“Hailey’s obviously tired. Why doesn’t she just go to sleep?” Josh asked me last night. I had never heard a more rational question in my life. She was very tired. We’re all very tired. Why oh why is no one sleeping in our house except the dogs?!

I feared we had turned Hailey into a cuddle monster who couldn’t fall asleep without mama’s or daddy’s arms wrapped solidly around her. For a while, Josh had the whole process down to a fine art: He gently placed the binky in Hailey’s mouth, rolled her over to face away from him, tucked one arm under his arm and held her hand with the other. It was in this little baby burrito that she nodded off to sleep for months. Then once she was solidly asleep, we’d transfer her to her crib and all three of us would enjoy a blissful slumber. People would always ask us, “Is she sleeping through the night?” and we would smugly advise them, “Oh, yes, she has been sleeping through the night since she was three months old.”

But like many over-confident parents that came before us, we had spoken too soon. Because, in November, Hailey got sick. And all hell broke loose. Since then she wants nothing to do with her crib. In fact, she screams the instant we put her down to sleep in it. And the once miraculous cuddle-to-sleep technique is losing its power. She wriggles and cries and tries to get away from mama and daddy. She would  much prefer to be hurdling pillows and scaling our headboard at midnight.  So the once gentle and soothing daddy cuddle has now morphed into a tense, modified sleeper hold that neither baby nor daddy are enjoying very much.

So what’s a sleep deprived family to do? Sleep training. It commences Thursday night. I’ve heard it’s hellish for parents and baby alike, but the hope is that she’ll be happily sleeping in her crib in a couple of weeks. Until then, mama and daddy will continue in their zombie-like stupor and Hailey will most likely continue crawling a blue streak around our bed in the wee hours of the night. Enjoy it while you can, Sweet Pea. Your party-time nights are numbered.

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