Before I begin, let me make one thing clear. If you equate sleep training to a barbaric form of baby torture, please avert your eyes, read something else and come back another day.
THIS POST IS NOT FOR YOU.
I am not interested in someone telling me about the benefits of rocking my baby to sleep; I have been rocking my baby to sleep for almost nine months. I know exactly what the benefits are. The baby feels loved and attended to and cared for and blah blah blah whatever. I'll tell you what I told my own mother who said, "I WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT TO YOU" when I sleep trained Mazzy. I said, "Yeah, Mom. And that's probably why I have had sleep issues MY ENTIRE LIFE."
Besides Harlow taking an hour of aggressive rocking/feeding/pacifying to go to bed, I must be actively involved every time she wakes up throughout the night, because she has no ability to soothe herself to sleep. Why would she? I have never given her the opportunity.
Yes. I am calling "sleep training" an "opportunity". How do you like me now, NAYSAYERS?
Why have I waited this long, if I am so pro-sleep-training?
For one thing, my girls share a room and I was afraid of interupting Mazzy's sleep.
Secondly, I am unsure of how to put them to bed at once since Mazzy usually sings and talks to herself for at least an hour before she passes out.
Thirdly, Harlow became mobile really early so she was always flipping herself over or crawling herself into a crib slat or trapping herself in a corner. She'd get upset and I'd feel the need to help her out. Currently, she won't even allow me to lie her down, choosing instead to flip over, stand up, and hold onto the edge of the crib while screaming her head off, like someone unjustly placed her in BABY JAIL. For some reason, it feels a lot harder to walk away from a crying baby who is standing up, than one who is lying down.
Fourthly (yes, fourthly), every time I announced "sleep training starts tomorrow!", Mazzy would get sick. And then as soon as Mazzy was better, Harlow would get sick. And as soon as Harlow would get better, I would get sick. And by the time I got better, the cycle would just repeat itself. I couldn't add to the misery.
Fifthly, when Harlow wakes up at 4am and I can't figure out how to get her to go back to sleep, I usually pull her into our bed. Then, her head conks down hard on my chest as if my proximity is a heavy dose of Ambien. It feels absolutely HEAVENLY to have a baby passed out on your chest. Part of me does not want to give it up.
Sixthly, Harlow's cry is the most gut-wrenchingly pathetic baby cry of all time. Her wails are long and piercing. She pants like she is hyperventilating. When it's really bad, she takes big gulps and might start to hiccup. Her eyes get red and her nose starts running and her mouth turns down like the cartoon version of a frown. If there was a competition for "Baby's Cry Most Likely to Keep a Parent from Sleep Training", Harlow would win it by a mile.
BUT IT IS TIME.
In addition to the massive amount of rocking needed to get Harlow to sleep and the fact that she is not yet sleeping through the night, Harlow is terrible at napping. All studies seem to indicate that lack of baby sleep will result in a horrible human being.
I don't want one of those.
Also, we have been spending far too much time trying to put Harlow down throughout the day while Mazzy is left in front of a television. Studies say too much television at an early age result in horrible people too.
That's two horrible people in my house, in case you are keeping track.
Mazzy is starting a new preschool in September and I don't want to have to sleep train Harlow when Mazzy is busy adjusting to something else, so this week is the week.
It's happening. I've got Erin, the sleep specialist from Pickles & Ice Cream who put Mazzy through Toddler Sleep Rehab, devising a specialized plan. If it works, I'll be doing a giveaway of her services to celebrate.
I'll give you the deatils of the plan, along with updates throughout the week. Follow me on facebook for real-time coverage/support.
It's going to be ugly, my friends. Like Kim Kardashian cry ugly.
Wish me luck!