Let’s talk about sleep, BABY.
As I sit here strumming these words out on my keyboard I can’t help but note that it is well past both of our bedtimes and unfortunately neither of us are sleeping very well at the moment. At Nora’s last doctor visit and the one before that our pediatrician politely asked “Is she sleeping through the night?” I quickly laughed and responded with a big no both times and both times he gave me the same response, “Hm… She should be.”
So, we clearly had work to do. But being a first time Mom and realizing you need to sleep train is a terrible feeling. You’re pretty much LOST. Cry it out, No tears, Pick up/Put Down, Wake to Sleep, Something about a chair…. The list goes on but they are all equally confusing to someone who is already sleep deprived, new at this and just wants more than anything to get one uninterrupted night of sleep! I knew I couldn’t handle much crying. I’m a softy at my core and I’m even more of a softy when it comes to that little girl.
Wes was heading out of town a few weeks ago for a wedding and Nora and I were staying behind so I decided we would try whatever method of “sleep training” I could handle while he was gone. If you think I’m a softy? You should see this guy…
To say we went through nearly 8 months fighting for whatever sleep we could get- sleep training was so incredibly easy compared to how I envisioned it in my head. I truly was prepared for the worst. I read the books and articles, I knew that the longer I waited to start the process the longer the process actually becomes, but after one night of listening to Nora fuss (NOT CRY. Let me be clear here that I did NOT let her cry it out. And that when she goes into her panicked cry mode I ALWAYS go to her room after giving her a few seconds to sort herself out) she was “cured” and sleeping pretty solidly for me!
From this I learned that I was the biggest problem. I had been keeping up with feeding her at night when she woke up crying because she didn’t take to eating solids as well and as quick as I would have felt comfortable with. Making her go all night without food at that point seemed harsh for me. I had also been rushing to her side too quickly. I can’t help it! I’m a Mama! I’m finding out quickly that Nora is a better sleeper than I have been letting her be. My harsh feelings towards anything that even remotely resembled the CIO method had me refusing to be “one of those” and I’m sad to say that with a little bit of fussing I probably could have been sleeping soundly much sooner.
At this point Nora still isn’t technically sleeping through the night as she is still waking up once, fussing for about 2 minutes and then going right back to sleep. So, while she is still waking me up each night, it’s super brief and I’m not having to physically get up with her, so we’re onto something!
Being a Mama is already tough, and trying to figure out the right method for teaching your baby to enjoy sleep can be a killer decision. After all, we’re all just doing our best right? I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know about sleep training or infant sleep, and we continue to have rough nights along with amazing nights just like we adults do. I am hopeful that the worst of our “bad sleep days” are over with and I’ll say a prayer that if you’re in the same boat we’ve been in that yours will come to an end too soon!