Hey mama (FYI this is kind of a long one but necessary) I want to get real with you in today’s post. I want to talk about babies, crying it out, sleeping, sleep training, and sleeping for you (the mom).
There’s a reason they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first when you board a flight. It’s because if you are not well then you can’t help anyone else aka the littles that use you as a human tissue daily.
So if you are not getting any sleep then you aren’t able to be the best you, you can be. I know this is a sensitive subject so trust me when I say that I am trying to take everyone into consideration.
I am simply going to share some facts and what I did and what worked for us.
According to Camille Peri lack of sleep can decrease your sex drive (if the baby and chapped nipples don’t already do the trick!), you are at a greater risk for accidents, it can slow down your thought process, can lead to serious health problems, depression, speed up signs of aging, and IT CAN MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT!! Like after having a baby you need this. .-
I’d like to just create a visual for you. It’s me, Natalie, going on month 4 of only sleeping for 2 hours at a time. My hair is unbrushed, my roots are disgusting, and I am crying for no apparent reason at all multiple times a day.
Well the apparent reason was that my 4 month old child was treating me like a prisoner of war and depriving me of the necessary sleep to function. Not to mention clean the house, breastfeed ALL day long, try to “work” from home and forget sex, I put my boobs on a vacation from any extra attention.
I was honestly turning into a fucking nutcase. I got to the point where I honestly was feeling uncomfortable driving during the day because I was such a zombie. So I turned to my friends and asked for advice. Enter sleep training.
Sleep training saved me, like it literally did. I highly recommend the book Happy Sleeper. These women are awesome and talk you through why your baby is crying and why they will be ok if you don’t run to them and pick them up as soon as they make a peep. For me, this was empowering as a mother.
Now before you start thinking, “god she’s heartless I could never let my baby cry”. I’ll have you know I love my son so freaking much I cry every time I sing him Twinkle Twinkle because his face lights up in a way that would change your life. I literally just cry sometimes thinking about how much I love him.
I love him that much so I knew I had to HELP him learn how to sleep good. I wanted my sweet little baby bear to get the rest he was supposed to be getting so he could grow and develop and thrive to the best of his ability.
Babies aren’t born knowing how to sleep perfectly. They want their mamas and that is all they know, so they will wake themselves up out of habit to be with you or to get nursed.
MAMA you deserve to get some sleep and you deserve to not have your sweet baby tugging on your breast all night long (out of comfort for them).
TALK with your pediatrician to decide what age is appropriate to start sleep training. The book says about 4-5 months is the best age.
We created a bedtime routine that I followed every single night. Yes, I missed out on going to dinner with friends or events but I knew I had to do what I had to do to start sleeping.
Jack goes to bed by 6:30pm at the latest, he just can’t hang any longer than that. So I give him a bath at 6pm, we put on pajamas, I nurse him in his room with the lights on (so important so they know it’s business time. To eat and then lights go out for sleep), when he is done or begins to look drowsy I pop him off the boob, I cuddle him, I turn off the lights and turn on his sound machine, and then lay him down in his crib with a kiss. He immediately turns to the side and goes to sleep. On the rare chance he isn’t super tired he will lay quietly and move around to get comfy and then goes to sleep.
This took a few nights of crying using the 5 minute check but don’t pick up method the book talks about. One things I did different from the book was nursing him with the lights on, which was a game changer.
So this was amazing but then he would still get up every few hours and want to nurse. I WAS DYING.
On the advice of my pediatrician and my sanity I let him cry it out those times he would wake up during the night. Honestly it lasted 2.5 nights of doing this and then he was sleeping through the night. He would and still does at almost 8 months wake up one time around 4am to nurse and goes back to sleep.
I am going to begin to wean him off that one night feeding, but for now I am ok with it. I enjoy our bonding time. It goes too fast (ugly cry face).
My life, my relationship with my husband, my health , and my roots saw improvement from me getting my rest. It was freaking hard I won’t lie to you. Some nights I was crying just as much as Jack because I hated to hear him upset. This is where reading that book really helped me to find comfort in knowing what I was doing was right.
Your baby needs their rest, and mama, so do you. You deserve to be rested and fully present with your little and your spouse.
I know as women we give give give it’s our nature, but we HAVE to start thinking and putting ourselves first sometimes, and getting your sleep is one of those times.
I would love to hear your thoughts tips and experiences!!! I love that we can all learn from each other here.