I’ve been wanting to write this post for months now. My husband advised against it because it’s such a controversial topic, and I was too tired to follow through on it anyway. But if you don’t know already, you’ll find out soon enough that everything parenting-related is controversial.
If you’re a mom, you know that there is plenty of unsolicited advice out there when it comes to how you should raise your kid. People will judge your choices no matter what you do. From formula vs. breastfeeding to crib vs. co-sleeping. Can’t we all just get along? Anyway, I digress…
For those not in the know, I’ll give a quick briefing about sleep training before I dive into what we did. There are essentially two schools of thought when it comes to getting your child to sleep.
Camp #1: the Cry-it-out (CIO) method – associated with Babywise and Ferber. Proponents of this believe that your child should be left to cry and learn to self-soothe.
Camp #2: Non-CIO/Attachment Parenting – associated with Dr. Sears. Proponents of non-CIO believe crying is our babies’ main form of communication, so when they’re crying they’re asking for a need to be met. In order to develop confidence in your child and ensure secure attachment, you should try your best to meet all their needs.
I didn’t read any sleep books while pregnant, so I ended up reading like 8 different sleep books the first month after delivery from varying perspectives! Talk about information overload! There’s so much info out there, it’s no wonder most new moms are practically walking around with their heads cut off. That first month, Noelle would only sleep in our arms. The moment we put her down anywhere, she would wake up and cry. For naps, I often strapped her in my Ergo and let her sleep in there while I sat on the couch watching episode after episode of Friday Night Lights (my favor-eeet).
We had a twin-sized bed in her nursery, so at night my husband and I would take turns “sleeping” in there with her on our chest. We often brought her into our bed and co-slept with her too. Anything to get some sleep (and maintain a semblance of sanity) right? The thing is, when she was on our chest she easily slept from midnight to 6am and we all got some much needed rest. When we didn’t sleep with her we were waking up every 2-3 hours for cuddles and feedings. However, we knew we couldn’t do this forever. Or rather, I… I couldn’t do it forever. I was the one with the boobs attached.
Stay tuned for Sleep Training: Part II. I’ll be writing about the resources that helped us get to where we wanted to be.