This Beautiful Inheritance: Turning A Corner

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Turning A Corner

I imagine I will have lots of these moments as a parent. Moments where you kick yourself and think, "Man! If I would have just __________." But you don't always get it right the first time, and that's life. And life has taught me what NOT to do if you ever want your baby to sleep through the night.

When Eden was born and wouldn't sleep, plenty of people (who are now smiling, shaking their heads and saying "I told you so") told me to implement BABYWISE into our lives. But I was too stubborn in the beginning to give it a try. I didn't want to be bound to a schedule that I thought would run our lives, and I kept telling myself, "She's going to start sleeping anytime now...." week, after week, after week.

But she didn't.

And when Eden turned one year old, I hit a breaking point. "How long am I going to let this go on?" I asked myself. Just in time, someone threw me a life preserver.

Eden and I had spent the day with some friends and their kiddos, and I couldn't help but notice how well-behaved this one baby was. He never whined or whimpered and was so pleasant and happy throughout the whole, long day. Finally, after several comments about the baby's demeanor, his mom told us her secret...

"Have you ever heard of Babywise?"

I tried not to roll my eyes. Here we go......

She went on to tell us that she had read a book, actually called "Along the Infant Way," which taught the same strategies but from a more Christian perspective. And by following its principals, her baby started sleeping through the night at SIX WEEKS and was this well behaved during the day.

As much as I had tried to fight it, I was realizing that this was something I should've tried. There I was with a one-year-old still waking up multiple times each night. And what had I accomplished by refusing a schedule? Nothing.

The friend ended up giving me her copy of the book before the day was over, and that night I got to reading. My number one goal, obviously, was to get my daughter sleeping through the night. We had, by this time, developed a fairly regular schedule during the day, but nighttime was pure chaos.

It didn't take much reading to convince me I had crippled my daughter (so to speak) by running to her rescue and not letting her cry at night. The book talked A LOT about how crying will not hurt your child and how it is necessary for them to put themselves to sleep. And of course, the other major thing I was doing wrong was putting her to bed with a bottle. I knew this was wrong all along but just couldn't bring myself to take it away and listen to her cry (for what I thought would be hours) before finally going to sleep.

The book gave me the strength.

I took the bottle away and laid her down without it for the first time that night. She cried for about 30 minutes and it was torturous. But guess what.... the next night she only cried for about 15 minutes.... and then less... and less.... and NONE!

And magically, as soon as she learned to put herself to sleep without the bottle, she learned to STAY ASLEEP during the night. ((CUE THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS!!)) It has now been about two weeks, and I feel we have turned a corner into the FUN part of Mommyhood. The part we should have entered long ago where you get to enjoy being a Mommy without being exhausted 24/7.

I'm not saying she's a perfect sleeper now. She still wakes up occasionally. But I don't run to her room when I hear her cry.... I wait a few minutes..... and she goes back to sleep!

I genuinely feel like a new person.

Like I can take on anything... the world! a hard day! .....or dare I say it...... another baby????


  1. Yay!!! Kelcie, Im so happy for you! You endured the Cries. I know you are able to sleep more peacefully yourself. Im going to message Amanda. If she does not care. I want to barrow it as well! So happy Eden is sleeping thru the night now! Congrats!

  2. A hard lesson many of us have had to learn, very cute story!

  3. I knew you could do it! I'm so glad it worked for you! This makes me giddy like a school girl! Now, about baby #2... get this party started!

  4. So happy for you and Eden! Parents told me and told me that crying never hurts a baby but oh what it does to a mothers soul... So glad you are finally enjoying a night of sleep! It is heaven sent for sure!!! I still have Eden's birthday present (sad we missed the party BUT not sad I missed the stomach bug!) Give Eden a pat on the back for her wonderful accomplishment!!! haha

  5. That is awesome for you! Congrats! It sounds like she was ready! I definitely think that its depends on every babies individual temperament as to when they are ready to start sleep training. I know mine wasn't ready at 6 months, but by 9 months she seemed to be a different baby and thrived from a set routine and controlled (and very gentle) crying to sleep. I had to do intermittent checks and let her know over and over that mama was still there and loved her. After 2 weeks she was putting herself to sleep and sleeping the majority of the night. I think by that time she had already learned object permanence and could make the connection that "mama is still here for me event though I can't see her." I'm glad I waited until she understood that. I have to say though, is it even healthy to push a baby to STTN at 6 weeks? I'm sure his parents know best but I wouldn't encourage others to try to make that a goal. He may just be an extremely easy-going baby who is predisposed to good sleep habits (mine was not, and I dare say most babies are not). Also, for breastfeeding moms, STTN at 6 weeks would certainly take a toll on your supply as it isn't well established until at least 12-16 weeks or so and night-time feedings play a huge role in the establishment. Either way, they are blessed with a great sleeper and I am happy for them! These are just some of the thoughts that came to mind as I was reading their experience.


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