Learning Your Baby's Sleep Habits—And How They Change
There are many ups and downs of training your child to sleep.
It is bedtime for the Basingers and my 18-month-old Oliver is bawling in his crib.
Tonight we went through our daily routine of putting on jammies, brushing teeth, reading stories, saying our prayers and laying down in his crib. For several months this schedule worked like a charm. He didn't always go quietly to sleep right away, but he was happy to lay in his crib and talk to himself until he nodded off.
This week we've had a major upset in the system—for reasons unbeknownst to me—and Oliver thinks he needs to be rocked to sleep every evening and then come in bed with us half way through the night. Help me!
For the past few nights I've given in to the tantrums and rescued him from the hellish prison that is his crib. There were so many excuses whirling through my mind: teething, overtired from no nap, not enough snuggle time with Mommy, feeling yucky from vaccinations. It's amazing what you're willing to forgive as a mom when your little one is wailing pathetically!
Well, tonight I've had it. Although any of the usual excuses could still be true, Mommy is too tired and too exasperated to save the little guy. And now that I think back, this was the same agonizing procedure we went through when we first got Oliver to sleep through the night. He had to be left to "cry it out" until he got the message that Mommy and Daddy weren't going to come and get him just because he was upset.
I have never liked the "cry it out" method and wasn't brave enough to put it into practice until after Oliver was at least a year old. So I sympathize with you new moms who are struggling with sleepless infants! There is nothing more heart-wrenching than listening to your baby cry helplessly; you feel like such a horrible parent for making them suffer.
Guaranteed, it's not the best plan for every family, but if you're looking for encouragement, the "cry it out" method is worth a week or two of your patience. When I finally got tough and gave it a shot, I got a boy who slept in his own bed all night long.
That's a mom's dream come true.