Let me start by saying that since Nora was born she’s always slept in our room. As a newborn she was a great sleeper in her bassinet. I would have to wake her up to feed her (which I believe has lead me to the spot I’m in now, but that’s a different story). Once she outgrew her bassinet is when it felt like we actually had a newborn. We had a really hard time getting her to sleep in her crib, which is still in our room I might add. She would wake up every 1-2 hours crying. I would get up and rock her or nurse her back to sleep. And to be honest, I don’t know how I functioned off of the 1 or 2 hours of sleep and 3 cups of coffee each day.
I’ve tried the cry it out method which literally lasted for less than 1 night and broke my heart. I couldn’t do it. I’ve tried the routines but with no success. I would fight her at night to sleep and I didn’t like it. In the midst of trying to figure out how to get my daughter to sleep I googled “how to sleep train” and read a few articles about what I had already knew and tried. But then it occurred to me…I wasn’t letting Nora be NORA. I was fighting her to be how I wanted her and not letting her be herself. It came to the point when she was about 4 months old that I started co-sleeping. I’d read her a book, sing her a lullaby and gently rock and nurse her to sleep. She’s turning 1 this month and this still works for us. She sleeps great, I actually get some sleep, and when she does wake up hungry all I have to do is flop out a midnight snack for her (isn’t breastfeeding great?). Initially, I’ll put her in her crib. When she wakes in the night is when I’ll pick her up and put her in bed with us. Trust me, I know what the safe child laws say and, trust me, I’ve gotten a lecture or two from our doctor and my mother in law, I don’t recommend this for everyone, but this works for us. It works for Nora. I had to teach myself to stop putting up the fight. And let her be. Her crying and fighting me every step of the way was her way of telling me that this is not what she wants. It’s not helping her. It’s crazy how sometimes we can have great intentions as parents, yet, unintentionally be too controlling over our children. Their mind and bodies know them better than we do. I need to let my kids be them.
So as I’m sitting here typing up these ramblings I am currently nursing and rocking my daughter to sleep and within a few hours she will wake and I will let Nora sleep her way. She wants to fall asleep in the middle of the floor? I’ll let her. She wants nursed to sleep? I’ll nurse her. She wants to snuggle mommy and daddy? Who am I to stop her?
I’m letting Nora be Nora.