Sunday, 12 June 2011

I think it's safe to talk about Baby sleep

A friend who has twins a week older than Naveen asked me how many teeth he had.

“Eight,” I told her, “but he’s working on four more as we speak.”

“Wow, I can’t believe that! The twins only have a few each. But then Kiana had twelve teeth by the time she was a year old.”

Excited that her preschooler experienced a similar first year to Naveen, I continued, “Yeah, I think that’s why he hasn’t slept through the night until now, he’s been teething his whole life.”

“Hmmm, well Kiana slept. Through the night that is.”

Her last statement was like a punch in the arm. Because as parents we are constantly looking for answers, reasons why our child might be different from another. Why he isn’t reaching a milestone when every other kid around is. Sleep has been such an issue in our household.

As if I had to tell you again.

But I think it’s safe to remove that lucky rabbit’s foot I engineered above Naveen’s crib in lieu of a mobile. I can probably eliminate the complicated Swahili sleep jig I’ve been performing from his bedtime routine. I feel certain my combing search of our backyard for four leaf clovers prior to bedtime is no longer necessary.

Because finally the kid is sleeping.

And just like with Deaglan, no amount of reading helped along the way. It wasn’t E.A.S.Y., there was no crying it out, he would not be Ferberized and co-sleeping left me wide awake and co-onscious because he slept for forty minute stretches for the entire first six months.

And it was to my detriment that I demanded every parent of a newborn within a fifty mile radius detail their bedtime routine so I could mimic it step-by-step. It was a dangerous practice because when my baby still didn’t sleep, I began finding reason upon reason to get these people out of my life for good. We obviously had nothing left in common since they’d given birth to seemingly magical sleeping children.

I officially don’t hate you anymore.

Because just as mysteriously as he’d stayed awake for all those months, making me question his sanity and mine, he began sleeping. All night. And sadly, now that I am on this side of it, I have no advice for those parents currently suffering from sleepless baby syndrome. I have not one concrete recommendation. My experience has taught me nothing.

Well that’s not true, I learned that I could have saved a lot of money by using the library and that the Baby Whisperer has been dead since 2004.

But I digress.

And also?

It’s one more thing Shaune and I can stop blaming each other for. If he came home and mentioned one more colleague’s baby who slept for twelve hours straight, I may have needed a padded cell to contain my crazy self in. I am not easily prone to jealousy but knowing our friends and neighbours were luxuriating in lengthy periods of nocturnal bliss had me twisting with resentment.

Now that Naveen is sleeping, I can free up my resentment for other things.

I'm pouring my heart out with Shell.


  1. Not sure if it will make you feel better or not..but Devlin (my sister's first) was the baby from heaven..happy go lucky..loved to sleep..loved to eat...I only heard real deep healthy crying from him once..the perfect little darling who 1) didn't get his first tooth until he was 11 months 2) didn't roll over onto his tummy..ever I think 3) didn't crawl until 11 months 4) is officially a walker at 18 months...they are all different and the bad is always always outnumbered by the good!!! Sleep tight tonight!!!

  2. You have to just feel wonderful now that you are getting regular sleep. I am so sad you had to go through such a trying experience but look at the challenge you rose to.

    I am just sad there was nothing I could offer to ease your suffering. But we did send a lot of good thoughts your way.

  3. I know how you feel. With my first, he slept through the night from birth. No magic potions, no incantations and I guess that was a blessing considering I was 17 and had no clue and then the next year my second came along and she didn't sleep for about two years no idea why. Not sure who was more bonkers during those two years me or her.

  4. I'm absolutely thrilled for you that he's sleeping now. That also means you are sleeping now, and that's double the blessing!

  5. YAY!! I'm so happy for you (and your sanity!) I'm finally making my rounds here in blogland -- it's been way too long. LOVE the look of your blog, by the way. You may have changed it months ago, for all I know. But it's new to me and I like it :)

  6. Too funny. Nocturnal you come.

  7. Yeah! Sleep! Mine 2nd is younger than yours but he just figured out how to sleep thru the night and I think I am slowly recovering from the long-term sleep deprivation...

    Congrats to you.

  8. I am so glad for you because you are getting rest. My baby didn't sleep through the night until 15 months. I was tired of hearing other parents "brag" about how their kid sleep like a rock from day 1. I just avoided the conversation all together because everyone seemed to be sizing their kids up against one another. I didn't sign up for the parenting Olympics, so I just dropped it. Once I let go, she became one of the "magical sleeping babies" -love that phrase!!!

  9. The thing is that I don't believe half of what people tell me anymore. They insist their kids slept through the night at 6 weeks, 6 months, 9 months? I don't know, I take it all with a grain of salt now. I think people just like to feel like they have the upper hand.

    Maya slept through the night somewhere around a year. I have no idea why it took her so long but now she sleeps 11 hours! So I'm willing to forgive her.

  10. I also don't always believe what other people tell me...mainly because I have heard people give their side of the story and then have SEEN what is actually happening in their homes. Good grief! I have always been open about my difficulties in motherhood because I hope that others know it's not as easy as SOME people make it out to be.

    I defined "sleep" soooooo much differently after I became a mom. Before having a baby, I "needed" AT LEAST 9 hours of sleep per night and maybe a nap if I could fit one in. Then, after becoming a mom, that definition changed--a lot! My little girl didn't sleep through the night until she was about a year. Now she is the best sleeper I could imagine--and I *cherish* sleep more than I ever thought possible, because now I know it's a LUXURY. :)

    Yay for your newly found sleep. Ahhhh...

  11. We are battling this EXACT SAME THING right now! Aaargh. I'm losing my sanity and am angry at friends who had easy babies. Most are understanding in the fact that all kids are different and admit that they got lucky. Other friends? Smug. They make me feel like I'm just not trying hard enough. I've read every stupid sleep book, I've talked to everyone I can think of and I obsess over waketimes and naptimes. And you know what? I'm not enjoying my kid. And that stinks. Screw it. She'll sleep when she wants to.

  12. PJ usually still wakes up once a night. Which is not terrible. I enjoy the cuddling.

    I also have nothing to say about my experience. I learned zero.

    Stopping by from PYHO.

  13. I think my oldest was the worst sleeper ever. I hated people who had babies who slept.

  14. out of 3 kids, I only got one sleeper, and he was the 3rd. I know your pain and now your peace.

  15. I wonder what there is in us, as humans and as parents, that we turn our children into some crazy competition that we are determined to win? Josiah was always off the charts for height/age and I loved it! Felt like we were winning some size competition! On the other hand he was a very delayed reader (10 years old) and I hung my head in shame at his "failure." FINALLY, as the parent of a 21 year old, I can look back and know that NONE of that stuff was important! And I wish I had relaxed and enjoyed the experience of my unique and precious child more fully! Because now the child is gone and a man stands in his place! And I'm still proud ... of who he IS!

  16. Oh, thank the heavens!! I am so happy for him and you. Now that you are back to work, sleep for you is a must! :)

  17. My older son woke up several times a night (sometimes on the hour) for months and months. It was grueling. I just let my younger son sleep with me for the first 8 months so he woke up a lot, but it wasn't as disruptive for me because I didn't have to get out of bed.

  18. The sleep thing (or lack thereof) will make you crazy. And there's no advice to give. Nothing works twice. You just have to go through it.

  19. As I read I wished that mom would have kept her mouth shut. Sometimes we don't relaize the depth of our statements. I'm sure she meant no harm, though.

    I am so glad your little guy is getting some sleep now!! Lack of sleep is awful! (I know this morning because I've been up all night-LOL).

  20. Sleep is a wonderful thing indeed! I'm glad you are getting more of it these nights Kim:)

  21. I love coming to this place. Your writing is so stinking good.

    And true. J was our challenging sleeper. And that lack of sleep effects every part of your life. It's serious stuff. One becomes desperate to try anything.

  22. Our babies were all great sleepers. It's now that one of them is four that all of a sudden it's screaming on the floor of the hallway and crying. (me not her obvi) So all those people with magical sleeping babies you can smugly think...just wait.

  23. Oh how I know your pain. My little guy JUST started sleeping through the night and he's 19 months. My first born slept through at 6 months so this was quite the slap in the face. And don't feel bad about hating everyone else that had babies that slept through...I seethed with rage when I would hear "Oh MY baby's a GREAT l'il sleeper". Now THAT'S mean.

  24. I'm THRILLED for you!!! Lovely, lovely sleep - how us moms treasure you!!


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