Friday, January 8, 2010

01.08.10: Focus on Family: Sleep is for the Weak

I'm not quite sure where I first heard this joke, but it is very true. Whoever said "I'm going to sleep like a baby" clearly never had a baby. Sure, some babies sleep. SOMETIMES. But when it comes down to it I don't think I've heard from a single mama who hasn't had some sort of sleep problem with their baby. Sometimes the issue is right in the beginning. Sometimes it comes up later. Sometimes the problem is nighttime sleep. Others have issues with naps. And some people, some very unlucky people, fall into the "all of the above" catagory.

A.J. spoiled us in the beginning. He seemed to come out of the womb with his mama's affinity for sleeping. Pretty much right away we were getting stretches of 3-4 hours of sleep overnight. A.J. would wake up to fill his belly, have his diaper changed and then he would go right back to bed. We felt really lucky to have such an easy newborn. And it got even better. By the time he was about 8 weeks our little monkey man was sleeping ALL NIGHT! He would go to bed with us around 9 and not stir until 6 the next morning.

And then....he started teething. That was back in October. It's now January. We're still not sleeping. It seems like there is always a list of things that could be to blame for A.J.'s poor sleep. His teeth are coming in. He's not swaddled anymore. He's sleeping in his own room and misses having us close. He's going through a growth spurt. His skin is crazy dry because of the weather and his eczema. His stomach is bothering him because he started solid foods.

For each of those potential problems there are five potential solutions and a handful of books that promise they can get your baby back to sleep if only you just read and follow their 10 step program. Some parents swear you have to cry it out. Some swear by the "No Cry" solution. Others claim Ferber solved all of their problems. Healthy Sleep Habits will create a Happy Baby some moms say.

Here's what I say: I think my son lives by the motto "Sleep is for the weak." I guess that means, by default, so do I. We sleep when we can. And while there is always a long list of things for me to do, some days like today, we nap together.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our little guy is a little over two and seems to think a 2-4 hour stretch followed by a 2-3 hour play session (at midnight)then another 4-6 hours of sleep is a good pattern... I'm not so convinced!