For weeks I’ve avoided blogging because I didn’t want to admit defeat. I didn’t want to face the world of super parents who have sleep trained their children while mine still slept next to me and my husband. I’m no super mom and I don’t really want to be one but for two nights my baby has spent half the night in his crib. Now for all the Cry It Out parents, that may seem like a minuscule accomplishment, but for me it’s nothing short of amazing.
There’s no particular method, just a slow process of getting him used to sleeping on his own. And I won’t leave him to cry, not even for one minute. I can’t say I have any evidence that letting a baby cry isn’t good for them because I don’t really know if it is or not. But what I do know is leaving my baby to cry for any period of time feels completely unnatural to me. I respect other moms who can do it. But I also understand why many moms don’t.
I’m going to wrap up this post before I make any enemies. If there’s one thing I learned since becoming a mom, it’s never insult a mother’s way of sleep training her little one. And so I will end with this thought: I’m going to enjoy this transition period because it means we both get to have everything we want and everything we need. We both get to sleep in our respective beds for a few hours, uninterrupted by the other’s movements. But we also get to enjoy the bonding time that comes with sleeping next to each other the second half of the night. In a few weeks (or months) he will be sleeping in his crib the entire night and he’ll probably be fine, but I will miss him terribly. As a working mom who only get’s to see my little one a few hours a day, there is no sweeter feeling than falling asleep while holding my baby’s hand.
After receiving some great advice from friends and readers I took the first step to moving my baby out of our bed. Last night, after his bath time and his bottle, I put him in his pack n play. I was an experience that helped me learn a bit more about my son’s personality. For two hours he tossed and turned and tried to climb out. I was amazed with his tenacity and perseverance. At six months old, he was trying to figure out how to get out of the pack n play and into my bed. But I did not give up. And neither did he. First he tried to seduce me into picking him up by looking into my eyes and giving me a big smile. And while that ALMOST worked, I stayed strong. Then he yelled at me for about one hour. He didn’t cry. He just yelled, as if to say, “how dare you abandon me?” Then he tried to climb out. All I could do was bury my face in my pillow and laugh. Two hours later, he wore himself out and started crying. That is one sound I cannot stand to hear. Plus I think he was trying to tell me that he was thirsty. I know I would be if I exerted all that effort. So I picked him up, gave him what was left in his milk bottle and he passed out.
We made it through half the night with him in his pack n play. I woke up around 1 AM to pump and found myself counting the hours till 7 AM so that I could bring him into our bed and play. I only made it to four AM. And while he was perfectly fine, I wasn’t. He spent the rest of the night next to us. Tonight we will try again 🙂
And one note about the pumping. I have decided to keep going, mostly because my prince doesn’t seem to like formula. He’s the boss.
Two days ago my husband took baby boy to his monthly checkup. I’m usually the one who takes him and I really love his pediatrician. She is a new mom herself and so her advice resonates on a more real level. We chat as if we are two friends having coffee and talking about our kids. But I couldn’t go this last time because I had to work. So when my husband came home and told me his pediatrician needed to talk to me about a few things I was doing, I knew I was in trouble. And I knew what she was going to tell me. But I’m not one to shy away from criticism so I quickly picked up the phone and called her answering service. She called me soon after and after a moment of chit chat she told me what I didn’t want to hear but know is the truth: it’s time to put the baby in his own bed and his own room. Just hearing those words made my heart sink. But I know she’s right. My best friend, who is also a pediatrician, has lectured me on this in the past but that was before he was six months old and I thought I still had time.
Now though, I know that if I sleep train him he will soon sleep through the night without waking up and that by keeping him next to me as a snuggle bunny, I was only being selfish. I promised that I would try to at least put him in his pack ‘n play in my room. The idea of putting him in his own room, all alone, is just unbearable at the moment. And what I don’t want to do is go through reading another sleep training book. So if you would, I beg of you to give me advice. How did you sleep train your baby? How long did it take? And was it worth it? And please, please don’t tell me I have to let him cry.
One thing you should know about me is, growing up, I was always the teacher’s pet. I don’t like when the teacher is disappointed in me. So I have to get this assignment right. But unlike grade school, I don’t have a clear text book on how to ace this exam. I hope that you can help.
When my baby decided he would have nothing to do with breastfeeding at the age of two weeks, I decided I would pump exclusively to make sure he got the nutrition he needed. For those of pump, you know, it’s no easy thing. It’s uncomfortable and it’s time consuming. It’s also a God-send for those who can’t breastfeed. I told myself, if I could just get him to four months, that would be great. When I got to four months, I decided I could keep going because it’s really best for them to get breast milk until six months. So I vowed to keep going. This weekend my sweet boy turned six months. And to be honest, I’m really sick of this pumping thing. And it’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to find the time to do it at work. But, while my supply is decreasing, the milk is still there and I feel guilty stopping. So everyday, I ask myself, should I keep going? I haven’t decided. What do you think?