As I’ve said before, I had all kinds of expectations of what mothering would be like. For sure I knew my child would be a good sleeper. After all, she’s my child, and I LOVE sleep. Love, love it. Love comfy pajamas, love big, down comforters. Love waking up to coffee… I could go on. Unfortunately, Florence hasn’t yet grasped these favorable aspects of dreamtime. She’s more like her dad that way, I guess. 

I don’t write this post, however, to complain, but rather to seek advice. I also don’t mean to be those friends who post questions on Facebook like, “Does anyone know how to make Kombucha?” It’s like, dude, I’m sure wiki how and about a billion other websites could help you. But my google searches on “how to get your baby to sleep through the night” and “how to get baby to sleep in a crib” have not been fruitful. Sleep training, I’m realizing, is unique to each family, and what works for some, hasn’t worked for me.

Here’s what I know. 

  • During the day, Florence will only nap for about 30 mins at a time. Unless she’s in the car, it will be more. She takes 3-4 naps a day. 
  • I co-sleep with her (said in a whispery voice, because I know so many people disagree with that method).
  • She sleeps for about 5 hours straight at night, then wakes about every hour for the last few hours of her sleep. 
  • She uses a pacifier or nursing to fall asleep. She can also be “walked” or “bounced” to sleep.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking (and you’re right) – I did it all wrong. Her “sleep association” is me. So she needs me to either nurse her or stick that pacifier back in. My question is how do I change her sleep associations without tons of tears (from both her and myself). What should her new sleep associations be? I put her down in a crib yesterday, and it was a disaster (lots of crying). How do I teach her to self-soothe? 

 One of my favorite shots from waking up Mother

One of my favorite shots from waking up Mother’s Day morning! 

One last thought. There’s another factor at play. Last night I was putting her down, singing Count Your Blessings from White Christmas (I guess Christmas in July’s got to me), and this tiny human just makes me melt like a popsicle. Her eyes fluttering and mine trying not to cry. These are the sweetest moments I just want to bottle up and put in my pocket. My very own baby, falling asleep beside me, knowing she is safe and loved beyond words. How could I not want to also sleep beside her? Am I subconsciously putting off sleep-training?

(Cue the dun-dun-dunnnnn music)

Still, I wish she’d nap longer and stop waking so often in the night. The reality is I’m sort of getting tired of being tired. So, mamas, nannies, sages, tell me you understand where I’m coming from and offer some solutions if you’ve got them. Until then, I remain faithfully yours, Sleepless in Virginia.