A Letter to My Babies As We Sleep Train

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Dear Daughters,

Tonight we are starting to sleep train and I know you’re going to hate it. You are soft, snuggly little sweethearts who would love to cuddle and nurse with me all night if I’d let you (and I have).

I never thought I’d sleep train a baby; it just wasn’t the way I did things with your older siblings. I’m already feeling anxious about it if we’re being honest, but more than anxiety, I feel tired. So tired that I can hardly think to type words and that rarely happens to me. So tired that my body hurts more than it did at nine months pregnant with you twins. So tired that I no longer feel like I can safely parent you both and your two older siblings because my brain is so completely fried. You each wake up to nurse at least times a night (but never at the same time of course), and seven months of shattered sleep is taking its toll.

It’s certainly not your fault; goodness knows I’m the one who got you into the routine of nursing to sleep every night, and every time you woke up.

sleep train

It’s just what I knew how to do. Your big sister was my first baby, and when she was little, it was just us so it didn’t matter if I had to get up a few times a night because I could nap with her. Your big brother was and still is one of the most fitful sleepers I’ve ever known, so I slept with him tucked in my arms all night for 15 months in an act of desperation. So it’s safe to say that I’m not great at producing good sleeping babies. I was so sure we would just figure it out with you two, or maybe you’d be just naturally good sleepers somehow (I hear this is a thing. I’m not sure I believe it but I hear some babies really do just sleep).

But here we are. After following general sleep advice from experts, and introducing more solid foods, and trying every old wives tale to naturally encourage longer stretches of sleep, nothing has worked. You still wake up every two hours to cuddle up for a while. As a mother, nothing feels more unnatural than not responding to the cry of our own child.

It’s torturous.

I want you to feel loved, safe, and secure. However, at this level of sleep deprivation, I don’t know that I can keep you safe any longer. You have an older brother and sister, and I’m no longer sure I’m being a good mother to them because I simply don’t have the energy. And let’s not even get into the fact that I haven’t spent more than 30 minutes alone with your dad since you were born. So, after tears and reflection and talking it over with so many people, I’ve realized that the most loving thing I can do for us all right now is to try and train you to sleep.

We bought a researched sleep training course, and you’ll get to see a lot of your dad the next few nights because we could never leave you to just cry forever alone. I’ll be seeing a lot of our breast pump as I try to decrease my monumental milk supply. I’ll be waiting with so much anticipation to see your smiling sweet faces in the morning.

So my darling girls, here we go.

I thought I’d never sleep train because I love you too much. But it turns out, that because I love you so much, so much, that it would absolutely kill me if something happened to you because I was too tired and made a mistake, that we are going to do this. Here we go, baby girls. It’s time to sleep.

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