It’s no secret that we have endured some major sleep issues with Jaxson. He was an amazing sleeper until he got RSV when he was 8 months old and it was all downhill from there.
The single most frustrating part of this journey has been waiting for referrals, appointments, results and proper treatment. It took 16 LONG horrendous months from the time we got referred to the sleep clinic until he was on the proper treatment regime. During those 16 months we were dealing with 10-15 wake up’s every single night. There were many nights where I would just sit there holding him and cry out of frustration, anger and exhaustion.
Needless to say over time we developed bad sleep habits just to survive. We went from having him in his crib in our room to co-sleeping, which allowed us to get a little more sleep. He would always fall asleep in our arms and needed constant cuddles throughout the night.
We got the results from his last sleep study late this summer which showed he was on the appropriate pressures. His BiPAP machine needed a bit of tweaking as they increased the back up rate on the machine, but that was it.
Now that we knew the medical aspect of his sleep apnea was 100% being correctly treated we knew it was time to tackle the dreaded sleep training. We also knew that we were too far gone to tackle it on our own!
We had ZERO clue what method would work with him being on BiPAP since we can’t let Jax cry for long without him getting super snotty resulting in his mask having to come off and basically start from scratch. So we bit the bullet and hired a sleep consultant.
I will be honest and say I was super apprehensive about this whole thing. I was terrified that the consultant would tell us he has to get rid of his soother (we’ve tried and it was a disaster), or that we had to do the cry it out method, or she would tell us we are screwed and basically never going to sleep again. hahaha! Well I was wrong about everything (as per usual). Our face to face meeting was wonderful and so reassuring. She understood our situation, didn’t tell us we are horrible parents, and she made a total doable sleep plan that catered to Jaxson’s special sleep needs.
First step was to put his crib back into his own room. Which might I add it didn’t HAVE to happen to roll out our sleep plan. But we knew that Jaxson would just do better without having the option of mom’s bed right there. Also it is much easier for ME to cave and bring him to our bed and basically screw up our hard work. Yes, I say ME because I HATE HATE HATE being up in the night (good thing I’ve worked shift work for 10 years) and I will basically do anything to be sleeping. So having Jaxson in his room and hooked up to his BiPAP would ensure that there was no bringing him to our bed.
The first few nights were LONG but we noticed significant improvement with each night. On night 6 we sat in the living room and watched Jaxson on the baby monitor fall asleep on his own. I literally had tears in my eyes watching it happen. Around the 1 week mark Jax caught on to our tactics and was figuring out how to manipulate us using the first plan. Of course this happened right when Alex was headed back to work for a tour and I was left to deal with 3 very brutal nights on my own. One night I got 2 hours of broken sleep, got up to a broken coffee machine (I literally stood there and cried), and called Alex at work saying I was done with this sleep training crap and he was coming back to our bed. I must add here that we were warned about sleep regressions during this period, but I didn’t think they would be this bad. Luckily Alex talked me off the ledge and our consultant made us a new plan to follow. The new plan worked wonders and we started again to see significant improvement with the amount of wake ups he was having and his ability to settle himself back to sleep.
I am VERY VERY VERY happy to say that after 3 weeks of sleep training Jaxson is falling asleep on his own and is able to settle himself back to sleep at night. On average we are still up 2-3 times a night (which is a miracle!!!) and last night I was only up once with him!!! The times we are required to be up are super super quick and easy and he usually just requires us to lay him back down, give him a quick drink of water (his BiPAP dries him out) and untangle him from the air hose and he’s back out for another solid few hours.
Although it was a long few weeks of sleep training it is probably the best thing we have ever stuck out. I know I shouldn’t be, but once again I am amazed at how quick he caught on to sleeping. He learned so many new sleeping skills in such a short period of time. I honestly thought the whole process was going to be so much worse than what it was because we had a couple good years of bad sleeping habits under our belts.
And now that we have so much more time on our hands with a baby that goes to bed earlier and SLEEPS you can expect more blog posts!