Do They Have Sleep Training for Moms?

Tonight looked something like this:

Sometimes bedtime can be a joy – Lila is cool, stories, snuggles, songs.  Lucy falls asleep in my arms.  It is not 80 degrees in the house.  Cal isn’t doing anything he is not supposed to be doing and B-Cat isn’t screaming for her 35th helping of crunchies that night. Tonight was not one of those nights.  Three out of four of us may have been in tears at one point, there may have been a forceful teethbrushing session with an uncooperative toddler and B-Cat may still not have her desired amount of crunchies in her bowl.

Lucy’s six month check up was a week ago and I staved off any discussion of sleep training or modifications for Lucy stating that things were good.  She went to bed between 8-9pm, she slept until 1-2am, ate and then slept until 5-6am.  Would I prefer a 7-7 schedule?  Sure, but I also like feeding Lucy.  I like cuddling with her.  I miss her during the day.  I can’t feed her at lunch time anymore.  It is unclear if we’ll have more kids and everyday I am aware that this may be the last time I do X with a baby.  The doctor told us that if we were happy, that was fine and there was nothing showing that children who were “sleep trained” performed any differently in life than those who were not.  Sweet.  Lucy and I would keep on doing how we do.

Then Lucy got a cold last week.  And was up every 90 minutes.  I realized that we just can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing. So I’ve been researching sleep (do you know about ISIS Parenting?  It is the most amazing thing in the world.  I love the webinars, I love their attitude and I just love the information.  Follow Nancy Holtzman on Twitter.  She is a treasure.) Lucy is still in our bedroom.  This is partly because we dragged our feet on getting a crib and figuring out how to put two kids in one room.  The other part is my refusal to accept that Lucy is already at the point where she isn’t my little baby who can be cuddled and snuggled and sleep wherever.   (Honestly, maybe back to my hippie flag waving, but I’d co-sleep with her if there wasn’t already a husband, beagle and cat in bed with us.  I love bringing her into bed with us.)  But it is becoming clear that being in our room, nursing her to sleep, not having a dark quiet place for her to fall asleep, this is all preventing her from sleeping through the night.

So tonight I fed her separate from bedtime and didn’t nurse her to sleep.  We both cried a bit about it as I held her and tried to offer the pacifier instead as she worked at falling asleep.  We put together her crib and she’ll start sleeping in it tomorrow night. I’m still really torn.  The logical part of me knows that this move is what is best for her, especially with another child and two full time working parents.  The emotional part of me?  I’m just not okay with it.  I don’t know how to balance the two.  Maybe all the crazy emotionalness will go away with sleep, but I think the realization that with or without my permission Lucy is going to grow up (and do it quickly) is one with which I just need to get on board.

PS – Lucy’s crib is still in the office until she is a more reliable sleeper so she won’t wake Lila up.  There is a spare bed in the office.  It is entirely possible I sneak in there to sleep and listen to her breath more than once or twice a week.

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Comments

  1. Grandma Dede says:

    When you were all small there were not all the blogs and websites to refer to about how to deal with different issues. We did what felt right. The sound of one of my babies crying usually broke my heart and I would do what it took to settle you. None of you became chronic sleepers in our bed and are all pretty independent (sometimes too independent).
    Isn’t it possible that Lucy and sometimes Lila miss you as much as you miss them. Maybe bedtime fights are because they don’t want their time with you to end. I know they have to sleep because they are up early and have long days, but maybe looking at it differently will make it easier for you. All three of you made it clear when you were ready to stop nursing to sleep.
    Ultimately the decision of how to handle you children is yours, but my vote is to let Lucy be a baby a little longer.

  2. Girl, I wish Sean slept through the night at 6 months! He had stint for a few weeks at that age and then reverted back to waking up once a night until he was probably 9.5 months old or so. I read that you shouldn’t give them milk and all that stuff as a way to go to bed but I did it with Sean for a long time, until he got to after 1 and then just gave him the milk about 30 minutes before bath/bedtime. I agree with your mom, do what you think is right–her own place to sleep is probably nice and better for everyone but I don’t see why she couldn’t still get nursed to sleep. Obviously do what you think is best though! But don’t beat yourself up about this stuff–in the grand scheme of things, I bet you won’t even remember this a few years from now!

    • Washington Woman says:

      I definitely fed Lila at night until she was about 1 and it didn’t do her in. I ended up nursing Lucy down last night because she woke up about 2 hours after I put her down. I miss cuddling too much to give it up right now. We’ll try the crib, but I’ll still nurse her on demand for a while. (And probably sleep in her room a few times too.)

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