

  16. I seriously had no idea what “sleep training” was! 😅 I’ve been blessed with 4 babies who started sleeping through the night by 3 months! I have a few possible ideas/tips regarding that, but maybe I was just simply blessed with great sleepers so I’d want more. 😂 Hope everything goes well!! Mama (and baby) NEED a full nights sleep! 💕

  17. I haven’t had a chance to read through the comments but I just wanted to say you go mama for doing what’s best for your family! We sleep trained our two kids as well and I truly think everyone should do it!! Babies operate so much better with proper sleep (and so does mama)! I hope you don’t get too much flack for your choices in sharing about your adventures in sleep training! Go Riley go!! 😴

  18. If u go longer than 4 hour without breastfeeding,your supply will drop. Your period will return. If breastfeeding is important, I’d either pump every 4 hours day and night or get that baby to dream suckle. My baby doesn’t even wake up when I put him to the boob…he suckle in his sleep

  19. Please keep us updated on what you did Ali. I am a new mom and not even sure I understand exactly what “sleep training” is. Everything online says something different.

  20. I loved rocking my baby to sleep for her naps and her nightly bedtime. Some days she slept in my arms for hours. Those are precious memories for me. She is 10 now and can barely fit in my lap. I wish I could go back in time and rock her again. Being there for my baby EVERY time she needed me was the very best choice. Research shows sleep training is not in the best interest of the child, and is actually quite harmful. I adore your family and enjoy watching your babies. I just honestly feel like sleep training is quite selfish. Your babies will learn to sleep through the night when they are ready naturally. My daughter slept great at just a few months old- I followed her needs rather than having her fit into mine.

    1. Oy vey why do people come on the comments to spread hate and mom shaming? Shame shame to the mom shamers! Can you post the research that proves differently? Oh wait, there is none lol! Please don’t cite a non peer reviewed article on babies in Russian orphanages who are malnourished and neglected. If you think you are a better mom than those of us that have happy sleeping babies, then cool! Good for you! You do you girl! Be proud of the mom you are without shaming other mamas who make different parenting decisions than you did. Sending hope that you will think about what you post before you call another mama selfish.

      1. Again, I think sleep training is selfish. And yes if you actually read all the comments someone posted a great link about how harmful sleep training is. I am allowed to comment on Ali’s blog. Perhaps you are attacking because YOU feel inadequate.

    2. Every child and parent are different and you absolutely are right about being able to share your opinion and experience. I appreciate it! I felt mom shamed for not letting my kids cry… because the other moms wanted me to do what they were doing so they could feel better about their decision. No one knows a child better than their parents. We get to do what we feel is best for them. Period.

  21. I tried really hard to sleep train my 5 month old. After 5 nights of her crying for multiple hours I decided it was not right for her. I still feel guilty. Now at 19 months she mostly sleeps through the night and I am slowly putting her down and she is falling asleep on her own. Although a cold and ear infection are delaying the process a bit. I think that’s how it is with kids. If sleep training works, awesome, I’m a better mom when my kids sleep thru the night too. But each child is different and has different needs. I hope my next baby sleeps like a dream! Fingers crossed. 🙂

  22. Hi!
    What method is this sleep trainer using!? My son is 2 months and looking forward to sleep training 🙂
    We will be doing it ourselves so any advice is appreciated!

    Thanks! ☺️ I love your blog and you’re doing a great job! We all are!

  23. Hi Ali!
    I know you were using the snoo, do you feel like the snoo helped Riley sleep better at all? I am debating getting it for my next baby.
    Thanks!

    1. I was curious if the Snoo worked for you as well? I am contemplating getting it as well but wondering if it is truly worth the investment!

      Ps. My daughter was easy to sleep train and learned in a few days and was a great sleeper from nearly birth on. My son on the other hand was one of those babies who was straight up untrainable so I was just a zombie for an entire year. Your child will let you know what they need and your instincts will guide you. Sounds like he is doing great and looks happy (not at all traumatized 😜) I wouldn’t listen to others opinions on a topic you clearly feel happy and confident in 🙂 your kids are beyond adorable!

  24. I am all for sleep training! With my first I made a million mistakes and he could NOT fall asleep without me rocking him. At one point he woke up every 30 minutes. I was a raging lunatic during the day bc I was so beyond sleep deprived! At about 9 months I found the “sleep sense” method online and followed those guidelines. Crying was involved but it gave me the steps I needed to finally follow through so I felt it was a little kinder than just letting him cry endlessly. Changed our lives and my baby was sooooo much happier. With my second I tried to follow the same method right from the start (not as a newborn) and I never had to do an official sleep training with him because he never developed those bad habits. I learned my lesson! So glad it went well for Riley and that your family is doing so well!

  25. Life in LA is soooo different. I’ve never heard of any companies that come to your house and sleep train your kid. I’m a mom of three and trained them on my own. It’s hard and it’s sucks but it comes with the territory. Even if I had unlimited funds, I’m not sure I’d want someone else in my house sleep training my baby. I’m intrigued though and curious to see how it goes. Good luck!!

  26. I firmly believe every family has to do what’s right for them. For some it’s sleep training, for some it isn’t.

    I do want to say though that people that are saying it’s damaging to sleep train and there is research around that… there is also research that says the opposite. Research that say sleep, and consistent sleep not waking up all night is essential for babies, toddlers to learn, grow and develop appropriately. There is research that says its more damaging to have a baby who isn’t sleeping properly than it is to sleep train.

    As a mom and as parent you know what works for your family and what you are comfortable with. For our family it was sleeping training and I am so grateful.

    Being a parent is tough work, and we always question whether we are making the right decision, so let’s support each other and not make people feel bad for making a different decision than us.

    Ali – sounds like your family is on their way to having some great sleepful nights! Congrats!
    Thank you for being so open and honest even on controversial topics!

  27. Wow! I didn’t even know there were services like this out there. Good for you! I am 38 weeks with baby #3 and goodness you can bet I will be reading any and all info you post on sleep training! My other two did very well- thumb suckers lol

  28. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience on this. My daughter was born a couple weeks after Riley and a lot of your posts have helped me through my first time experiences as a mother. We have also been working on her sleep schedule and sleeping more soundly for naps. I am very excited to read your next blog on how the training went and what the expert suggested.

  29. Hi Ali,

    Sleep training is truly life changing as a parent of little ones. We waited too long with our first (13 months), but definitely did not make that same mistake with our second once we realized the difference it made and that it really was not that bad.
    Now they are 5 & 3, great sleepers and they are definitely not scarred by their sleep training years ago!

    Thanks for sharing!

  30. We did sleep training ourselves with our first and I totally agree it went well but as a mom it’s so emotionally draining!
    Sort of in the same boat except I now have twin boys, 3 under 2!! And let me tell you, 5 month old twins are proving to be much harder to sleep train then 1! Add in the waking each other up! So definitely taking your advice and brining in professional help!
    Good luck to your family, your kids are beautiful!

  31. There seems to be several knowledgeable moms on here so Im hijacking this comment section. My 4 month old sleeps about 8 hours a night, sometimes needing to nurse between hours 5-6 but not usually for long, so it might just be for comfort. My problem- we are co-sleeping. My boy will not sleep without being in my arms overnight. Throughout the day he will nap with out me holding him but not at night. My husband is such a deep sleeper/ raging snorer he’s been sleeping in the guest bedroom. I want my husband back, I sorta miss him. Suggestions?

    1. My son was the same way…it’s a good sign that he naps without you during the day! Once we started sleep training it didn’t take long for either of our kids to sleep on their own for naps and night time and to sleep through the night! Check out the sleep sense method. It helps babe learn to soothe themselves and to fall back asleep when they wake in the night by helping reassure them that you’re there for them (first by being beside the crib, then in the room with them and then further and further away). A lot of people associate sleep training with leaving baby to cry all alone but it’s really not the case! Good luck!

  32. That is so reassuring that you agree babies need their sleep! If you are ever interested in more research to discuss and support good sleep habits we followed Moms On Call for both my girls. Interestingly enough the authors are both nurses like me. And they encourage swaddle and sleep training to happen at 4 weeks. This isn’t the “cry it out” method but at certain ages the body physiologically needs time to digest milk. By 13/14 weeks they are breaking out of their swaddle but can soothe themselves back to sleep and will be sleeping close to 10-12 hours at night anytime before 8 and 13 weeks. Crazy right? But I have experienced it myself and have a good bit of friends that have had success too. Clearly, I agree with you there are certain circumstances that babes need to eat throughout the night. And consult Doctor. But for majority healthy babies they should be sleeping at least 10 hours by 8-13 weeks. It is incredible, exhausting 13 weeks but I feel it is our place as mothers to instill schedules both in sleeping and eating along with security in our children. For the majority of people that may not have the finances set aside to have a person come in and assist with sleep training this is an excellent tool. Moms On Call promotes good sleeping habits for a healthy husband/ wife relationship post having baby and healthy family unit entering into toddlerhood. Hope this is helpful and may look into it. They have an excellent toddler book with a lot of helpful phrases, ideas, and encouragement! Glad to see someone who values rest/sleep for evening!

  33. Hi Ali! Thanks for this post. We are just started to sleep train but struggling with what method to use! Our baby sleeps pretty good overnight but still wakes up once or twice to eat. He’s 4.5 months old. The issue is he won’t sleep in the crib and won’t nap anywhere besides on me during the day. He sleep in the rock and play at night. So we need help! I’ve read conflicting views on the “cry it out” method. Is that part of your training you’re doing with Riley? Any advice is great!!!

  34. Hi Ali! Really great post about sleep training! I’m looking forward to hear how it goes! When you write it, can you give some details about you initially get him to sleep? For us, my son isn’t too bad about waking up during the night, but we have a hard time initially putting him down. Any tips are helpful!

    Thank you!
    Sandy

  35. Thank you thank you thank you for this post! I’m looking forward to reading your update on how it all went! I’m currently struggling with my 6 month old getting up every hour or two if I’m lucky! I think sleep training is in my near future! I struggle with letting her cry it out all night!

  36. We are starting on Monday with WeeSleep. I’m anxious, excited, emotional, sad. Being a mom is wonderful but the worry never ends. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  37. When you look back on your children’s babyhoods you’ll never, ever regret going to your child, offering them safety and comfort and being their soft place to land. I will never say to myself “I wish I hadn’t comforted my children when they were frightened/uncomfortable/needed me.” The research shows that trust and attachment is built over time and hat leaving children to cry increases their stress hormones immensely. Babies that are sleep trained don’t need comfort any less, they just learn “well, I guess no one is coming for me.”

    1. I think it’s different for all families; we all need to do what’s best for our families. Sleep deprivation affects people differently. I am a horrible person and mom when I haven’t had enough sleep. It affects me, my child, my husband…basically all relationships. And it also doesn’t do any good for my relationship with myself, as the behaviour leads to a lot of guilt, so it all just snowballs. I can’t imagine how 2 or 3 nights of a bit of crying can be worse than having a monster of a mom for the best part of 2/3 years, or however long it takes for baby to start sleeping through the night. Accept that all people are different, and we’re all just trying to cope and make it work.

  38. We both had our boys the same day (also induced a week early in San Diego with a big baby). He doesn’t sleep well at all and I’m exhausted too. He is my 3rd and so different.
    I’m anxious to hear how your experience goes. Also, can you share what Riley sleeps in? Sleep sack, swaddle, etc.? Good luck! It is life changing if you stick with it and have guidance. I have to drag my other two boys out of bed now and they never wake up early.

  39. I feel like as parents we always want to feel like we are doing the right thing for our children. And it’s really hard because all children are so so different (I have two boys and they are sooo different in so many ways!) I don’t feel like it is possible to have a universal “this is what every parent should do” list for anything. And unfortunately, as our kids get older we may look back and think, I really wish I had done it this way, but that’s not being fair to ourselves. We all make the best possible decisions based on our circumstances and our kids. But I feel like today, everyone wants to feel like they are “right” about everything, and that makes me nervous. As far as sleep training, I didn’t do it. And the days I have felt sleep deprived have impacted every aspect of my life. I felt mom shamed for not doing it because I was the only one in my mom’s group who didn’t (or who didn’t have a naturally good sleeper). I also had parents and a mother in law who made it Crystal clear that they were very anti the “cry it out” method (sleep training is a much kinder term!). When I hear about babies crying for 30 minutes, an hour, two hours, it breaks my heart. My kids are very snotty criers and I can’t imagine just leaving them. But I also had a friend who was afraid she would kill someone driving to work so sleep deprived, so she had to sleep train. I am convinced when one thing is easy, something else will be hard. So I really try not to be jealous of perfect sleeping kids. I wish people didn’t brag about it so much but they definitely do. It’s like when people brag about getting pregnant easily…brag about it to your mom, not publicly for sleep deprived and women to see who are struggling to get pregnant.

  40. It is really, really hard to be a mom these days. It’s exhausting. And I feel like you can’t win. If you don’t sleep train you’re “wrong”. Trust me, people who do attachment parenting are shamed just as much as people who go with the”cry it out” method. There is no winning. There is just guilt. But show me a mom who has made all the right decisions. I don’t know one. We all do the best we can. Remember, “You’re a good mom and I’m a good mom?”. I hate the whole “I disagree with what you choose to do with your baby” mindset. You don’t know my baby. So how can you judge my decisions? No two babies are alike. Ali, I wish this post said, “I support all moms. Whether they sleep train, or are always there for their babies”. You did such a great job supporting nursing and formula feeding moms, but in this one you seem a little defensive. This is what parents should do…cry it out, handing your baby over to a stranger, spending $1600 when it may not work. I don’t understand when parents have good sleepers even when they are sick? Getting new teeth? Every single night? One of my friends did cry it out then the next morning she realized her son had been bitten repeatedly by a spider. That’s why he was crying! There needs to be way more in this post. It makes it sound way too easy. Some of your readers are just going to drop their kids in the crib and leave.

  41. I have 3 year old twin boys who were 4.5 and 5.5 pounds when they were born at 36 weeks. So they still didn’t weigh a whole lot when they naturally started sleeping through the night at 9 weeks old, from 11pm to 7am. I think what caused this was 3 things: I had them sleep in their cribs in their own room from the day I brought them home from the hospital(wasn’t really a choice, our house at the time was small and there was no way to fit 2 cribs in our bedroom), I gave them a bottle of formula at 10pm since the day they were born, and I always put them down in their cribs to sleep while they were still awake so that they learned to put themselves to sleep. They are now almost 4 and I can count on one hand the number of times they have woken up in the middle of the night(and all of those times, they had colds) since 9 weeks old. Some people might not agree with my system, but it worked for both of my boys and I didn’t have to do the “cry it out” method.

  42. Hi Ali looking forward to hearing how the sleep training went. Is Riley sleeping in his crib too? We are getting ready to transition our 4 month into her crib from a bassinet. So I’m not sure how she will go. We will see 😃

  43. Good for you mama! Anything that works for your family is the best for YOU GUYS!

    I have a 6 month old girl, and you encouraged me to finally rip off the bandaid and begin sleep training. She’s not nursed through the night, but we’ve used a soother, and she wakes to have it popped back in. Our first night (last night) went well, woke up crying for 20-25 mins at 10, then slept through the night! It’s not easy, but teaching our children to be independent (including with falling asleep) is part of our jobs as mamas (although not easy!)!
    Really interested in finding out how you’ve done it, which methods you used and whether you have a pacifier or not.. also, did you just start doing it right away for naps too? I want to be consistent as that’s the best thing for her, but know her drive for sleep is not as strong during the day.

    Thanks so much for sharing! Can’t wait for more!

  44. Hi Ali!! My baby boy was born May 30, so he’s 4 months now and I really need to start sleep training him. He’s still in a basinett next to our bed (which he’s growing out of). He was sleeping pretty good throughout the night, waking up maybe once to nurse, but he’s starting to get more fussy and restless during the night. I guess the 4 month sleep regression is real! Is Riley in his crib? I’ve read it’s recommended babies sleep in their parents room until 6 months and some say up to a year! I’m nervous to put him in his crib all night (he sleeps fine in it during the day for naps).. I can’t wait to hear the details about your training. I don’t want to create or encourage bad habits and kick myself later…. 🙂

  45. Ali,

    Now that you have done the sleep training with Riley what nighttime diapers do you use for him that last that long without leaking?? I have a 19 month old and we have tried so many different brands and he leaks through all.

    Thank you

  46. Ali,

    I know that the sleep trainer you used may not allow you to give out all of the advice she has given you, but I would love to hear more, if you have time/are allowed! I have a little one who is just a little older than Riley. We’ve gotten to where we’re been able to cut out all overnight feedings 🙌🏻, but he’s still taking quite a while to get himself back to sleep when he wakes up the one time he had previously been eating. No crying just lots of babbling, fidgeting. I would love to hear if she had any suggestions on ways to help them fall back asleep on their own faster.

    Thank you for providing us with your journey on sleep training! I know this is a subject that many people like to give moms crap for, so it’s refreshing to see a mom who understands providing her little one with the long term benefits of learning to sleep on their own.

  47. Looking forward to hearing more details about this sleep training. My kids are the same ages as yours… and your sleep training blog for Molly worked like magic when it came to getting my daughter to sleep. Unfortunately my 4 month old son wakes up every 1 to 2 hours.. looking for any tips so I can quit being zombie mom!!

  48. I’m not ashamed to admit I sleep trained my baby mostly for my own benefits! As a single mom I was incredibly tired and I wanted to sleep train ASAP! I used Susan Ubran’s how to teach a baby to fall asleep guide as soon as my baby turned 4 months. And that was the best decidion ever!
    Would I have someone over to sleep train for me? I am not sure… It was pretty emotional time, those 3-4 first nights, I am not sure if I wanted to share it with someone else. But maybe it beacuse I’m single and used to having the baby all to myself!

  49. Nothing against a baby sleeping all night that is great but every time you post something about Riley is how good he sleeps and all the naps he takes. Is he ever awake?

  50. Probably mentioned a ton of times in these comments already but….you can avoid having to do a big sleep training transition when your baby is older by doing things from certain books/techniques from very early on. Habits are formed early (like not letting your baby use breastfeeding or a bottle to go to sleep, keeping them up enough during the day so they’re tired at night, being conscious of having noise and light around in daytime and quiet and dark at night so they learn the difference, etc) so doing things from a few weeks old means you will have less to do later. We used BabyWise (not super strictly) and our baby was sleeping 12 hours by 4 months old. We did have to work through a little 4-month sleep regression but we had such good habits going that we got through it fairly easily and quickly with some adjustments. I know each baby is different and parents prefer different things, but I just wanted first-time moms to know that it’s never too early to start good sleeping habits and it WILL pay off later in some way!

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