Baby or Toddler Not Sleeping? Here’s Your Reminder:

Ever see those moms that are like, “my 2 week old is sleeping through the night and I just got 9 hours of solid sleep, I love being a mom” HA yeah, I envy them so much. Maybe you’re awake at the most random time of night (or morning) right now, googling, “how do I get my toddler to sleep” or “why won’t my baby go back to sleep once waking”, or really any question you believe google could answer about your baby so that you can get just a wink of sleep? Well, you’re not alone. Here I am at 4:02am watching my 20 month old daughter run circles in our living room because she has been fighting her sleep for the last hour since waking up tonight. She’s asked for cheez-its, milk, fruit snacks, juice and water. She got cheez-its and water LOL

Oh how I wish there was an answer to all of the questions that even I have about why my daughter doesn’t enjoy sleep but I know there isn’t one. My daughter has never enjoyed or loved to sleep, ever since she was born, she has fought her sleep and wakes up multiple times a night. Sometimes just to be soothed back to sleep but other times it’s near to impossible to get her to go back down and she is just staring up at you like, “yeah mom, when are you gonna give up?”

So, what do you do?

I don’t know. I wish I had a magic answer for you in this moment but I don’t. Here is what I can tell you in this moment though: there is nothing wrong with you. You are not doing anything wrong. Baby/toddler sleep is not one size fits all and sometimes even as adults regulating our systems and falling back asleep after waking up is really hard to do. I try my best in these moments to muster up all the grace I can find within my tired body and mind and extend it to my child. It’s not easy, especially when I am exhausted, ever. But when I do, I am able to look through a different lens and try to have understanding that maybe she is growing. Maybe her body is doing something completely new and it’s hard for her to understand or know how to tell me exactly what she needs because she doesn’t even know what’s happening. Other than the fact she knows if she cries, mom or dad will come. Every time. We are her safe place and the place in which she takes refuge when her world feels too overwhelming to deal with on her own.

What I know to do these moments: surrender and pray.

This is my prayer for you:

“Lord, thank you so much for this sweet mama or daddy reading my blog right now. I pray God that you would first give them your peace, let it flow through them knowing you are ever present with them in this moment. Second, I pray for understanding and grace towards their child. That they would find a sense of joy in these moments knowing they won’t last forever and that one day, this will all be a distant memory but right now in this moment, give them strength. They can do hard things and through this thing called parenting that they would be reminded of the gift their children are and how it does get better.”

And while praying for you, my baby girl came over with her pacifier in hand saying, “hold you, hold you”, I picked her up and turned on one of my favorite lullaby worship albums called, Hidden in my Heart, she was asleep within seconds. One day, they’re gonna sleep through the night and we’re gonna be the ones awake because we don’t want to miss out on a single moment with them. The nights when they’re older and we go into their room with them snoring, just staring at them remembering these nights, right now. Wishing we could make time turn back and cherish each moment a little more. Alright, time to go put this cutie in bed and try to get a little more rest myself or at least the best I can get at 30 weeks pregnant.

9 weeks later from writing this post…

I leave you with this: Do what is best for YOU and YOUR family. I am back here 9 weeks later writing in this blog to tell you what we have now done since I wrote this original blog post. All still true and remain the same, but something we chose for our family before welcoming our third daughter into the world.

I am currently 39 weeks pregnant and my daughter is now almost 22 months. We chose almost 6 or so weeks ago now to take on a gentle approach to sleep training because nights like the one I wrote about above were happening every night, consistently. It became a regular trend and let me just say, a very pregnant mama who was very tired and it was affecting not only me but everyone in our family as our daughters also shared a room at the time.

We chose to go with the ABC’s of Sleep by Taking Cara Babies. The main reason we went with her program was because of the research and evidence based information on it! I am huge on peer-reviewed research and her approach has that which was important to both my husband and I. At the time I also had a friend doing the program with her 7 month old, so I had her as accountability as we started! That made a huge difference to be able to vent or express myself during the process because it can feel so hard those first few nights to be consistent as I thought I would be someone who would never sleep train. But being almost a week out and just 2 weeks shy of 3 under 3, getting two of the three to sleep through the night was priority for us so that we could welcome our third baby without the added stress of sleep. Also, she is almost 2 so I know that she is fully aware that we are still there and didn’t leave her but also this approach was just so great for us!

All of that to say, after we went through the 14 day program, our girl is sleeping through the night and taking her long naps again. Honestly, after the first 3 days our girl was doing it all on her own. Laying her down for nap time and bed time is no longer stressful and truly has given us the grace we need to welcome our new little one. I cannot recommend her approach enough, she didn’t have to cry much and she always knew we were there. Now if she does cry at night or nap time we actually know it’s because she needs us for something and that has rang true. We go to her immediately as we always have and once we take care of her needs she lays back down in confidence that she can put herself back to sleep and that mommy and daddy are still and always will be there for her.

Always choose what is best for you and your family. Carrying no shame or guilt of how anyone outside of your home has to say because listen, this was the most freeing thing I have ever done as a mother. It was a hard decision but the best decision. You can have freedom of good sleep and still have deep connection with your child. I’d say it’s even preferred for most families! I am so proud of all of us and can’t recommend Taking Cara Babies enough!!!!

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