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happy friday + a light at the end of a sleepy tunnel…

Ruby-cheeks

Ruby-cheeks

Happy Friday friends! It seems like not too long ago, I was at my wit's end…so tired from lack of sleep and in need of some help with the baby so that I could carve out some time to work. It's amazing how things change in only a few months. We have an amazing part-time nanny now which allows me to work in the mornings and then spend my afternoons with Ruby. And sleep-wise, she's gradually been sleeping more and waking up less at night naturally over the last couple months. She's not one of those babies who magically slept through the night on her own, so this week we've been sleep training her…and it feels so good that it's actually working! It really does get better and easier as everyone says. But you really don't believe it till you go through it yourself.

Thanks so much for all your nice comments this week about Ruby's room, and I'm so glad you're all enjoying the new format of my food adventure posts thanks to the help of this talented lady. Wishing you {and me, fingers crossed} a restful weekend! — Joy

{photo by Oh Joy}

42 comments

  1. lovely room miss ruby´s is!!!!
    can you tell us about sleep training babies? please!!!!!
    i have a month and a half baby girl, and i would really like to know how that works!
    you and your girl look amazing! and happy! and sweet!

  2. Little ruby makes me smile! She is seriously the cutest baby around.
    This picture is so adorable…what is the iphone app you used to edit this photo? It’s not instagram is it?

  3. Ahh! Sleep training, so hard yet so rewarding. We read the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” It was recommended by a friend. It should be called “Health Sleep Habits, Happy Parents” 🙂 Best of luck!! Your little one is adorable!!
    Sarah

  4. what’s this miraclous sleep training? Can you do it when you are a breast feeding mom? Or does it work only when your baby’s on bottle? And how does it work, in the first place? Reveal MORE, pls!

  5. Joy how are sleep training her? I have a baby boy I think about a month younger than Ruby and we are struggling major with his sleep, I’d love any tips you have!

  6. How stoked are you?! My daughter started sleeping through the night when she was 8 months old and it was like getting our lives back. Amazing. I know moms who have kids my daughter’s age (almost 2) and they still don’t sleep through the night. We are so lucky!

  7. it makes it so hard when they don’t sleep well, so good on you with persevering with sleep training. It can be heart breaking to hear them cry, but it makes for a much happier family at the end of the day. We’ve done it with all our boys and the two older ones have no problems sleeping through and the littlest ist starting to as well!
    Love seeing all the gorgeous photos of Ruby. Happy weekend!
    Ronnie xo

  8. Omg! I know… I tried with children as infants and now as school aged children sleep is a nightmare.

  9. In addition to the anxiety,there was also a large study recently released that links crying it out to ADHD as the child grows. Besides, I could never have anything to do with watching/listening to my baby cry hopelessly with despair.

  10. Hi Mavi,
    Sleep training is basically teaching a baby how to sleep through the night and getting them on a schedule with their naps and feeding in the daytime to prepare them for sleeping better at night. In this case, I’m referring to nighttime sleep but the daytime stuff is important too. Let me start by saying that sleep training (or not sleep training) is a personal preference for every family and every baby. So, it’s definitely about what works best for you.
    There are a bunch of books about the various methods, some of my favorites I’ve mentioned at the bottom of this post in the SLEEP section:
    http://ohjoy.blogs.com/my_weblog/2012/01/baby-registry.html
    Here’s my quick recap of the different options I know about, but I’d suggest reading a couple of books depending on which method you think would best fit your family.”Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” seems to tell about all of them.
    Traditional Sleep Training: Most pediatricians would say that babies are big enough and old enough to sleep through the night starting at 4-6 months, so for those who choose to sleep train, this is a common time to do it. Sleep training basically involves weaning them off their nighttime feedings leading up to when you plan to start the training so that by the time you do it, they don’t need to eat at night. And then the training involves teaching them how to self-soothe themselves back to sleep by letting them cry when they wake up in the middle of the night. Some will do all out cry it out, and some do a modified version where you go into the room to comfort them in shorter intervals of time, like after 5 mins, then 10 mins, then 15.
    Sleep Training from Birth: Some people sleep train their babies from birth and those babies are the ones who can sleep through the night by 6-8 weeks. That’s the Babywise theory.
    And on the opposite end of the spectrum, some people never sleep train, either because their babies are really good sleepers and naturally do it on their own, they co-sleep with babies in their own bed, or they believe in the No Cry Method as an alternative way to sleep train.
    We went the traditional path since thats what worked best for us and our baby, but it’s really up to what best suits you! It can be a touchy topic since everyone does it differently but if you follow your gut, you can make the best decision for your family.
    Joy

  11. Hi Gosia,
    Please see my response to Mavi above! And it doesnt matter if they are breast fed or bottle fed as long as they are eating enough in the day to be able to sleep through the night. Supposedly bottle fed babies sleep longer at night naturally because formula takes longer to digest then breast milk.
    Joy

  12. Hi Jen, Mascaradara Liza,
    I totally understand your concern and I truly believe that every parent family has their method for how they choose to sleep train (or not sleep train) their kids. My husband is a Pediatric Surgeon and works with children every day. We read about plenty of studies on child-rearing as we get a ton of medical journals due to his profession and we would never do anything that we believed would harm our baby.
    I truly believe that everyone should follow their own instincts as a parent and with love and guidance, we’ll shape our kids into the people they’ll become.
    Joy

  13. Oh Bob, MD here to comment:
    I think people get very confused when they hear the term “sleep training”. Sleep training does not mean letting the baby cry forever. Sleep training is a combination of scheduling feedings, scheduling naps, bedtime routine, and weaning out night time feeds over a period of time to gradually increase the amount of continuous night time sleep achieved. Only the very last step involves extinction, or graduated extinction (i.e. crying it out). If the entire process is done correctly, the amount of actual crying at night time is minimal.
    The scientific studies that you point to do not exist with regard to sleep training+ADHD or sleep training + anxiety. Most of the studies you mentioned are correlations that Dr. Sears (askdrsears.com) tries to make between sleep training and the problems associated with excess crying. If you actually read the papers that he quotes, none of them actually discuss sleep training as the cause for behavioral problems in the future. He tries to make the argument that since excess crying is associated with behavioral problems, sleep training must also cause the problems too. This is a fallacy though, as no good scientific study would ever try to correlate something like that without actually looking at the actual variables involved and creating valid scientific cohorts to study.
    The Yahoo! article that tries to instill fear in parents about crying it out (http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/crying-dangerous-kids-one-expert-says-222400379.html) has about as much scientific weight as the Dr. Sears article. That, as well as the “paper” that is heavily referenced from Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201112/dangers-crying-it-out) tries to make inferences with respect to crying it out, when all of their studies actually are looking at excessive crying (which is different) and maternal neglect. Again, a true scientific study would compare the actual variables involved in a systematic manner.
    That said, our baby cried for approximately 1 hour the entire week. The other 167 hours in the week were filled with smiles, laughter, play, nurturing, feeding, love, and sleep. What works for us may not necessarily work for you, and I encourage you to have an open mind to both the art of parenting and the science of medicine and do what works for you. Every child is unique, and any sleep training method you choose should be done with some art and science, but mostly love.
    Love,
    Oh Bob MD, father of the amazing (and the soundly sleeping) Ruby Cho
    PS: good actual scientific papers about sleep in infants (from Pediatrics, the top medical journal for children)
    Sleep training causes less maternal depression:
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/122/3/e621.short
    Poorly sleep trained babies have behavioral problems:
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/80/5/664.short
    Less night time sleep causes behavioral problems (from another top journal):
    http://journals.lww.com/jrnldbp/Abstract/1999/06000/Sleep_and_Behavior_Problems_Among_Preschoolers.5.aspx

  14. Thanks, both Joy and Bob! Joy very wisely pointed out to do what your gut tells you! I’m dying to hear what you guys think of co-sleeping!!

  15. Joy,
    I’ve been reading your blog since before my son was born two years ago and my daughter is a month younger the Ruby. I have so enjoyed following your little updates on Ruby and how open you’ve been with us. I imagine it’s hard to put some of the parenting topics out there but I so appreciate your honesty!
    Thank you and Bob for the thoughtful comments on sleep training. We waited a bit longer with our son but had such success and I just remind myself I’m teaching him a life’s skill. He is now a wonderful sleeper both day and night and plays happily in his crib when he wakes up. I will sleep train my daughter as soon as she’s ready; I didn’t get a magical sleeper baby either. As Bob said, you can do it with minimum crying and end up with years of more restful nights for the whole family.
    Xoxo,
    Claire

  16. Hi Gosia,
    I think its definitely about whats right for each family. Co-sleeping is very common in many cultures and has become more popular lately in American culture too. A lot of my friends co-sleep with their kids. And, in fact, my parents co-slept with me and my little brother because thats how they were raised in Thailand to have your babies in bed with you. I turned out alright, and have nothing against it. However, we chose for our family not to co-sleep and wanted Ruby to have her own space and place to sleep.
    Best,
    Joy

  17. Hi Joy,
    It always amazes me how your posts on motherhood seem to be perfectly timed. I wrote a few times so far about my little guy, Beckett. He will be 5 months this week and is such a happy loving ball of joy. I went back to work 2 months ago and he was sleeping through the night, sometimes 8 hours straight! But then, within 2 weeks he started waking up crying for his pacifier and for feedings. He was just starting to roll over and would wake to find himself on his tummy. Even though he has mastered the roll (and tummy sleeping) he still wakes almost every hour for his pacifier. My husband and I are so exhausted yet we have been reluctant to try sleep training, fearing that it would change our little man. I am so glad to hear your story, and Bob’s thoughtful words. I’ll be ordering Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child tonight with hopes for a solid nights sleep soon!

  18. Hi Jamie Lyn,
    So sorry to hear…poor little guy! Is it possible hes teething?
    Before doing any sleep training, youll want to rule out that hes teething just so you know youre not dealing with any extra variables.
    Best!
    Joy

  19. My 3 month old cut his 2 bottom teeth last week and sleeping has been a nightmare! I’m excited to start sleep training him when he’s finished with this round of teething. I do the no cry method with his naps and it’s worked wonders for him! Thanks for this post and I love what Bob said, great insight!

  20. Thank you for this post and I love what Oh Bob said as well! I am just a week behind you and keep going back and forth on the sleep training thing. My little one was a good sleeper until I went back to work, and now every night is different… we never know what to expect!
    I am going to try to read this book this week (bought it weeks ago but never had the time to read it!) but in the meantime, would you mind sharing how you transitioned into night weaning? Did you do more frequent feedings during the daytime or larger meals? Mine seems to have doubled her milk intake overnight. 🙁

  21. Hi Joy,
    How did you find your part-time nanny?
    Were expecting in a few weeks, and hope to find a nanny for the mornings so I can go back to work when the little one is around 3 months. I live in LA and would love to know if you used a service or have any recommendations. I haven’t even started the process and I am a bit overwhelmed!

  22. i was so happy to see this post, joy, and it compelled me to comment for the first time. i have a 7 week old and i’m having trouble believing that he will ever sleep on his own or for longer than 3 hours at a time! like you, we’re planning on traditional sleep training and starting to follow a bit of weissbluth’s “healthy sleep…” book. you’re giving me hope that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel! thanks.
    your ruby is gorgeous 🙂

  23. Hi Terese,
    It will get better! Rubys started sleeping through the night a week after we started nighttime sleep training. Its not totally consistent yet, but getting better and better. And your patience will pay off! 😉
    Joy

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