Two years of sleepless nights lead to one valuable lesson in child-rearing.
While pregnant with my first child, I would hear people tell stories of their children who simply wouldn’t sleep.
“That will not be me,” I thought to myself.
As if just thinking it would make it come true. (Insert eye roll).
While the new mamas all around me had babies who started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks, mine never got there.
The stress I felt trying to force this skill was unbearable.
The disappointment I felt in her, and in myself, was more than I could bear. I did not understand what was wrong with me. I was her mother. Why couldn’t I provide an environment that encouraged sleep?
I couldn’t fathom how this tiny human was able to function on such little sleep.
Being a new mom, with very little sleep, can lead to some dark and hard thoughts in the middle of the night.
I tried everything. REALLY!
We eventually paid way too much money and hired a Sleep Coach who came to our house and spent hours with us to create a plan to teach our little one how to sleep all night long. We were encouraged for a week or two and thought we were finally on to something.
But ultimately, nothing worked.
When she was 15 months old, I was pregnant again, and extremely worried about the additional lack of sleep that would surely accompany bringing a new baby home. There were many a night (or early morning), that I sat in our living room in tears (hello pregnancy hormones), unsure how I would be able to function the next day.
I often went outside to push her on the swing at 3 am and found myself resorting to way too much screen time because I just could not play with her in the middle of the night.
Finally, I reached my breaking point. After putting her to bed one night, she screamed and screamed, and I cried and cried. My husband, a police officer, stayed home from work that night and did his best to encourage me.
It didn’t work.
And then magically, the next night, our sweet little sleepless angel, slept for 12 hours without a peep.
She was 22.5 months old. It had been almost two full years of sleepless nights.
A couple of weeks later, her sister joined the party and wouldn’t you know, our little non-sleeper started sleeping 12-14 hours a night.
Who would have thought sleep would be her way of coping with a new sibling?
Now – she’s a great sleeper. Not because of any method or coach we tried.
She just figured it out.
I wish I could say her sister was very different and sleeps wonderfully but I don’t like lying. We thought she was going to be a good sleeper and then she decided she wanted to be just like her big sister in every single way.
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