My baby is currently sleeping soundly on my chest while I sit here listening to the hum of our white noise machine.
We attempted sleep training this week as she turned 5 months old.
For the most part, I’m a pretty crunchy mama. My wife is kind of the opposite. But she acquiesces to my parenting desires a lot of the time. We cloth diaper. We occasionally co-sleep. We’re going to try baby-led weaning. But she was very adamant that we get this little lady on some kind of schedule.
She slept through the night beautifully for the first 4 months. 9-10 through about 7am for the most part. Then – at 4 months – it was as if a hellish demon took possession of my kid at 2 and 5am and turned her into a terrorist who held sleep hostage for a boob ransom.
Plus sleep routines – including bedtime – became increasingly longer and more stressful.
So we let her cry.
I cried too. I felt like the worst mom in the world.
The first night it went on for 25 minutes.
The 2nd night was about 8 minutes.
Ever since we’ve laid her down awake for bed and she fusses for a few minutes (no crying) and falls asleep.
She still wakes up at 2 and 5am (sometimes earlier, sometimes later). We tried letting her cry through those but we live in a condo so I dont think our neighbors enjoy the middle-of-the-night cacaphony so we’ve (..I..) decided to continue nursing her when she wakes at night. I suppose an easy bed routine is better than nothing!
Her naps have gotten slightly better as a result (though some days are still awful) and I am hopeful we can work that out as she is a totally different baby when she is well rested.
Right now she’s supposed to be napping in her crib. Instead shes in my arms.
The gravity of her body resting against mine sometimes feels like a metaphor for parenthood in general. The gravity of all of the decisions I make for her constantly weighs heavy on my shoulders. Am I doing this right? Is she going to be okay? Will she be confident? Happy? Well adjusted? Assertive? Intelligent?
Do I read to her enough? Am I on my phone too much? Do I spend too much time at work? Could i be doing more to try to exclusively breastfeed? Is she hitting her milestones on time? Etc. Etc.
It’s a lot.
But it’s incredible.
She’s becoming a tiny person. And I’m her mother.
I am a person’s mother. 5 months in and I still feel like a phony when I say that.
I hope we’re doing this right.