Crazy. That is what I have been driving myself… and my poor husband too. C-R-A-Z-Y! When I was pregnant I read every book I could get my hands on about sleep training. I love sleep- like… it’s very important to me. And I wanted to do everything I possibly could to be sure I would continue to get the best sleep once our little bundle of joy arrived.
I made handouts on the books I read, I made “cheat sheets” and quick references (it must be the teacher in me…) and I placed them around the nursery. I stuck them on our refrigerator and put them in the book where I would record our baby’s sleep times, diapers, and feeds. I was ready to tackle this. I knew I would rock this sleep training and every new mom on the block would envy me, my well rested face, and my darling child who would sleep through the night at 8 weeks of age (and by sleeping through the night, I mean a 5-7 hour stretch).
Well. Fast forward and my child is 8 weeks old. Not. Sleeping. Through. The. Night. Not only is he not sleeping through the night, but I… ME…. The Lover of Sleep is also not sleeping. Crying, I ask myself what I am doing wrong. Why is this training not working… I am following the books to a T- putting the baby down when drowsy but not asleep, not using sleep aides… blah, blah, blah.
Besides this sleeping through the night thing not working, all my attempts to get our child onto a schedule were also falling flat. No 6:00am wake ups and 7:30am naps. Every day was different. My son was getting frustrated with me…and I’m not going to lie…I was beginning to become frustrated with him. I mean…what was wrong with this kid??
I was in the shower one night crying hysterically at the fact I was failing as a sleep trainer and schedule maker. The thing I knew I would rock, was actually rocking me. And then it hit me upside my head. I need to enjoy my baby. Not “train” him. Not “schedule” him. Enjoy him. Enjoy this stage that will be but a speck in my memory as he grows older and more independent.
So what if I couldn’t get him to fall asleep on his own? He was 8 weeks old for peat sakes- 56 days young. Instead of watching him fall asleep in my arms and feel nothing but stress because he wasn’t in his crib, I decided to enjoy these precious moments. My baby won’t stay a baby forever. I was wishing away and wasting these sweet moments that I would never get back.
Maybe this is bad advice…but if you are struggling with sleep training too- you may want to just take a break from it. Enjoy your baby at this stage of life. Rock and hold your child as she falls asleep in your arms and soak up every minute of it. I can attest to the fact that once I let go and decided to become more flexible, even though the sleep didn’t come any easier, I was able to not feel such pressure. I was able to enjoy being a momma, not wonder what I was doing wrong.
If you are one who was able to sleep train- don’t think I am hating on you. Actually, I am quite jealous of you and your sleeping beauty. Kudos to you; I’m glad it was able to work out- but for me it
didn’t…….hasn’t yet. My message here isn’t that sleep training is “bad”- I still think it is a great idea and am bummed it hasn’t worked out for us as of now. My message is that as a new mom, you have to do what you have to do. For me, that was putting training aside for a while and enjoying my baby and those sleepy time cuddles.
I know in the future my child will eventually sleep through the night. It will happen. I won’t have to go off to college with him to rock him to sleep at night. There are so many successful sleep training stories out there; I wanted to share my fail. So that if you too are a proud failer like I, you can know that you aren’t alone. There is at least one other sleep trainer failer out there with you.
What sleepy time strategies have you used? What has worked? What hasn’t? Please only positive comments and suggestions. No tearing others down.