Feet of family in bed

Take Back the Night: a Sleep Training Guide for Parents Who Failed the First Time Around

When my 10-year-old was a baby, she would only fall asleep if she was snoozing in between my husband and I, while holding our earlobes. We would silently lie awake staring at her beauty and wonder.

When she grew into a toddler bed, we took turns sleeping on her bedroom floor, singing Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Pony Man”. We literally sang the words off of a printed sheet of paper by moonlight.

This is what crazy, first-time parents do. They screw it all up.

The second child came around, and she was a champion sleeper. We had a few good years of sweet, blissful sleep, and then…the twins arrived, at which point, the middle child decided that sleeping in her own room was for the birds. For the past three years, she has been a frequent flyer in our king-sized sanctuary, visiting us every single night.

The twin babies are now toddlers. They have never in their entire lives made it through the night without summoning mommy to their rooms or crawling into bed with us.

And so it goes. The kids nightly rotate into our room, we move them out, lay with them, sneak away, find them pressed up against our sides an hour later. Finally, my husband and I give up, crying ourselves back to sleep.

It isn’t that I don’t want to cuddle my babies. I am just so tired now. I want no human contact from the hours of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Is that too much to ask?

The thing that gets me is that the kids don’t really need anything. They aren’t scared, cold, sick, or thirsty. They’re just addicted.

Addicted to mom.



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