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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Joy In The Journey: A Break Through

Joy In The Journey: A Break Through

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By Jonathan Oliver

“Sleep training” doesn’t have to be hell. It works! She was ready. You were ready.”- Sarah Branion

This week was a week of many firsts. After three consecutive nights of getting 3 hours of sleep or less it was time for my spouse and I to surrender to what was no longer working and transition to sleep training for Journey. Saran began digging deeper into her reading about sleep training and I called on very close friend with a special interest in infant sleep.

During the process Journey quickly began to set new benchmarks and rise to the occasion. She was at the proper age to start sleep training, which is between 3 to 6 months. There are also parameters for a healthy baby weight prior to starting sleep training to ensure your baby has enough nutrients and a sustainable size.  Ideally you want your baby to weigh at least 12 pounds. Journey is a little over 14 pounds so we checked the box there. During this process you will also be weaning your baby from the middle of the night feeding. Lucky for us Journey had gradually done this on her own about a month ago. You are also advised to increase the number of ounces of breast milk or formula your baby is drinking in a day, with the magic number being at least 24 ounces. This is to make sure you are providing the proper amount of calories to aid in the sleep process. Ideally it’s suggested that the night sleep is conquered first because babies treat night and day sleep differently. Maybe it’s because I’m dyslexic or because sometime I just simply do things backwards but we actually conquered the day sleep slightly before night sleep.

After speaking with my close friend, she helped me understand more about how babies think. For example babies like to anticipate what’s going to happen next. If they can feel like they know what’s about to happen they’re more likely to adjust easier. She suggested we implement a day schedule which consisted of a morning bottle followed by a little play time and then down for a nap. This was then repeated throughout the day. Early evening we would then slowly transition into the bed routine. We learned a good bedtime routine should have at least five steps.

For us it looked something like this:

  • Bath-daddy
  • Lotion/pajamas-mommy
  • Bottle-mommy
  • Read 2 books-daddy
  • Prayer-Both
  • Then place her down in her bed and walk away.

The first three nights when we started this process we placed Journey in her co-sleeper basket on our bed to sleep. To our amazement she slept from 8:40 PM to 7:00 AM. It seems as if Journey was waiting on us all along to allow her to grow and learn on her own. For babies learning how to sleep is a skill just like learning how to walk and talk. The results from this new transition have been amazing. Journey is now having regular bowel movements, she is no longer using her pacifier, she has transitioned to sleeping in her actual room, her naps are longer, she is sleeping consistently through the night, and she rolls over to sleep on her stomach when she wants.

Lastly a final component that I learned is to be mindful of the word “crying” because if Journey has a fresh diaper, she’s had a bottle, and she’s comfortable then she is not crying. She is technically fussing. It may seen like a non-important word change, but avoiding the word crying can help to avoid triggers of feeling like something is wrong with Journey. Fussing allows us both to understand that she’s OK and she’s simply learning a new skill. As parents it’s important to have a mantra and the understanding that this is for her benefit and for the good of her overall health. As Journey continues to grow and become older, my love for her keeps growing deeper and deeper as well. After having four nights of great sleep, I love her more and more.

Jonathan Oliver is an experienced motivational speaker, life coach, and author.  He is the CEO of his company Higher Enlightenment which strives to create a world of truth, love, and faith.  He was born and raised in Texas and now lives with his wife and their first child Journey in Owasso, OK. He is a first time stay at home dad. His contact information is on www.higherenlightenment.com and follow him on facebook at www.facebook.com/joyofjojo.

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