It’s like a nightmare I remember only in my…well..dreams. My perfectly sleeping 7 month old daughter has a fever and barely slept a wink all night. Meaning my husband and I barely slept a wink last night. This is the girl who I normally can just waltz into her room, put her in the crib, and say “night night sweetie I love you,” leave the room and not even a peep. Last night I couldn’t put her down without her bursting into tears and crying for long periods of time. I would just rock her to sleep, slowly start to move her over the railing of the crib to put her down, and her eyes would pop open (like one of those dolls we had when we were kids) and she would start crying. So I spent much of the night sleeping off and on in the rocking chair holding her. It was like stepping back in time to when my son was a baby. He was the opposite of my perfectly sleeping 7 month old. He was the inspiration for my sleep training book, this blog, you get the picture. My husband and I spent many hours singing lullabies and doing strange rain dances through the night to get him to sleep. Anyways, I digress. But thinking back to that experience did lead to my train of thought to “here we go again, she’s never going to sleep again, I’m never going to sleep again…”
I had to start using some positive self-talk, and remind myself that I’ve been here before, I know what to do, and it will all be fine soon. I started planning for the worst case scenario. Anytime kids get sick we tend to do all the things we should and shouldn’t, to give them comfort, just to get ANY sleep, to watch over them. Once the kids are better this often leads to a need for some re-training – is it on our part or theirs? I dread that once my daughter is better that she won’t go back to being a perfect little sleeper. Maybe she will, and maybe she won’t. So I have to prepare myself that I will probably have to invest in some of the basics for sleep training. After her bedtime routine, I will put her down, tell her I love her and leave the room. I have to be prepared that some crying will be involved, and it will be okay. I can go and check on her if I need to, trying to provide as little attention as possible, and leave the room. She will get it. Now its just a matter of…how long is it going to be until then?