Sleep, Sommeil, Sueño

“Sleep when the baby sleeps!”

I started hearing it the day Lochlan was born. Actually, I probably started hearing it way before then, but it’s likely that I didn't pay much attention. I just filed it under “obvious advice is obvious,” and thought nothing more of it. Of course I was going to sleep when the baby slept. Just like of course I was going to breastfeed like a champ and have a kid who slept through the night at six weeks. Because, unlike all the other moms in the world, I’d read all the right books, bought all the right products, and participated in a million online discussions about how not to mess up your kid. I was so set.

After Lochlan was born, people kept reminding me to sleep when he slept. But I didn't want to; I wanted to stay awake and just stare and stare at this amazingly tiny new human I’d just created. I’d just made an entire new person that had never existed before...how could I be expected to sleep after doing that? Besides, I remember thinking, I’ll sleep later. Because, up until that moment in my life, there had always been a later. Whenever I’d had a long week at work, I’d been able to plan to sleep in on the weekend. I could grab catnaps together between fun activities. I’d always, always been been able to think ahead to a time when I would be able to catch up on my sleep, maybe even take some kind of sleeping aid to ensure maximum restfulness.

When you become a parent, there never seems to be a later when it comes to sleep. You either grab it when you can, or you go without. Not long after Loch was born, I learned the hard way that I couldn't do the former...when Loch slept, I was too anxious to rest, and when I did finally manage to fall asleep, I was awakened by every. single. tiny. noise he made. I don’t know if it was because I was so wacked up on hormones, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't sleep when he slept. And you know what’s the worst? Not being able to sleep when you are bone tired and you know that your kid is going to wake up screaming soon and then you won’t get to sit down for the next few hours.

And you know what sucks the most? Having people tell me that this is my fault. It's my fault that I haven’t done any sleep-training, haven’t tried too hard to night-wean and, at 4 ½ months old, still can’t really imagine being away from him overnight. Know why? Because I’m a wuss, that’s why. Every time I think about sleep-training Loch, I think of all the crying that will be involved, and I wince. I’m not the crying-it-out-will-ruin-your-kid-forever type, but you know what? I just can’t. I’m sorry, but I can’t. Hearing him cry makes me feel like every nerve in my body is on fire. And it’s one thing to hear my kid cry because he just dropped his favorite toy; it’s another when he’s crying because he just wants to be held, or sung to, or breastfed.

And that’s why my 4-month-old still sleeps in my room and still breastfeeds pretty much whenever he wants at night. Because I am too tired and too wussy to do anything about it...but you know what...I've never been happier!









Comments

  1. Oh so cute! He's getting some chubby cheeks!!

    I'm too much of a wuss to wean Ever from her binky. :/

    It's too early to sleep train or night wean, so tell those people to go fly a kite. :)

    That's exactly how it was for me too! I couldn't sleep. Nice advice, in theory. I was so finely attuned to every noise and then the anticipation of them waking after I would fall asleep was too much! eventually I did start sleeping. but the 4th month is when I really lost my mind. Month 6 came and we might weaned ad sleep trained and she started crawling and having bedtime and life got so much easier. This is tough times, but enjoy every second as I know you are! I, like you, loved that I had no pressing issues except to make a baby happy day after day.

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  2. In my opinion, sleep training shouldn't even be an option until at least 6 months or more! John sleeps through the night but I don't! I sit and stare at him constantly, and he's a 2nd baby! You think I would have learned by now. Plenty of sleep to be had when they're grown and gone.

    You're doing great! Good blog post :)

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  3. Eh, who cares what "they" say... Plus, they're wrong :) The boys slept in our room until they were close to 8mo - we had a bit more of a structured feeding schedule but we HAD to! Happiness, yours and his, is ALL that matters right now :) sleep training and night weaning will still be there when you're ready-- or maybe it will all just happen seamlessly on its own!

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