We’re tired here. We’ve actually been tired for a couple weeks now.
For some reason, we have yet to understand, Naya has been regularly waking up several times in the middle of the night. And we, unsure of what’s going on, have been answering her calls.
We are not amused.
For the first week or so, we were pretty worried because we were woken up to her crying— and not that “pay attention to me” cry she’s perfected as of late, but the real, “Oh my GOD! What is wrong with my poor baby?!” kind of cry.
But this week, we’ve graduated to 2 a.m. wake up calls of, “You O.K., Lion? You O.K., Mama? You O.K., Elmo?” And, despite being reminded to go back to sleep, this conversation can maintain itself for a couple hours a night.
So, while this is a definite improvement, I promise you this reads as much more amusing than it actually is. Especially in my thinner-than-paper-walled house.
I should back up a little here.
When I was growing this baby, I had every intention to be the perfect model of attachment parenting.
Then, you know, I had my particular baby and realized that my particular situation didn’t completely allow for all that perfection.
So, when Naya was about 8 months old (I think that’s when– it’s all kind of hazy, really), still waking up every hour to nurse, and dealing with a mama (and a daddy) who was beyond exhausted, beyond impatient, and always just a little bit sick, we decided enough was enough.
We did it. We sleep trained our daughter. I admit it. We did it and we don’t regret it for a minute.
Does that mean it’s right for your family? Only you can decide that. Of course, it’s a beautiful thing to be responsive to your child’s individual needs 24/7. Of course it is. For us, however, it was also important that 1. Naya actually get the rest she needed, 2. I stop being an impatient, emotionalbasketcasezombiemother, and 3. my husband and I actually get to spend some time together that wasn’t the two hours every night we spent trying to rock Naya to sleep and keep her that way.
And for us, sleep training accomplished all of those things.
First, being a person who absolutely CANNOT HANDLE hearing my child cry (though, with the onset of this whole 2-year-old attitude, I have to admit I’m becoming far more comfortable with it than I imagined possible), I knew the traditional cry-it-out method was NOT for us. I bought this book that guaranteed a no-cry sleep solution.
I spent hours charting our sleeping patterns, coping mechanisms, food intake, etc.
Yea. THAT was a complete waste of time I could have spent sleeping. (For me. You might find it’s the best thing ever.)
Then, a childhood friend and mother of three suggested The Sleep Lady’s method, promising me more sleep by the end of a week.
Oh you know I was looking into that.
My husband and I spent a good part of a week of vacation poring over the book, discussing it, deciding we would give it our best effort, and planning a start date.
Then, a week or so after our trip, when we had reestablished our normal routine, we did it.
It wasn’t easy. My husband took the first, worst night of sitting next to Naya’s crib, holding my frustrated daughter’s hand until she fell asleep on her own. I’ll admit I couldn’t have done that night.
But, by the second night, when it was my turn, things were better. And, by the fourth night, we were almost rested (if not exactly well-rested).
Around this time, we started noticing Naya reaching developmental benchmarks more rapidly than ever (which, of course, could have been purely coincidental). She also became (even) more agreeable during the day.
Naps, as The Sleep Lady is the first to point out, were the toughest part in our sleep training program (though, of course, we have yet to approach the “better” situation). They were, however, conquered, and since then, Naya typically does down for hers after a quick snuggle and song.
Now, our bedtime routine (snack, teeth brushing, pajamas, books, bed) takes about 30 enjoyable (for all of us) minutes. And, until this month, Naya has slept through the night pretty regularly.
Of course, there have been the occasional setbacks of travel, illness, and the like– and we (if not exactly happily) readily break our sleep routine to accommodate for our baby girl’s comfort.
But this latest one is baffling us.
Better get out the book.