I know as soon as you saw this title you probably thought I was going to go on some tangent about different sleep methods for babies and what method I’ve chosen to use. You would be half right and half wrong. I’m not going to use any sort of research or papers to clarify why I’ve chosen this path, just let you know it’s what works for us when it comes to infant sleep.
First off, I do not and have never slept through the night. I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t consciously awake at least 2x a night unless I was very sick and then I slept like the dead or not at all. I’ve always been this way. I’ve had both parents tell me independently tell me about the first time I didn’t wake either of them up during the night. They rolled over to see one another and both started to say thank you for letting me sleep last night, stopped in horrified silence and both ran to my room terrified at what they might find. I was fine, they took a week or so to recover from the shock. I’m not making this up, they still laugh in a slightly stupified manner when they mention this and then continue to tell me after that one time it was another year or so before I did it again. I was a mean baby/toddler.
Even as a child and later a teen and now into adulthood I don’t sleep through the night. Admittedly, the last few years of lost sleep were in part due to chronic pain from a work related injury. I am up at least 2x a night even now without Little Miss waking herself, yes one is to pump but I still awaken on my own too.
I haven’t sleep trained and as of now don’t have any real plans to if I don’t need to. I also so far don’t have a set ‘Nap Schedule’ in place. I put Little Miss down when she’s tired and not when I decide she shoould go down. I know when she’s getting tired and how tired she is before I put her down but I don’t wake her from sleep if she’s sleeping longer then usual. I have noticed a pattern but even as I’m typing I can tell you it’s been off in the last 2 weeks.
Little Miss doesn’t sleep through the night, she’s on breast milk and so does wake for a feeding at least once but usually twice even though it’s a bottle and not a breast. Does she stay up each time? Nope. Does she need lots of fussing to go back down? Nope. In fact she’s up only as long as it takes to fill herself to contentedness. Sometimes she falls asleep still sucking on the bottle, sometimes while I’m burping her and sometimes it’s after I put her back in bed. In any situation unless she’s having gas problems she always goes down easily. Of course that’s handy for me. She also goes down at night between 6:30-7:30 and liekk to stay in bed until around 6-6:45 in the morning. Yep, almost a full cycle of the clock. I bet you’re wondering about naps. She takes 3-4 naps a day. Yes, 3 to 4. Little miss usually has 2-3 twenty to thirty minute naps a day and one big one that would last from 1.5-2 hours. Her big one used to come around 12-1:30 but lately she’s been taking it as her first nap of the day. Her general cycle is up for 1.5 hours to a maximum of 3 hours and then a nap or in the case of a 3 hour wake bedtime since it alwasy is at the end of the day.
So now we know her sleep patterns or what they sort of are on to how she falls asleep. During her recovery from RSV I did a lot of co-sleeping in bed. She still had trouble breathing and would sometime choke, I was still recovering from a C -Section that I’d abused horribly before her hospitalization and ‘C’ was working nights. Her being in bed made my caring for her uch easier on the both of us. I could react faster if she was choking or struggling to breathe then if I had to climb out of bed to get to her. It lasted until about mid-April when I decided it was time for her to use her crib at night, she already used to during her naps but now to add night time into the mix.
How I choose to parent may not be how others choose to do it but for our faiyl it’s working. I am borderline attachment parent/path of least resistance(PLR). I don’t believe in ‘crying it out’ until a child is old enough to cognatively make decisions, when a baby cries it’s instinct they aren’t doing it for laughs so I don’t ignore it. That’s just MY opinion, and I don’t tell other people to follow it or believe it. Since I am AP/PLR I wanted to make the crib transition as easily as possible. It probably went easier then for others due to the fact that I’ve never used only one method of soothing Little Miss, I knew didn’t want her relying on one form of calming to help her sleep. I’ve used a variety and found the ones that work best for her and mix them up; her favourite is the rocking bum pat so I try to only use that when we’re in DIRE need of it. We managed to make the transition to crib in one night but it did take about 1.5 hours for her to settle into sleep but she did finally manage it and after the initial put down it was smooth sailing in our house.
The only time now that she can’t sleep well is when we are out for the night, then she wants Mommy in bed with her. If we’re out during the day it doesn’t phase her, maybe because while she was sick she got used to sleeping in different places since we had lots of check ups post hospital. Now when she falls asleep in transit and wakes up in a new locale she just sort of looks around with resignation as if saying ‘It happened again, fall asleep one place and wake in another…Whatever’. It really doesn’t bother her.
I wish I could give tips on how to make baby sleep longer/easier/better but I can’t. I feel like I fell into Mommyhood with the easiest baby ever sometimes. I just know that how we are at the moment is what is working best for ‘C’, Little Miss and I. It’s what is keeping us all sane and our Mommy/Baby relationship very low maintenance with miminal stress. I just hope that all the other Moms out there are taking every care they can in getting their sleep and babies sleep requirements met as much as possible. Good Luck to all the Moms out there in finding what works for their families.