In the first year of parenting, there is very little sleep or general rest involved. When discussing “trying again” we’ve decided to table it until we have the snappiness to have sex again, let alone the energy to actually parent a second child.
This is partly because Lord James doesn’t sleep through the night. He wakes up howling, several times a night. After talking to Dr. Ped we tried the Sleep Training aka “The Cry It Out” method.
What is Sleep Training?
Sleep training is an attempt to get your bambino to sleep through the night. It’s this wacky thing where you let your kid howl wildly like an angel-headed hipster roaring in to the night. This must delight the neighbors to no extent. Every 15 minutes or so, you share encouragement with your spawn, saying soothing things like “Mommy and Daddy are proud of you,” “We know you are working really hard now,” “It’s okay son, it is just for a few days” and other positive memes. It doesn’t really matter what you say because he probably can’t hear you over his own screaming anyway.
You can’t touch, hold or feed the kid. Just reset the Sleep Sheep. In my experience, this can last up to 90 minutes. During this time, we ditched the baby monitors. We could hear him down the hall just fine without amplifying the madness in our room. If you have a video monitor, TURN THAT OFF, seeing your kid with a wretched angst riddled face is too much and you will cave. We lay in bed listening to this opera of confused, mental pain pretending to ignore it, wondering how long we can hang on listening to it.
Get the official method from your Dr. Ped. But no matter how you slice it… it’s a necessary evil.
The good news is that your child will be sleeping through the night in just three days.
Three Days is Just a Guideline
A month in to it, the wife and I, raccoon eyed and ultra-edgy, started to fight about it.
Me: “Wasn’t this supposed to take three goddamn days?”
Her: “That’s just a suggested guideline”
Me: “Aw crap…you didn’t say anything about that. Maybe eight months is too young to start this”
Her: “You want to know what happens if we wait, like until he can talk?”
Yeah. I knew. I’d read about it on Facebook from like-minded parents and heard first hand from real-life friends who waited until the bambino could talk. It was worse than the screaming, because the kids could actually make phrases like “Help Me Mommy” or “Daddy, I need you.” Words that will seep through the gel ear plug, bite on your lobe and melt your heart. Screw that.
So Suck it Up
So we continued The Cry It Out Method. But good fortune struck us right in the passports.
The wife had a biz trip in France for three weeks and took the baby along. When he came back we went through three days of him thinking it play time around 2 – 6 a.m. He suddenly, without warning decided to go to bed at 6:00 or 7:00 and sleep through the night. It’s been four days and counting.
So when in doubt send your kid to France. It seemed to work better.
Sure, we cheated. But we won.
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