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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sleep Training Dropout

Of all the questions I hated the most when the kids were little, it was this one:

"Is he (or she) sleeping through the night?"

My babies and toddlers never slept "through the night". Never, ever. Not when their little bodies were pressed up to mine, and certainly not when they were on their own in their big beds a couple of doors down.

I have slept on bedroom floors near a frightened child, on top of stuffed animals with a sick one, and on couches holding an inconsolable toddler. My husband and I even split up for a while: He in one bed with one child, me with the younger baby in our room.

I don't like to tell new parents this because it freaks them out. The good news is that I now have two children who do sleep pretty well through the night. Belly, at 9 1/2, takes a while to settle down, but once she is out, she's out. And Jilly, at 7 1/2, is the restless one, often screaming out or talking in her sleep, but is mostly in her own bed, sleeping, for the entire night. But that 9 1/2 and 7 1/2 is years, not months.

And, D, my newly 6-year-old? He still crawls into my bed at some point in the dark night. In fact, this morning at 4:30am, I carried him back to his room, crawled into bed with him, and fell asleep for an hour before stumbling back to my own bed.

I'm pretty sure Dr. Ferber is shaking his head in disbelief and pity. But, I sucked at Cry It Out. I can't listen to my cat cry without going to see what she needs, never mind my kid.

So, in an effort to make conversation, if I ever approach you, coo over your sweet little bundle and ask you those words I hated so much, you have my permission to stomp on my foot and bring me back to reality. I deserve it.



Blogger SabrinaT said...

I could never do Cry it out! My 13 year old slept with me until he was 3, same for my 10 year old. They are wonderful well adjusted boys. Peyton is still in my bed 3 nights a week, and when the baby comes she will be right there in my bed.

At one point I defended my actions by saying... well you know my husband is gone half the year. Now I realize that I don't need to defend how I raise my kids.. They are mine.. Bought and paid for!

7:38 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

My nearly 7yo prefers to fall asleep next to me. And then, much later, she comes climbing back into our bed. I got so frustrated the other day, and pulled out all the sleep books that I keep around as talismans, and discovered a Brain Child essay about a mother with a 7yo who does the same. And I felt awesomely better about the whole thing. One day, she'll outgrow it.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

My oldest is the only one sleep trained in this house. She'll be nine in December. She always slept thru the night. From 6 weeks on. She tricked me. False security into having more babies.

My six year old sleeps with me. Every night that she's at my house. She sleeps with her dad at his house too. Sometimes she sleeps with her sister. Basically, she never spends a whole night in her bed. My toddler is currently um...sleeping in the pack n play in my room. Because I get tired of him screaming at 3am. I don't bring him in my bed anymore, but I'm sure Dr. Ferber would have a field day with me.

Hell, I'm not sure I'm even sleep trained. I'm a horrible sleeper.

I try really hard not to ask. because I know better. But I'm sure I should be slapped from time to time too

10:48 AM  
Anonymous toyfoto said...

annabel did the crying it out, thing. honestly, i think she needed it. It didn't take long and she was much better tempered when she "slept through. And she really didn't sleep more than two hours at a time when she was with us."

silas ... another ball of wax entirely. He couldn't sleep without us. he's sleeping through now ... 8:30 p.m. to (roughly 4:30 a.m. ... but it's on his own schedule.

I'm a firm believer nothing works for everyone.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Mama Bub said...

You know what's crazy? People ask me if my three month old sleeps through the night. I tell them that she wakes up once to be fed between 7pm and 7am and they go, "Oh, yeah, that's not too bad." My head nearly blows off of my shoulders at their unrealistic expectations. I think I'm going to start lying.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Audrey at Barking Mad! said...

My FOUR YEAR OLD is still not sleeping through the night. At least I know I'm not alone. She's the only one who hasn't slept through the night, starting right around 2-4 months. So frustrating. I'm hoping that sometime before she leaves for college, she'll sleep through the night, because I know once she leaves, I'll never sleep through the night again.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I'm with matter what could NEVER do cry it out. C&P are in their rooms now but it took a long time and I really miss them. Keeping Noah with us as long as I can.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With new moms I'm always on the prowl for formula feeders, just b/c I don't want them to feel as isolated or as judged as I felt.

We did CIO. Well, some version of CIO b/c I was actually never organized enough to get to the library or bookstore & buy one of the CIO manuals. And like toyfoto's child, mine seemed to need it. In my arms he's cry for 50 minutes, fall asleep, wake screaming if I tried to put him down (in his crib or my bed). But if I put him in his crib he'd cry for 10 minutes, let out a huge sigh, sleep for 8 hrs. He was 2 months old.

@Mama Bub -- by my standards, that's a baby who sleeps through the night. Especially if the middle of the night feed goes down in under 20 minutes.

9:49 AM  

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