A common question people ask new parents: “is your little one sleeping through the night yet?” This topic and question is the focus of much new parent reading and the topic of many a text conversation between mom and dad. It’s a question that fills you with dread as you worry the answer you give will result in such judgement from the person asking as it feels like your ability to be successful as a parent relies on this magical “sleeping through the night” reality. You also dread the onslaught of advice about all the things you should be trying – “have you tried swaddling her?”, “you have to put her down, she shouldn’t be sleeping on you, that’s creating bad habits!”, “you have to let her cry”, “play classical music for her”, “you should … Etc etc”. As if you haven’t tried swaddling her, rocking her, humming to her, in the bathroom with the fan on for white noise… And every single other suggestion you can find on every blog, message board and Facebook moms group. Because desperate times call for desperate measures and sleep deprivation catches up with you. It took about two months for it to catch up with me. And suddenly I’m doing all kinds of things I never would have imagined…

After the barrage of suggestions, you brace yourself for the horror stories: “my kid didn’t sleep through the night until he was five.” … 😳

I have accepted the reality that sleep is different for me now. And I am a big fan of sleep. Weekends were always a time of ten to twelve hour sleep marathons for me – yes even into my early thrities. I guess I was stocking up for this period without realizing it. I realize that my baby has a tiny tummy and needs to refuel quite frequently. I wasn’t quite prepared for the wake ups to be every hour and a half however. Especially as the weeks went on and friends were telling me about their babies sleeping for 4 or 6 hours in a row… My little one rarely got 3 in a row, occasionally 4, but most of the night every hour to two hours we were up with her feeding. Was I doing something wrong? I put in place a “nighttime routine” following the same steps, started saying the same things, reading the same bedtime story, swaddling her in the sleep sac, having her sleep on me, having her sleep beside me, heat up in the room, heat down, music, white noise… etc… Everything in the books. It didn’t seem to make any difference what I did her wake ups followed the same pattern.

The thing they don’t tell you though is for infants, the definition of “sleeping through the night” is five hours of consecutive sleep. So I’m pleased to say that for the first time since she was born, Penny has “slept through the night”, clocking in at 5 hours and 45 minutes. Mom got to sleep for 4 hours in a row and it was a beautiful thing! As with all things baby though I have quickly learned that no two days are ever the same, and often what happens once doesn’t happen again anytime soon…


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