Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A tennis champion and a prince meet… what do they talk about?
LACK OF SLEEP!
It’s not a joke; this actually happened. Fresh off his Wimbledon win, Andy Murray met with Prince William of England. Murray has a five-month-old daughter, Sophia. He told Prince William the first three months were “rough” and full of sleepless nights. Prince William can relate, as the father of one-year-old Princess Charlotte and Prince George who’s about to turn three.
If royals and professional sports stars struggle with sleepless nights because of their adorable children, is there any hope for the rest of us?
Like all parents, I went through my share of sleepless nights. Or, should I say, sleepless years. My girls woke me up every two hours for longer than I’d care to remember. If you find yourself in this boat, there are literally thousands of books and articles you can read on every topic: crying it out, pacifiers, sleep training, feeding, swaddlers and the list goes on. No wonder it takes months for babies to sleep through the night; it takes parents that long to sort it all out!
If there’s one right way to train a baby to sleep, I haven’t found it. In fact, you could say my husband and I did it all wrong. There was no crying it out in our house. As soon as the girls made a noise, we were in the room, consoling them and giving them milk.
But here’s the good news: even with doing everything wrong, our girls (now 4 and almost 9) somehow figured out how to sleep through the night. To my fellow parents struggling through sleep deprivation, I offer these words of consolation: It may not seem like it now, but there is a night light at the end of the tunnel. It just may be farther away than you would like.
Through it all, the only secret I learned is the most important ingredient in getting babies to sleep: patience. You can try all of the different techniques and strategies you want, but, ultimately, it’s not up to you.
So, grab another cup of coffee and call a good friend. They’ll help you through this time better than any sleep training book can!