Why I Won’t Sleep Train My Child

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Photo credit: Annie Spratt

As I’m sitting here typing this, I have just ninja-rolled out of my bed, from under my sleeping toddler.

He is two years old and we still cuddle to sleep, every single night.

It usually goes a little something like this: our normal routine of teeth brushing, changing into pajamas, and a book or two. Then, he nestles his little body into the crook of my arm, sometimes asking to “cuddle”. Some nights, he drifts off easily and I’m able to make a quick getaway without him noticing. Other times, he fights me to the death. This little boy refuses to sleep, or relax for that matter, no matter how tired he is. These nights, I pray that he calms so I can get back to whatever work I need to do into the wee hours of the night.

As much as he fights me, I do not regret failing to sleep train my child.

Does it make life a little bit harder, the fact that it can take me hours to get him to sleep some days? Absolutely. Do I wish he went to bed a bit easier, most of the time? You betcha.

But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I wouldn’t change every cuddle, every snuggle, every time he nuzzles his little face into my neck for comfort. I wouldn’t take back a second of him needing my warm body beside him to feel calm enough to have sweet dreams.

Because one day, it will be over. 

Before I realize it, he will be sleeping in his own bed. He will not need me to help him go to sleep. He will not need a book, or a hand to help him brush his teeth properly. He will not need his mama as much as he does now. He will not be this little boy that asks to cuddle and requires me to be right next to him.

Yes, these nights are long. Yes, some evenings and naptimes are tough, and I am tired. Yes, sometimes I get frustrated because I have a laundry list of things that need to be done.

Yes, this phase of my son’s life will be over before I know it. 

I am not worried that he won’t sleep in his own bed or develop the ability to soothe himself into slumber. I am not worried that he won’t gain his independence. I am not worried that he will be a mama’s boy.

I am worried that, if I don’t take in every second I have with him, I will regret it. I am fully aware that I won’t be there for every new milestone and every beginning, but I will be there for everything I can. I will be there to cuddle him to bed when he asks for it. I will be there in the night, when he needs to crawl back into our bed because there is a monster under his.

I will be there for my son as long as he allows me to be, and I will love every moment of it.