Why We Don't Sleep Train or Cry It Out | Still Playing School

Why We Don't Sleep Train or Cry It Out

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: , ,
Just now, I tried to put D down for bed, but he was restless.  He was tossing and turning and fussing in his bed, so I brought him back to ours.  We don't sleep train our babies and we never will.

As I snuggled with him, I hummed to him and rubbed his little feet.  He stilled his fidgeting.  He started making content little sighs instead.  His eyes closed.  His breathing slowed.  While all of this was happening, I was admiring my little boy and thinking of several factors which are responsible for his behavior.

During the day, D is busy.  He is on the move, trying to learn to crawl, scooting and pivoting on his belly and bouncing and testing out his weight on his legs.  At night, it is difficult to stop those muscles from repeating the actions they practiced all day.

His mind, too, is busy.  He is changing more during this first year than he ever will this quickly again.  His days are full of sensory experiences, as they should be, but again, it is hard to turn that off at night.  Have you ever had a very busy day and closed your eyes to sleep only to see your repeated activity playing out behind your eyelids?

The other night, I was exhausted (we both are) but when I tried to fall asleep I had what I can only imagine to be restless leg syndrome.  I could not get comfortable no matter how I laid.  My mind was exhausted but my body wouldn't stop forcing me to move.  I was so frustrated, but unlike D, I could tell someone that.  Mr. SPS massaged my hands and I finally fell asleep.  I decided to pass that technique on to D tonight as I rubbed his feet.

I listen to podcasts or TedTalks when I have insomnia.  A little distraction for my mind is sometimes enough to help me drift off.  I repeated this for D tonight by humming him a familiar tune, then as he settled I changed it to a whispered shushing sound.

I imagined how difficult it must be for a little baby to get comfortable when they aren't entirely in control of their muscles yet.  I remembered how I struggled to sleep after my c-sections when I couldn't turn or rest certain ways because of my recovering muscles.

All these thoughts flooded my mind in the 20 minutes I spent helping him drift off to sleep.  Then I successfully transferred him to his room.  All is calm and quiet.  My boy is settled.

He is not trying to manipulate me.  He isn't capable of that sort of rationale yet.
He doesn't need to learn to self soothe on difficult nights yet.  That's my job as his momma.  He has plenty of nights where I lay him down awake but tired and he drifts off by himself.

He'll get there.  E figured it out.  Violet never had a chance to, so I will savor these moments of helping my baby fall asleep.

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  1. I always nursed Erin to sleep until about a month ago, when her nursing needs became so frequent overnight that I was a walking zombie, and NOT a good mom during the day. I stopped nursing her to sleep, and instead, lay in her room, saying "shhh" in a soothing voice. Within 2 days, she was sleeping through the night. We moved the girls into a bunk bed (3 year old on top, 15 month old on the bottom), and our sleep pattern has changed again. Erin is currently teething molars, learning to walk, and trying out new sounds all at once. After nursing her at night and laying her down, she's a rammy, talkative little girl. I was getting really frustrated with it, and nothing I tried (nursing, back rubs, rocking) was working. So last night, I just laid in her twin bed with her and relaxed while she did her rammy routine. I got so comfortable that I dozed for 5 minutes or so, and wouldn't you know it, when I woke up, she was asleep. Just like everything else she learns by modeling me, I think she cued into my utter relaxation: my soft and steady breathing, my calm limbs, and that helped her sleep. We did it again tonight and it worked beautifully.

  2. Bunk beds sound like so much fun for them! I love that she fell asleep after you did!