Sleep-training(ish)

I have an excuse for the ten plus day gap in blog entries. Well, more like excuses. First, I’ve been scrambling to get a DIY project finished up before spring. It’s kind of the first big sewing and fabric project I’ve taken head-on from scratch and it’s been a lot of working and re-working. But it’s almost done! Secondly, there has been a lot of sleep deprivation/ keeping with a routine the past week or two. Sylvia and I were slipping into a cycle of frequent waking and co-sleeping for a bit. But, even so, I wasn’t getting that kind of sleep that gives you nightmares and/or dreams. I yearned for sleep and dreams, and for Sylvia to get more sleep than she was getting. So we’ve had a strict bedtime of 7:30pm and she’s been sleeping awesome the past week. Joey and I even get a few hours of TV and cuddles before bed! Lastly, I’ve been in the process of returning to work. And I’m pretty damn excited about it. I’ve only done all of the pre-employment mumbo jumbo so far—just waiting for a meeting time to set up a schedule.

The most interesting thing going on is probably all the changes I’ve seen with Sylvia lately. She’s almost a different baby now that she’s sleeping better. I’m pretty convinced before the past few weeks, she was super sleep deprived and kind of lethargic because of it. She has days where she’s predominantly non-vocal and just kind of teetering the edge of crankiness. I struggled to decipher what her moods were or if maybe I wasn’t giving her enough time to take in the day before she’d be whisked away for errands or other out-of-house places. I felt she was in the early stages of relying on me to regulate her moods and I was taking her lead. Then there are days like the ones we’ve had lately where she is very alert and active. She is prone to squeals of delight and it’s a true joy to see her so obviously happy. And it has been such a relief to read her moods and to HELP her regulate versus doing all the regulating.

I put the “ish” suffix on sleep training because I don’t think it identifies with the “balls to the wall or nothing at all” kind of sleep training that parents read about when they are at their wits end. My take on it is much more baby-friendly (I can’t even come close to letting her cry-it-out, too emotion-inducing for me). All I have really done differently is paid closer attention to her moods/needs and implemented a bedtime routine with a consistent bedtime. They are modest changes that have been highly correlated with a happier baby and mommy.

For most people this stuff is pretty boring and irrelevant but, sad as it may be, this is the highlight of my life right now. I’ve always kept in mind how important it will be to make time for Joey and I around a baby. I feel like the root relationship should be maintained as best as possible as to not forget the source of our little prodigy. Kudos to parents that co-sleep and can maintain a close romantic relationship—I don’t have the emotional capacity to multi-task that crazily. Lately, I’ve had to put more effort into Joey and my relationship. I think I’ve been too emotionally exhausted after caring for Sylvia and being so reciprocating to her needs all day that Joey just goes wayside. It’s a sad truth but I think it’s pretty common from my understanding of adding a baby to a relationship.

Anyway, sleep training(ish) has been like a godsend so far. Hopefully this seeming correlation is causation and not just coincidence. Joey and I have been getting our time alone to connect and be a couple (not just parents). Sylvia’s been sleeping great which allows for “us time” and I’m going back to work some during the week. It’s an exciting time. And SPRING is coming!! Lately, I have just felt like I’ve had some kind of deep gut feelings in this whole motherhood game that have proven successful—I hope it lasts and continues. I feel empowered when I can be successful in parenting—aside from keeping her alive everyday.

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6 months out and the kid’s alright.
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Author: Caitlyn

Artsy, crafty, history-conscious, earth-friendly, new mama.

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