Thoughts on Motherhood + Sleep Training

kailee-wright-dock-a-totsimilar pjs + here + Dock a Tot + get $10 off HERE

  .  .  more of houston’s favorite pajamas + blankets below  .  .

 

So I finally had a moment to sit down and write out my thoughts on motherhood + life with four little people. I also wanted to try and answer a bunch of questions that you all have been asking for a while. 

First of all, how do we balance at all? To tell you the truth there really is no balance. I think the whole thing with balance is — we are always trying to find it. As long as we are putting the people we love first and our priorities are in the right order, then I think that’s pretty dang good!! I swear there’s just never enough time in the day. (anyone else feel the same) I am continually trying to find the balance and the minute I think I’ve figured it out, something changes and I’ve got to rearrange things, focus on my people, and just try again to find that balance or peace with myself. 

I always go back to this quote: “To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle, I say be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better then you think you are.” –Jeffery R. Holland.

It just reminds me that we do not have to be perfect, we just have to be trying. Our little people are so forgiving and loving and they see the best in us. I love that every day we can have a fresh start!! That yesterday is over (and most of the time your little people forget that it was one of those crazy days where you lost your temper + the house was a disaster) they won’t remember that. They’re going to remember the time you spent with them, like when you read a story or snuggled them after they were hurt or scared. Motherhood is one of the toughest, most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

OK, now let’s chat about sleep… I posted a couple months ago about how I was “sleep training” Houston and the response I got was insane! I had no idea that it would light such a fire under some people. I think every mother is entitled to parent, sleep train, not sleep train, breast feed, bottle feed, do whatever the way she wants and there is NO wrong or right way to do any of it. All four of my kids have been completely different with their own sleep patterns. Hunter, my oldest, slept through the night at six weeks and we never had to do a thing. With my other little people I had to get them on a schedule. Houston, on the other hand, was super colicky and none of us were getting any sleep. After checking with our doctor and getting the okay for him to be sleeping long we made a plan, that we thought would work best for Houston. 

With my first baby I read a ton of sleeping books and from each one I took bits and pieces that worked for our family and our needs. I personally don’t think any one book has ALL the right answers. A few of my favorite books are ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child‘,  ‘Baby Wise‘, and ‘The Happiest Baby on the Block‘. ‘Baby Wise‘ was way too strict for me so I took bits and pieces that I felt OK using for my babies. The book I absolutely loved — Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy ChildHealthy Sleep Habits, seemed to be the one that fit best with our family.

I know some people completely jumped to conclusions when I said “sleep training” — and sleep training can mean a bunch of different things to a bunch of different families. Some mentioned that it meant letting your baby cry it out for hours and hours through the night, but that is not what it meant for us. I think what works best for you and your individual baby is what you should do (also I am not claiming to be an expert, I am just sharing what worked for us and our family). We decided to let Houston cry on his own for FIVE minutes at a time. Then we would go in and comfort him, check if he was poopy etc., but we wanted to see if he could self soothe or comfort himself back to sleep. (Also we would watch him on the monitor for the entire 5 mins). Hence, he was super colicky for nearly 6 months so we had never let him cry past a few minutes without swaddling, wearing him in my Solly Wrap, or bouncing him. It only took him three nights to be able to soothe himself back to sleep and the maximum time he ever cried was 15 minutes. We were completely okay with this because we felt that was a safe amount of time for both Houston and us as parents to handle. After that, he was sleeping through the night!! And our “through the night” was from 9 pm to 5 am.

I know “sleeping through the night ” can mean a whole lot of different things to everyone and I don’t think there is any certain time that qualifies as “sleeping through the night”. Haha. We knew this was the right thing to do for Houston as he was a completely different baby after the three nights – he was happier, more content and started gaining weight!!! Sleep is such a powerful thing, for everyone!!  Also, I have to mention of course I got super nervous + was a complete wreck when he started sleeping through the night, well pretty much the second we brought him home!! I get huge anxiety about my babies sleeping and SIDS. The one thing that changed the way we slept was the Owlet Baby Monitor. Honestly, I can’t say enough about this amazing-so worth-every-penny monitor!! You can read my post about it HERE and how we have used it since the minute we brought Houston home from the hospital.

Also, a ton of you have asked about things we used for sleeping. Some items that helped us a ton was our Dock a Tot!! We’ve traveled a lot since we’ve had Houston and the Dock a Tot has been a big lifesaver as far as sleep goes! Our other kids have struggled the first night or two when we travel because, of course they’re used to sleeping in their crib rather then a pack n’ play. The Dock a Tot fits right into Houston’s crib so when we travel we just put it on the floor or into a pack n’ play and it didn’t seem any different to him. So he hasn’t skipped a beat with sleeping on the go at all!! It was the best option for us.

He moved up to the Grand Dock a Tot a few months ago and it too has been amazing!! It’s a lot bigger which I like because he is growing a lot now. I love this company so much that I called them and asked if I could get a discount code for you guys!! Dock a Tot was so kind that they are offering all of my readers a discount!! Use the code HERE at checkout to receive $10 off any Dock A Tot!! Also, I will be doing a HUGE GIVEAWAY on my Instagram account tonight with BOTH companies around 5:30 pm PST and trust me, you don’t want to miss it!! So be sure to check it out.

Let me know if you have any questions at all or if there’s a specific blog post you’d like me to do!! Thank you all for your support here!! We truly feel it everyday + are so thankful for you all!!

xx – kailee

kailee-wright-dock-a-tot kailee-wright

 

34 Comments

  1. Cynthia eason May 20, 2016

    Loved this post and the encouragement to mom’s about not having to be perfect and all we have to do is try! We used the similar sleeping method with our first born as you mentioned you used with Houston. It was hard at first but after 3 days was “sleep” changing for all of us! Now due with our 3rd (counting our baby born in heaven) at the end of the month..I am eager/nervous to see how this baby’s sleep habits will be. I am already stressing over SIDS…but I think part of that worry is from my recent fertility issues (miscarriage, molar pregnancy, then this surprise healthy pregnancy/baby all last year). But I am trying to be peaceful and trust God–He has aways taken care of us! Thanks again for sharing and God Bless!

    Reply
    • kailee wright May 22, 2016

      Oh sweet Cynthia!!

      You made me cry reading your comment. My mama heart know exactly what you are feeling + going through. Sending love and comfort for your loss. I myself had 3 miscarriages before Houston and the fear never goes away…even with the healthy babe growing inside you. We sound the same, the SIDS thing always freaks me out as well. I don’t think I slept for the first year of my oldest daughters life (and she was the one that slept through the night at 6 weeks!!!) I was so so scared something would happen while she was sleeping. The Owlet has literally given me such a peace of mind and I haven’t had a second thought about SIDS since Houston.
      Thank you so much for sharing with me your story and for your support here!!

      xx
      -kailee

      Reply
  2. Heidi May 20, 2016

    What make the dock a tot safe to sleep in? The sides seem so puffy, what are made of that makes it different then a crib bumper?

    Reply
    • kailee wright May 22, 2016

      Heidi,

      I’m not an expert or know all the safety things, but we felt like the dockatot was completely safe. I think all the safety info is on their website. I do know it is breathable. It was a saving grace for us and we just love it.

      Reply
  3. Amanda Pickett May 20, 2016

    Yay!!! Thank so much for posting about this and for the fabulous discount code!! I’m one sleep deprived mama! I need all the help I can get! My youngest pretty much slept through the night since we brought him home from the hospital and then he turned 6 months and doesn’t want to sleep anymore:(
    loose you blog!!

    Amanda

    Reply
    • kailee wright May 22, 2016

      Amanda!!

      Ugh!! One of may babies did the same thing…and another one at 9months. Is your baby teething? I feel like sometimes that can change it up. Or I just think their sleep patterns change. All my kids usually last about 2 weeks off their normal sleep routine and then they are right back on. It’s crazy but you just go with it and keep doing your thing.

      Thanks so much for your support here!! It means the world.

      Reply
  4. Candace May 20, 2016

    Love this! We did ten minutes, comfort, ten minutes, comfort, etc and it worked for us in three nights as well! But, we do have the same 5 am wake up call too. What do you do at that point? Feed and he goes back to sleep? Or is he up until his morning nap? I’m still trying to figure that part out…. Thanks!

    Reply
    • kailee wright May 22, 2016

      Hey Candace!!

      Don’t you love it when they get it in three nights!!! So since Houston was and still is on the little side (as far as weight goes) I decided to continue the 5am feeding. I just thought he needed those extra calories. My others kids were on the “big” side for weight so I skipped that feeding 3 times and they slept until 7. Houston JUST barely started sleeping until 7am. I think he just finally hit that point + weight gain and can now last the entire night. I think you just have to do what feels right for you, but I hope that helps.
      Just to clear things up my three oldest kids were always in the 98% or off the charts for weight. Houston last time we checked was at 14%. haha. So you see why I decide to continue the feeding. Let me know if you need anything else…if I can help I’ll try.

      xx

      Reply
  5. maddieandsteve May 20, 2016

    What a sweet baby! I completely agree with you that sleep training can mean different things to different parents and babies. There’s a stigma attached to the words “sleep training” and as long as it works for your baby and your family, that’s all that matters! 🙂 Great post!

    Reply
    • kailee wright May 22, 2016

      Maddie!!

      Amen!! Plus thanks so much for reading!!

      xx

      Reply
  6. Amber May 20, 2016

    Hi Kailee! Just spent the last day stalking your Instagram and your blog!!! Love it so much!!! I just had my 4th a little over a year ago and it’s been hard on me! I always struggle with the balance thing and feeling like a failure when I can’t do it all! I love what you said about balance. So true! I also love how you talk about motherhood….mostly positive with a good dose of reality! Thanks for being such an inspiration!!! Also love your style!!! Keep it coming mama and don’t ever stop blogging….mmmmkay???!

    Reply
    • kailee wright May 22, 2016

      Amber,

      Okay…can we be friends in real life?!! Seriously you can’t be any sweeter!! Your comment was exactly what I needed to hear at this time. So thank you from the bottom of my hear!! Honestly it means to much to me to have support from so many other mamas out there.

      xx
      -kailee

      Reply
  7. Amalia May 20, 2016

    We attempted sleep training when my son was just 6 months old. Utter fail. Now he is 11 months old and we are on day 5 today. We are using the Ferber method. I agree with you as we have modified it to fit the needs of our baby. He gets so upset that he vomits. We go in and change him really quick and he falls asleep on his own right after. So far, I think it is working for us because he only has one feeding at night. We are hoping that soon he will stop vomiting when we initially put him down.

    Reply
    • kailee wright May 22, 2016

      Amalia!!

      Oh my word. My sister laws baby did they same thing!! I am so so sorry…All I can say is that it usually just get better and better with each night. My littlest girl was a nightmare, and we didn’t start her until about 11 or 12 months as well. I agree, you got to do what you think is best for your baby and also what you can handle. Hang in there girl…sending hugs!!

      xx

      Reply
  8. Kristy May 21, 2016

    I love this entire post and everything that you’ve done to work with each individual child’s personality. Every baby is different and has to be treated that way. So happy to hear that Houston has adapted well and is a happy little guy. 🙂
    My sister had a baby with severe colic and it was so difficult. Emma was a piece of cake but after in vitro I think I deserved it. LOL.
    I also read ‘baby wise’ and like you found it way too strict but I did take pieces from it that I found helpful.
    You’re such a great mom and I love that you opened up your heart here. People are lucky that you are willing to do so as no one needs to do anything…
    Hugs and have a great weekend. 😀 xoxo

    Reply
    • kailee wright May 22, 2016

      Kristy!!

      Your are truly a gem!! Thank you so so much for your sweet endearing comment. It really means the world to me to have your support here!! And I agree…after all you’ve been through you completely deserve and good baby!! Love you tons!!

      xx
      -k

      Reply
  9. Aubrei May 21, 2016

    Hi, could you talk a bit about his colicky stage and any tips you have? My baby is 6 weeks and cries for sometimes 3 hours no matter what I try. Dr says colick but I worry something may be wrong ?

    Reply
    • kailee wright May 22, 2016

      Oh Aubrei…

      I know your pain. I seriously just wore Houston in my Solly Wrap ALL THE TIME!!! It was honestly the best thing that helped. Have you also heard of the 5’s? I read it somewhere and it has always helped my two colicky babies calm down.
      Swaddle (I swear by this)
      swaying (so rocking or bouncing them while swaddles)
      SHhhing (like literally shhhing in their ear)
      sucking (binky or pacifier)
      side or stomach (my husband would hold our boys in the football hold and do all of the above)
      It would help calm them down a ton. We also tired all the medicines, remedies etc and nothing really worked. (which I don’t think anything really does) I’ve heard this a few times — “by time you’ve tired everything they are usually almost grown out of it, and the last thing parents use usually think it’s the one thing that helped.” haha.
      Heres a linke about the 5’s here: https://happiestbaby.com/using-the-5-ss/

      Hope it helps

      xx

      Reply
  10. Rathpisey Keo May 23, 2016

    This blog is great! I love it. I am going to be a first time mom, and what worries me is sleep training my little one. (which she should be coming out of me sometime this week lol) My mother in law actually came up to me the other day and was all paranoid because her friend was talking to her about SIDS. I was on the same page as her, but of course I had to assure her about the products we purchased and how we could prevent it. As for my mother, I was face timing her, showing her the baby room and Victoria’s crib and she brought up the topic.. Where Victoria is going to sleep? I told her at night I would prefer her to sleep in bed with me and her daddy and in the daytime to stay in her crib. But my biggest fears are SIDS and that Daddy will toss and turn in bed, but ever since I became pregnant, he’s been so protective and assures he stays in corner 😉 (we have a cal king bed). But I came across dockatot IG and I was like I totally need this if she is going to sleep in the same bed as us. Then, I saw you were doing a giveaway. I gave it a shot and I couldn’t believe I won! What interested me with dockatot is the breathable barrier that surrounds the baby. I’m looking forward to trying out dockatot and hopefully Victoria will enjoy it.

    Reply
    • kailee wright May 31, 2016

      Congrats!!!

      xx

      Reply
    • Amalia May 31, 2016

      @keo my thought is to always follow your own motherly instinct. Everyone will have an opinion on baby. I’ve learned also not to always go by “the book”. Babies will have their own sleeping schedule for the first few months. My baby slept in a bassinet up until 4 months. Then we transferred him to a crib. At around 7 months we moved him into our bed. We all got sleep. Now at almost one year old, with some sleep training, he is back in his crib. SIDS is scary, but there are tons of resources we can use to educate ourselves. Best wishes to you!

      Reply
  11. Maile October 26, 2016

    At what age did you start sleep training?

    Reply
    • kailee wright November 23, 2016

      All my kids I did at totally different ages. Just because I felt like each one was ready at a different time. With Houston I waiting until about 8 months but my other have been much earlier like 3.5-5 months. You just got to do what feels right for you and your baby. Plus I always got the okay from their doctor before starting. Let me know if you have any more questions. I’d be happy to help.
      xx

      Reply
  12. Jessica December 20, 2016

    Loved reading this post – Thanks for sharing!! Did you transition Houston in his dock a tot to his crib when sleep training? We have the deluxe for our 4 month old daughter and she sleeps amazingly in it but she sleeps in our bed. We are getting ready to move her and I think she will hate the insecurity of the crib without bumpers like the dock. I know the website says not too but…

    Reply
    • kailee wright December 20, 2016

      Jessica,

      Yeah we put the dock a tot in houston’s crib…because of the same reason. I think it’s just to hard to go straight to nothing. He only used it for about a month or two before we was rolling out of it. I think as a mother you just need to do what you are most comfortable with.

      xx

      Reply
      • Lori January 1, 2017

        Kailee,

        Was he in the Deluxe Doc a Tot when he started rolling out of it? My LO is 4.5 months, was STTN without a peep from 8 weeks to 18 weeks and is now waking up at 2:30am, and sometimes a few times after that. I’m just wondering if he’s desiring more room to move around maybe? Houston literally just rolled OUT of the Dock a Tot one day?! I guess that’s when you know it’s time! Did he go to nothing after that, or move to the Grand?

        Reply
        • kailee wright January 5, 2017

          Hey Lori,

          Oh dang I hate when out babies all of a sudden start waking up in the middle of the night. So once he got too big for the smaller Doc a Tot he moved him to the bigger one. Once in the bigger one he did great for another few months and then started rolling out of the big one. That’s when I knew he was done and no longer needed it. Let me know if that helps or if you have any more questions feel free to ask!
          xx

          Reply
  13. Elvia January 9, 2017

    Do you sleep him in the doc a tot in the crib? If so, how is it going? I was thinking of doing that as well.

    Reply
    • kailee wright January 10, 2017

      Elvia,

      Yes we did put the big doc a tot in the crib for him to sleep and he loved it and slept great!! But when we traveled no we never put it in a crib.

      xx

      Reply
  14. Kim January 9, 2017

    Hello. I’m curious at what age you switched to the larger dockatot? Thank you

    Reply
    • kailee wright January 10, 2017

      Hey Kim!!

      I think it was around 6-7 months, but Houston was a pretty small baby, so I think it just depends.

      Reply
  15. Kelsey Ulm March 16, 2017

    Omg. I would be so grateful if I won! I want one so badly for my new baby coming this may…and I could use one for the one year old because I can’t keep him off the dog bed!!!

    Reply
  16. Dana Smith March 16, 2017

    Love the dockatot giveaway…what a blessing it would be to win. Thanks for doing this!! Great post btw…you are a wealth of knowledge:)

    Reply
    • kailee wright March 16, 2017

      Dana!!
      Thanks for your sweet comment!! I’m glad to share any mistakes I’ve made that have helped me learn and navigate this whole motherhood thing. 😉

      Reply

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