I fed my baby to sleep. It felt natural, and for her first few months we both slept well enough. But then the 4 month sleep regression hit hard, and the next thing I knew she was 7 months old and we hadn’t slept longer than a 2 hour stretch for ages
I felt overwhelmed, sad and hopeless. Sleep deprivation made me believe I was a failure.
I didn’t have the energy to enjoy my baby. I argued with my husband a lot. And I started thinking that things would never get better.
I struggled with depression before, and I felt it returning. Alongside its evil partner, anxiety.
But there was a small voice inside me telling me that sleep was the problem, not me. It assured me that I was the perfect mom for my sweet baby, I was just too exhausted to realize it. This voice convinced me that if we got the sleep we needed, everything would get better.
I scoured the internet and read all the books for the best way to sleep train my affectionate and sensitive baby.
All I found was “Just cry it out” or “Wait it out, a few years.” Two ends of the spectrum, both hitting hard at my “mom guilt” for getting myself into this situation.
In a moment of clarity I thought “No way. There must be a happy medium. Surely, sleep training can be customized depending on a baby’s temperament, age and parenting style.” Necessity is the mother of invention.