Sunday, July 8, 2012

Diary of a Sleep Training Parent - Why write it?

Why I am blogging this experience...
I wasn't going to sleep train. No, seriously, I had read all the books...searched on-line...talked to other parents. I had heard all the theories and ways of doing it. It wasn't for me. It wasn't for us. At least, not for the first 8 months.

Hard Thing About Being A Parent #26- Admitting when what you are doing is not working and trying something else. 

It wasn't working. The philosophy I loved of giving Noah a positive sleep experience where he would enter sleep with no tears was failing me. My husband and I would do and had done anything Noah needed to help him sleep.
White noise, bouncing, swinging, walking, singing, shushing, swaddling, nursing, rocking, laying with him, even having him sleep in our bed with us. Waking up. and waking up again. again.
For many months it was a good routine and it was something we believed in and felt good about. However, for the last six weeks, the months on end of getting hardly 3 hours of sleep at one time was beginning to wear on all of us.
The sleep exhaustion was...well...exhausting. I mean that in every sense of the word. We had no energy. We had no reserves. Noah even seemed crankier and crankier as the weeks wore on of being up sometimes every 45 minutes throughout the night. The lack of sleep was affecting our home, our health, and our marriage. We had to admit that this wasn't working but I could not be convinced to do anything else we had read or heard about. An appointment with our pediatrician and a coinciding conversation on facebook lead us to The Sleepeasy Solution. This is a variation on Ferber's methods of basically "crying it out" with timed check-ins by the parents.

We read and watched a DVD. I was ready to try it. Not without tears of my own. Even thinking about making such a drastic change was upsetting to me. I felt like a failure and a small part of me still hung on to wanting to help Noah get through his nights even if it meant an extreme schedule of small amounts of sleep with no end in sight. I cried thinking about Noah not laying next to me in the bed or stroking my arm as he fell asleep. This was a hard decision for me. I didn't want to sleep train Noah and I could certainly find evidence to support my feelings BUT our life was being undone at the seams by the fatigue that started to define every moment of our days.

Learning The Sleepeasy Solution I began to feel like I could do this. How can so many people be wrong? We might as well try it. Give it a go. We watched and read and planned. and prayed.

I am writing these blogs as a diary. As a record. It will be honest. I hope you, Reader, will give me the grace to go through this journey with all the ups and downs I may express here. If we fail then maybe others can learn from our mistakes. If we succeed maybe it can encourage others. Maybe no one will ever read it and it is really just for process and work through (as only writing can help one do). Either way it is a record of this Mama leaving one decision and trying to embrace another way of doing things. Because her husband needs her to. Because her home needs her to. Because she needs to know it is OK to let go of what you thought would work or of what was once working and give something else a fair and fighting chance.

(1st in a series) 

1 comment:

  1. I love this. Parenting has been the single must difficult task of my life. Never before had I made a decision and then immediately question that decision. I love that you're willing to figure out what works TODAY and it sounds like you're giving yourself room for mistakes. So encouraging to other parents!