“Sleep now before the baby comes”
“Sleep when the baby sleeps”
“Babies can sleep through the night around 6months old”
“Don’t nurse your baby to sleep”
Sleep advice. Sleep adv. Sleep …. zzzz
The reality for us is that our child will.not.sleep longer stretches than 2.5h at a time at night at the moment. Are we frustrated? Yes! Are we tired? Yes! Are we doing something wrong? Probably not. But it sure feels like it. But the truth is that not all babies sleep well for the first year and you might be doing everything right. So this (shorter blog post because it is 8.40pm and I want to go to bed) is for anyone who is lacking sleep. I hear you! I feel you! Lets vent a little bit together :)
At this point we have tried everything it feels like. We have made the awake time between naps shorter, then tried to make it longer. We have fed baby extra food before bed. We have rocked baby to sleep. We have used a pacifier. We have let baby cry a bit (not full out cry it out method just yet) to put himself to sleep. We have taken a bath before bed. We have put lotion on. We have set a bedtime routine. The list goes on and on and on because all we want is 4h of sleep in one stretch. You read that right. The goal at the moment is not even a full night of sleep. The goal is to get a stretch longer than any we’ve experienced in the past few months. That 4h stretch is all I long for. All I think about and I would probably have to admit also obsessing about. Because when you are sleep deprived that usually means slowed thinking, worsened memory, lack of energy, headaches and less patience. Not a list of desired states of mind in my opinion and experience.
The silver lining is that I know now that I am not alone. It sure feels like it at 2am when I am nursing my child all the way to sleep (which are both no-no’s in most baby books). But some babies are better sleeper than others. And you are most likely doing everything right. Your baby is just not quite there yet. And even though all I want is sleep and it will still be what I text my other mama friends about 80% of the time, I also try to remind myself that I am doing my best. For my baby. For myself. And we will get there. Maybe a month from now, maybe 2 years from now, who knows when (really hoping for the one month scenario rather than the 2 years for the record…). But until then, whoever needs to hear this, you are doing it right. You are doing your best and that is enough. You are allowed to complain about the lack of sleep. You are allowed to be frustrated. You are allowed to say “screw you” to sleep advice. If you have a friend who is the mother of a new baby, assume they are tired. They might have the unicorn child who sleeps through the night, but most likely they do not. Let them know what a great parent they are. Tell them how lucky their kid is to have them. And if you know them well enough, tell them to take a break every now and then and stop being so damn hard on themself! :) From one sleep deprived mama to another, I’m with you. I’m struggling too. I’m still a great mother. And so are you.<3