Ask any stay at home mom and she will say that nap time is like a lunch break for moms. When you do not get to take your lunch break, it makes for a very long day at the office. The months that EJ was not napping were some of the longest, more trying months of my life. I was so unequipped to handle a new baby, never mind one with sleep issues. So for months I ran on minimal sleep and minimal knowledge. Desperate to make this overtired baby sleep just for an hour and in his own crib. It was exhausting and very frustrating. It eventually led to him sleeping in our bed. Ah yes, the co-sleeping parents. Crazy, hippy people I would have called them. But in reality, they are just desperate, overtired parents who will do anything to get some sleep. We became those parents. So at two, EJ wakes up yelling for me every night and asks to come to our room. He then spends the night kicking, moving and pushing in our bed, so that all 3 of us are never really sleeping (well maybe my husband is).
I know I am mostly responsible, but most nights I am so tired and practically sleep walking, that it has became second nature to grab him and put him in our room. I hate the sleep books, the parents whose kids slept for 12 hours a night since birth, and that Ferber guy…I hate him. But most of all, I hate myself for being unable to fix it. It is an ongoing issue that affects us all and I just can not get a handle on it. The advice comes from everyone:
“Let him cry it out.”
“Let him cry for a few minutes then go in.”
“Put him in the pack and play in your room.”
“Sleep on the floor in his room.”
“Sit by the door.”
After a while, it all started sounding crazy and was just overwhelming. We even visited a sleep clinic to get professional help. But one cold or stomach bug, a bad day, or tired night and we were back to square one. Nothing seemed to work.
So here I am now, almost two years after bringing our sweet baby home from Ethiopia, sitting on the floor of a dark room for almost two hours every night. I must say, “EJ lay down.” about 100 times. But after two years of rocking and co-sleeping, we need to make sure that he learns to put himself to sleep. I very well may go insane from listening to the Bob the Builder theme song on my iPhone, on repeat, for two hours every night for the next few weeks but this is it. It is our last chance. He has to sleep in his own bed so that we can all get some sleep and get our nights back!
I still hate that Ferber guy…
Lauren Jordan is a part-time stay at home mom. She has been married for 7 years and is the mom of a very energetic, hilarious 2 year boy! She hopes to some day get a full night of sleep.