Why we chose sleep training for our little guy – part 2

Why we chose sleep training

In an effort to not write an essay, I have made this post in to a two-part series.  Part 1 will outline the more research-based elements of sleep training, whereas part 2 will focus on our personal experience with using a gentle sleep training method.

Part 2

Continuing from where I left off in part 1, here I want to talk about our personal experience in undertaking sleep training for Baby Mermy.  Although the research indicated to us the importance of sleep and guiding our little ones to sleep better through the night on their own, actually implementing the sleep training strategies necessary to do so was an extremely difficult decision to make.  It is one thing to read and research and it is another to actually carry it out.  Research, books, sleep experts on social media, bloggers, they can all speak to this topic with as much knowledge and conviction as they want, but how these strategies will actually play out in your own home with your own little one is a whole different ball game.  And it’s a scary game at that.

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Why we chose sleep training for our little guy

Sleep training - it sounds far more awful than it is. The importance of sleep for little ones cannot be overemphasized.

 

In an effort to not write an essay, I have made this post in to a two-part series.  Part 1 will outline the more research-based elements of sleep training, whereas part 2 will focus on our personal experience with using a gentle sleep training method.

Part 1

The one thing I had promised myself I would never do, I am now doing: sleep training.  Gasp! Shock! I know the arguments lash-outs moms putting other moms down because of the well-intentioned decisions they made about their own families debates surrounding sleep training and why it is good or not good.  This was most definitely one of the hardest decisions we have ever made.  I was always on the side of it not being good.  I just didn’t think it could fit with the attachment parenting lifestyle that we had adopted.  But, after 16 months of co-sleeping and nursing to sleep, with neither of us getting the quality of sleep we needed, something had to change.  I started doing research and as a family, Papa Mermy and I made the conscious decision that sleep training, or “sleep learning” as Alice Callahan, PhD, terms it over at “The Science of Mom” was the right way forward for us.  Knowing now what I know of sleep and sleep training in its various forms, I can honestly say that this was the best decision for my little guy.  Does it mean I get a bit more sleep? Sure, but that’s never been the driving force.  I am a research-oriented person and once I started learning more about sleep and its importance for little ones, I felt that it was my duty to ensure that I allowed my son to pursue independent, good quality sleep and thereby thrive in his development.  I know there will be those who will disagree, but to put it politely, our family, our rules #sorrynotsorry.  As our family motto states: This is a no-judgement zone.

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Happy FIRST birthday, Baby Mermy!

Happy FIRST birthday, Baby Mermy

 

So, this happened recently: a birthday! The first one, actually. Inevitably, through the predictable passage of time, my child has reached the milestone that I looked forward to and dreaded: his first birthday.  It all seems to have happened so suddenly! On his birthday, I remember looking up at the clock at random intervals and reminiscing on what I had been doing a year prior (oh, look! At this time, I was starting my contractions! Oh, look! At this time, I was pushing!).  Baby Mermy, on the other hand, did not care at all.  I thought that rather unfair: how could he not see how important this day was?! But that’s exactly the reason why we chose not to have a birthday party for him.  He was simply unaware of the significance of this day; for him, it was just another day when he could go to the community centre for a drop-in play group.  He ran around (on his knees, of course.  Why attempt to walk slowly when one can move so much faster while crawling?), visited all his “friends” and giggled at the joy of seeing beings like him (I.e. Tiny in height and moving about similarly).  He attempted to play with these friends by sitting and observing them; some mothers weren’t inviting, but many more were and he enjoyed their company.  To his curious little mind, this was a great opportunity to explore and learn about how this massive world works.  He sat and watched facial expressions, how moms played with their little ones, how the little ones themselves played, and the types of playful activity that he could potentially mimic.  He had a wonderful time!

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Lessons learned from family conflict

Lessons learned from family conflict - www.happilytiredmama.com

 

It has been a long while since I have been here, and I apologize for disappearing without a word.  It has been an incredibly intense few months and things are only now starting to assume some level of normalcy.  At first, Baby Mermy started to teeth and sleep went out the window for both of us.  It’s an understatement to say that I felt like a zombie those days, smiling and entertaining Baby Mermy while yawning.  Once those adorable little teeth poked through, sleep returned to normalcy and we were all feeling rather content.  Until the proverbial poop hit the fan.  As a consequence, we have moved from what we had once considered our forever-home and our city where Papa Mermy and I both grew up to a city five hours away.

I am not one to share dirty laundry; I firmly believe that certain tales of family conflict should stay within the confines of the family.  However, I have gleaned some insight from what has happened behind closed doors that I think are worth sharing.

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