This week we took on and conquered sleep training. Sleep has been an elusive beast in our house and sleep training a controversial subject. We wanted to assist our daughter in sleeping on her own, however, did not want to attempt many methods for various medical and personal reasons. So we picked a method that we hoped would work and although we were faced with a flurry of mixed emotion and high anxiety we were still determined to get this baby to go to sleep on her own.
Her new resistance to rocking was the push we needed to begin the process, a process I had studied endlessly. I should have learned by now that in parenting there is no rule book, no guidelines, no step-by-step tool, you just do it.
Night one we laid on our baby’s floor. The two of us. We listened to our baby cry and reach for us while we reassured her from below. My heart ached to jump up and rip her from her cage. To bring her to my chest and rock her until her eye lids fell, heavy with sleep.
I prayed she would just fall asleep, that she would understand this was the best thing for her. I prayed that God would rock her to sleep, that she would feel His arms around her and drift off. I tried to be tough telling myself that she wouldn’t remember any of this and she needed to learn to be a big girl.
I felt Brian’s hand grasp mine.
Tears were stinging my eyes as I fought to hold back my sobs.
After 20 minutes of hearing my child, my life, cry for me I reached my hand up through her crib bars and placed my hand on her mattress, smoothing it over her animal print crib sheet.
She slowly knelt, exhausted, and placed her tiny head into the palm of my hand.
That is where she stayed.
That night the three of us slept in my daughters room.
One in her crib.
Two on the floor.
My hand reaching into the crib so she could still feel the warmth of the body that she is naturally drawn to.
The body she grew in.
The body she knows as home.