Losing the Co-Sleep battle, but I’m loving it!
I WILL NEVER CO-SLEEP! I had my mind set long before baby Kayden came into our lives. I simply cannot imagine sleeping with a baby/toddler for years, and not being able to enjoy romantic nights with my hubby. To ensure this goal will be met, I have read countless books and articles on sleep training strategies and expectations. I had his nursery all set up to encourage self-sleep from day 1. I was all ready to let my baby cry it out. And I was proud to say that I had “the perfect” sleep training plan long before Kayden was even born. 14 months later, I failed.
Sleep training your baby
Every since Kayden started teething at around his 7th month, Kayden went from an angel who slept through the night from 8pm to 9am to a devil baby who wakes up multiple times a night. After 2 nights of constantly going into his room and comforting him back to sleep, I’ve decided to implement my sleep training plan.
So here’s my baby sleep training plan in short:
Step 1: Bath, read, and sing to Kayden as part of his bedtime routine so he knows what’s coming
Step 2: Putting Kayden in his crib when he was sleepy, but awake
Step 3: When he cries at night, wait 5 minutes before going in to comfort him. This time interval shall be extended each time he cries
Step 4: Use the pick up/put down method so he gets the point that he’s not getting out of the crib no matter what
And if everything goes smoothly, he should be able to self soothe by the end of the week.
Sleep training failed! So what actually happened?
- Kayden cried his lungs out every time I tried to put him in his crib awake.
- I ended up doing the pick up/put down method so many times that he got really mad at me and refused to let me hold him for the night. Daddy had to come to the rescue before Kayden was willing to calm down and sleep.
- During the controlled cry-it-out sessions, Kayden lost control. He wouldn’t stop crying, was having a hard time breathing, and eventually threw himself back and bumped his head.. which, led to more crying. To be honest, nothing about the “controlled crying” method is “controlled”. To me, everything was out of control.
- As ready as I thought I was, I couldn’t even last 1 night of sleep training.
The Solution is Co-Sleep!
As much as I hate to admit it, I couldn’t sleep train my sweet little baby. My hubby and I had a talk about it, and we both agreed that Kayden is a baby, and we can’t blame him for needing his parents at night time. We have decided to baby him for as long as we could (yes.. we are push-over parents, but hey, shouldn’t we as parents attend to our babies’ needs?). We set up a double bed in Kayden’s room and would take turn co-sleeping with him at night. We have been doing this for months now, surprisingly, I actually see a lot of benefits from this horrible idea of co-sleeping with a toddler:
- For baby, he feels more secured when we co-sleep with him, so he sleeps way better. He falls asleep easier knowing that we will always be there for him. I’m sure a good night sleep is essential for his little brain’s development.
- For parents, since baby no longer cries his lungs out every time he wakes up, we are actually getting a good night sleep when we co-sleep with him. And what’s better? Since only one of us co-sleep with him, the other one can have some valuable alone time and a restful night.
- Another great thing about co-sleeping is the bonding you form with your baby at night time. As a working mom, I am separated from my baby during most of the day. Being able to sleep with him really helps us get some of the bonding back. Oh, and did I mention that co-sleeping is truly addicting? The sweet baby smell, the lovely sleeping baby face, how could you not love sleeping with your baby? It’s like an antidote to all the stress, anxiety, and fatigue from work and everyday life.
Enjoy Every Moment!
When I talk to my friends about co-sleeping, some of them still couldn’t believe I’m actually doing it. Some people might think we are spoiling Kayden and he will never learn to sleep on his own. But the truth is, I believe everything is a phase. Kayden will eventually grow up, and by then, even if I want to co-sleep with him, he wouldn’t let me. So I might as well take this time and enjoy every second of it.
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