Sleeping with New Baby Benjamin

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.

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2 thoughts on “Sleeping with New Baby Benjamin

  1. I think I love you 🙂 I have been saying that we all have our own sleep patterns and those “sleep train” methods only “work” on those babies who are inclined to that specific pattern to begin with. The rest it is a lot of angst for a short term result and doesn’t teach them anything except how to ignore their inner rhythm. Most people look at you as if you sprouted another head when you say that 🙂

    • Judith says:

      Well said! When I first started mothering, I had a lot of ideas that I thought were the “best way”. Now I see how babies are difficult–duh–and families are different–double duh–and the most important thing is to do what’s right for you situation. Child rearing books should be viewed as one way to do it, but not the only way, no matter how much success the methods claim to have.

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