Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sleep Training for Parents

Sam slept through the night last night.

I know that might not be a cause for celebration for many of you; after all, he is 19 months old and should have been sleeping through for a year now, right? Not Sam. We've had sleep issues from day one, issues exacerbated by his reflux. We've since discovered that sleep is a major topic of conversations among moms, dads, grandparents, complete strangers in the supermarket - most people have a story to share and everyone has a solution. Don't believe me? Just search "baby sleep" at and notice that you get over 8,600 books! There are advocates of the Cry-It-Out Method, or a modified version: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and the infamous Dr. Ferber's Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems. There are advocates of the No Cry Sleep Solution such as the aptly-named The No-Cry Sleep Solution. There are books on how to co-sleep, blogs on tips to get your baby to sleep, lists of useful books and scary articles about how your baby's head will explode if he doesn't sleep, Idiot's guides to baby sleep, and even yoga positions for babies. All in all, a bewildering array of advice and solutions.

But Sam is (mostly) sleeping through the night now, so why bring all this up? Because I've found an untapped market - Sleep Solutions for Tired Parents. This morning I stirred awake early. I'm not sure what time it was, but at least after 5:00 since the sun's saffron light was slowly infusing our room. My first thought was to go in and check on Sam because I hadn't heard him all night long. What if I selfishly slept on while he whimpered for help? What if he had stopped breathing? Such are the sleep-addled thoughts of young parents.

Then it hit me - last week, even though I was thousands of miles away from Sam, I still woke up in the night as though he were crying. Sam has trained me to not sleep. So, where are the books to help parents learn to sleep again? Where are the advocates for our weary souls? I must bravely step into this publication black hole and fill it. I see appearances on the Today Show, on Oprah, on Conan in my future. Or, I suppose, we could all just take Lunesta.


Joy said...

Actually...there is a chapter in "The No Cry Sleep Solution" that deals with this very topic. I just forgot to tell you. :)


Stephen said...

Back in the baby Eli days, when I was on business trips, I would wake up hearing phantom cries. I look forward to developing that skill once more.

Andrew said...

It is a useful skill, especially when dealing with anxiety over presentations you have early the next morning!

And darn those no cry sleep people for ruining my plans for world domination.

Becky said...

I jerk awake in the night because of cats jumping on my head. Does that count as baby training?