So I’m just going to say it: My baby doesn’t sleep well and I’m 100% sure it’s my fault.
I finally admitted it to myself on Christmas Eve when Mr. Waylon was up until 2am screaming like a banshee while the rest of my family tried to a) sleep and b) resist kicking us out of the house. Only later did it occur to me that the little sucker is just confused. Not only do we alternate between co-sleeping and not co-sleeping (inconsistent), we alternate between nursing him to sleep, rocking him to sleep, and walking him to sleep, all around midnight. Midnight! Last time I checked, your baby’s bedtime should not be the same as an irresponsible teenager.
In all this confusion, I’ve tried to figure out what the heck we’re doing here and have come across two schools of thought.
Official Title: Cry It Out
Nickname: It’s A Hardknock Life
Motto: Self soothing will help them in the long run
Stereotypes: Working moms, Type A moms, self disciplined moms
Pros: Your baby is probably sleeping through the night
Cons: Crying babies are bad for morale
Rules: Get rid of sleep prompts (nursing, rocking, walking babies to sleep)
Official Title: Attachment Parenting
Nickname: Soft Cookies
Motto: Your baby needs you
Stereotypes: Co-Sleeping moms, softie moms, new moms
Pros: Your baby trusts you?
Cons: Your baby is probably not sleeping through the night
Rules: Feed on demand, pick them up when they cry
Baby Daddy and I have tried both of these schools and found they are equally taxing. Admittedly, we hardly let him cry it out anymore. In fact, he probably spends just as much time in our bed as he does in his own bed. And if he doesn’t want to nap–he doesn’t nap.
I know it’s normal to be figuring out sleep and babies as first time parents. My confession lies only in the fact that we are lazy. We have books, family, friends, ourselves (ever hear of Google?) to help us work out a better schedule–but instead we remain in survival mode, the three of us lying in bed every night, just waiting for the monster to tire or for the crying to stop.
PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.
On a few separate occasions we even stooped as low as the sitcom cliche; two parents huddled in the corner of the bed while the baby rests peacefully in the middle. It is in these moments when I picture our son, four years old and four hundred pounds, his picture the front story of the newspaper, the headline: The Mom Who Could Never Say No.
Something’s got to give.
Maybe we’ll start a new school called “sell all our possessions and hire a nanny.”
The other day I gave my baby an empty soda can to play with out of desperation. He cut his hand and it bled.
I am the worst.