I was honestly starting to believe that this day would never come.
I was so sure that I would never, ever sleep a full night ever again in my entire life. I figured that eventually Cameron would learn to sleep all night long. I mean, I wasn't crazy enough to believe that he would be a sixteen year old who still needed to be comforted by Mommy on an hourly basis ever night. But I did believe that by the time he learned to sleep through the night, I would be dealing with other children who wouldn't sleep. It would be a never ending cycle of sleeplessness.
I didn't always think like this. Once I was even positive about sleeping. You start hearing lovely little stories of babies who start sleeping through the night at four weeks old. And then, slowly, every baby you know starts sleeping through the night. Other parents start looking at you with pity in their eyes as they silently gloat about their rockstar sleepers.
Even I was one of those hated parent gloaters. Up until four months of age, Cameron was a great sleeper, waking only once or twice a night. And then he started teething. And all hell broke loose.
It has been 8 months and 3 weeks of absolutely terrible sleep.
If you remember correctly, I tried sleep training once before. Even that was after fighting a number of sleep battles with my husband. I didn't write about the outcome of that first attempt at sleep training because, honestly, I was kind of embarrassed.
If you know a Mommy, you can be pretty sure that they have a strong opinion on sleeping. Some take up arms and yell their battle cries for attachment parenting. Babies need their Mommies! It is natural for babies to continue to wake up and nurse for comfort! Then there are those Mommies who protest this and argue the Babywise method. Babies have to learn that they can't always be in charge! They need sleep and so do their Mommies! They no longer need to be fed at night once they reach ___lbs!
And I failed both sides.
You see, despite being the type of parent who honestly believes in a gentle parenting method – one that encourages closeness and comfort (and discourages letting babies cry in a crib alone), I tried The Sleep Sense Program to get my child to sleep (don't be fooled when the author states that this method is not letting your child cry-it-out. It totally is).
Attachment Parenting Fail!
And then, after one night of horrible sleep training, we quit. Cameron was totally depressed the next day. He was sullen and clingy and afraid. Seeing my child like this made me feel worse than listening to him cry for over two hours the night before. Both Dan and I agreed that we would no longer subject our child to this.
I couldn't make anyone happy and I still wasn't getting any sleep.
Finally, on Friday night, I was fighting with Cameron trying to get him to go to sleep. It was late and he was tired and he was crying in my arms. There was nothing I could do. Finally, my husband made the point that if he is going to cry anyway, we might as well start sleep training again.
That night, he cried in his crib for an hour before falling asleep.
On Saturday night, he cried in his crib for 45 minutes before falling asleep.
He also slept through the night for the first time ever.
Did you hear that?! He slept through the night! And then, he did it again last night too (after crying for only 25 minutes).
So, if you're like me, don't loose hope. Some day you will sleep again. Some day.