Hello mamas, papas and anyone else who has a baby and is ready or curious about sleep training!
Now let’s start with the obvious here – I am not a sleep training professional. I learned what I know from trial and error and our pediatrician. Please always consult your doctor or an expert in the field if you have any questions or concerns. This is just a mama sharing what has worked and what we did for the hundreds of people asking over on Instagram.
I also went in-depth when we trained Ezra too with CIO method here in this blog post. It is the same method but the journey has been a little different for Brody.
Let’s back track a bit about Brody as a baby shall we..
OK so Brody is a 180 of my boy Ezra. Ez was a bat out of hell from the moment he came in. And Brody is the happiest most content baby who only makes a peep when he’s hungry.
We decided to also buy a Snoo for Brody before he was born. We didn’t have this with Ezra and I always regretted it, but Ez was a horrible sleeper until we did sleep training. He only napped in a stroller and at night he just screamed the whole time. He craved motion and soooo much movement. I didn’t want to risk this with Brody so I ordered a Snoo. We definitely love it but tbh I have no idea if Brody would have 100% needed it.
Brody started going longer stretches at night pretty early on. He would sleep 3-4 hour stretches from the beginning and then started sleeping around 10pm-5am. Once he hit 3 months we took him to his 3 month doctor appointment and the doctor said it was time to start sleep training if we wanted to. He was at a good size and they recommenced between 2-4 months. So I went home to Jord and said “tonight is the night baby”… pretty sure he was hoping for something else HA!
We were a little aggressive by taking the bandaid off from the Snoo the same night we did sleep training. It does have a weaning feature, but based off the doc’s recommendation and everything with learned with training Ez – it was better to do it all at once. Not saying that is the only way to do it but that’s how we did it.
How we did CIO method for Brody..
Things are different for Brody than they were with Ez. For example we sleep in the same room as Brody. Ezra has his own penthouse next door and eventually I want to put them together, but right now B is with us.
We also put Ezra down around 8/8:30pm every night and by the time we do dinner, bath, play, etc. we really cannot get Brody down any earlier if he is sleeping in our room. So on most nights we have been putting him into the crib by 8:30/9pm. It isn’t ideal for a young bubba, but it works for us right now. And eventually we want have him on Ezra’s schedule too so they can share a room. If we put B down earlier in our room, we’d have to be literally ready for bed and tip toeing in the dark. Which doesn’t work for us and we live in an apartment so there aren’t too many options for us space wise.
Brody now sleeps in his crib (we have this one) and we use a sleep sack. We do not use a swaddle. This is VERY important guys. You do not want to swaddle while sleep training with CIO. The purpose of this method is to allow the baby to self soothe. And they are not able to do that by being held down and swaddled. We also never swaddled Ez or Brody (only B in the snoo). Ez hated it and B just would either fall asleep on my boob during the day or just need a little rocking etc and he was passed out.
Now a little Q+A on sleep training Brody…
- How old is Brody?
- 3 months!
- Do you have a sleep coach?
- Nope! We use our pediatrician for help with this and just gut intuition. There are plenty of amazing coaches though. I personally just haven’t used one or needed one as of yet.
- Did you ever rock Brody to sleep?
- Nope not at night because we had the snoo and he’d pass out on my boob most times or immediately in the snoo.
- What exactly is the CIO method?
- More on that here in this blog post. But ultimately it teaches the baby to self soothe and fall asleep on their own. Doctor approved and something you should ask your baby’s doctor before starting.
- Why did you choose CIO?
- IT WORKS!!!! I have friends who have done other methods and it worked for X amount of time. They deal with a lot of regressions and some are a long a$$ process. Our doctor strongly encourages CIO and I really agree with it for our family. It is so beautiful seeing Ezra and Brody go into their cribs and just fall asleep on their own with no help. Do what works for you!
- What was Brody’s schedule before CIO?
- I really don’t follow a schedule as you guys know. But loosely he would nurse until around 9:30 or so and then go in the snoo. And whenever he woke up he’d nurse or have a bottle. As a newborn it was nursing mostly but then he just started falling asleep and I’d get frustrated and end up pumping anyways so we transitioned to bottles for night feedings. He’d wake up every 3-4 hours or so then eventually was doing 10pm-5am.
- Does Brody follow a nap schedule?
- No. I want him to be flexible for napping. This is what we did with Ez and it was great. He slept in stroller, car, anywhere. Not until it’s 1 toddler nap do I become a crazy person and ONLY want crib. I cannot be under house arrest with 2 kids and 2 “schedules” which is why we aren’t scheduled. When he naps in the crib we sometimes rock him. TBH his nanny loves to rock him to sleep for a nap and since she’s here M-F, I just let her to what she is comfortable with. And he passes out in 2 minutes usually for her anyways.
- Did you sleep train for naps too?
- No. Ezra’s nanny prefers to rock him to sleep for a nap when he goes in crib and since she’s here M-F, I let her do what she is comfortable with. He also passes out sometimes on his own.. we keep it flexible. They say once you are sleep trained for the night, things fall into place for naps. With Ez that wasn’t the case but for Brody it is working.
- How did you keep Ez from waking up from the crying?
- First two nights we had Ez stay at my parents. After that we got lucky. We live in 1,000 square feet and our room is next to Ezra’s. Ez is a solid sleeper but we also have a fan and air purifier on to wash out noise every night. If there is somewhere your baby’s sibling(s) can stay, I recommend it! We are lucky my parents are willing to help.
- What does Brody wear to sleep?
- A sleeping sack!! No swaddle because they need to be able to self soothe.
- What is the routine before bed?
- HA! Literally nothing. He is fed, changed and we kiss him goodnight. If there is one thing you learn about Jord and I as parents here is that we are very laidback. Sometimes we read a book and we always do bath time before dinner or after dinner depending on timing. Not right before bed because Ezra’s hair is a disaster and we need to occupy him with cookies as we comb through the curls. And they take bath together.
- How do you know it is time to transition from bassinet to crib and CIO?
- Our doctor recommends between 2-4 months to sleep train. Otherwise it is harder as they get older.
- How do you know he hungry in the middle of the night for a feeding?
- As our doctor’s office says… “they are at first but we train ourselves not to eat at night”. *This is why it’s important to check with your doctor to make sure your baby doesn’t need the feeding. But they way I look at it is, I don’t get up at 3am and eat every night. And I make sure B has enough during the day so he isn’t missing ounces.
- Does CIO ever not work?
- My doctor’s office said it ALWAYS works. Just give it 4 days or so.
- How did you handle the crying?
- OMG IT SUCKED for Brody. With Ez, I was like – whatever (more on that here). But B is such a happy baby. My heart was breaking. I really felt sick. But I just kept reading this blog post on when we trained Ez and reminded myself how important this is and how helpful it was for Ezra’s sleep. Kid is a champ with sleep and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also read a ton of your messages (you’ll see the photo below) and it pushed me through.
- What wake up timing are you choosing?
- LOL ummm if Brody would sleep until 10am that would be great. I don’t wake anyone up.. the later the better please. It has been 5:30/6am but hoping he will start longer stretches soon. Ezra eventually did over time and once he was walking and moving around he slept even later.
How sleep training went..
- 8:00-8:30pm nurse
- 8:39-9:15pm put in crib awake but no crying
- 9:15-12:12am asleep
- 12:15-12:40am crying
- 12:40-2:15am asleep
- 2:15-2:45am crying
- 2:49am blow out and jord asked if he needs to be changed.. yes duh i cannot handle b sleeping in poop
- 2:51am back in crib
- 3:04am back to sleep
- 4:36-5:00am crying
- 5:00-6:01am asleep
- 6:01-7:00am crying
- 8:15 – 8:45pm nurse
- 9:00pm brody in crib
- 9:30pm brody fell asleep
- 3:00am brody woke up but didn’t cry
- 3:20am brody back to sleep
- 5:00am awake
- 5:30am brody crying
- 6:58am bottle
- 8:15-9:00pm nurse
- 9:00pm brodyin crib
- 9:01pm brody made a whimper
- 9:02pm brody asleep
- 5:02am brody makes little whimpers
- 5:02 – 5:44am brody makes sounds but not crying
- 5:50 – 6:15am brody asleep
- 6:15-6:58am brody crying
- 6:58am bottle!
- 8:15-8:45pm nurse (trying to go earlier but been harder with ez and bedtime taming the crew down ha!)
- 8:45pm in crib
- 8:45-8:50pm sucking on fist and fell asleep
- 8:50-5:15am asleep!!
- 5:15am HUGGGGE blow out and had to take him out. at this point .. i felt bad putting him back down. he was so awake and smiley
- 8:00 bottle or nurse
- 8:30 in crib
- Sometime between 5:30-6am awake!
Fingers crossed he will start sleeping a little later but kid is a CHAMP!