Top positive review
Works with some tweaks
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2018
It worked for me with some tweaks. I started my son’s sleep training boot camp at 2 1/2 months and it took about 3 weeks for him to sleep the 12 hrs (sometimes 13hrs!). He’s 4months old now and I haven’t had any issues since we finished training.
I’m breastfeeding and have a fussy baby, so the 4hr stretch didn’t work. It was possible to accomplish, but I didn’t find it worth continuing when my baby was grumpy all the time. So I feed him every 3hrs. When he dropped his night feedings, I started giving him a bottle of breast milk for his last feeding to ensure he goes to sleep with a full tummy (the author recommends pumping).
Room environment: turn up the white noise and room must be completely dark! For so many weeks he would wake up at the crack of dawn, as soon as ANY light came into the room at 6:30AM, he was ready for the day. When I put in room darkening shades, literally the next day he slept until 8AM.
Naps: I was lost in this area. The author’s nap schedule only works for older babies. Newborns sleep a lot during the day! You got to get the naps straightened out if you want your baby sleeping 12 hours. Babies can only sleep so much, so if the baby is sleeping too much during the day then 12hrs at night is too much to expect. On the other hand, an overtired baby does not equal 12hrs of sleep at night either. There needs to be a good balance depending on the age. Babysleepscience.com was my BEST resource for naps, for free!
Limited Crying: Author suggests 3-5mins of crying before soothing the baby. This never worked for me until I pushed it to 10minutes. Once I soothe him after 10minutes, he’s done for sure and goes to sleep. Most of the time, he will stop around 7minutes on his own. But never before 5minutes. You have to know your baby, but make sure you have a plan and stick to it. Don’t just randomly decide for one crying session run in after 3 minutes and then the next one wait 15 minutes. You have to be fair to the baby. Give the baby a chance to learn how to self-soothe with a consistent limited crying time. Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman really helped me understand the significance of “pausing”, or allowing the baby to learn how to self-soothe.
Dropping the feedings: When training started, my son had two night feedings to drop. The author has a GREAT strategy to drop the feedings. Basically reduce the amount of feeding time (if you’re breastfeeding) every three days until the baby is ready to drop the feeding. And at the same time, every time the baby sleeps past the feeding time, that time always becomes the new feeding time.
I LOVED this gentle but forward-moving strategy. However, I didn’t have the patience to do this for two feedings lol. I honestly wanted faster results. So I used the author’s strategy for one feeding and I used my pediatrician’s advice for the other. You’re supposed to work on the second night feeding first, and then work on the first feeding last. My son’s feedings were 2AM and 5AM. For the 5AM feed, I did what my Ped said, which was to just stop giving it to him. Every time he cried, I waited 5mins and then soothed him with the pacifier. It only took 3 nights for him to stop asking for it, exactly what my ped said. I felt bad but I needed to speed it up. Then for the 2AM feed, I did exactly what the author suggests, and it only took 2 weeks for my son to drop the feeding.
Bad habits (or sleep associations, sleep crutches): I went against some of the authors advice and developed a few bad sleep habits. I understood that eventually I would need to break them and it would extend sleep training but it seemed worth it for my sanity. For example, before sleep training boot camp, you’re supposed to put the baby down to sleep while he’s sleepy but not fully asleep (FYI, for real sleep training boot camp, you put them in the crib fully awake). Some weeks were so difficult having a newborn, so I needed my break in the evening. I rocked him to sleep and called it a night. Eventually I had to stop this but I did it during an easier phase of his newborn life.
I think those were all my major tweaks to the training. You must think outside the box and remember you’re not receiving an individual sleep training service. This book is written to a general population, so adjust to your baby’s needs.
I truly believe any sleep training program will work, as long as your consistent. If you’re comfortable with letting your baby cry for a limited time, then this training can work if you do your part.