Every mother knows the questions. It’s starts when you’re pregnant:
“When are you due?”
“Boy or girl? Are you going to find out or be surprised?”
“Have you got any cravings?”
Then when you’ve had the baby:
“Is he a good baby?”
“Does he nap well? Have you tried running the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine during naptime?”
And the big kicker:
“Is he sleeping through the night?”
After baby is born, everybody wants to know if you’re sleeping. Millions, maybe even billions, have been made off of the American obsession with sleep. I say American because I’ve heard in other countries the obsession is different (Italy, for instance, is all about eating solids–gotta start wolfing down the pasta.) With Joe II, I was walking on air if I got three straight hours of sleep during the night. He nursed often, and only when we began co-sleeping did anybody in the house get a decent amount of shut-eye. I could have slapped each and every single person who mentioned the Ferber method or the Babywise book to me. There was just no getting Joe II to sleep through the night, and certainly not in his own crib. I suspected that “sleep through the night” babies didn’t exist.
Enter Benjamin, the Big Sleeper. For the first month of his life, he didn’t hardly wake up. One bleary eye would slide open to make sure the boob presented him did actually belong to his mother and then he’d be sleep nursing. He slept during the day, he slept during the night. He eventually woke up, and now he wakes for an early morning feeding around 5:30, but he LOVES to sleep and consistently sleeps through the night.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you are currently experiencing life with a child who won’t sleep–you have my sympathy. You also have my theory: there’s no method that will overcome their biology. Don’t let anyone beat you over the head with their get-to-sleep-quick-schemes. Joe II did go to sleep eventually, about the time he turned two.
Go ahead and cry, just let it out. And you have my permission to slap the next person who asks about sleeping.