As I sit here creating today’s post, i’m the usual messy hair, hoodie, no make-up and yoga pants. Frankly, I don’t have time for anything extending beyond that right now…and if I’m being honest, I’m too damn tired to care. I know I’m not the only mother out there whose little one has a wishy-washy sleep pattern… if you want to even venture to call it a pattern. From the moment we brought our bundle of joy home, she’s evaded sleep as much as she can…she laid the ground rules from day one on how she will sleep, when, where, and how long. I, being the new again mother at 31 let her makes the rules. Now I’m kicking my own ass for it.
I can’t begin to explain how i savor every hug, kiss, cuddle, smell, and move she makes. She is a blessing beyond words. BUT….if only she slept better. The first 6 months we tried the pack n play, carseat, crib, bassinet, nap nanny, co-sleeping, the list goes on. I nursed Jaycee for the first year, so co-sleeping often won out due to the convenience it created for nursing. At around 8 months old, I transitioned her to her crib and despite waking 2-3 times a night still she got the hang of it. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. (hold your breath!) The nights started to get easier and the 2 a.m. crib parties slowly decreased.
Then we regress. Damn It i was almost successful… or so you think right?!
Right around her 1st Birthday, we went from a pleasant night of maybe 1 or at tops 2 very short wake up calls to up every couple hours. Not just up, but up, crying, didn’t want to be rocked, cuddled, held, nothing. So…we (as in I), gave up (yes i said i gave up, don’t judge) and once that first wake up call hit around midnight I just took her to bed with me and things calmed down. Back to waking up 2x a night now that we are in Mommy’s bed! Clearly not the best choice, but for the sake of my sanity and needing to look just a tad less zombie like… i made the choice!
So here we are… i have a fun loving, sweet, funny, and full of personality 16 month old. She goes to bed every night between 7 and 7:30. My attempts to keep her up later did not pan out well and she was miserable. So we keep the bedtime the same. Every night like clock-work around 6 or so, she will crawl up on my lap with her blanket and we will cuddle and watch Dora the Explorer and read books until around 7. During this time she usually drinks her cup of almond milk and her tummy is nice and full at bedtime. Come 7, we go to her room and rock and cuddle. Normally, she’s out within 15 minutes. I put her in her crib and she is peaceful as can be. Not to mention sweet looking as ever! Then you can set your watch… around midnight I hear her on the monitor saying “HI”…”Mommy”…”HI”, “HI”….”Mommy”…with an occasional “Peek-a-boo” in there. I usually don’t go in her room unless she starts crying…which within about ten minutes of starting her “HI” fun…the crying usually comes. I’m a sucker for crying! I can’t stand knowing she is in there crying and just laying in bed myself doing nothing about it. I feel like…Why would i NOT go in there and hold her or comfort her?? What would be my reason?? I don’t have one. It just makes me feel terrible. So even those nights when i say “OK..tonight I’m just going to let her cry a bit and see what happens”… I STILL find myself after about 1 minute going in and picking her up. I can’t stop myself. Now let me add, I’m not judging those that sleep train. Frankly, I’ve not ruled it out for myself at this point. I just struggle with making that decision.
I used to be able to go in there, pick her up and rock her for a few minutes and she’d go back to sleep. I’d put her in her crib and then she’d usually wake next around 5. Now…i go in and try that and as soon as i lay her down she’s a mess and crying and upset. So again, we end up going to my bed. Now i realize, I AM MY BIGGEST PROBLEM! I GET THAT! I have a very hard time letting her cry at night. However, I’ve read articles and other mom’s stories where they have sleep trained and it’s been a huge success. To counteract that, I’ve also read those same articles that rebut the effectiveness of sleep training that venture to discuss the “effects” it has on babies. So I’m torn! I’ve read a couple books, listened to parenting advice, and still I’m at a crossroad. I can survive on less sleep than i ever thought I could. I know that now. However, I’d love to sleep more if i was able. I’d love to sleep more if my sweet baby slept more too.
I realize this doesn’t last forever. That’s what i keep telling myself to get thru these long days and nights. I love my sweet baby more than words could express…. I know this is just “one of those things”. I don’t get mad at her or yell or feel anger about it. She’s just a baby! But i do miss sleep. I just wonder if there’s any reasonable solution to help my baby sleep better. I am certain she’d be even happier if she slept better at night. We’d both be happier
So mama’s out there… what’s your experience and what method did you choose or not choose and why?? I would LOVE to hear your feedback on this topic!! Advice welcome too!!!