Sleep Training Heartbreak

i’ve been functioning on no sleep for over a month! yes we were on vaca with our family recently and yes I did sleep in.. until about 9ish most days… but that’s nothing to help me make up my 3 – 4 hours of somewhat restful sleep in a 24 hour period… for about 40 ish days!

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let me tell you what no sleep does to you. you get really irritated at every single person around you. you wake up exhausted every single morning. you start to get irrationally jealous of your friends who are single and have no kids because they can sleep in the middle of the afternoon on any given saturday. you don’t eat. or you eat too want to burst into tears at any given moment. your internal monologue is dark and gloomy.  all your hopes and dreams for the new year get squashed because all you want is ONE restful night of sleep.

so what to do.

i’m giving this whole – taboo- sleep training thing a go… again.

so all my crunchy, die hard, attachment parenting, co sleeping friends… i’m sorry. i  feed my child formula and now we are going to let him cry it out because mama is going insane and needs to just sleep. please don’t judge.

Sleep training did not work the last time I tried it because Lily takes it pretty hard and it’s bad enough that one kid is crying, I can’t handle 2!

so right now… on take 2… i am sitting in the room typing this while this sweet MOTO of mine cries his heart out in his crib while staring at me in the dark (with night light) the whole time.

It’s a sad sight. ugh!

– ok so I let him cry for about 5 mins – i was in the room – music was playing- night light on- door closed. the Beast tried to break down the door and I can hear Lily pacing in the hallway. this sucks!

– i finally gave in and rocked him to sleep. he was out in a few mins.must be all that crying. gave us about 30 mins of sleep and is back screaming in his crib. Lily is taking this the worst, she can’t understand why we are allowing him to cry. I keep telling her, ” he’s not hurt, nothing bad is happening, it’s all part of teaching him to sleep”. not sure I believe what I’m saying.

– now he’s holding his breath and crying. this is painful in a ‘moms are not supposed to make their kids cry‘ kinda way. I don’t think i can stand it. but we have to right. I mean my sanity is on the brink of collapsing over here. I can’t have a single conversation with Matt without either wanting to break down or get into a silly fight. And today when I was invited to join a book club I almost burst into tears and wanted to scream… BOOK CLUB.. you think I have time for a book club… you think i have time to read!

– Matt finally went upstairs to the nursery to rock MOTO back to sleep. it’s tough emotionally but I also feel for Lily who is really saddened and confused by this and also Jonah who is so uneasy. Neither of them will even look at me.

Thomas naps 3 times a day – wakes at 6am -naps at 9am- naps at 12:30- naps at 4:30 until about 5:30. All his naps are about 30-45 mins unless I hold him in my arms and then it’s like.. 2 hours. and I nap too. (sometimes- most times I stay awake holding him and worrying about all my deadlines and my lofty goals)


tomorrow I’m going to change his nap times and see how that affects us with sleeping.

of course I take to facebook and twitter to vent about my sleep issues and immediately received a ton of support. So thanks to all of you who are holding my hand through this. I really take your advice because YOU have done it successfully with your kids. I cannot tell you how much this online community of mine has stepped in to advice me on these milestones. Thank you and please think of me when you are drool sleeping under your down comforters. (guilt trip is free)

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  1. You can do this! Reminded of a story Grandpa Harold told our girls. When Bruce was little he got in trouble and was punish. Ron an Kathy were upset and went to comfort him. He got in trouble for the same thing again, Harold told R and K the the first punishment was B’s fault, the second time it was their fault. Part of learning to be an older sibling is learning to let the younger one receive their “lumps”. BTW: I had better luck with going into the room, laying the babe down and leaving, waiting outside the room or nearby. This is actually hard as a grandparent. It also help for me to read a book or sing to them first. Good Luck, you are actually doing him a favor. Crying is not always bad.

  2. I’m sorry it’s going so tough! I have heard it’s much harder the older they are. We taught L to put herself to sleep at 8 weeks and it wasn’t bad at all. If you have another I suggest starting younger. Good luck mama!

  3. I am going through the same thing with my 16 month old son. He will nap 2-3 hours in my arms, but we are lucky to get 30 minutes 2x a day when he’s on his own. He also needs to be rocked and nursed to sleep. He wakes 3-4 times a night and he wants to nurse to fall back asleep. If I don’t nurse him, he cries for 30 minutes at each wake up. I cannot remember the last time I slept a straight 6 hours. He’s never been a good sleeper, but at times he will sleep 5 hours and it gives me enough energy to carry on. I sometimes feel hollow as if I am just going through the motions of living, without actually getting to LIVE fully because of exhaustion, you know? And jealous of moms that seem able to “do more”. I work 25 hours a week & I swear my sitter thinks I’m on drugs for how I greet her every morning- hair in a bun, dark eyes, skin and bones, car keys… Where are those car keys??!!! Oh, in the fridge again, of course! Anyway, I feel the words on your blog today and I commend your efforts! Our latest attempt is at baby boy’s first wake up I take him to daddy to soothe to sleep without me. Last night he woke several times and I listened from the next bedroom and it was miserable to hear him call for me. And my husband was grumpy today because he was so tired- here’s hoping tonight is a little better. My husband is so kind & willing to do it again tonight. Question- what kind of advice or info are you getting from fb? I never hearing beyond, ” it’s hard for a few days & then it’s done.” But I can’t sit through the few days- it’s too much. Xx and sweet dreams.

  4. I understand exactly how you feel! My younger son is 12 months and we decided a few weeks ago to start sleep training him, the first day there was a lot of crying and screaming so of course it was hard for me and broke my heart and I just couldn’t take it. I can relate to everything you are feeling, but I know it will all pay off in the end. Hang in there!

  5. Maria, hey, it’s Sari. So sorry you’re going through this. On the sleep training, we did the cry it out method slowly increasing the amount of time you let them CIO. It does work, but you have to be very rigid about sticking to it. Otherwise, you have to start doing it all over again -which is a nightmare. My husband was actually the “enforcer” at the time which I really needed to keep from fouling the whole thing up. It truly does work. By the way, I waited TOO LONG to sleep train. My OB was horrified when I told her what was going on. A friend of mine told me her pediatrician had them start at 8 weeks. It sounded crazy to me, but it worked. :

  6. Sorry about the rambling nature of the comment. Ironically, dealing with sleep issues with my son for the first time in four years this month. Exhausted + frayed too. Hang in.