To sleep train or not to sleep train

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After wiping the sleep out of my eyes followed by a short coughing episode (I can’t seem to get better), I announced to my husband that I wasn’t even tired anymore. I’d conquered sleep deprivation and had learned to cope on 3 – 4 hours (max 5) of broken sleep. But the truth is, on my way to lecturing that day, my eyes filled with tears as I contemplated the idea that this new coping mechanism of mine may need to remain intact for, well, possibly even another 1 year. The idea of having an 18 month old that still didn’t sleep quite literally made me sigh out loud.

I see a midwife monthly for a weigh-in for Sarah and advice on meals, sleeping times, etc. At my last appointment and on sharing my fears of never sleeping again (excuse the drama but that’s how I felt), she said that I have two options…

Either suck it up – keep waking, feeding once & dummying and stay sleep deprived…or sleep train.

Up until this point, I’ve been one of those moms who responds to every cry. Cries make me tense up and being a ‘fixer’, my instinct is to help. To let my poor child cry goes against my grain, in every sense.

In saying that, I’m a systems person too. I trust systems and if they’ve worked for others, I’m comfortable attempting them too. And so I’ve sky dived, bungeed a few times and climbed Kilimanjaro – For the most part, people conquer these challenges/adventures everyday so my trust lied in the system.

So when sleep training was presented to me, and after my initial shock of the potential to let my bub cry her self, back to sleep; I did my research. I asked a number of moms far and wide whether they ever attempted it and what the result was. Now, I am fully aware that it hasn’t worked for everyone, but for many it seemed to be their “quick fix” for a potentially long-hauled problem.

And so triggered my system-trusting self, and I decided (along with my husband) that we’d give this a go. We’d let her cry, we’d dummy, then walk out and go in again at 2, 3, 4 and 5 minute intervals to reassure her without picking her up.

I’m not going to share that our non-sleeper has suddenly transformed into sleeping through, but wow has she made progress. We’re on day 5 now and Sarah has gone from waking every 2 hours (for months) to now waking twice a night and waking alert and happy in the morning. I can’t tell you yet if this sleep training theory has RADICIALIZED OUR LIVES YET…but watch this space, as I am dedicated to share what we learn through this process.

{We’ve committed to sleep training for 10 days, after which we will reassess as to whether we feel our child is benefitting from this and managing to go back to sleep easily, if not…back to the drawing board}


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