Sleep Training, The Update
By: Melissa Mensavage
I am so glad I wrote about the sleep issues we are experiencing here in my house. The comments received on my last post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been feeling pretty bad about all of this sleeping, not sleeping, picking him up, not picking him up or letting him sleep with me. I felt like I was in a battle that one, I didn’t need to be in and two, was only causing pain to both of us.
It’s high time to pick the right solution for us, and the commenters only supported that: “do what is right for you”.
By far this has been the hardest thing I’ve done as a parent. The hardest. The nights that Max would cry almost hysterically were killing me. I can’t sleep when that happens. I’ll go in to his room and try to soothe him. I’ve learned that he’s becoming attached to a certain blanket. I’ve found him several times clutching the blanket for dear life. That breaks my heart. He wants me, and I am not following through with his request, so he is finding comfort in a blanket, hopefully not thinking that is all he has!
I seem to be a lot more lovey-dovey during the waking hours to help with my guilt. Overcompensate, maybe? Ugh.
And so, when I read Madge’s comments about old school, just let him cry it out, the over-tired-all-I-want-is-one-night-of-sleep me can’t help but agree. There is something to be said about letting your kids sleep on their stomachs, crying out, getting vaccinations, etc. I mean, I think I turned out okay.
Barb’s comments were like a giant virtual hug. That made me feel better to know I am not alone and she struggles too.
Stacie’s comments offered an educated approach.
I’ve forewarned Kerrie with this nightmare. Well hopefully it’s not a nightmare for her.
And Tashia is right; maybe Max just needs an extra hug or five minutes to fall back asleep. And the only way to figure it out is determine what plan I will be using and applying it.
I think I have a combination approach. He will still have to learn to soothe himself, so that means he will cry, but there is a threshold that I will not cross because in my mind there is no need for a child to cry for more than 30 minutes. After that I will go in and see him. I will not pick him up. I will show him his books, the musical crib toy, and offer him his blanket. I imagine this will take a couple of weeks.
Today, as I left daycare earlier because Max was sleeping standing up (last night I let him cry it out and I think he protested by not sleeping at all!), I ran into the teacher who was his infant primary caregiver. She gave me a big hug and said ‘it gets better, you are doing the right thing.’ Standing next to us was the Assistant Director and she gave me credit because her three-year-old is still sleeping with her.
I pray (pretty damn hard) that I am doing the right thing.
And to the commenters of my last post, big hugs to you and thanks for sharing.