A letter from a SLEEP DEPRIEVED baby (toddler).
I am confused.
I am used to falling asleep in your soft, warm arms. Each night I lay snuggled close to you; close enough to hear your heartbeat, close enough to smell your sweet fragrance. I gaze at your beautiful face as I gently drift off to sleep, safe and secure in your loving embrace. When I awaken with a growling stomach, cold feet or because I need a cuddle, you attend to me quickly and before long I am sound asleep once again.
But this last couple of months has been different.
I don´t seem to find my way back to sleep anymore. Your milk is no longer enough to make me full and even though you offer me both breasts I fiddle around and can´t find any rest. I am used to the sensation of a full stomach to be able to sleep. I get uneasy and annoyed because I am actually really tired, but what used to make me sleep doesn’t work for me anymore..
I also feel so switched on. My brain has opened up and I think of so many things that keeps me awake. My body is also so capable and it switches my brain on. It’s a bad circle and I can’t find and end to it by myself.
I put my focus on you and how you can help me get back to sleep. I need you here. I don´t know how else to let go. I have to hold on to you and make sure you don’t leave me alone in this active body and brain of mine. I know I am not really being fair to you as I stay awake longer and longer to fight this scary sleep and to avoid having to deal with the waking up again, but it’s all I know.
Even when I fall a sleep I am not really letting go and going deep. Its better that I keep one eye open to make sure you won’t leave me. Its better that I keep my ears alert so I can hear if you sneak out. Although you tuck me in with love and kisses and everything that used to make me dose off in peace, it’s different now. My whole body lies spring loaded and my mind flicks on in an instance, ready to jump up and fight for you, to make you come back and fight for me.
You keep coming back for me. You sit here for hours and hours. You feed me, you rock me, you cuddle me, you kiss and hug me, you walk around with me, you swing, bounce and sway and you even jump… anything to help me sleep. And in the end you give up and just lie down next to me exhausted and a bit angry.. I feel your anger and I feel a bit guilty.
I can see your mind is getting more and more concerned about the other things you need to get done. I see your appearance change. Our home change. It’s all such a mess. I hear my brother and sister ask for you, but they don’t really dare to disturb. I see how you and dad loose your connection.. I see it but I don’t get it. It worries me. And makes me feel even worse when nighttime comes.
I just don’t understand, mummy. In the daytime when I fall and bump my head, you pick me up and kiss it better. You encourage me and help me find my own feet, how to get around and how to be and act in this world. You teach me how to live life. I see you and I follow your lead. You show me how to do and you applaud my attempts of doing the same. You hold back and let me make my own steps. You show confidence in me and it makes me believe in my self -enough to find courage and the will to try even more. You empower me by teaching me to trust in my self.
But Mommy -Why won’t you teach me how to sleep by my self?
Why don’t you trust that I am capable of learning to fall a sleep by my self?
Why don’t you show me that I don’t need to be fed, swayed, rocked, bounced or lie on your warm arm to be able to sleep. That I am old enough to make it throughout the night without waking up to feed. That I am capable of soothing my self back to sleep. That my crib is safe and warm and comforting enough for me to let go of anything else outside the crib and outside my sleepy head?
I need you to believe in me. And I need you to show me the way.
I might fight it hard… But don’t stop!
It might make me cry and scream with anger and despair. It might make me so desperate I will scream my heart out and throw Teddy and my pillow out of the crib. I might beg and ask for you to keep it the way it was, but it’s really only until I realize the benefit of your agenda. That you think its better for me to let go of the control of mommy at night. That you have confidence in me, in sleep and in me sleeping in my crib. That its safe and sound for me to sleep and stay a sleep all night long…
Mommy show me the way. Show me that you stay calm and kind but firm. That you expect me to learn to sleep by my self, the same way as you taught me to eat and play.
Give me a good routine so I know whats coming. A bath, a cuddle, brush my teeth and read a book, pull the curtains down and sing my song to help me gear down. Then sit me gently down in my crib, tell me to lie down and relax. Give me Teddy and a kiss and then stay with me for a while before you leave with a smile.
Come back and check up on me again and again until I am there. It might take a day. I might take three. But I know I can do it.. If you will let me!
Now at night time, I am quiet. Because I can let go and sleep like a baby..
and I know you are still there.
Det er hårdt, rædselsfuldt og følelsesmæssigt dybt udfordrende og jeg er meget følsom omkring det.
Jeg gør det ikke for sjov, jeg gør det fordi det er nødvendigt.
Jeg gør det ikke for at tage det sjove ud af Nova, men fordi Nova tager det sjove ud af os alle og vi kan ikke længere gå ud af den vej hun driver os på vores største velvilje for at gøre alt så godt som muligt for vores lille baby.
Vi gør det for dig og for os alle.
I er måske nogle der har læst “The letter from a sleep training baby..” -En meget følelsesladet beskrivelse af babys desperate følelser under sovetræning. Et brev der vil give enhver kærlig forælder dårlig samvittighed over barnets seperationsgråd og følelsen af svigt.. et brev som jeg har genkaldt i mine tanker igen og igen under denne sidste uges sovetræning.
Et brev som man vil klæbe til sig sammen med barnet i retfærdiggørelsen af samsovning og evig opofrelse for babyens skyld -INDTIL babyen når en alder hvor seperationsangst og udviklingstrin fører en ned af den dårlige søvnspiral, hvor man pludselig ikke kan putte barnet, forlade det eller undgå utallige opvågninger gennem natten.
Søvnproblemer der kun bliver værre og værre. Som går ud over alle i familien og ikke mindst barnet..!
Som en slags terapi har jeg omskrevet “The letter from a sleep training Baby” -vendt brevet om … Og skrevet det brev der viser HVORFOR jeg søvntræner for mit barns skyld -og for os alle.
Det her var et brev fra en overtræt Nova..