I’ve been working with Nora and sleep training for about 3 weeks now. After over four months of getting up practically EVERY night EVERY two hours, I had had enough. I was tired, exhausted and frustrated and I think Nora was too. It really is amazing how much sleep affects everything: your health; physically and mentally, mood, stress. If your sleep, over time, isn’t restorative it can really take a toll on your well-being. Sleep is good for the body, mind and soul. It’s when your body rests, recovers and repairs. So something had to be done before my frustrations got the best of me.
As I learned from the Baby Sleep Site, Nora was using nursing as a sleep association and couldn’t get back to sleep without it. Nicole (the founder of the Baby sleep Site) made an analogy that made perfect sense, “Imagine waking up in the middle of the night [as we all do] and your pillow is gone. You can’t get to sleep without it, or else it takes a long time to do so” (paraphrased). Nora was using me (nursing) as her ‘pillow’.
First I had to break the sleep association of nursing, and then I had to ‘train’ her to get herself to sleep so she could put herself back to sleep in the middle of night during a night waking.
Breaking the nursing part wasn’t too bad and actually, neither was the sleep training. The premise is to put your baby awake, so she can fall asleep on her own (which I had always been putting her in her crib, asleep after nursing). The first night she cried for about an hour, with me checking on her every 10 minutes or so. The second night she cried for about 20 minutes, then 5 minutes, then less and NOW she doesn’t even cry when I lie her down for bed!!! I got her a little crib aquarium that she likes to watch before she falls asleep. Sometimes she plays with it, but within 10 minutes she is conked out!
I can’t tell you what a relief it is to lie my baby down, without tears, and have her put herself to sleep. PLUS, now I am getting to spend more time in the evening with Cory since I am not spending, sometimes an hour, rocking Nora to sleep. It’s nice to have a little time to ourselves in the evening, even if it sometimes just to watch tv together.
And even this evening Cory put Nora to bed for the first time. Since I’ve been nursing her to sleep I’ve always been the one to lie her down for bed, but Cory did it tonight and it went just fine. No crying or anything. I think maybe I was needing it more than her. Especially with Nora’s first birthday around the corner, I’m feeling I want her to want and need me more. My baby is growing fast. Everyone’s cliche saying that ‘it goes fast’ is SO true and bittersweet. Of course I am excited for all the things to come, but I still get a little teary-eyed knowing my baby will be one soon and getting so big and won’t need me for everything, because I will always need her.