A Letter From a Sleep Training Baby

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Getting a good night’s sleep with a baby is like finding the holy grail.  You know once you have a baby you are saying goodbye to undisturbed sleep for the foreseeable future.

That’s why so many parents choose to use ‘sleep training’ or ‘cry it out’ but how do the babies feel in these situations?

Alternative Mama has written this heartbreaking letter looking at things from the babies perspective.

 

A Letter From a Sleep-Training Baby

Credit: alternative mama

Dear mommy,

I am confused.

I am used to falling asleep in your soft, warm arms. Each night I lay snuggled close to you; close enough to hear your heartbeat, close enough to smell your sweet fragrance. I gaze at your beautiful face as I gently drift off to sleep, safe and secure in your loving embrace. When I awaken with a growling stomach, cold feet or because I need a cuddle, you attend to me quickly and before long I am sound asleep once again.

But this last week has been different.

Each night this week has gone like this. You tucked me up into my cot and kissed me goodnight, turned out the light and left. At first I was confused, wondering where you’d gone. Soon I became scared, and called for you. I called and called for you mummy, but you wouldn’t come! I was so sad, mummy. I wanted you so badly. I’ve never felt feelings that strong before. Where did you go?

Eventually you came back! Oh, how happy and relieved I was that you came back! I thought you had left me forever! I reached up to you but you wouldn’t pick me up. You wouldn’t even look me in the eye. You lay me back down with those soft warm arms, said “shh, it’s night time now” and left again.

This happened again, over and over. I screamed for you and after a while, longer each time, you would return but you wouldn’t hold me.

After I had screamed a while, I had to stop. My throat hurt so badly. My head was pounding and my tiny tummy was growling. My heart hurt the most, though. I just couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t come.

After what felt like a lifetime of nights like this, I gave up. You don’t come when I scream, and when you do finally come you won’t even look me in the eye, let alone hold my shaking, sobbing little body. The screaming hurt too much to carry on for very long.

I just don’t understand, mummy. In the daytime when I fall and bump my head, you pick me up and kiss it better. If I am hungry, you feed me. If I crawl over to you for a cuddle, you read my mind and scoop me up, covering my tiny face with kisses and telling me how special I am and how much you love me. If I need you, you respond to me straight away.

But at night time, when it’s dark and quiet and my night-light casts strange shadows on my wall, you disappear. I can see that you’re tired, mummy, but I love you so much. I just want to be near to you, that’s all.

Now, at night time, I am quiet. But I still miss you.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Ashleigh Sanderson! Did you happen to read Mills and Boon books growing up? Basically you have combined one of the hardest parts of motherhood with a fucking feelgood fantasy. Overall = absolute shite! I hope to god you realise what damage this could actually do to some mums. You know the ones who are really struggling anyway….PND…..and now you’re pile of guilt and stupidness on top! You dickhead

    • Cry it out is cruel. Babies are not supposed to sleep through and to ‘train’ them to by leaving them to cry is heartless. Your baby needs you. Yes it’s hard. I’m going through it right now but would I leave my baby to Cry? No! I had him to love him and if that means sleepless nights for a while when so be it.

  2. The whole cry it out thing is heartless! Some maternal instinct you have if you can’t even comfort your own baby. This is spot on, think about your child before yourself.. that’s what being a parent is. Don’t like it? Don’t have children, they’re a blessing and shouldn’t be left petrified and screaming their lungs out.

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