To sleep train, or not to sleep train. That is the question.
February 11, 2014
Sleep. Everyone's favorite topic. Amiright? If you're expecting your first baby, get ready to be asked "How's s/he sleeping? Is s/he sleeping through the night yet?" many, many times. Every well-meaning relative, friend, neighbor, and mailman, will undoubtedly ask you. And if you hang out with other parents, you will probably spend a lot of time talking about sleep.
Like many new parents, I quickly became obsessed with sleep. Ava never fully emerged from the so-called 4 month sleep regression and it was PAINFUL. She was overtired all of the time and not her usual happy self. And her dad and I were zombies. Even our dog stopped sleeping in our room because of the frequent night wakings.
My sleep obsession ended once I started working with Joanne Palermo of It Takes a Village Baby Consultants. Not only did she help our little nugget go from 8 wakings a night at 6 months old to sleeping through the night AND better napping, but she gave me my sanity back. No more online research, no more obsessing. We had a plan, we were comfortable with it, and Joanne held us accountable (and gave us encouragement when we needed it).
If your baby naturally sleeps well, that's awesome. But you probably aren't reading this post anyway. If your baby is a terror in the night like Ava was, get some help. That doesn't necessarily mean "crying it out." But find someone, like Joanne, who you trust and who can give you sound, objective advice. You'll make yourself crazy reading 10 different books with 10 different theories and trying to make sense of it all.
I'm not here to talk anyone into sleep training. It was a tough decision for us (mostly me), but it was one of the best things we did for our family. However, I do think that if you spend the majority of your time obsessed with sleep -- talking about it, reading about it, googling it, posting in online forums, discussing it with your spouse -- it's time to talk to a sleep consultant.
The picture of Ava in this post was taken at the end of her "It's cool, I'll sleep anywhere" newborn phase. Who knew that would come to a screeching halt?
Is (or was) sleep a stressful topic in your family?