[Update: Three years after I wrote this post, we found ourselves once again facing sleeping issues, this time with our second baby. I wrote about it here, I think this “second opportunity” allowed us to explore alternatives to CIO sleep training and gave us a more complete insights into human baby’s sleeping issue. If you are struggling with baby’s sleeping issue and are thinking about sleep training your baby, I strongly recommend you to check out both this post and the one I wrote three years after.]
SLEEP is not a glorious word.
At least not until I have a baby.
It seems like SLEEP and BABY make the best case of “either or” for parents, and neither do they seem to get along very well. So to reconcile the baby and the sleep, I think, is one of our parenting goals. As impossible as it seems, the good news is it IS possible.
I personally agree that parenthood is associated with lots of sacrifices. Sacrifices with purpose, that is. And sacrificing sleep every once in (or many times for) a period is of course part of having a baby in the house. We knew what we signed up for when the test kit turned out positive, didn’t we?
Not sleeping enough everyday (make that very little sleep everyday), however, is not. And it shouldn’t be. Because it does no good to anyone in the house. Sleep deprived parents don’t make great parents and sleep deprived baby turns fussy and cranky (we all know so well their brain needs the sleep to fuel its growth).
Here’s how we tried to parent better by getting enough decent sleep for everyone. (Since this is going to be a long post and I won’t be able to finish writing in one sitting, I’ll write about this topic in parts).
We figured out pretty early that nursing-to-sleep was a super wonderful sleep inducing method. It had never failed us…until Baby is 7 months old. So for the first seven months of her life, Baby had been ‘taught’ to sleep that way. She co-slept with us by the way, a very light sleeper she is, we never seemed to be able to move her from our bed to crib without waking her up.
When she was 7 months old, however, she decided that nursing was not going to work no more. So instead of dozing off immediately, still latched on, both of us would be lying down on the bed playing the drama of a desperate mommy nursing a wakeful baby who was obviously showing no sign of retreat. On more lucky nights, she would doze off, only to be awaken by the slightest sound and demanded to nurse again, and dozed off again, and got awaken, and nursed, and on and on.
The whole drama would play for 2 hours. A silent 2-hour night, every single night. Tell me about maintaining-communication-with-spouse-at-the-end-of-day (what communication?).
As if that weren’t enough, Baby would wake up in the middle of the night for another nursing session, not that she was hungry but she just needed to nurse to go back to sleep. My sleepy mind said it was probably 3 waking-ups, I tend to believe it was more.
After enduring one month of messy house due to the non-cleaning, tensed and overtired parents, and miserable baby, Hubby and I decided to sleep train Baby. It was not one easy decision but it was one of the best we had ever made.We’ll talk about it more in the next post.
Meanwhile, any sleep deprived parents and babies struggle with similar issues? Care to share your stories?