Augustine and His Sleep: The Best Sleep Method for Us

March 6, 2017


Augustine's Sleep Situation

If you’ve been reading Augustine’s updates {like his 4-month one}, you know our little guy isn’t the best sleeper. He’s had a hard time when it comes to sleep since the very beginning. Matthew likes to joke that he’s good at staying awake. Funny but true! Augustine fought sleep and wouldn’t stay asleep for long periods of time. Sometimes he’d sleep for 35 minutes and then be up and want to stay up for another hour and a half, at 3 am! I’d walk around the dark quiet house with him telling him how everyone was asleep, even Ginger, and he needed to go to sleep too. I’d say, “Mommy likes to sleep. Daddy likes to sleep. Even Gingie likes to sleep!” Those nights feel so far away now, which I am incredibly happy about! Today I’m sharing the sleep method that drastically improved Augustine’s sleep.

I was really apprehensive about starting any type of sleep training but we ended up getting to a point where something had to be done, both for my benefit and for Augustine’s. Shortly after that 4-month update we had a particularly bad night where Augustine had two sleep stretches up until 4:45am. One was 45 minutes long and the other was 25 minutes long. Or should I say 25 minutes short? Every single time I tried to put him down he would just cry. And he would also cry when I held him. He’d rub his eyes with his hands so I knew he was tired but he just couldn’t put himself to sleep. The next day was so brutal and I knew we needed to try something. I felt like I wasn’t doing the best job as his mother by not allowing him to have the sleep he desperately needed. I wanted to give him the tools to learn how to self-soothe and fall asleep on his own.

I did a bunch of research on different sleep training ideas and ended up really loving The Happy Sleeper approach. My best friend Lizzie’s sister used this method with both her children and it worked really well. I read the book, “The Happy Sleeper: The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep,” and found myself learning much more than I thought I would. I wish I had read this book during my pregnancy, or at least during the first few months. They don’t recommend starting to sleep coach until 5 months but there were so many great ideas I could have been implementing much earlier on. For me personally, I couldn’t do an abandonment cry it out method and I liked that this book had a plan that seemed a little more gentle.

Sleep Training Advice for 6 Month Old

One thing that concerned me though was that Augustine is a very alert baby. I didn’t know how well he would take to this method. So many articles I read would say to, “Go in and pat and shush your baby until they settle down,” but that would never work for us. Augustine would continue to cry, if not louder, whenever I’d go into his room. I decided to do an in-person consultation with Julie Wright because I felt like I had specific questions about Augustine that I needed help with. I wanted an expert to help decode some of his behavior and give us more tailored guidance.

Meeting with Julie was the best thing we did. It gave me so much more confidence. She really assessed our situation, wrote out a detailed game plan, all the while assuring me that within a week Augustine would be sleeping better. I wasn’t sure if I could believe her but it was true. Within just a few days, actually, Augustine started going to sleep at 7pm on the dot. I’d put him down in his crib awake, and he’d fall asleep on his own. I can’t tell you how happy this made me! We had come from nights where I was back and forth going into his room from 7 to 11pm, trying to calm him down, and rocking him until he fell asleep. Now, he falls asleep on his own and sleeps for 3-4 hours at a time. It’s such a huge improvement! I really feel like this was the best sleep method for us.

The Best Sleep Training Method

There are so many important points in The Happy Sleeper, but the one that was really noteworthy to us was consistency. The consistency of having a set bedtime, and a routine that led up to it, were game changing. I think Augustine really thrives off that routine. If any of you are looking for a sleep coaching method I’d highly recommend this book. There are sections on co-sleeping, multiples, travel, sickness, older children, and even the time change! I know without a doubt that this is a book I will re-reference again and again. There are so many dogeared pages!

I also like that the authors talk about how babies don’t need to be “trained” how to sleep. They already know how to sleep because it’s an innate, biological function. Babies just need parents who can be nurturing but also structured and clear. Hoping Augustine’s sleep continues to improve and that the next milestone will be him sleeping through the night! Fingers crossed!


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