今日双色球开奖结果 www.xnzvqg.com.cn I reached my breaking point after 40 minutes of rocking, after three failed attempts of putting my 7-month-old son, Hunter, into the crib, only to have him immediately open his eyes and start crying the moment he hit the mattress. When I burst into tears along with him, I realized something had to change.

a person holding a baby: When it comes to my baby, sleep has been a constant source of stress. It turns out, I was the one who needed more sleep training than my son.? LeManna - Getty Images When it comes to my baby, sleep has been a constant source of stress. It turns out, I was the one who needed more sleep training than my son.

When it comes to my baby, sleep has been a constant source of stress. I worry that he doesn’t get enough and what that could mean for his development. Luckily, Hunter can self-soothe at night - he only wakes up two or three times, but almost always goes right back down after a minute. But when it came to naps, he was all over the place. We were lucky if he went down for 30 minutes, maybe 45 - and that was after rocking him for at least 15 to 20 minutes (and sometimes much longer). I read countless articles on the importance of sleep to know that, when I added it all up, Hunter should’ve been getting more.

The sleep stress started to spill over into my everyday life - our home was in a constant state of anxiety. I broke down after each failed attempt to get him to nap. One day, I asked my husband, Brian, “Was I always like this?” I couldn’t remember how I used to be, if I always worried this much. He hugged me, and reassured me that together would get the help we needed.

We decided to enlist the help of baby sleep coach, hiring Jennifer Gilman from Goodnight Sleep Site, a certified child-sleep consultant thought the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants and The Family Sleep Institute. And it changed my life.

THE PLAN

After filling out a detailed form chronicling Hunter’s routine, Jennifer set up a one-hour call with me to discuss his sleep and eating patterns. She listened patiently as I overly detailed each of my concerns. Right away, she helped me realize I didn’t trust Hunter to be able to put himself to sleep. I believed if I didn’t sway, bounce, or rock him, he'd skip his nap. I'd freak out and pick him up again, rocking him for another 20, 30, or 40 minutes, keeping up a vicious cycle.

a baby lying on a bed: Hunter, refusing to nap.? Lindsey Benoit O'Connell Hunter, refusing to nap.

My personality is a bit Type-A, and I thrive on planning. But Hunter is his own little person and has a mind of his own. I can’t make him adhere to my timetable. After the call with Jennifer, it was comforting to know that many of the things Brian and I were already doing were on point - but I was the one who needed to make a few changes.

Jennifer went through all of the different methods a family can use to sleep train their baby.“Parents have to be comfortable when implementing a sleep plan and the sleep-training method is just one part,” she explains. There are many factors that go into finding what is right for your family, including the child's age, temperament, and past experiences. She went on to tell me that consistency is key, so you need to stick to whatever method you choose.

Together we came up with a plan: I would put Hunter in his crib awake, and allow for 90 minutes in the crib. We’d follow the set, optimal times for him to fall asleep on his own. And then we’d let him cry (the hardest one for me).

“No one likes to hear their baby cry," she says. "Your baby is getting used to something new and learning a new skill, so crying may be a normal reaction on their part. The sleep-training method you choose will dictate how you respond if your baby does cry. When all of the pieces are working correctly, that crying should be minimized.” I could live with that.

PLAN IN MOTION

The first day I prepared for the worst, and steeled myself all the crying I just knew was going to come. So I made a decision - I’d do a workout after I put him down, and focus all my anxiety on crunches and burpees! We did the pre-nap routine that Jennifer gave us to follow, I kissed Hunter “good nap,” and closed the door. I immediately turned on the monitor and started getting ready for my workout, the pit in my stomach growing. But all the dread I felt quickly turned to awe. Hunter played in the crib, whined for a little while, and then, 10 minutes later, he fell asleep…on his own. I called my husband crying, finally with happy tears. Hunter wound up sleeping for over an hour.

I thought the first nap was surely a fluke, so for the second nap I went in prepared for battle again. Hunter did the same thing - after a while, he was snoozing on his own. This time, though, he woke up after 45 minutes. According to the plan, he was supposed to be in the crib for an hour and a half.

I immediately texted Gilman, asking her what to do. Should I go get him? Let him stay in there? What if he cries? What if he doesn’t go back to sleep? What if he does go back to sleep? She texted me right back. “Think of it as an experiment,” she said. “See what he can do.” I waited. Much to my surprise, Hunter rolled around in the crib, babbling to himself, and fell back asleep for another 45 minutes.

The next day, we repeated the process and Hunter crushed it. There was a little bit of crying, but not as much as I feared. Now, he naps longer and wakes up happy. And here’s the amazing part: His nighttime sleeping has changed, too. He doesn’t cry out as often, and he’ll happily play in the crib in the morning before we go and get him.

RESULTS

We used Gilman over the course of two weeks. I filled out a daily update, and each day she evaluated them and gave me tweaks and encouragement. She offered us solutions for when Hunter didn’t nap as long, or I couldn’t get him to bed as early as we’d hoped. She also gave us tips for when we traveled to my mom’s overnight, or when we had a day trip and needed him to nap on the road. We talked about future issues that may arise - teething, traveling, time-zone changes. With each day, I felt less stress.

The plan worked!? Lindsey Benoit O'Connell The plan worked!

It turns out, working with a sleep coach was more necessary for me than it was for Hunter. My worries were getting in the way and I needed someone to say, “He’ll be ok! Don’t go in there!” I received amazing advice from my family and friends prior to working with Jennifer, but I wasn’t listening. Because of the plan, and knowing Gilman was there if I needed some support or guidance, my confidence grew, and I let Hunter develop the skills for better sleep.

"Babies will always follow our lead as parents," Gilman says. "It's so common for us to martyr ourselves as parents, and sacrifice our own health and needs. But our children want healthy, thriving adults for parents - not zombies who can barely function. Much of my job is educating and coaching parents to get to a place that is guilt-free - within best practices as it relates to pediatric sleep - and encouraging them to jump in to make the changes to get to healthy sleep.

THE BIG TAKEAWAYS

After two weeks, here's what I learned:

  1. Be careful who you trust to work with. There are no regulations on sleep consultants, so do some research on them, or the company they are working with, before you decide to go with someone.
  2. Stick to a routine. Babies thrive on it. Set a morning wake-up time, and don’t get him up earlier than that. Let them play in the crib or let him fuss. Eventually, he'll learn to fall back asleep or play quietly.
  3. You can still be flexible. Travel, go out to eat, visit family and friends. I learned ways to incorporate those naps on the fly - and get back to the routine after that. We try to get Hunter to have one good nap in at home before we go to any function if we can. If we are driving or taking a train somewhere, we plan nap around that travel time. Another great tip Gilman gave is if we are out at a restaurant or family party, we can put Hunter in a stroller and take a walk to see if he’ll settle in.
  4. You don’t have to do everything the sleep coach tells you. There were things that Gilman wanted me to do that I just couldn’t. She asked move his bedtime earlier, but that would mean I’d miss seeing him after work. I was not willing to give up time with him, even if it was short. I found a plan that worked for our family’s schedule instead.
  5. Have a little faith in yourself. What I gained most from this experience was to trust myself as a mommy and to trust Hunter. I think the hardest part was having that faith in myself. If you think you need a bit of help to get you there, do it.

This experience changed our lives for the better - when the two weeks was up, Brian said that he noticed how much lighter and happier I was. We put so much pressure on ourselves, but help is out there if we need it and are brave enough to accept it.

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