What I’ve Learned About Baby Sleep (or the lack thereof)
It’s been a year… consider me a sleepless pro!
Some babies sleep. Some don’t. It’s almost always normal.
I am that of the latter club. And yes, it comes with a lot. But it’s a heck of a boot camp on learning about yourself, what you’re capable of, problem-solving, stress management and more.
Though easier said than done at times, there are lessons to be learned along each journey. It’s ever-changing and oh-so-fast. So, I try’n live in the moment and enjoy, learn, better, and savor when I can. You should too, because babies don’t keep.
The Lessons of Motherhood are Many.
Here is what I learned along my baby sleep journey… so far
Practice Common Sense When Seeking/Taking Advice
Reading articles and listening to advice has it’s pros and cons. Rule of thumb is – keep an open mind but draw your own conclusions and apply it in a personalized approach to your own, everyday life with your little one.
Trust me, when you find one expert that states that waking a sleeping baby is totally okay, the next one will argue that the complete opposite is true. This holds accurate for just about every situation I attempted to find solutions or advice for. I read books upon books and have come up with the same conclusion.
There are crusaders to each side of the coin no matter what the topic is. The bottom line is, that you take it all with a grain of salt and, as I’ve stated before, apply it in a way that makes sense for you and your family. Being healthy and happy AND well rested is a personal journey for each of us.
Swaddled Bossy is a Happy Bossy
Yes, it’s true. Though, I guess there is an exception to every rule. And to you parents, I say, sleep tight as I am assuming that sleep is not an issue in your little corner of the world. But, dare I say that there are lots more of us battling our own private baby sleep battle? So, to many of us swaddling is not only a necessity… it’s a blessing! And while most parents are happy with the countless swaddle blankets out there, I’ve grown to love the old-school swaddle.
When the swaddle finally was unable to contain her about 7 months, we started the weaning process which started with one arm, then two, then just around the torso. This is considered late by most experts out there. But again, I don’t go by what the experts say. I go by my babies cues, always. Mother nature knows best… as she picks up the pieces along the way 😉
Use Sleep Techniques… or Don’t
Use them only if you are comfortable doing so. For example, if the Cry it Out (CIT) technique rips your heart out, don’t feel bad abandoning it and trying something new. We tried it. It wasn’t right for us. And though we are not quite sleeping through the night just yet, (she’s a year at the moment) I feel that it was the right decision for me and my baby girl.
And though we are not quite sleeping through the night just yet, (she’s a year at the moment) I feel that it was the right decision for me and my baby girl.
UPDATE: This two-year-old is finally sleeping through the night 99% of the time! Thank the Good Lord!!! Naps are still a battle at times but hey, a toddler will be a toddler, am I right?
Patience. More patience. Things are ever-changing. Schedules are interrupted. A full night sleep is that of the past. These things and more will require your patience.
Naps are All Rave
Sleeping through the night might be a distant memory but it’s nice to catch a cat nap with the babe during the day. I don’t like to think that I didn’t sleep straight through the night or that my day began at 4 am. I like to look at the positive – there is a nap in my future!
Time is Not to Be Kept
Trust me, the sooner you let go of the notion of schedules and time the sooner you’ll feel sane again. Just think of it as your new, ever-changing routine and you’ll be fine. So, just follow your babies cues on hunger, bathroom, and play routine. That, after all, is more real than any clock.
React & Adapt
When your baby finally picks a sleep routine and you adjust, BAM! it switches up on ya! Yeah, that’ll happy a few (million) times. Things are ever-changing. Just as nature intended – adapt!
The Kitchen is Always Open
You might as well live in your nursing shirts and bras day and night. There was a time she woke up every hour to eat. EVERY HOUR!!! That, too, is normal. I mean, what am I to do, deny my 3-month-old food?
UPDATE: Bossy is now a little over two years old and she still loves to eat. While she does still breastfeed before her nap and bedtime she eats an enormous amount of food. We are talking two eggs with cheese and sour cream along with asparagus and a cucumber for breakfast people!
Resilience is a Must
If your baby sleep routine includes multiple night feedings, you are not alone! I am all too familiar with waking up hour on the hour to feed her, bless her soul, lol.
I use as little props as possible. They say, keep the room as dark as possible (during naps too) but what are you setting up your kid for when the time comes for him to nap in a light room (say a freinds house or daycare)? I think using
I think using less props will benefit me and Bossy down the line. So let them get used to napping in the daytime, make sure that they are familiar and are used to voices in the home and the sound of the home during the day. I am not saying have a party but you should be able to have a conversation outside the room of where your napper is getting her nap on. This is especially true for my little queen. If she hears me talking to someone on the phone while she’s in the process of going down for a nap, she passes out so quick! Am I that boring? Hmmm…
Sleep-sharing is a Must for Us
It’s a personal choice I feel is right for me and, apparently, for the rest of the world minus US.
There is nothing in the world that I’d rather wake up to than her smiling, sleepy face inching towards mine for a drooly kiss and a morning snuggle. These are the days that I’ll cherish forever. Want to know more
These are the days that I’ll cherish forever. I’ll hold on to that morning smell of her hair, her soft hands on my face, and the sound of her quiet chatter before my eyes open, forever. It’s pure bliss. It’s complete comfort and the deepest happiness.
Want to know more on why I chose co-sleeping vs crib? Read Fail to Crib: Why I Co-Sleep with My Baby.
Reading is Important
It’s truly a great way to wind down and get ready for bed, bond, imagine, and really be together. Though we share many giggles and tickles as we read before bed, this routine lets her know that soon she’ll be getting her milk and then time for sleep. She loves this routine. I can tell by seeing her reaction to my words, “Ready to read a book?” She promptly drops what she’s doing and speed crawls over to my side, lays her head down on my shoulder, and freezes in waiting for the story time to begin. Seriously the cutest thing ever. She discovers characters, places in the world, colors, and numbers and loves doing so. Here you can find My 8 Month Olds Top 8 Book Favorites!
Babies change us into moms. Moms, incredibly, are capable of running efficiently (more or less) through the day with an incredibly low amount of sleep hours. Power to you moms who know what I mean!
I am so aware of how fast time flies. My baby is a toddler and soon will ask me why I can have a tattoo and she can’t. For the time being though, when the going gets tough, I try to remember that this too, will change. So soak up the good and the seemingly bad. It’ll be but memories soon enough.
Hey BAM Bee, Can you Relate?
I want to hear about your baby sleep adventures! C’mon, I know you have some good ones out there. Share in the comments below or use #BAMbabysleep in your Tweets or Facebook posts.
Together, they explore the topics of gentle parenting, healthy eating, grateful thinking, yoga bending, nifty hacking, green living, soul searching, and mindfulness practicing.
She has lived many lives. She has seen great beauty and utter darkness. It makes her whole. She is strong and with your presence, support, and love right here, right now ever stronger!!!
Read more about her by visiting the Meet the Bee page or email her right now!
We hope you enjoy the adventures of Chewy & Bossy!