Sleep Training FAIL

A few weekends ago we celebrated Sonya’s first birthday! In preparation for the big day, I assembled a photo album highlighting my favorite photos over the past year. As I reviewed Sonya’s amazing growth and development, I couldn’t help but notice the dark circles that appeared under Yan and my eyes.

Sonya has been alive an entire year and we have not slept through the night since.

4-up on 10-13-14 at 4.16 PM #3
Early days, when I thought EVENTUALLY I would sleep. How silly I was…

We used to put Sonya down wearing her cochlear implants. She is very connected to the hearing world, and would get upset when suddenly her sound was disrupted. But that decision reversed itself when I recently came into her room only to find her SUCKING on the battery! She had figured out how to remove it from the processor. I am trying not to imagine a scenario in which she swallowed it.

I needed a solution. I decided that maybe she would be comforted by something to look at. I decided the perfect spot would be above her crib. I purchased adorable animal “wall trophies” from Hannah Andersson. We bought a unicorn, bunny, swan, zebra, elephant, sheep, reindeer and fox (when you are sleep deprived, you have trouble making decisions I have learned).

We hung them up as soon as we could. I loved the way they looked. But that night, Sonya freaked out. Perhaps it was the shadows of the animals at night hovering above her. Maybe she wondered where the rest of their bodies had gone…It was the worst night sleep in a long while.


So (thanks to a wonderful suggestion by our speech therapist) I purchased the Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother. I am telling you – this product is amazing. As soon as I put her down in the crib, Sonya points at the aquarium, asking for me to turn it on for her. She smiles and laughs as soon as she sees the lights turn on and fish, crab, octopus and sea turtle begin to dance. She then turns to her side to watch the soft lights that look like ocean waves on her mattress. The combination of lights and movement seems to be enough stimulation to satisfy her. She doesn’t seem to miss not hearing.


While great, it’s not a perfect solution. Sonya has learned how to adjust the settings which are on the top of the machine, and she uses it to wake us. In the middle of the night, when Sonya wakes up, she turns the machine on to full volume. I hear Chopin’s second Nocturne and then the sound of Sonya, singing “mama! mama!”

Now it is a beautiful sound to hear my child – who was born with profound hearing loss – to say my name, but less so when I hear it every three hours until I get her, every single night.

I know I am not the only parent in the world to suffer from sleep deprivation. I also realize we can do something about it – a.k.a. sleep training. Which we have tried – and failed at – numerous times in the past. And I know eventually we will stick to it, and it will be better.

Until then, look forward to reading any comments or suggestions you may have at midnight., 3 a.m. and probably around 6 a.m. tomorrow morning 🙂


Author: Missy Kvitko

Born in Fargo, North Dakota, I grew up in Minnesota. After graduating from Macalester College in 2004, I moved to New York City. For 10 years I worked in the field of public relations, representing professional services firms and financial services (in particular alternative asset managers) In 2014, my life changed dramatically with the birth of my first child, Sonya Rose. Born with severe to profound hearing loss. Sonya's care has become my full time job. It is also the best job I have ever had. My husband, Sonya and I live in Manhattan. Please feel free to email me anytime at, or find me on instagram (@mmkvitko) and twitter (@HearSonyaRose). Thank you so much for reading.

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