We totally sleep-trained. And I would do it again in a heartbeat.
At the 15-month appointment, the doctor asked if I had any concerns. I mentioned that the kiddo STILL didn't sleep all the way through the night. Some nights were better than others, and there was a period of time where he was sleeping until 4:30 or 5 a.m. It was doable, but we hadn't seen those kinds of wake-ups in a while. And I was tired. (As my husband mentioned earlier that week, the baby had a 15-month grace period. It was time to sleep. I agreed.)
The doctor asked me if she had given us the "Chapter 5" talk. I said no, but I was intrigued, and I wanted that talk RIGHT THEN. The nurse literally brought in a copy of a chapter out of a book on sleep training. It was the Ferber method - or crying it out.Side note: I tried letting the child cry it out back in September. My husband was out of town for several nights, and on the first night the baby cried for two hours before I finally broke down and went in and nursed him back to sleep. It was a disaster.
Basically with this method, we would let the baby wake up on his own and if he was fussy, we'd go in at certain time increments and reassure him that we were there. We couldn't pick him up (which meant I could not nurse him back to sleep.)
The first night, he woke at midnight. I went in after 5 minutes, let him know I was there, it would be ok, and he needed to go back to sleep. He kept crying (harder!) and 10 minutes later, my husband went in. Same thing. he cried another 15 minutes, I went in. And another 15 minutes after that, my husband went in to check on him. I was getting ready to go in again, but he had fallen back to sleep.
And he slept until 7:30 the next morning. Life was grand.
The next night, he slept until 5:00. We did the same routine, but this time we started at 10 minutes, then 15 and finally 20 minute increments. That happened to occur on a morning I was going running at 6, and it took the baby over an hour to fall back asleep (and he slept until after 8 a.m.)
The third night, he woke a little after 6, and by 7 a.m., I just got him out of bed.
On the fourth night, he slept until 7:30. It was a Sunday night, and I will never forget that feeling of how rested I was for work on a Monday morning.
It hasn't been perfect for the past month. Some days he wakes a little earlier than others, and he occasionally cries in the middle of the night, but not long enough that we've had to go in and check on him. We traveled over Christmas and he did pretty well (which gives me hope because we have two upcoming hotel stays in the next 4 months.)
I'm so happy that we're getting more of this: