Some babies are able to sleep all through the night. Some even 12+ hours. Not mine.
He is exclusively breast fed, and at the time of this blog post, going through a growth spurt. His routine is a simple one:from the time he is laid down for sleep, I have anywhere between 1-4 hours max before I am awakened by a wet, hungry baby.
Even after we started solid food, his appetite had only grown and he requires Mommy’s Milk to get him back to sleep. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. (I think he mostly needs the snuggles)
So often times, this mama is getting up at least twice, if not four times (the absolute worst) between the hours of midnight to six am. We use cloth diapers, and even the most fool proof “overnight heavy wetter” brands, aren’t able to trick my son. He can be dry as a bone to the skin… but he knows he peed. “Nuh-uh, change me.”
The first few weeks of life, this is to be expected if a newborn. And considering how often they eat, and need to eat, very natural. But after four months, five months, six months, everyone else’s baby was sleeping all the way through the night. Not mine. We were still up watching Adult Swim cartoons while mama struggled through the next day on four hours of sleep.
My pediatricians only had one thing to say: you can train him. Really? Not only is my son a night owl, but since birth is notorious for not being a big fan of naps. We are lucky to get two, one hour naps a day. He’s never seemed sleep deprived – He just didn’t nap much and wakes to eat and change.
“At six months old you can train him to sleep for 16hours.”
Lady, if you only knew….
I never got any helpful advice on how to accomplish this-all her suggestions on using light/darkness during active/rest times were interpreted as a game, baths were already regularly scheduled and had no effect, and the “cry it out” method just created a very mad baby who learned that if he were to just become quiet, I’d peek in to see the furrowed brow of a 8month old who busted me for hiding around the corner.
I eventually decided my Dr wouldn’t last a weekend with my son.
Once I began speaking with other parents, I realized that there are a lot of kids who just don’t sleep through the night. Their normal is to get up at least once. Sometimes for years. They just need a little nursing time, some snuggles, reassurance, and then they *do* go back to sleep. Maybe sometimes it takes 10 minutes. Sometimes longer. Sometimes not.
Our babies are only babies for so long. We only get X amount of snuggles and special nursing time together, as mother and child, for so long.
I’m a fortunate SAHM, so I get to spend 24/7 with my baby. I also need my sleep, but for nine months, I’ve adjusted everything about my body’s needs to my baby.
Until I can figure out a way he still gets what he needs and I finally get what I need, I’ll continue to get up every few hours, drink massive amounts of coffee during the day, and join him in hour long naps that don’t last nearly as long as I’d like. If it helps my baby sleep as WELL as he possibly can, I’ll do it.
If you are also like me and find yourself up all hours of the night-you aren’t alone. When I find a solution, I’ll be shouting from the rooftops.
If you find it before me, send it over. With Starbucks.