By Emily Borries
Last night was rough. Keenan has been fighting bedtime like no other. She screams and yells and cries as she tries desperately to wiggle from my arms even though she’s absolutely exhausted. I’m assuming a leap? I don’t know.
But tonight I realized something. After 45 mins of incessant crying + swaying, rocking, pacing, singing, humming, loud fans (she loves white noise already so we turned on a second fan to see if it would help), bouncing, nursing, water running…I even tried to swaddle her arms and see if that would help, but it only made her more upset, I realized there was nothing left for me to ‘try’. No tricks, no tips, no secret ways. I had exhausted all options.
Is this where you walk away? Is this why parents sleep train?
Because they can’t find the ‘right’ answer to these hard, trying moments of sleeplessness? Is that why they can justify it because the baby clearly doesn’t know what she needs? Therefore she must be taught?
I stood there, in the bathroom with the faucet running, the fans on and my baby (still screaming) cradled in my arms. And I cried. Not because she was crying, upset and screaming but because I couldn’t imagine leaving my baby in that moment. In that state – her hair wet from sweat, her face flushed, tears in her eyes, frustrated by her exhaustion but confused by what she needed to be doing in order to not fight sleep. How could anyone put their baby down and expect them to figure it out, let alone from a place of such big emotions and no guidance on how to navigate them? I cried more.