By: Melissa Mensavage
Right now as I sit here and write this, Max is in his crib crying. We are going through a phase where he will not sleep in his crib. I think I might have created this habit by bringing him into bed with me.
This probably all started with an illness or teething episode months back. I am sure at the time I was thinking (in fact I know I was) that when he starts feeling better, he’ll go back to sleeping in his crib.
I started this horrible habit because, you see, I can’t stand the crying part. It breaks my heart to listen to it, knowing all he wants is to be with me. And here I am being a big meanie, and not caving into his request. I don’t mind that he sleeps in bed with me, but it’s starting to get more difficult. A couple of nights ago I woke to a “face massage”, ie, Max was ever so kindly pressing his feet into my face. There have been the nights where he’s fallen out of my bed, and when I run to that side I can’t see him because the covers went with him.
Needless to say, I am not getting any restful sleep.
So, here we are, going on 10 minutes of non-stop crying. I’ve already been into his room twice now. Once I took him out of the crib and rocked him back to sleep. But as soon as I make any movement towards the crib, Boom! He’s up.
I’ve read a couple of books on sleep training, even talked to the pediatrician. Wait 15 minutes, then go in and talk to him or pick him up but don’t leave the room. My favorite (insert sarcasm because I just don’t see how this works): talk to him from the doorway. I can say I’ve tried these half-heartedly.
I go back and forth in my head with pros and cons about actually following through with the sleep training.
–he gets a restful night of sleep in his own bed
–he’ll know the bedtime routine and that means all night in his room
–he’ll eventually get it that I’m in charge and that he can’t always get what he wants
–he’ll learn how to soothe himself
–I can’t stand the crying
–I don’t like being mean
–I don’t sleep.
Obviously the pros outweigh the cons, but it’s a hard road getting there. Probably doesn’t help that I am not fully committed to this plan. Being the sole parent, I don’t get a break, so bringing him to bed with me is my way of saying, “Honey your turn.” So each night this happens (it’s not every night), I’ll head toward his room in an almost coherent state, pick him up, and we snuggle up together in my big comfy bed. We’ll both fall back asleep almost instantly.
Tonight though, I’m awake and I am off to pick up my little boy to see if I can get him to sleep. Maybe tonight I can pull off the 3AM transfer without a hitch!
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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