We do these “Beijos Real Talk” posts to get a little personal, so you can all get to know us a little better and find out what’s going on behind the scenes in our lives, but honestly they are some what therapeutic for us as well!
Today I’m talking about the struggle I’ve had with my wild man Court and his sleep… Let’s just say he doesn’t, haha! From the beginning when I was in the hospital with Court after he was born the nurses were amazed as to how he would get out of his swaddle, they called him Houdini because he couldn’t stay in that thing! I should have known I was in for some trouble then…
We brought him home and being a new mom I wanted to do anything I could to make him happy! I was nursing like crazy all the time, getting up through-out the night. The boy liked to eat!!! My husband and I had him co-sleep with us in a little soft bassinet in between the two of us at first, then we moved him to a bassinet right next to my side of the bed. It was easier for me this way since I was getting up so much at night that I could just pick him up and feed him right there.
Fast forward a few months and I was getting advice from everyone, some I asked for and some not, if you are a mom you know exactly what I’m talking about… Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has an opinion on what you should or should not be doing. I was just trying to make it work for me and I know I am not perfect by any means, but I was doing my best. People told me to have Court sleep in his crib for all of his naps, that way he would get used to sleeping there, but I found myself wanting to hold him for most of these naps, I mean they are only that little and cuddly for so long I would do that or he would nap in the boppy or something similar that he was cozy in. I was in survival mode!!! I had to do what I could to get him to sleep and get some rest on my own.
Meanwhile, at night time… Court got very used to sleeping with Nate and I, he was co-sleeping, which to a lot of my mom friends was a bad move. He would cry and cry if he was in his crib, we could have them there for a bit but then when he woke up he would immediately want to sleep with us. I was getting up around 4-5 times a night, and he was already over a year! We tried things like cry it out, well a modified tamer version, but to be honest we didn’t last long with it… Especially my husband who is a softy when it comes to things like that. I got many different theories of why Court didn’t sleep, my favorite (and most convenient) was from my cousin who claimed that more intelligent babies didn’t sleep well because they were more aware of their surroundings and had too much to think about. He said their minds just race with thoughts and it makes it hard for them to settle down. I would love to think that is the reason, but who knows. I do know that he has a TON of energy and is very wild, and that is one of the things I love about him the most, his spirit. But some nights it did get to me, I just wanted one night’s sleep!! But most of the time I didn’t really mind… We cuddled, he felt safe and loved, he was happy so I was happy.
As time passed, Court got better at sleeping through the night, he was still nursing but could sleep with just getting up maybe 1-2 times per night. I stopped breastfeeding Court when he was 21 months (I know, a long time, that’s a whole other post, ha!) and that was another adjustment we had to make while still trying to get his sleep on track. Around 18 months Court started climbing out of his crib, I know, just another thing to add to the madness! What 18 month old does that?! So we decided, maybe if we get him a transition bed he will feel better in his room and sleep better… No luck, haha! He only wanted “mommy’s bed”… I was reaching my wits end then literally 2 days before he turned 2 years old he asked to sleep in his room… WHAT?! It was the strangest thing, but we went with it and he has started the night in his room since. I’m not going to say he stays there the entire night, most nights he comes into our room but he has slept through the night will be in his room and is ok with it!
At the time when Court wanted to sleep in his room I got really emotional, all this time I had wanted him to be in his bed and when he actually did it kind of broke mine and my husband’s hearts… That time we had with him was done, and although it felt never-ending while we were going through it, it was just a few short years and it won’t be like that with him again. But we let him do this in his own time, which I’m really happy about.
What I’ve realized is that no one has the perfect path or way for these things, I had a lot of opinions thrown my way while we were going through this sleep journey and I felt judged quite a bit or that I needed to defend my choices/actions. What I definitely know is that we are all just parents who are trying to do our best for our kids and make them feel loved, secure and happy, who knows if I made the right decisions along the way but I hope I at least succeeded in that.
All photos by Megan Welker