You read it in the title I am literally obsessed with my baby’s sleep. I am not over exaggerating by the slightest. Literally all I think about is sleep. All I talk about is sleep. I am sure my husband and friend’s want to kill me. I am constantly researching sleep and every day I change my mind about what I want to do when it comes to my baby’s sleep. I go back and forth about “sleep training”. Should I “sleep train”, should I not “sleep train”? What “sleep training” method should I use or not use? Is my baby too little to “sleep train”? Should I wait until my baby is a little older to “sleep train”?
As a first time mom I was SO overwhelmed with the plethora of information you will find on “sleep training”. There is the CIO, Ferber, Extinction, you name it, it is probably a “sleep training” method. There are also SOOO many instagram accounts of “sleep experts” as well as websites. So, how do you really know what “expert” to listen to? What “expert” should you pay and invest money into in order to get advice on baby sleep? Or what “sleep training” method is right for you? I wish I had that answer for you but I don’t. After spending countless hours researching websites, following instagram accounts, and talking to my friends and husband, I decided I will NOT be “sleep training”. This does not mean I am against “sleep training” methods by any means. Everybody is different and every baby is different. What might work for you, might not work for someone else. This is just the decision that I decided to make with my husband and I am going to tell you why.
My Decision to NOT Sleep Train
Like I mentioned above, I was spending countless hours/minutes researching “sleep training” methods. I was looking up “sleep experts” on instagram and was going to invest hundreds of dollars to work with a sleep expert. But, I couldn’t decide on what sleep expert to work with as there are 194884 of them on instagram. There are 29585 of websites when you type in google “sleep training”, or baby sleep. I was OVERWHELMED and STRESSED beyond belief. I was focusing so much on my baby’s sleep that I started to not enjoy being in the moment with my son. Instead of enjoying snuggling and rocking my son I was becoming more and more frustrated every day. In my head I kept saying why do I have to rock you for so long? Can’t you just be put down and fall asleep like other babies? I started to compare my son to other babies and I knew this was not a good road to go down. I started to feel guilty for the thoughts I was encountering and the frustration I was feeling. This is when I knew I had to make a decision and change my mindset. A) I had to pick a “sleep training” method and stick with it and be consistent or B) I had to stop obsessing about my babies sleep and enjoy the moments the best I can and let it happen naturally. I chose option B.
During my search on instagram I came across “baby led sleep” accounts. These accounts are all about not participating in “sleep training” methods and letting your baby lead the way. It talks about how your babies attachment to you at this age is a good thing. They talk about how your babies won’t want to sleep with you forever, and be rocked by you forever and then it hit me. My son won’t need me forever and eventually he will be so busy in life that he might not even have time for mom or dad. I started to read more and more and fell in love with all the things that this account posted about. It made me feel like I have been a good mom for providing the comfort I do to my son. These moments I won’t ever get back so I decided I needed to start cherishing them. I decided instead of getting frustrated I needed to enjoy these moments. Instead of spending all my free time researching baby sleep and obsessing about it I need to focus my energy on other things.
Since I have changed my mindset on sleep I have been happier and my son has been happier going down for naps. I truly believe your babies can sense your energy and if you are frustrated in return, it causes them to get more upset and frustrated too. I am not perfect and there are going to be days that I will still get frustrated. But, I learned that this is OKAY. We are all human and sometimes we need a break. Sometimes if you have been rocking your baby for several minutes and you start to feel frustrated it's ok to set them down in a safe space and walk away for a few minutes and come back. This is NORMAL.
Again, I am not here to bash “sleep training” methods, or “sleep experts” by any means. Every family is different and has different circumstances. Everyone is allowed to make their own decisions on what is best for their family. Personally for me, not doing “sleep training” is what is best for my family. My husband and I both cannot hear or deal with our son crying and we both know we would not be consistent or successful with “sleep training” methods. This story is meant to portray the message that you are not alone. That you need to do what is best for your family. If you are obsessing over baby sleep my advice for you is to either pick a method and stick with it for a few weeks, or stop obsessing and save yourself time, energy and stress and let your baby lead their own sleep.