Sleep was the most important thing to me when Julie was a baby. I was obsessed with it. By 2 months old, Julie was on a strict nap schedule and was sleeping 10 hours at night. I don't think she ever missed a nap in the first two years.
This meant a couple things:
1. I was basically housebound for four hours a day while she napped.
2. Naps took priority over everything else.
3. I would get super pissed if someone messed with my baby's schedule.
4. Baby Julie would get super pissed if anyone messed with her schedule.
Never would I think of missing a nap to do something fun. And I cringed when family members or friends wanted to rock her to sleep or hold her during a nap. That messes with sleep!! She needs her sleep!!
Of course parents learn as they go. The first child is an experiment, or so the cliché goes. You adjust your styles and beliefs, and try new things or get rid of ideas that didn't work the first time around.
With Johnny, I was a bit more relaxed. I wasn't so sleep-crazed, and of course he didn't sleep as well. He wanted to be rocked and held and he hated when the lights were out. So, I rocked him with the lights on full-force, as he gazed at the fans and the lights until he fell asleep. It took a good six months before he was sleeping through the night.
And then there's Josie. Our baby. If she so much as whimpers there are four people rushing to her aid. I'm not quite sure "cry it out" will ever happen with our Josie. She loves to be held and there are usually four sets of hands ready and willing to hold her. She doesn't cry too much, and I'm sure that's because there's always someone there to help her.
Recently, however, I've been trying to get her to sleep in her crib a little better for nap time. The other day I swaddled her up tightly, popped a pacifier in her mouth, sung to her and rocked her a bit. She seemed drowsy and ready. And I put her down almost asleep.
A few minutes later she began to whimper, and I thought, I would try and let her fuss a bit to figure it out. But, two little cries later, I heard singing over the monitor.
And there was the best thing in the world. Julie holding and rocking her baby sister and singing "Twinkle Twinkle."
Does that mess with our baby's sleep? Maybe.
But, I wouldn't give up a moment like that for any amount of sleep.
Third time around and it's just all about the love.