Two nights ago my two-year old one woke up at 3am crying for me. Of course, now that he calls me by whole name (first and last), it’s hard for me to ignore him! When I went into his room, he begged me to sleep in the twin bed next to him. When I refused, he got more hysterical and wouldn’t go back to sleep. I had to take him out of his crib and play puzzles with him till he calmed down. My eyes were barely open and I couldn’t think well let alone put puzzle pieces together. At 6am, I bundled him up and took him for a car ride, thinking it would help him sleep and he passed out right away. I’m sure sleep experts and moms across the country will think I handled our no sleep situation all wrong. But it was all I could to get through our morning.
The truth is that I could never go through with the Cry It Out method when our boy was a baby, which meant letting him cry till he figured out how to self soothe and sleep on his own. Now I’m wondering if we made the right choice. Our boy has never been a good sleeper and all the books about sleep methods frankly baffled me. I also just knew in my heart I couldn’t let him cry. At around 6 months old, a mom friend closed her baby’s door at 7pm, letting her cry through the night and opened it at 7am for a week straight. Yes, her baby is the best sleeper in our playgroup but that’s besides the point.
Last night, while having a martini with another mom friend, the topic came up. “You’re giving him the gift of learning how to sleep on his own. It will be worth it. My mom let me cry and I’m fine! What if you tried letting him cry for a night or two to see what happens?” a friend suggested. At the end of my drink, I was more open to the idea.
After two years of sleepless nights, maybe it’s time to try something new and deal with a few tears? A local sleep expert, Lauren Lappen offers some general advice to get your babies and toddlers to sleep through the night. She writes:
- Implement a consistent nap time and bedtime routine.
- Make sure to set an age appropriate schedule for naps and bedtime to ensure the most restoration sleep.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of a healthy sleep environment. Temperature, light and noise can all have profound impacts on the quality of our children’s sleep.
I have scheduled a call with her on Monday to gets more specific tips for me. I also emailed our downstairs neighbors and apologized for the loud cries through the night. Her response was, “A difficult transition for everyone!” She’s a trouper and I need to get her a bottle of wine ASAP.
Sorry this post is so short, but I think I need to go to bed. I’ll let you know how the sleep training goes once I catch up on my own zzz’s and recover from my hangover. Until then, night night everyone!