Am I sleep training my kid right? Six years later, and I'm still not sure, and that's ok.

Am I sleep training my kid right? Six years later, and I'm still not sure, and that's ok.

3 minute read

Sleep training off and on for six years...
it feels like I'm never going to get a good night's sleep.

This is how my son and I have spent most of the past 4 days. Literally touching, anytime I sit down to do anything. Most nights he comes into my room and says I just need to be with you. He then crawls into my bed and holds onto me for dear life, his heart pounding. After a few moments, I feel his body relax and he falls asleep. 

Honestly, my first reaction is not always empathy or care- sometimes it’s frustration. It just feels like he will never stay in his bed an entire night, that we will never get past this stage.

Why is this still happening? Will he always do this? What if I’m building horrible habits we can’t break? His sleep habits have ping-ponged since he was 6-months-old. It's been a constant battle and my husband and I are never confident if we are doing what we need to be doing and what is best for him.

cuddle sleep training

Do we set up consequences for getting out of bed? Do we do "super nanny" sleep training and keep putting him into bed until he stays (even if he yells and screams the entire time), or just let him crawl into our bed with us whenever he needs to?

Hello- there’s my old friend...anxiety, coming out to visit. The same anxiety my son has, the one we genetically share. The one I need to continue to empathize with, because it's a battle we both face, and one I don't want him to face alone.

After some deep breaths, I take a step back and remember this little person is just that- little. He needs me. Even though he has a bigger body now, he’s still my little boy. One day he will be embarrassed to hug me in front of his friends, he won't need or crave my affection like he does now.

sleep training cutie

For six years, we've tried everything in the book to sleep train him. Sometimes it works, for small periods of time, then something shakes up his routine, and he goes backward.

I still have vivid memories of laying on the floor of his nursery, my arm resting painfully through his wooden crib bars with my hand on his chest, feeling his anxious heartbeat, hoping I could slowly remove my (now) numb appendage and sneak out the door.

Or when he was a few years older, sitting in a cold chair by the door, just to let him feel safe while he fell asleep.

sleep training family

So for now, I choose to let him sleep where he needs to sleep. What he needs most is my love, and to know I will always be there for him, especially when he's anxious and afraid.

I'm tired of being frustrated. I'm tired of overthinking everything. Because isn’t this part of being a mother - sacrifice? Even when you are weary and bone-tired? It’s our calling. I don’t always do it well, but I’m trying my hardest. I pray he will know that as he grows up.

I love you son, now and forever.  I am so grateful that I've been called to be your mom.

Meredith Sunday, 

Co-Owner, honeyroo™


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