I’m a fairly relaxed sleep-trainer. We need to be flexible because of our lifestyle; we will not be home every single night at 8:30 to put the baby in his bed. (You need to know why you are sleeping training and what results you want to be successful at this. Don’t just adopt someone else’s plan.) I want to have a consistent nap routine and bedtime and to be able to put him in bed awake and him go to sleep on his own.
This is not a how-to post. There are tons of great resources on sleep training that you can Google. You can even take my favorite method: read a bunch of different stuff on it and cobble together something that works for you. This is a WHY post. I want to share why I sleep train and why that makes a difference for our family. Our home needs to work for everyone and this is one of the ways we’ve made that happen.
(And, as always, if you don’t sleep train, feel free to click away and go on with your life. No judgment here. This is what works for us.)
Preserving mama’s sanity: That’s me, in case you were wondering. Nothing makes me feel like a crazy person faster than rocking a baby to sleep, transferring him to bed, watching those eyes pop open, and starting again. Or having no clue whatsoever when I’ll be able to put the baby in bed in the evening.
Practicing our home worldview: Our children aren’t tiny dictators. Of course, common sense and love have taught us to adjust life for babies and little boys. But they don’t boss us around. That means none of our kids decide when it’s nap-time or bedtime or whatever time. And if I don’t start that when they are babies, how do I pick that up at two?
Blessing others: This past spring, we had another couple over to watch a ballgame and when it was time for the boys to go to bed, we excused ourselves, went through their bedtime routine, tucked them in, and went back to the living room. It’s much easier to welcome people into our home if we can put our kids in bed when it’s time for them to go to bed. The kids get the rest they need and we can continue fellowship.
Stewarding other gifts: I do most of my work during quiet time right now. With a tiny baby I’m not getting up early before the boys do so this time is guarded. I need everyone to nap at the same time and that doesn’t happen on its own.
Protecting our marriage: We look forward to the evenings when the baby can go to bed (and the boys too) and we have some time alone. We can have date nights at home or watch a show or sit and talk. Our children don’t take up our whole lives.
Assisting with babysitting: It’s easier for someone else to keep the baby if they know that they can just put him in bed and not have to worry about rocking him or trying to coax him to sleep while they also have the other boys. Actually, that’s also really nice for me too!
Don’t get me wrong, I love to snuggle Luke when he’s sleeping. For a few months, all of our babies take a shorter evening nap after dinner and whenever possible, I cuddle them for that one. But usually Justin is home and I have some assistance with the older boys.
Will it always be as smooth as that sounds? Absolutely not! Just like no part of life is. But it will be much easier than if I let the children determine our routines and what’s going on. Here’s to sleeping!