Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sleep? What's that?

I want to preface this by saying I'm not complaining or ranting. I'm more rambling and trying to organize my thoughts! :) 

I'll be honest, B has never been a sleeper. In my belly, or out, the kid just doesn't want to sleep. Naps or nighttime, he doesn't discriminate. As an infant we relied heavily on baby-wearing and his infant swing. I was terrified of the day his swing motor died. We've run the gammut of medical issues that could be keeping him awake. Apart from eczema (which is ongoing, treated, and rarely flares anymore) and a slight case of reflux (medicated, and now outgrown), he's a perfectly healthy little boy. So then we look to "developmental" causes keeping him awake. It started with rolling, then scooting, then sitting, and now standing. When he would begin to practice these new tricks, he would wake himself up and then not be able to go back to sleep. Oh, and I seem to have forgotten the ever popular answer for all fussiness in babies "teething". He won't sleep at night? Oh, it must be teething...He's not napping well? Oh, it must be teething...He's fussy and just downright ornery? Oh, it must be teething...I get it, teething is not a walk in the park, but I struggle sometimes to believe it is the cause of every "issue" B seems to have. Maybe he's just having a bad day?

Once we ruled out any possible "causes" of his sleeplessness, then it all came back on Polish Prince and myself. Oh, he doesn't sleep through the night? You must be going in and getting him too much. Oh, he wants to eat twice at night? Well, if you didn't feed him every time he wouldn't need to eat that often. Wait, he naps how often? Well, he's napping too much/too long/not enough (depending on the day). Oh, you go in there every time he cries and pick him up? He needs to learn to self-soothe, let him cry a bit, he'll learn. He's just _______ (testing, using, training, manipulating...fill in the blank) you. *sigh* where does it end?

 I like to think that when people give advice it's with the best intentions, not with judgement. I also know that what works for one person doesn't work for everyone necessarily. This is why we don't "sleep train". I'm sure if we followed advice and just toughed it out for a few nights, B would eventually learn to put himself to sleep. And that works for some people, and I'm happy for them. But, for me, it's not something I'm interested in. And I'll leave it at that. When it comes to hot topics of parenting ( i.e. breastfeeding, discipline, eating habits, etc) sleeping is right up there. Everyone has an opinion, and I get that, but sometimes I don't want advice, I don't want opinions, I don't want to answer "Is he sleeping any better yet?". It's like when I was pregnant, clearly still VERY pregnant, yet people would come up and ask "Still have that baby in there?" I wanted so badly to say "Nope, had him a few months ago,just haven't dropped the weight yet." I like to celebrate victories, not dwell on current hurdles. When he does sleep through the night, believe me, I will be the first to shout it out! Probably in all capital letters on a social networking site somewhere :) But until then, it's a pretty fair assumption we were up a couple times last night. 

B has had victories when it comes to sleep. He now naps in his crib--pretty easily I might add (knock on wood), and is a generally happy baby. He's met, if not exceeded. his developmental milestones. He's crawling, climbing our stairs--supervised of course--eating, playing, babbling, everything you'd expect out of an 8 month old. He just doesn't sleep through the night. When I stepped back and realized all of this, I made the decision that I wasn't going to make his sleeping (or lack thereof) an issue anymore. If I don't see it as an issue, it's not an  issue. This works for us until the dreaded "So, how's he sleeping?" question comes up. I'm still working on an answer that doesn't lie to anyone. If anyone has suggestions, please feel free to comment! :) Otherwise, I think I'll stick with "He's sleeping well, thanks!" Generic I know, but it's honest. He is sleeping well, just not in long stretches! So with that, I think I'm going to grab some caffeine this morning and get ready to attack the day :)


  1. Love your attitude! Sounds like he is a great kid with parents who love him...can't ask for more than that ;) I just found your blog through Modern Mommy and am really enjoying it! Thanks

  2. Thanks Janna! I"m glad you've found me! :)