SOOOO I was going to write a blog post today about we processed live chickens into food on Sunday or about my completed upstairs bathroom. And then my friend e-mailed me asking for advice about baby sleep and, well, see, here’s the thing. I wrote her a REALLY LONG e-mail and spent all my free naptime on that. So all you guys get to read today is My Baby Sleep Philosophy and Experience.
Here’s my BIGGEST advice to all parents now that I’m a parent: Don’t stress about things! Your baby WILL grow and change and WILL NOT always do things the batshit crazy way they do now (excuse my language but sometimes that’s how I FEEL). Wait until the kid is ready for making that change you want them to make and it will be MUCH easier.
Pretty vain of me to think I could change/ruin my kid that easily. AS IF. C doesn’t even LISTEN to me now!!!
C slept with us (or in his swing) all night until he was 6-7 months, then he pretty easily transitioned to sleeping in a crib most of the night. I was so surprised when that happened! If you had met me then I would have said: “Hi, I’m Sarah and GUESS WHAT MY KID SLEEPS IN HIS CRIB NOW!!!”
Until then, every time we’d try crib sleeping (or any not on us/ not in the swing sleeping) it was a failure. A crying-waking-not-falling-back-asleep failure. Oh sigh. I can’t tell you how much I stressed about C sleeping in that swing or about him not being in his own bed.
But at 7 months, he would start the night in his CRIB and wake up for milk every 2-3 hours then go back to the crib. He spent early mornings (5-7ish) in bed with us since he slept lighter early in the morn and seemed to stay asleep better with me. And most importantly: He did not sleep in his swing any more!!!!!
Moral: Don’t worry that you are training that baby wrong and she will NEVER sleep on her own! I promise you babies grow and change just like we do. With C we stressed about it a lot but REALLY, the little dude was ready when HE was ready and things did change ON HIS SCHEDULE. EVERY relationship and new life situation take time to adjust to. Babies are forced to adjust sooo very fast to a brand spanking new world and to OUR way of living.
Of course when both parents are working outside the home, that makes accepting baby’s different way of living/sleeping difficult. Or rather, when both parents work sedentary jobs I should say. I stay at home with C and rarely napped when he napped, simply because I was so busy with moving, buying a house, fixing a house, or unpacking. I was just able to stay busy enough that the lack of sleep wasn’t AWFUL. If I was sitting at a computer all day like my programmer hubby? Yeah, I think it would be a lot harder. I got by with a nap every week or two and felt okay.
But AHHRGRGR the lack of SLEEP was tough no matter what!!! Oh man I love the sleep I get now. Last night C slept from 9-4!!! And then he got in bed with me from 4-8. That’s getting to be more the norm now and it is so delightful. 🙂
As it is now, C naps 2-3 hours super happily in his crib. He sleeps 9 PM-3AM-ish in his crib and wakes 1-2 times but is easy for J to put him back to sleep (UNLESS C has a cold). Then he comes in bed with me for nursing and sleeping 3-7:30 and in that period he usually wakes 1-3 times but is easy to get back to sleep. PROGRESS!!!! We did try night weaning him about 1 month ago but it turns out the dude is STILL hungry at night since he wakes up ready to start his day and eat breakfast at 5:00 AM every night I don’t nurse him. Yep. No wonder he’s at the 90th %tile for weight. He’s simply not ready for no eating all night and I’m much happier to night nurse him than wake at 5:00. 😉 I’ll try night weaning in another month or so and see how it goes. I’m trying to obey my “Things will change, don’t stress rule.” 😉
But sigh, I remember having to go to bed every night when C needed to go to bed. He would never sleep alone! That was tough. But it only lasted a few months and now I don’t even remember it. Good things I wrote all this down in his baby book otherwise I’d have no idea about it! Really, you DO forget the sleepless nights in just a couple of months. In the end you lose ALL knowledge of the lack of sleep in Newborn Fog. Hehehe.
Babyhood goes by so veryvery fast. It seems quite the opposite while it’s happening but really, 6 or 12 or 24 months of interrupted sleep and slightly zombied days can be managed. I PROMISE.
Sleep help sources:
- The No Cry Sleep Solution
- The Wonder Weeks might help give hope though it’s an odd book so I’d get the app instead.
- Reading/posting in the Family Bed section of the Mothering forums.
- Also, when she feels comfortable getting her baby to sleep through the night better, and the kid is older, Dr. Jay Gordan’s night weaning/sleeping plan is kind and actually works. C isn’t quite ready for that plan 100% yet but now he at least doesn’t have to sleep with the boob in his mouth. Thank you Dr. Gordan!!!
- Blogs: Regarding Baby, Janet Lansbury, Positive Parenting, and Ask Moxie. Ask Moxie is SUPER helpful since she has written a lot about baby/toddler sleep issues.
- If you breastfeed and can attend a meeting, La Leche League groups are so supportive and helpful and they completely understand that normal babies DO NOT sleep through the night.
So there, that’s all.Can you believe I wrote an e-mail that long? It’s like I have nothing better to do than prattle on endlessly about my kid’s sleep. Hehehe. Someday I get to do this all over again with another kid.