I hear lots of new moms talking about lack of sleep. It takes a toll – I know because at 13 months old, my son still needed to be put on the breast to fall asleep or be driven around in our van. In the middle of the night. By my poor husband. At 4 am.
I didn’t believe in the “cry it out” philosophy. That seemed cold and heartless. How could I let my precious baby – the baby I spent two traumatic years trying to conceive – cry and cry, wondering where I was and why I wasn’t coming to comfort him?
I had read about attachment parenting and liked some of the theory behind it. Breastfeeding on demand and responding quickly to the cries of my little one were a big part of my approach to motherhood.
I was happy to breastfeed as long as the little dude wanted to continue. In fact, I had to be very assertive with the doctors and nurses in the NICU to breastfeed my premature baby instead of bottling, not to mention hours of pumping (that’s a whole other story)!
But now my 13 month old didn’t know how to go to sleep on his own and was up twice during the night on average. He was using the boob as a prop or crutch to get himself to sleep and it didn’t always work anymore. Our alternative of driving him around in the van at all hours of the night was not a good solution.
The bottom was starting to fall out from under our happy threesome. I confess to crying and even cursing in the middle of the night when nursing to sleep didn’t work. My husband was exhausted, trying to work full time and support me on the nights when little dude just wouldn’t get back to sleep. We even resorted to separate bedrooms so when one of us was up with the dude, we wouldn’t disturb the other. When friends asked us how we were doing, all we could talk about was the lack of sleep.
I was at the end of my rope.
And then something wonderful happened. I hired a sleep consultant, Dawnn Whittaker from Cheeky Chops Consulting. After our initial telephone consultation, Dawnn developed a personalized, step by step sleep plan for our son.
It was magic, and we were all sleeping better within a few days. There was some crying for sure as our routine was changing but we were right there supporting the dude as he learned new skills to get himself to sleep. And you know, babies adapt quickly. He did amazing, and was sleeping through the night before we knew it. I just wish I had hired a sleep consultant sooner than later.
So if this is happening to you, there is hope! A good night’s sleep is not out of reach. And there is no need to let your precious baby cry it out. Sleep, baby, sleep!<