Friday, July 19, 2013
When you have a baby, everyone will ask you, "How is he sleeping?" They are all secretly hoping you will say "Terribly" and make them feel better about their own baby, or smug about the fact that they don't have a baby.
I was so nervous about sleep. I have never been one of those people who could stay up late. Or get up early. Eight hours? I'll take nine, please. Do you have ten? But what no one tells you is that having a baby isn't the start of poor sleep; pregnany is the start. I haven't slept through the night since I first got pregnant and hormones made me get up and pee twice a night even though there was plenty of room for my bladder. By the end of pregnancy your sleep has gone to shit and every time someone says "Sleep now, you won't be able to later!" you want to stab them in the head with a fork. Still, having a newborn who needs to feed every three hours (and takes about an hour to feed) is a shock to the system.
We've actually been pretty lucky with Peanut's sleep. (If you have a baby, please don't stab me in the head with a fork.) He had night and day sorted out pretty early on, and slept a lot as a newborn. But about two months ago he started going through a Wonder Week which lasted 5 weeks (false advertising!) and his sleep was terrible. He stopped being able to go to sleep on his own and his naps, never long at the best of times, shrank to 20-30 minutes three or four times a day. This meant he was exhausted by the end of the day and cranky for most of it.
We're slowly sorting it out now. I'm hesitant to write about sleep because it's such a contentious issue. Anyone who has read about sleep, particularly on the Internet, knows that whatever you do will irreparably damage your child according to SOMEONE. Co-sleeping? Enjoy your neurotic, clingy child who can't become independent, that is if you don't roll over and SMOTHER him which you almost certainly will. Oh, you're sleep training? That's good if you're into BABY TORTURE. I prefer not to give my baby PERMANENT BRAIN DAMAGE from TRAUMA, but that's just me.
But I do want to share what I've been going through and what I've learned, so I'm going to go ahead.