A fun post to begin 2012

While all of you are posting your resolutions, I thought I'd talk about something way more fun- sleep training! (hurray!)

I guess I'm not a planner. I mean, the writing is on the wall.
When I was teaching, about 90% of my best lessons were thought of on the fly.  No planning, no prep.
I got a story published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book that I wrote and submitted moments before the deadline.
I was 5 months pregnant with W when I woke up, said we needed to sell our house, called our real estate agent and had the house on the market and sold within a few weeks.

So it should be no surprise that, last night at around 11p.m. I decided that I would ring in 2012 by sleep training my 6.5 month old.

W was such a good sleeper for the first two months of his life. I mean, so good that I cockily told my mother that "he'll be sleeping through the night by three months". WHYYYYYYYYY? Why would I have ever put that out there? Because, obviously, I breed children who never sleep and want to torture their poor mother by making her an exhausted mess.

When Z was 7.5 months, I was such a hot mess of sleeplessness that my husband insisted that we sleep train him. I was so resistant but, you know, in the end it was 100% worth it. I needed him to sleep and Z needed sleep. So I knew that, if it came to it, I would be ok to sleep train W. And apparently that day arrived on January 1.

W has been waking up every two hours during the night. EVERY TWO HOURS. Those are newborn hours. He is very sleepy throughout the day, has trouble napping, and (even though he's really really really good tempered) it has made him more moody and frustrated than I would like to see for my sweet baby.

If I'd been a good planner, I would have done sleep training the week that my husband was home for Christmas holidays. The week that someone would be around to let me sleep in and nap as necessary. But a planner I am not. So at 11 p.m. I decided that tonight was the night that W was going to sleep.

He awoke at 1:30 a.m.  I lay in bed. 10 minutes later I popped into his room, made him way more angry (apparently I'm not comforting at all), left his room and lay down for another 10 minutes. This went on for almost an hour when, amazingly, he fell asleep. I mean, he had cried for almost that whole hour (waking up his brother twice, which is another reason for the sleep training) but then he fell asleep on his own. And he stayed asleep, on his own. Until 7 a.m. On His Own!

I know a lot of people struggle with the idea of sleep training. I do too. But I also struggle with the idea of babies that are so sleep deprived that they don't know what to do with themselves and their mothers who feel the same. And my baby is being sleep trained because he's ready. He is more than heavy enough to sleep through the night. He is waking up annoyed, not starving or needing me. He's not sick. There are a lot of factors that go into my decision to sleep train my baby. And, yes, there is an element of selfishness in sleep training. I'm tired. I need to sleep. I have two babies who need me and I can't be there for them fully unless I'm getting some sleep. 

So, day 1 of sleep training was a success. I stayed strong. I did it all on my own (I don't even know if my hubby was aware of what was going on) and, although unplanned and unprepared, I think it's going to be a good thing for the entire family.


  1. Such a coincidence that I found your post! We are in the exact same place with my 7- month-old. I ended up letting him cry last night for over an hour and he still didn't fall asleep! Good to know there are others out there going through the exact same stage. Good luck!

  2. Ruth (aka "Grandma")January 2, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    I just read this blog to your Grandma and she said "It's not selfishness...it's self preservation"!

  3. @Mares- you're not alone! I found (from my first at least) that the first two days are the hardest and if you can get through that they really do begin to learn the skills they need to sleep well. And it is beneficial to them!


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