I’ve had two experiences as a mom. One as a mom who gets a good night’s sleep and one who hasn’t slept in over a year. Guess which one I prefer?
When Santi was first born he didn’t sleep longer than 3-4 hours at a time for four months. It was hell on earth. I really really thought I may die from exhaustion. I know people say the nights are long but the years are short so just enjoy it, but those people are sleeping the night–trust me. Once he turned 4 months, however, I began the process of sleep training him. And by sleep training him, I mean I let him cry it out. I got a lot of judgment for this…a lot, but it worked for us, and after a week or so, everyone was sleeping. And guess what? I was a better mom! I was happier and nicer and I probably looked healthier too. He would sleep 12-hour stretches, was able to soothe himself back to sleep and was just all-around a total pro.
When he was 19 months old we began the renovation nightmare that now plagues my life and we moved into my parents. Since the big move to Costa Brava, my life has never been the same. I don’t know if it’s because he was sleeping in a queen-sized bed, if it was because the room is too big or because I was pregnant, but Santi refused to sleep the night again. And remember, I was no longer in the comfort of my own home, so letting him cry it out was no longer an option. My parents, who apparently forgot what a sleepless night was like, have basically forbade me from doing so. Santi is smart, so he caught on pretty quick and basically, we have been playing musical chairs (but with our beds) ever since.
Before Joaquin was born, Santiago or I would take turns putting Santi to sleep. He’d drift off into a delicious REM cycle and we’d retire to our room to watch TV and sleep (if we were lucky). But every day around 2:00-3:00 AM (that’s right), Santi would start crying hysterically and one of us would go soothe him. But, eventually, it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough for him, and it wasn’t enough for us who just wanted to pass out. So what happened? Whoever would go to his room to “soothe” him would just end up sleeping in his bed.
When Joaquin was born, he was sleeping 5-6 hour stretches almost immediately. I mean, sometimes I would even lay awake at night making sure he was breathing because I was not used to this. There was one huge difference though–Santi always slept in a bassinet or a crib…Joaquin was sleeping in a dock-a-tot…in my bed. I know, not ideal, not normal, blah blah blah. But he didn’t have his own room, the bassinet isn’t comfortable, and I honestly kinda liked it. And since Santiago was sleeping in our room part-time anyways, in my mind it didn’t matter.
Eventually, we transitioned him into a crib into his brother’s room in the hopes that having a roommate would make Santi sleep better at night. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. Some nights Joaquin wakes up crying, other night’s it’s Santi’s turn. The moral of the story is that on any given night, one of my kids is awake and Santiago and I are back to wanting to cry into a pillow. We are bed hopping and my kids seem to like it that way. We are almost in our new house though, and for real, when the move is complete, I’m going back to being a sleep seargant and making my kids cry it out.
That is, until baby #3 is born…because, you have no idea how delicious it is to sleep with your baby….