Can I even call it sleep training anymore? I’ve literally been telling people we’ve been sleep training for six months.
We haven’t hit a sweet spot.
We haven’t gotten consistency.
We haven’t made it to a schedule.
And yet, we’re all still here, still breathing, still living, still, dare I say, THRIVING.
If you’d asked me 10 months ago what I’d need to thrive here, now, with James outside of the womb, the first thing on that list would probably have been sleep.
How do I manage a 3 year old as a stay-at-home mom with a baby who doesn’t sleep with any kind of regularity?
How do I plan our days, set up appointments…FUNCTION…without sleep consistency?
I’ve heard it said before that different kids parented by the same parents can still come out differently. I think there’s studies out there where they follow twins and one is a thriving member of society and the other is a sociopath. Before becoming a mom, or even a mom of up until about 6 months ago, anytime I thought about parents raising multiple kids I’d always pictured one, or two, parents parenting kids the same. I mean, that makes sense, right? If they are the same parents, aren’t they parenting the kids the same, or at least super similar?
I’ve also heard many moms before me talk about how different their kids are. I heard that and thought, okay, sure, they are different, that makes sense, as they grow up they will be different but how different can they really be as babies, they are BABIES, aren’t babies kind of all the same?
Or at least that’s what mainstream data/culture/info told me as a mom:
“Babies need to weigh this much at this point of their lives.”
“Babies need this many hours of sleep.”
“Babies need to eat this quantity, this many times a day.”
So if all “babies need… should…. have to…”, how DIFFERENT can they actually be?
And then I had James Paul Fortunato.
Tabby slept through the night very early on. James hasn’t done so, yet.
Tabby drank 6 bottles a day, 5 ounce bottles every single time. James nursed on demand and even now as a bottle fed baby, sometimes drinks 2 ounces, sometimes 7, sometimes won’t even drink anything at all.
Tabby ate solid foods via baby led weaning. James started with purees.
Tabby had ZERO issues with weight gain and was always on the high end of the spectrum. James’ weight was a serious battle for a few months.
Tabby never learned to nurse. James was a pro.
Tabby cried, A LOT, randomly and for no reason, during the day. James only cries when he’s pissed off or needs something.
Tabby took SO LONG to fall asleep but when she was out, she was out. James falls asleep instantly but really struggles to stay asleep.
Tabby slept in our room for less than 2 weeks. James is still with us.
Tabby hated crawling and walked at 9 months. James is a lightening fast, knee moving machine.
Tabby ate anything we put in front of her, James will spit something out if he doesn’t like it and will eat around items to find his factories.
As I think about the differences in my children, I think about how differently I’m parenting them. It’s not just them who’s different, it’s me too. I am different. VERY different. The mother I was December 19th, 2018, is very different than the one I was June 13th, 2021 and still today.
There’s a verse we quote in our home, A LOT. I’m sure I’ve taken it out of context, have the history all wonky, and am using it all wrong, but the words “for such a time as this” speak huge Truth into our home when spoken.
“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
For such a time as this, I am the exact mother both of my children need. I was different when Tabby was a baby and that was the mom she needed. I am different now, and this is who James needs as a baby. I’ll be different in a month, a year, a decade, as we all ride this wave of mother/child life together.
So in summary, sleep training, is, well, it’s just our normal every day life. I’m thankful for the plan our sleep consultant, Denise, put together for us (she is SO GOOD!!!!!) because we keep coming back to it as true north and just continue to take it all one step at a time. And if you ask big sister how sleep training was going she’d say AWESOME because she gets to “watch iPad when you put baby down!!!!!” Good or bad? Hard to say!