Sleep Training or Why I Learned to Love the Pacifier

One part of parenthood completely freaked me out before I ever had any kids in the first place.  No, not potential kidnapping, or my kid coming home from college after getting some sort of genital piercing, or my daughter’s period syncing up with mine and we have to Bonnie & Clyde it at the local mini-mart for chocolate, or them hating me through the ages of 13 through 28 for not letting them buy $150 jeans, or even the inevitable day I will wear “mom jeans” to reel in my new “pouch.”  No, the one thing that made my backside clench up like a conservative Christian’s at a gay pride parade was the process of “sleep training.”

Before children (BC, as it is known in my pad) I thought you had to program the little bastards to do everything.  Sleep, eat, take a bottle, talk, know when to let momma have 5 more minutes in the bath to finish her magazine and cocktail or god damnit someone is getting grounded…

So when friends of mine went through the rigamarolls of “sleep training” their precious snowflakes, I just sat back quietly, observed and immediately went to my happy place with dreams of having children who like sleep as much as me.

This happy place also includes wine, filet mignon cooked just right, and shoes I want to buy marked 75% off in every store in town.

I have friends who used the Ferber method. (A word that always made me visualize something small and furry that I should spray for so it doesn’t have babies behind the fridge.) I was horrified.  I couldn’t imagine the back and forth to the nursery, patting of little backs, sitting in the room quietly while they are screaming yet not comforting them, and the watching the clock to make sure you don’t go in too early or too late.  Mostly though, I couldn’t handle the crying it out part.  I’m a wuss.

But really, I’m not uppity.  Quite honestly I was immediately against the method at the thought of reading a book on sleeping.

Just typing that makes me drowsy.  Maybe I could learn through osmosis if it sat close enough to my head while I slumbered?

I’m not arguing it’s merits, by any means.  What I did like about the method was that for all of the people I know who used it, it worked very quickly.  For someone as lazy and needful of sleep as moi, this seemed like a really awesome idea.  At least the quickness of it.  If I could just subtract the reading and the schedule and the effort and the screaming baby.

So I fretted.  But then?  Then my daughter got here.

My daughter with her own ideas on how to be “trained.”  And I’ll be damned if that kid had to be WOKEN UP TO EAT because she kept losing weight rapidly for weeks.

Everything from stripping her naked, cool washclothes on her face, tickling her belly and feet, anything.  She slept through all of it.  And still does 5 months later.

Surely I did not birth this child.  I just spent the last 10 1/2 months waking myself up to eat almost every hour on the hour…and then this kid, who had the luxury of a virtual IV of food pumped in constantly it’s entire gestation, and who stayed in an extra 3 weeks to enjoy said food IV.  A kid who just got plunked into a new exciting bright world of things most others would want to stay awake constantly to figure out…would rather sleep than eat.

Kid, who’s training who?


Next time, I think I’ll just follow these ladies advice…on everything.


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