The Pacifier Fairy
Ahhh…whew! OK, glad we got the initial scream out of the way. I am in the throws of sleep training my youngest, who is ten months old. If you are one of those moms who had children sleeping successfully in their own cribs from the day they entered this world, congratulations. The rest of us moms have to resort to this torturous thing called sleep training. During the days and sometimes weeks of sleep training, everyone is miserable. Mom is miserable because she’s not getting any rest. Baby is miserable because they are being forced to sleep in a room alone, which I assume is a little scary and probably seems mean. Who wants to sleep alone?
There are numerous amounts of ways to sleep train, and if you want to be overwhelmed, by all means Google sleep training methods. I have used two different methods, one I like to call the “gentle cry it out” method, because I couldn’t bear listening to him cry for minutes at a time. I sat in his room and shushed him when he cried, and would gently rub his back, but then sit back down hoping he would figure out how to self soothe. Eventually, that broke my heart, so I resorted to rocking him to sleep and then placing him in his crib. This worked, and for about a month he was in his own room.
After having to spend some time at my parents home, my son’s sleep training went to crap. When we returned home after a week of having to share a bed, because he refused to sleep in his Pack n’ Play; sleep training was a wrap. After a month long break, we began the to tackle the sleep training monster again. This time I laid him in his bed and rubbed his little head until his eyes closed. SUCCESS!!! I had a baby sleeping in his own room AND in his own bed. No more Rock n’ Play. No more begging him to “please for the love a little baby Jesus go to sleep.” No more waking up 5-7 times a night because he could smell my milk and wanted to comfort nurse.
Sweet, sweet, sleep!… Or, so I thought. Now, I’m the pacifier fairy. During the night, his paci falls out of his mouth and eventually he gets into a light sleep, which requires a little soothing to keep him asleep. His soothing is his dang pacifier, which he doesn’t open his eyes to find. He simply whines loudly until the pacifier fairy comes and pops it back into his mouth. And I know what you’re thinking. Don’t go put it back in his mouth and he will either learn to self sooth or open his eyes and get it himself. I tried this once, and I instantly regretted it. He did not self soothe. He did not find his paci. He stood up and screamed bloody murder until I came to check on him. He then continued to scream until I laid him down and rubbed his little head. It was a long night.
For now, I will happily play the pacifier fairy. I get nice 4 hour chunks of sleep, and that’s more important to me than him learning to find his paci in the dark. This new fairy position won’t last long, because babies are only babies for a short time, so I’ll snuggle him while I still can, and replace his paci in the middle of the night as many times as he needs. If you are in the midst of this life phase, I salute you. They’ll only be a baby for a very finite amount of time, so this too shall pass. You are doing a great job!