Before we had Sweet Pea, I was worried about lack of sleep. So many people told me these horror stories about babies not sleeping through the night.
When she came along, she was a great newborn. Of course it was exhausting getting up every 3 hours, but compared to other stories of newborns – it was a breeze. She was sleeping through the night by 8 weeks. It was nothing we did, she was just a wonderful sleeper. I could not identify with new parents who were complaining of lack of sleep.. my baby was sleeping 12 hours.
Then came Bubby.
Bubby never slept. By not sleeping, I mean, I was lucky if we got an hour before he started stirring or fussing. To say I was exhausted was the understatement of the year. Jason and I took shifts so we could get solid chunks of 3-4 hours. Luckily Jason had TONS of leave so he was able to help me out the first 5 weeks.
I would take the first shift, feed him, then pump, wake Jason up and repeat. It was a rough few, well, months.
We tried everything under the sun. Swaddling, rocking, bouncy seat, swing. Nothing worked. He hated the swing. He would sleep for a little bit in the bouncy if you kept bouncing him. Swaddling would help a little, but as soon as you laid him flat on his back – it was a no go.
We tried putting him on an incline/propper up thingy – nope.
We tried sound machines. No dice.
The only thing he wanted was to be near you. He wanted to be held, cuddled, rocked. I was thisclose to buying a recliner so I could sleep while I rocked him.
We finally co-slept in the bed. He was still up often, but not every hour. Eventually, it spread out to every 3-5 hours. Like I said before he still does not sleep through the night. He doesn’t wake up to nurse every time either. He is just a light sleeper. The littlest peep wakes him up.
So when I see someone claiming by doing so and so made their child sleep through the night, I have to laugh. I’m sure some of the stuff they did help soothe their baby and help them, but nothing is going to force a child to sleep 8-12 hours without waking up. Sleeping through the night is a developmental milestone that all babies have to reach. They reach it when their body is ready.
I guess you could ignore your tiny baby’s cry (6 months and under) and eventually they would learn that no one is coming, which is heart-breaking to me. But you cannot make a baby sleep if they don’t want to… believe me I wish I had some magic sleeping powers when it comes to Bubby.
Whenever Bubby was having a rough night, I had to remember that all babies experience some sleep regression. It could be when they are getting a new tooth or learning a new skill. He would go from sleeping pretty well to being up nearly every hour.
Anyway. I’m going to get off my soapbox, but here are some interesting articles if you would like to read them.
Babies and Crying it Out – why some babies need it.
Dr.Sears on Sleeping. – Why night-waking can be a GOOD thing.
High Needs Baby and Sleep (This is how Bubby was and is!)