Sleep Training 101: Do What Works for You

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This afternoon while sitting with Lucy in our cozy recliner in her room, I was struck with the reality that I’ve rocked her to sleep in this very spot for almost two years. And for a moment I felt this unhealthy dose of guilt spring over me. I was reminded of the fact that “they” say never to rock your baby to sleep, but to rock them until they are drowsy and then put them to bed so they know how to put themselves to sleep. This concept, I do agree with and see the importance of. I have actually tried to adapt this to my routine for the last 19 months.

But then Lucy would cut a new tooth. And then of course come down with a cold.

And then that means I had to train her how to put herself to sleep all over again, because I was rocking her endlessly while being sick.

Now I can already hear the advice givers, the published book writers and their opinions. We all know the ways and the rules.

But I know what works for me. For us.

Rocking her to sleep.

Bedtime looks different and always has. I’ve been able to put Lucy down a bit drowsy, and she can put herself to sleep. Some nights it’s a bit of a “fuss it out a few mins” event, but for the most part she puts herself to sleep.

But nap times are different. They become special to me.

Part of it is because I stay home with Lucy and am able to take the time to rock her to sleep. And I’ll be honest, not every time is filled with glorious joyous Motherhood love. Sometimes I’m just sitting there scrolling through my phone, hoping she will fall asleep soon.

But honestly, I love this time. It won’t last forever. We want more children, and once there’s another one to take care of, I won’t have the luxury of such flexibility. And I think that’s why I’m taking advantage of the extra cuddles. Being a Mom is full of chaos & joy, stress & laughter. It’s a day full of tickle fights, & toddler tantrums, poopy diapers & food throwing. It’s full of the good, the bad, & the struggles. So this nap time snuggle fest is like a breath of fresh air. A reminder that this little toddler is so very sweet, so loving, & so in need of her Mom.

What works for you?

Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to do things by this book or that. By this blog post, or that perspective given by a friend. I just didn’t work. It wasn’t right for me, or it wasn’t right for Lucy. And I would stress out about the fact that I was doing everything wrong. But every kid is different. Every Mom is different. I have friends who have gone full force into sleep training and it works for them. If it works for you, that’s great! If it doesn’t, that’s ok too! I have friends with healthy and independent children that used to co-sleep. That just worked for them.

What works for your schedule, or your personality, or your child? Follow that. Follow your gut. Follow that God-given Momma gut you were given for a reason. When I relax and follow my gut, I experience such freedom. Each time I asked for advice, a friend of mine reminded to “do what works for you.” And I am so very thankful.

You will sleep again. Just last week we were experiencing a challenging sleep regression and I was having to literally sleep with Lucy in that chair, something I had always vowed not to do. But it was the only thing that worked. She was in so much pain from teething, and was so out of whack. So I trusted my gut, and rocked her for hours. I reached out to my close friends, wondering if I was ever going to sleep again. And they reminded me of this exact truth I’m writing about today.

Trust your gut. She will sleep again. This two will pass. And it did. And we’re all sleeping again. So trust your gut. Do what works for you. You are doing an amazing job.

 

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