My Sleep Deprived Story
As I was preparing to become a Mom for the first time, I knew that there were challenges coming my way. I also knew it would all be worth it! But there was no way I could have ever prepared for how sleep deprivation would change my life (bad, at first, but then good in the long run)!
From the day we brought my son home from the hospital, he was a terrible sleeper.
Recently, I’ve gone back to my Amazon account and looked at my purchases that first month. I bought every sleep sack, every swaddle, inserts for the bassinet, gas relief, sound machines… you name it, we bought it!
I remember my baby had a good-ish night of sleep one night and we sent my sister out on a hunt to find a few more of the same exact swaddle that we used thinking that the swaddle had the magic.
Months went by and I kept telling myself and hearing from others that the next month would be it! He would be a better sleeper. After all “this” is just a stage, right?
More and more months went by.
I heard all of the bits of advice:
“Welcome to parenthood, this is how the next 18 years will go”
“You’ll never sleep again; you just get used to it”
“You have to let him cry to sleep and just walk outside so you won’t hear the crying”
“You aren’t feeding him enough”
“You’re holding him too much”
You have to do something about this, you don’t seem ok”
“He’ll sleep by next month. It’s just the age”
Each month things seemed to get worse. I believe my brain has repressed how bad it truly was because I can only remember it clearly if I sit down and think hard.
One memory that sticks out most to me is when we went to visit my brother and sister-in-law. My nephew is only a few weeks older than my son and at the time they were both about 7 months old. My sister-in-law would place him in his crib, walk out and he would go to sleep and sleep the entire night. Meanwhile, my husband and I were taking turns going in and out of the room every 40 minutes to get our baby back to sleep. My brother has 6 kids and I remember him saying to me “Wow, none of my kids were this bad”.
When we got home from that trip, it was time to fix this sleep struggle. I couldn’t wait another month or for another “phase” to go by. We needed sleep; my husband, myself AND my baby.
I devoted some time to researching what to do. I read lots of books, bought a few online courses and read just about every blog out there.
Finally, I found a method I could feel comfortable with. The issue was that we had so many sleep props and I wasn’t ready to pull them all at once. I spent the next few weeks removing the props until we were down to one or two. I now know that this was not necessary, and we could have and probably should have just jumped in right away with no props.
When we started our plan, it took my baby boy THREE nights to get it down.
Are you kidding me?! I had us all suffer for so long because I didn’t think this would be possible without leaving him to cry alone and here, I try this new plan that doesn’t involve that, and this baby learned in 3 nights?!
Then I felt bad because I waited so long, and he so clearly was ready to learn!
From there on out, everything started to fall into place. He began LOVING sleep! If he saw his crib around sleep times, he was pushing off us to get into his bed. I was utterly amazed.
Sickness, teething, loud music, movies with a sub-woofer on… nothing woke this boy!
I had obsessed about sleep for so long and then it was fixed!
Conversations with friends stopped starting with “Is he still not sleeping?”
We had a few hours before bed each night to catch up on almost a year’s worth of our shows that we had missed because we played rock, paper, scissors, shoot every 40 minutes to see who would go in and put the baby back to sleep.
After the whole process was said and done, I needed to spread the word. I knew people were suffering just like we were! I knew many people who thought that sleep guiding (more commonly known as training) was cruel because they just were not informed about the process and what it exactly entails.
I wanted to hug every sleep deprived parent and tell them, “It’s ok, it doesn’t have to be this way”.
And, that’s exactly what I did! I started helping friends figure their struggles out. Then, I discovered that I could become certified and help even more families!
And here I am today! Sending you a virtual hug! Telling you that you are NOT alone and that we can help your baby together! My mission is to end the stigma that you give up sleep when you make the choice to have kids!
Sleep is not a luxury. It’s a basic human need. I’m always so confused when people think that teaching sleep to their children is a negative thing. We teach them to walk, eat food, go to the potty, how to be polite, etc! Teaching them to sleep should fall into the category of just another skill or milestone.
Sleep deprivation is unhealthy and unnecessary! It’s time for every parent to know their options and understand that this is not a selfish need. Your baby needs sleep more than you do!