I love to sleep. I know, who doesn’t, right? But I really like to sleep and I’ve always been a sound sleeper. My mom used to say that not even an earthquake would wake me up and she likes to tell the story of how difficult it was to wake me up every morning to go to school.
I always knew having children would change that, but I wasn’t aware how much it would. I remember how right before becoming a mom for the first time, a good friend of mine — who already had two school-aged children of her own — told me that nothing would be as tiring as the first three months of my newborn baby life.
“Nunca has sentido un cansancio así,” she told me. And I was like, yeah, whatever. My job as a journalist for a major news network had put in the middle of dire situations where not only did I not get to sleep for 24 hours or more, but I also had to deliver under extreme pressure.
“Estoy lista,” I told her. And she was like, yeah, whatever. Call me in three months.
Oh boy! Was I in for the biggest surprise of my life!
I don’t need to bore you with the details because I’m sure, if you’re a mom, you know what I’m talking about. Basically I barely slept for the first FOUR months of Vanessa’s life. She had a cradle in our room, right next to me, and for the most part, most of the time I had no idea what I was doing. It felt like the feeding-changing diaper-sleeping cycle was never ending. No light at the end of the tunnel.
A couple of days after she turned four months old, I clearly remember telling my husband something needed to give. I had never EVER been so exhausted in my entire life. I told him if something did not change, he’d soon find me passed out on the floor from extreme exhaustion. And I wasn’t kidding!
At this point, I had tried all kinds of different things and it seemed as if the only option left was to move her to her own room and let her cry it out. Also known as the Ferber Method. This was my last resort and it was one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life.
The first night was by far the toughest one. I think she pretty much cried all night long with maybe a 10-minute break every few hours. It was horrible. My husband and I didn’t need a monitor to hear her wailing down the hallway. The worst part was the next morning when I went to get her and her eyes were blood shot and her hair looked like a rat’s nest! I felt like the worst mother in the world.
My mamá couldn’t understand how I’d decided to do something so cruel to my baby girl. She cursed all the parenting books and sites I read and told me, “En mi época, ¡nunca hubieses hecho eso!”
The second and third night were much better and by the fourth night, Vanessa started sleeping soundly through the entire night. Yes, it was horrible, but it was godsend. I learned a good lesson back then and one that I put to good use once my son turned three months old and decided to do the same thing with him.
Luckily, both my kids sleep through the night since they were four months old. And, while I’ve never slept like I used to before children, I count my blessing because they rarely wake up before 7:30 a.m. and usually find ways to entertain themselves (like by using markers to paint their bodies like clowns and the wallpaper like a circus), allowing my husband and I to stay in bed until 8 or 8:30 a.m.
Now if only I could enter the awesome sweepstakes Huggies® recently launched and give my baby’s room a badly needed makeover with Disney Baby® merchandise, we’d be in heaven! If you’d like to enter, all you have to do is share a diapering tip or experience in any of the following three ways:
1) Visit www.mamasquesaben.com and complete the online form along with your contact information and your experiences in either English or Spanish.
2) Call toll free (888) 333-6414 and leave your contact info and your experience in either English or Spanish.
3) Participate in any of the Mamás que Saben store events and fill out the official form on site. You can find stores and dates here.
One baby room makeover will be given away each week for 8 weeks. For official rules and more details please click here.
Disclaimer: I am compensated for my participation as a Huggies® Mamás que Saben blogger; however, all opinions, tips and stories are my own.