Last night I spent most of the night on the floor next to my two year olds cot. Reassuring him as he woke.
This afternoon I lay down with my two year old and held him as he napped.
Tonight I sat outside the boys room and stayed there until they slept.
Or were well on the way to sleeping without being upset anyway.
I did the same the night before. And the night before that. And the night before that.
Bedtime, naptime, sleeping in general is a contentious issue in our house.
With my four year old being a wonderful sleeper, putting himself to bed, sleeping through the night, my youngest came as a bit of a shock to the system.
I expected him not to sleep as a newborn.
I knew he might not sleep through when he hit a year old.
By the time he hit two I knew that whatever we were doing was working for us. Despite the fact he didn’t sleep.
I’ve slept on the floor. I’ve slept in the cot. I’ve slept in the chair.
I have rocked. I have sang.
I have begged and pleaded for him to sleep.
I have lost my temper when he hasn’t slept.
I have cried in frustration at his lack of sleep.
I have felt drained from the neediness on me.
Yet one thing I am yet to do is to sleep train him. Unlike his brother who was gently sleep trained, I’ve just gone with my gut on this one.
Sometimes I wonder that by not doing that am I training my son not to sleep?
That by not walking away, leaving him to cry.
That by not going in and lying him back down each time.
That by not writing down each minute he sleeps and recording it in my phone, by not waiting with bated breath to hear the cry and to tell him to lie down.
That something I am doing is the reason he doesn’t sleep.
Living on broken sleep is exhausting there is no doubt about it.
But yet, I still have the reluctance. There is no need for me to sleep train. There is no consistency to his wakefulness that will respond to being “trained”.
And therein lies my problem.
I do not believe he needs to be trained.
I do not think training him that I won’t come when he cries will help him sleep any longer, on the contrary I know that just seeing my sleeping form helps him sleep more.
I do not believe that it will work for him.
And without belief, without consistency, I know it definitely won’t work. If my heart and soul isn’t in it it may cause more damage than good.
Because my baby, and he is still my baby at 27 months old, isn’t the best sleeper and I still won’t sleep train him.
And therein is both my problem and my solution.
I know that I am not breaking my baby by not training him.
I know that in time it will come.
That lack of sleep won’t last forever.
I can see it when he sleeps a little longer, when he needs me a little less.
Maybe I won’t sleep train.
But he won’t not sleep forever.