How We Got our 15 Month Old to FINALLY Sleep Through the Night
I honestly can’t even believe I am able to sit down and write a blog post about how we managed to get Dax to sleep through the night because I literally NEVER thought the day would come!!! But here we are today!! And I can 100% say with confidence that Daxton has INCREDIBLE sleep habits now and it has made mine and Daniels life sooo much easier since implementing some easy changes with the help of Janey from Wee Sleep…although I may be one of the most annoying clients she’s had since there were some things I just didn’t follow or listen to.. but it’s seemed to work ok for us so we are just rolling with it!
Daxton was ALWAYS a poor sleeper. From the second he came out of my belly he was super clingy and always needed to be touching me or close to me in order to sleep. If we put him down he would fuss, and so that resulted in cosleeping from the second he was born! Even in the hospital when they advise not to…he was sleeping on my chest, because he wouldn’t let us put him in the bassinet without screaming his head off! And when you’re a new mama you just do what you have to in order to get some sleep!
I LOVED our cosleeping journey, and we really never had huge issues with Daxton at night until Maddox came around! Yes Daxton ALWAYS nursed at least 1-3x.a night, but he was never super fussy and usually slept quite well with us… But since we coslept - once Dax was mobile we would have to make sure we went to bed with him or else it wasn’t safe. That is when we started trying to get him into his crib. At around 6 months we tried getting him more comfortable with his crib. He would normally do a couple hours but never the full night and ALWAYS woke up screaming in the middle of the night. When we tried to semi sleep train with the Ferber method/ the checking in every 5/10 mins thing - it was not for me and it was not for Dax either. I could feel the difference in his cry and I just didn’t feel it was the right time, or the right method for us! So we continued trying to get him down for naps in his crib to help familiarize him with it… but we did ALL the things to get him to sleep. Rocking, nursing, singing etc. Then would finally get him down and if he woke up we’d have to do those same things over again to help him sleep. This was our life for the first year and I didn’t know anything different. I always thought ppl who had their babes sleep through the night were so lucky but I just had no idea when that would happen for us!
We finally got to our wits end when Maddox came home from the hospital. We had Maddox in his bassinet in our room, and Dax still primarily in our bed. Dax had been sick and in a car accident right before Maddox was born, and thats when things really started to get worse but we don’t know for sure if it was. the accident, him getting sick or just all the changes happening with Maddox coming home. Regardless of WHY his sleep became TERRIBLE! He would wake up almost every hour SCREAMING and once Maddox was home with us, every time Maddox would make noise or I’d go to feed him at night, Dax would cry and want to dominate the boob - so it was just a crazy sleepless few weeks. Dax wasnt sleeping properly anymore and he was not his happy normal self because of it so we knew it was time to encourage him to sleep in his room where he wouldn’t be disturbed by all of us all night long!
First Steps in Gently Encouraging Dax back into his Crib
I had been talking to a few sleep consultants from Wee Sleep here or there on my instagram and then Janey reached out and offered to give me a free consultation call to just kind of discuss what was going on with Dax.
We knew we did not have a solid routine in place or a proper napping schedule, and the biggest issue was DEFINITELY his naps. Which I soon realized when I got the guide from Janey. I already knew I was slacking in this department and that I was NOT prioritizing nap time and I was not paying close enough attention to wake periods and tired signs. I was letting him get overtired pretty much every single day before putting him down. I also would run in and try to stop him from crying every time he fussed. Which didn’t help the situation either because he relied so heavily on me!
I soon realized how capable he was of just soothing himself back to sleep but I was so used to when he used to just SCREAM if I took more than 5 seconds that I didn't realize he had changed!
We started his night routine with a bath, then pjs and sleep sack, then nursing and then a book. Then we headed to his room where I turned out all the lights, kept his fan on really loud(white noise works here) and put on an audio book called ShiShi from the Calm App(Not recommended by Janey and she told me to stop this ASAP LOL - but it WORKED the first night, so thats just what I did). I kept the audio book on while I laid beside him. I didn’t interact at all, with the exception of me saying its ok, its sleepy time, you’re ok, here and there when he got worked up. It took 45 minutes of on and off fussing for him to fall asleep on his own, but he did it. I kept my hand in the crib with him too. Once he was asleep I left the room.. I was SHOCKED he fell asleep on his own. He also was not SCREAMING he was just sort of whiney crying with tiny fuss episodes throughout - which I think is important to note because I didn’t feel like he was stressed about the situation at all. He woke up briefly that night around 4am. I coudln’t BELEIVE he slept that long. I nursed him(even though I wasn’t supposed to) and then put him back in his crib… He whined briefly and fell back asleep till 8am. SHOOK.
Day 2 - we made sure we got him down for naps within 2.5-3 hr wake times. I changed his diaper, put him in his sleep sack, read a quick book, turned off the lights and shut the blinds(blackout blinds). Put him down in his crib for his naps. Naps didn’t go over so easy. So here and there I rocked or nursed to sleep.. but I was VERY consistent with the wake periods and ensuring I got him down before he was overtired.
Same bedtime routine. Got him into his crib and used ShiShi again.(I don’t like to hear him cry and this always worked to get him to calm down and not really cry as he listened). I again laid beside his crib and didn’t interact, just wanted him to know I was there. He kind of fussed for a couple mins and was out within 5 mins. I WAS SHOCKED. He had the same sleeping habits as the night before.
Day 2 - I was consistent again with the naps, but he only took 1 good one, which made us question if we should switch to just 1 nap. The next day he was back to two again though! And is still doing two now.. usually he is pretty tired 2.5 hrs after he first wakes up!
20-30 mins of restlessness and fussing. I stayed in the room the entire time and used ShiShi song/book again. I would always sneak out once he was asleep. He woke up 1-2x that night, but we didn’t have to go back in at all. He woke up and kind of fussed an hour after we put him down but I left him to see if he could sort it out and he did all on his own!
** I should also mention I didn’t get rid of his soother even though that was also recommended. I just didn’t have the heart and I think at his age he is great at finding it and putting it back in his mouth to help soothe himself..whereas Maddox cant put it back and its definitely probably going to be an issue but were rollin with that for now LOL. **
Basically after night 3 it continued on consistently being the same ! It has been over 2 weeks of having him basically sleep through the night! His naps got better and he is now able to just fall asleep on his own at night and for naps! I get him in his sleep sack and put him in his crib and he goes to sleep. He still cries for a few second when I go to leave the room but stops very quickly! He no longer falls asleep in the car though which is a little inconvenient if I have to leave the house around nap time, but I have gotten better at scheduling my day around him and making sure I am prioritizing those naps! It is also hard not being able to just stay out till all hours of the night with him when we don’t feel like being home by 7 but thats also a normal parent thing - especially now that he is older! But it was such a luxury while he was younger to be able to just bring him out everywhere with us!
I can honestly say it was SO worth it and I think the biggest thing was prioritizing those wake periods during the day, getting consistent with a night routine(some nights we still don’t bathe him though and its fine), and not rushing in when he fusses to help him realize he can do it on his own!!
I also think its important to note that you NEED to listen to your maternal instincts and intuition. If something feels wrong, don’t do it! I felt totally ready and I knew Dax was ready too. I knew he was ok and was comforted in me being present when he got used to the crib the first few nights. When we tried at 6 months - he WAS NOT ready. I couldn’t pain myself to put him or me through sleep training at that time, and ‘sleep training’ or CIO NEVER felt ok to me. It didn’t align with my personal beliefs so I did not do it. You don’t have to do ANYTHING you don’t feel comfortable doing. Do what works for you!! And try out these tips if your at your Whitts end and just need your babe to start sleeping more soundly!!
I also left a snuggly buddy in his crib. He normally throws it out… so his soother is his snuggly buddy and he loves it <3. And if you’re struggling on your own reach out to a sleep consultant that you feel comfortable with their methods and plan! Wee Sleep was great at helping adjust the plan as needed for us. The first plan I was given just was not what I felt comfortable doing or what I thought would work for Dax, so I did more of the chair method(without the chair)!
Please feel free to DM me on instagram or comment below any questions you have!! I would love to help answer them… as I wrote this fairly quickly and i’m sure I forgot something somewhere in regards to the deets!