Sleeping Through the Night
Your experiences in life shape your choices as a parent. I had one in the hospital when Jacob was one day old that really broke me when it comes to sleep.
I was happily nursing Jacob when the lactation consultants came in for their visit. Naturally this was the one time Joey ran home to take a shower and grab a few things (we had somewhat of a long stay). They pushed me to try an uncomfortable position and Jacob turned blue in my arms. They were able to get him breathing again and then quickly left me laying in that hospital bed alone, sobbing uncontrollably with my newborn. It was the most terrifying moments of my entire life.
So sleep has been a bit of a journey over here. I did not sleep for the first two weeks of Jacob’s life unless he was in someone’s arms. We were so blessed to have the help of my mom and mother in law at that time. I always knew I’d be tired, but wow I wasn’t ready for that level of exhaustion.
Jacob was in his bassinet lined up directly next to me until he was literally too big for it. I was devastated when we hit that point. Our master is downstairs and I was nowhere near ready for the crib transition all the way upstairs. To be fair, neither was Joey.
So we set up the pack n play… right next to my side of the bed. He has been there ever since.
Bless that beautiful nursery we so carefully decorated for him.
To help us sleep peacefully, we invested in the Owlet monitor early on, but honestly it worked terrible for us. We’d get him all swaddled up and the sock would get loose causing the alarm to go off constantly. We set that thing aside and haven’t touched it since.
Nothing is more comforting to me than seeing him and feeling his little back move up and down. I still check his breathing at least twice every night.
So clearly this post is not the kind that’s going to tell you about all the things you should do to make your baby sleep for 12 hours straight. Sorry. We are probably the best example of what not to do.
Jacob is 11 months old. We’ve had exactly three nights that qualify as “sleeping through the night.” And by we I mean Jacob because I most definitely haven’t yet.
Comparison. It gets you from the start of pregnancy. Gaining all the weight in the right places (just your bump), how much weight you gain (no more than 30 pounds), how fast you lose the weight (ASAP), and then the baby comparisons begin…. tummy time, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, pulling up, standing, walking, talking… sleeping.
As someone with 12 years of experience in elementary education, I knew to not compare my baby. Children do things at different times and learn at different rates. It’s normal. So I was determined to not freak out if Jacob didn’t meet every milestone the second a book said he should. Side note- the only book I keep around is “What to Expect the First Year.” It gets straight to the point without judging you.
I guess before I had Jacob, I didn’t know what a hot topic sleep is… but it sure seems to be a big deal to people. At first I didn’t worry about it because seriously- are you joking?! My baby was eating all night long. But as the months progressed and not much had changed, I started to think maybe I was doing something wrong.
Social media doesn’t help. I can’t tell you how many influencers I watched rave about the $1400 bassinet that had their baby sleeping through the night in the early weeks. I also heard about the book of sleep tips and read stories of the “sleep experts” coming in to implement sleep schedules. Pretty much it just seems like there’s a lot of business out there preying on tired parents.
While I never invested in that bassinet or hired a sleep consultant, I did buy that book off amazon one tired night. And the sleep section had me quite literally laughing out loud with my mom. She raised 5 babies, so her opinion counts. Anyways, it was totally my fault for ever letting any of that garbage cloud my thinking. This is totally what they mean when they say to watch what you consume.
I don’t judge anyone’s approach to figuring out sleep with their baby. When you’re exhausted and desperate, you do what you have to do. It truly looks different for everyone. Just like everything else in parenting, you find what works for you.
For me, I have realized that my baby isn’t broken because he still needs me at night. He gets hungry, his diapers get soaked, teething is pitiful, and sometimes he just needs to snuggle his mommy. If I’m doing it all wrong, whatever.
I don’t know when Jacob will move to his nursery. Eventually we will get there. I know that one day (sooner than I’ll ever be ready for), my middle of the night affection will no longer be needed or wanted. So I’m soaking up every second of it while I can.