Before I was a mom, while working as a nanny I thought all kids could be great sleepers. I thought parents who couldn’t get their kids to sleep were just not sleep training correctly or were just bad at it.
Let me tell you what, karma is a huge big, fat B-word that likes to catch you in the ass when you least expect it.
When I had my initial thoughts about babies and sleep training I had worked with a total of two infants as a nanny. Yes, I had been babysitting for years, but being a nanny and babysitter are entirely different (but that’s a discussion for another day). Needless to say my inexperience and ignorance were huge. I had never been a parent, who had tried months to get my child to sleep, I had no clue.
When my first son was born I applied the skills I had learned from nannying and he was a great sleeper!! In hindsight, I now know it had absolutely nothing to do with me. The kid slept FIVE HOURS the night we came home from the hospital. He was born a great sleeper. It has nothing to do with me. The kid is chill as f*ck and has been since day one. If you’ve met my child, you know what I mean. Sure, he has his kid moments they all do, but his are few and far between. I seriously wish I was as awesome as him.
Now, enter our second child. My confidence in teaching sleep skills was still pretty solid. I had worked with six infants full-time now and only two had not applied great sleep from my sleep training. I just figured their parents were not applying what I had taught. What an ignorant twat I was.
Our second child is now 16 months old, and I’m here to tell you some kids just don’t sleep. I was up with him just yesterday at 415am. It was his time to play! I applied every same skill I had used with the other babies, it didn’t work. I tried a million other methods. NOTHING WORKED. At about 11 months, sometimes he would sleep through the night, sometimes he wouldn’t. Our lives are still a continuation of not knowing whether or not we will get a full night of sleep. He’s 16 months old now.
However, I haven’t given up. Those nights of full sleep make me realize that just maybe it can be done.
That’s when I had an epiphany. My son’s naps were entirely ruining his night time sleep! I was still giving him two sometimes three naps a day. It was just too much. I always thought sleep begets more sleep, however I had forgotten the cardinal rule of children. They are all different. What’s going to work for one, will not work for another. Maybe this will work for someone in a similar situation and maybe not. I have learned my lesson that some kids just aren’t great little sleepers.
Also, I’m going to have to sacrifice some of my alone time so my son can sleep at night.
It will be totally worth it.