It’s rare that I post on one of his birthday’s.
Rare because more often than not, we rush to cut his cake, rush to get him to bed, and hope that he eventually goes to sleep.
Sleep training has been a 60 day battle (I thought it’s been since January 16th, but I was reminded we started February 16th).
Progressing from light patting to put him to bed to full out 5, 7,10 minute walk in sessions (nicer Ferber, essentially), has taken awhile, and it doesn’t always work.
As I write this post, poor little guy is actually crying…but eventually every parent, I assume, comes to terms with the fact that IF they want their child to sleep on their own, and not be paralyzed with the inability to put themselves to sleep the rest of their youth, you have to institute some sort of sleep training.
Patience and consistency are key, but I find myself slipping and giving excuses because amidst these milestone months, especially the past few where he’s crawling and standing up proficiently, he’s also teething, getting colds, dealing with who knows what else.
For fathers that are trying to help with sleep training, be supportive of your wife, and most importantly, remember that you’ll probably have more emotional fortitude to handle your child’s crying than your wife. Mom’s are wired differently, as I realized tonight, where we were on about our 3rd 10 minute cry out phase (after about 45 minutes of crying), and I was photoshopping his pictures, looking at the top right hand corner of my mac, and not being phased by his crying. His mom was emotionally pacing the room, wondering when this would end, and what we’re doing wrong.
First thing about sleep training is to guarantee the following:
1. The room is safe (there’s a humidifier, the temperature is correct, there are no wires near the crib, and sheets are tucked in tight, there’s a little night light).
2. He’s fed.
3. He’s not wet.
4. He’s not in pain (this is the difficult one I struggle with when he’s teething).
5. He hasn’t thrown up and aspirated on his vomit (yes, hyperbole, but my little one has a tendency to throw up, thankfully sitting up, so worth noting for parents).
In order to achieve #1 and 2, setup the night time routing correctly. #3 and 4 are difficult without feeling around, so that’ll throw things off, and only check if necessary. #5 required us to watch him using a video monitor, in order to make sure everything was ok and if he did throw up, we could run in, change him, make sure he’s not lying down if he DID throw up, and continue with the training.
Being strong and consistent is key…but as I write this post, I feel like my will wavering. I’m actually writing to distract myself, because the gut-wrenching pain of hearing your child cry, not because they are physically hurt, is a difficult concept for the brain to capture.
He’s grown leaps and bounds these 2 months since I’ve left home and not been on paternity leave…below at 8 months, this little guy had his front two teeth in, and was happy with the world as a crawler.
I sincerely do miss my time at home with him full time, the afternoons especially, when the sun was setting, and light filling the master bedroom as we joshed around chasing each other on the floor,
But, as everyone says, they grow so fast, and weeks have flown by, as I reminisce about the past 9 months with him,