Sure, there are lots of steps you can take to improve his sleep habits, but ultimately you have to accept that it’s an ongoing process. It’s quite honestly relentless. The moment you slip into old habits of letting him fall asleep at the breast, or if he gets sick and needs to drink more often, or he’s teething, or you’re traveling and he needs a comforting snuggle, you’re back to square one.
I’m the biggest offender. If I’m in the slightest doubt that my baby needs me, for whatever reason, in the middle of the night, I’m there for him. And I accept that this will happen for a long time. I also accept that I will be tired. Finally, I accept that there will be good nights and bad nights and that it’s not a straight linear progress.
“Two steps forward and one step back” is still considered progress. It’s never a steady incline without any dips, because he’s a little human being. What matters is that he did it, and I assure you he will do it again… when the time is right.
Many parents are trying to teach their baby to sleep on their own, but that’s just the first part of the problem. After they reach a semblance of sleep normality for themselves, they think that issue is resolved forever. What a shock when they have to deal with a bad night again, “Where did we go wrong?”
Nothing’s wrong. It’s normal! And accepting that fact will make it so much easier when there’s a setback.
The good news is this: if he’s done it before, he can learn it again. And it will be faster this time. So make sure you choose a sleep plan that you can live with, in case you have to do it all over again.