How many of you have been asked “Is your baby sleeping through the night yet?” I am going to conservatively guess that if you are a parent, then all of you. What is it about our society that so much pressure is put on new parents to have their babies sleeping all night? I do not have an answer to that question, but I am here to tell you that there is no normal for every baby. We all come out different and we all sleep differently. Rest assured, whether it is sooner or later, your child will sleep. We all sleep at some point.
The baby sleep topic used to drum up so much emotion in me. I guess it still does. My twins are 6 years old and they still need “someone big to lay with so I can fall asleep”. Sometimes I get frustrated that I am not able to get my “after the kids go to bed” things done. And other times I just tell myself that there will be a day when they won’t need or want me so just enjoy this quiet, peaceful drift off to sleep time. Live it up, this will all be a distant memory. My baby sleep issues are already in the past. I can honestly say that for the first two years I did not get more than 3 hours of sleep at one time. Ever. Luckily when my son came along he had the sleep thing down. It was like he was one month old when he came out. Any sleep that I get now is cherished. We are now experiencing the nighttime migration from their own beds into the family bed. But at least we are all sleeping.
We are tried and true attachment parenting survivors. I use the word survivor, because at times we feel so defeated on so many levels. There are so many ways to parent, it is hard, almost impossible to know if you are doing right by your child all the time. We choose to attachment parent, because it just makes the most sense to us. Hold your kids close while they are young so they may be stronger and more self confident when they become independent.
A huge part of this style of parenting is nighttime parenting. As hard as it may be, and as cranky as I get when I am woken up at 3 am. I am still the mama and I still need to be present at night. My only focus is getting everyone back to sleep so that I may get some too. I can’t even count how many bottles of Hylands Calms Forte 4 Kids we have been through. So many. Too many.
I am bringing this issue up because if you are a new parent and you are feeling alone in your quest for just one night of uninterrupted sleep, you are not alone. My only advice about babies and sleep is to sleep when your baby is sleeping. Eventually, you too will get some longer stretches of sleep. Those bags under your eyes will not last forever. And yes, someday the sleepless nights will all be a distant memory.