When the boy was about 7 months old, we sleep trained him. It took us one day, two separate 45 minute sessions of gut wrenching torture, but it worked. We ended up with a baby that would sleep 12 hours a night, plus still take 2 naps a day. At one point I thought something was wrong with him because he was sleeping so much.
Fast forward exactly 3 years later, and we’re a mess. Our once sleepy headed little baby has become so stubborn against sleeping. We start a bedtime routine at 7pm, and after the stories, songs, final requests for milk and an extra hug (what parent says no to that?), we leave his room ready to have some adult time (you know, to watch Cutthroat Kitchen of course).
Then comes the click of the door knob, and the creek of the door opening, followed by little steps out into the hallway. The first time is “I need to use the potty”. That’s a guaranteed pass as we’re trying to encourage using the toilet. The next time is a request for something random like an ice pack (those blue things for the cooler) or another cup of milk. This repeats for the next 45 minutes with no requests at all, just pleas to not make him go to bed. It becomes SO draining to think you’ve got him down only to hear that click 15 minutes later.
The bonus is when he wakes up at 5am and refuses to go back to sleep. Every morning either begins with a tantrum over not going back to bed, or just sucking it up and getting up ass early. Where did our little sleepy head go? Will we ever see him again?
The torture doesn’t end there. Our little girl is also a source of the sleep deprivation. She was a great little sleeper the first few months of her life. I felt so lucky to have a baby that slept. Had. I had a baby that slept. What was once a girl on her way to sleeping a consistent 6 hours at a shot every night, is now waking up every 2 hours.
I know that part of this is my fault. She wakes and starts making noise, and because I’m desperate for her to not wake up the kid across the hall, I pop her on a boob until she falls asleep and then put her back in her co-sleeper (note: she is still sleeping in our room). It’s so easy, so it’s what I’ve always done.
But now, now I can’t escape the call of the boob. She expects to come to bed and get cuddly boobie time… and she’s starting to wake more frequently, like once an hour frequently. I’ve become a semi-functioning zombie person. The hubby wants to get back on the sleep train(ing), but I can’t bring myself to do it. Somehow I’ve developed a soul and I can’t imagine a night filled listening to her cries and laying there and doing nothing to soothe her.
I think the boy was such a colicky baby that I got used to hearing him cry. Once it came time to sleep train it was a relief because we no longer had to get up to walk him for an hour or two. The girl though, she’s never been much of a crier. And when she does, it pierces my soul like a thousand knives. I think I’ll emotional bleed out if I attempt to sleep train her. She’ll start sleeping through the night at some point, right? I mean, does anyone have an 8 year old that gets up 4 times a night? I just have to wait her out, and pray she starts sleeping more.
If you know us in real life and we lose our train of thought mid sentence, make absolutely no sense during a conversation, or look like a hot mess, it’s because we are. I blame the children. The beautiful, wonderful, horrible children.