I left off, in Part 1, telling you that we were using the swing to help Olivia learn how to fall asleep. We have been doing this for about 8 nights now and it’s going well. We had a little bit of a set back or blip in the plans on Friday and a tiny bit Saturday, but luckily last night was back to normal.
We moved the swing upstairs, right next to her crib. I put Olivia in her crib once a day to let her play for a couple minutes while I straighten up around her room. (That has nothing to do with our sleep training/plan, I’m just mentioning it.)
Like I said, Olivia has been napping in her crib since month 1. For naps, I just put her in, give her Sophie, put some music on and walk away. She will fall asleep 98% of the time if I’m in my right sleep window. Right now that’s after 1.5 hours of awake time. (The ONLY time I will stretch this window is if we will be in the car for a period of time.)
Our bedtime plan is now:
- Bath every other night
- Prayers/what we’re thankful for
- Music (enya + other soft music)
- Go in swing awake
We started the swing on level 4. Twenty minutes after she falls asleep we shut the swing off. Every night we lowered the speed by 1 until we got to level 1. Once we got to level one, we started decreasing the swing time (after she fell asleep). We did 20 minutes, then 18. This is as far as we got because we had a really rough night Friday night and rough bedtime Saturday night.
Friday she went down great and then woke up at 10 and would NOT be put down the entire night. Awful. Saturday she wouldn’t go to sleep so we had to keep going in and checking on her. It took over an hour but she finally went down and slept well. Last night we were back to normal and shut the swing after 18 minutes again. We’ll be going down to 15 tonight.
I plan on then going to 12, 8, 5 minutes. After 5 I’m not sure. I’m going to see how it goes. The idea is she will put herself to sleep using less and less motion. I do not want to rush it at all. IDEALLY, after she sleeps 2 or 3 nights in a non-moving swing we will transfer her to the crib. She typically wakes only 1 time during the night and we do the same thing. Turn it off after she falls asleep for whatever the time is for the night.
A note about crying:
This is *NOT* a cry free method, but she doesn’t cry a significant amount (except for Saturday night). Some nights are better or worse than others. Some nights Danny has had to go in and shush her. We don’t pick her up once she’s in the swing. I’m fine with “shushing” because that’s something that can be done in the crib as well. If we need to keep doing it we will also time that and decrease it nightly.
I’m HOPING that we don’t have to do CIO if we stick with this. So far it’s gone well and has made the most sense for us. Sunday morning we had to wash the swing, so Danny took a risk and put her in the rock n’play completely awake. She put herself to sleep in 10 minutes without crying. We COUD NOT believe it. I was so proud (haha). But really, that was a big deal. I’m happy to know she can do it!
We give Olivia, Sophie as a “lovey” type thing. She loves playing and putting things over her face, which is why I won’t give her a real lovey blanket. I don’t want to be worrying she will put it over her face in the middle of the night. Sophie is safe and often when she wakes up she’s just hang out and play with her until I get her.
Olivia doesn’t suck her thumb to self soothe. She will suck or bite down on her fingers during the day, but it’s just to play not to make her feel better. She also doesn’t take a pacifier.
We have started this whole process to get her out of the swing/rock n’play because they are really supposed to be out by 6 months (I believe.) Olivia was sleeping in her crib at 2.5 months and went back to rock n’play/swing at the 4 month sleep regression. I don’t want to rush this process, which is why we started it at about 4.5 months.
I’ll keep you guys posted on how it goes. I’ll do an update post maybe next week, if something significant happens and/or changes. Sleep is so tricky! We all want to do the right thing for our child. It’s different for every family & child. You have to do what’s RIGHT for YOU and your baby.
I only know what’s working for us, but I’d love to hear your stories. If you have any questions about what we’re doing let me know!
Don’t forget to check out Troublesome Tots for some VERY helpful tips on sleep! I’m so grateful for her and her website for giving me this strategy!
Update: Here is where we are now: