So what does sleep training look like? Well this time around I'm doing it a little differently than with Levi because...
a) Kayden is a different kid than Levi was
b) Kayden and Levi share a room
c) we sleep trained Levi and he seemed traumatized by it and wasn't a good sleeper until he was almost 3 so...don't want that again!
Sleep training this time around is more like weaning Kayden off of night feeds. She's been up more during the night in the last couple months than she was in the first few months of life so I'm quite certain we have a case of her just wanting to be nursed back to sleep whenever she wakes up. To wean her, I'm trying to be very hands-on. With Levi, we eventually just let him cry for hours in his crib because going in to him just made him more and more upset each time. I'm convinced that's part of the reason he hated his crib so much and cried himself to sleep for every naptime and bedtime until he was almost two years old. With Kayden, I go to her often and stay with her until she's calmed down. I'll pick her up if she's just not calming down. I'll change her pj's if they're wet (apparently you get really hot and sweaty when you cry for hours on end!). I do not want her to feel like I've left her to just cry. The goal is to wean her of feeds, not to get herself to self-soothe when she's screaming her lungs out.
Being awake for hours in the middle of the night is not my most favourite activity (though I do come up with some clever Facebook statuses in the wee hours of the morning! I did say clever and not cynical, right? Oh good... None of these get posted, just in case you're wondering how you missed these entertaining tidbits). But if it means that I can maybe, just maybe, start sleeping through the night again in the near future...it's worth a few sleepless nights. I never thought I'd be able to handle the lack of sleep that comes with parenthood. I've always been someone who needs more sleep than most. I'm miserable when I'm tired. By the time Levi was born, I'd already been through a few months of waking in the night but naively thought that I would have a good sleeper and that surely by 8 weeks old my boy would be sleeping through the night. 8 weeks came and went. 4 months came and went. 6 months...8 months...a year...two years. Still my boy wasn't sleeping through the night and baby number 2 was getting close! By the time Nathan started getting up with Levi, I was up due to pregnancy again. It's been a long haul with the no sleeping thing but I must say...the body adjusts! It's hard. Every once in a while, it all catches up and I feel desperate for sleep. But then that feeling passes and I'm good to go again for another few weeks. God really does give you what you need. It's quite amazing, really. So, while I'd love to be sleeping through the night before Christmas, I know that whatever happens, I'll make it through.
Well, the girl seems to finally be asleep. Three hours after waking. It's 3am and I think I'll try to catch some zzzz's before she wakes and we start this whole crazy thing over again!