So you think you’ve won the sleep war? After a few nights of torturous screaming your child finally consented to fall asleep in her crib without crying. You danced a jig. Then, to get your hopes even higher, she slept from 10pm to 7:30am. You danced an even longer jig while patting yourself on the back. All that screaming paid off. All those hours waiting for her to go. to. sleep. were clearly worth the torture.
But then she caught a cold. A small thing. No fever. But just enough to derail the whole training program. Because the stuffiness and the coughing made it impossible to let her cry herself to sleep. Instead of crying herself to sleep she choked and sputtered and you felt bad and pulled her out of the crib. And this baby, she is smart, way, way too smart, so she did it again, and again, until you realized that you were back at square one. Except it’s not really square one, it’s square minus one, because the baby now knows that you are a lot weaker than you let on, and next time she’s going to fight twice as hard.
Miraculously we haven’t regressed completely. Little L is now going to sleep on her own when we put her down for the night. If she does complain it’s usually because her diaper is dirty or she has a stuck burp. As an added bonus she is also falling asleep on her own at nap time and putting herself back to sleep when she wakes up about 45 minutes into the nap. But the nights are far from perfect.
We tried letting her cry herself back to sleep when she wakes in the middle of the night, but she’d gotten tougher and we’ve lost our resolve. The first night M caved and brought Little L into our bed, and since then I’ve had trouble getting back on track. Some nights are better than others, but no nights have been as good as those precious few when she slept all the way through ’til morning.
Out of desperation I grabbed a couple sleep training books off the shelf and I let myself be lulled by the theory that getting the bed time down pat would eventually lead to sleep filled nights. For the last three nights I’ve stumbled out of bed chanting quietly to myself “she’ll eventually learn, she’ll eventually learn.” But if I’m completely candid, I have to admit that I think I might be deluding myself because I’m too scared to go down the hysterical screaming road again. I don’t really need to sleep, right? Right?