As I write this my six-month old is just a mere couple feet away crying his face off, lying in his crib.
It’s the morning after Night 5 of sleep training and overall it’s going well. It’s actually a pretty straight-forward science. You go through a consistent routine and lay your baby in a crib, and then he proceeds to cry until he falls asleep. There’s certain rules around picking him up, touching him, talking to him. But ultimately he has to learn to put himself to sleep, and mom and dad have to learn let him cry.
The nice part – the silver lining – is when he wakes up he’s more likely to get himself back to sleep without interference. For this one you wait at least 3 minutes, or upwards of 10 minutes, to give him that opportunity, before going in. At least at the stage we’re at.
And no I’m not some sort of heartless parent. I don’t think? We are using the book “The Sleep Sense Program” (Proven Strategies for Teaching your Child to Sleep Through the Night [Second Edition]” by Dana Obleman (B.A. in Psych and B. Ed. (Elem.).
He got quiet there for a second but is back at it again.
Where am I going with this? As a millennial we get a bad rap for needing “instant gratification”. So we go to our employer for a raise just a month after getting the job, we lack tenacity, we can barely keep a plant alive, and if we do have a plant we hardly ever plant it from seed.
I feel like my baby has that too. He’s crying out for us to pick him up, but what he really needs is sleep. And by denying him the instant gratification of feeling our warmth and a vertical position, he gets that opportunity. Then he can sleep the night through (which he did Saturday), and mom and dad can do.
Often, in our lives, denying ourselves that instant gratification leads to long-term reward. I should only really speak for myself, but I’ll say some of the worse things I’ve done I’ve done on impulse, and some of the best have happened through discipline and patience.
That said, this year I’m learning how to relax a bit. We just got a camp trailer. After 7 seasons of riding my motorbike, I got an intercom system (Fodsport M1S). Got some new kicks (Under Armour Street Encounter IV Slides). And 80 Vinyls (for $100). Hosted a poker night on Friday (virtually). Getting some firewood dropped off tomorrow. Going to Golden for a getaway in a couple weekends.
I hit my audacious goal for the year – saving up $80k for a 20% down payment on a house. So now everything is gravy. It’s funny though, in a couple weeks I’ll be onto the next thing.
In the meantime, he’s “Gonzo”. The term my wife and I use to say our baby is sleeping (more accurately, passed out).