Who doesn’t love some lemonade?
Especially with a little lavender and vodka…and maybe a little mint…oh! The post. Right…sorry I got distracted.
So anyhoo… I had an idea the other night to turn a not-so-pleasant parenting experience into a more pleasant evening. Making lemonade out of lemons so to speak.
Thus, my new idea for an ongoing blog series “Making Lemonade Out Of Lemons” (hear applause track playing in the background)!
Here we go.
How to make Lemonade (possibly with Vodka…I’m just sayin’) Out Of Lemons: The Sleep Training Edition:
1. Tell husband we are having an at home date.
My conversation went like this:
Me: “Hey Babe guess what? We are going to have an at-home date Friday night!”
Hubs: “Sounds fun but why at home, isn’t (2.5 year old) sleeping at my mom’s?”
Me: “Yes he is, but I thought it would be fun to have a romantic night in…. Oh and we are going to start sleep training (5 month old) that night too.”
2. Be prepared for sleep training plan and psych yourself up.
You can do this. You are a sleep training champion.
I did this by hiring a professional. Yes I know I am a professional with a degree in Behavior Modification/Analysis and years of mental health experience. And I totally sleep-trained my son with out consulting anyone. But…I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO HANDLE THIS GIRL!! I have no problem admitting when I need help and finding it. And it was worth every penny. I got detailed advice, help crafting a plan, and encouragement to see it through. I was confident and ready.
3. After baby is fed, bathed, and ready for sleep, put baby down with outrageously loud white noise machine, close her door, and turn the volume down on the monitor.
Then breath…and breath again…. Look in the bathroom mirror and tell yourself you are not harming her. She will not remember this. This is more painful for you than her and it is temporary…. Ok that’s better.
4. Eat a delicious “adult” dinner.
What I mean by “adult” is eat anytime you want, anywhere in the house you want, take as long as you want, and maybe eat something your children would never want.
4a. Drink!! (maybe even a lemonade and vodka in honor of the event)
No don’t be irresponsible. Don’t get drunk. There is a baby in the house! But a drink or two sounds glorious. If you aren’t a drinker, maybe a cup of tea (with lemon of course)…that is still hot from beginning to end…ahhhh!
4b. Remind each other of the sleep trainer’s advice: you are not going in there. You are strong. You are in charge. She is fine and so are you.
5. Snuggle in to the couch and watch a great movie together (maybe with drink number two).
That one seems pretty self explanatory but since my husband and I once had a date night at the theatre seeing FINDING DORY, let me suggest that you turn the volume up. Pick something you would not watch with your children. Relish in the fact that you only pause it if you want to, not because a child needs something.
5a. Do not give in and go in there!!
6. Talk to each other.
I mean when was the last time you had as much time as you wanted to talk to each other. We started with us and our lives, and ended up talking about how cool our toddler is and all the funny things he said or did this week that maybe the other person missed. We did some of this talking on the couch and some in the Jacuzzi (more about that in #7).
6a. Tell each other how proud you are that you are sticking to the plan. Talk about all the things you are going to have energy to do when you can sleep through the night (you won’t but you can dream).
7. Do something grown-up that is your thing. We happen to have an above ground spa that is under used.
Make the night special: don’t clean, don’t sync your calendars…that is a different kind of date. Be a couple wherever that may lead…this isn’t that kind of blog.
8. Go to sleep thinking:
This sleep training thing isn’t that bad. And wow did we need that date night.
So here’s a little note about the sleep training itself: Logically, I know it was needed. My little girl was not getting enough sleep. I also know that research shows there is no harm in crying and that self-soothing is an important skill to learn for a baby. The doctor, the lactation specialist, and the sleep specialist all reported for her age and weight there was no issue with her going 12 hours without eating. That being said it is still very difficult to listen to her cry. When we put her down at 7pm, she only cried a minute. The crying came later…after the date. But I believe the fun and relaxation and mindset the date night created made listening to her cry a bit easier, and any stress we felt did not create friction between me and my husband.
9. Vow to remember how you made an effort to create a pleasant evening and do it more often.
10. Try to always be a person that makes lemonade out of lemons!
Now two weeks out we have a great nap routine (when home…still struggling with naps out and about) and she is sleeping through the night. She is a different kid. Less spit up, less fussy, way more belly laughs. She needed more sleep even more than I did!