Step 1: Drink coffee. All the coffee. You aren't pregnant anymore, the sky's the limit!
Step 2: Accept it, you had a baby, it's your life now, no one likes a whiner.
There is no step 3
Optional step: Rejoice in the fact that your baby is cuter than all those pro sleeping babies.
|Squishy newborn I MISS IT.|
I have two beautiful, healthy sons, and every single day I'm in awe of how smart, funny, sweet, and generally perfect they are. While they have so many talents, there is one thing they both suck at: sleep. (But apparently when they do sleep, I creep on them, because this post is filled with their sleeping pictures.)
Baby sleep is quite the tricky beast. Adults love sleep. Babies hate sleep. We're at odds that way. The really confusing part is that some babies actually do love sleep. They sleep for their parents quite easily. Then, these parents go on to write books, websites, messages in the sky, etc about how to get a baby to sleep. After all, they must be the experts right? Their baby sleeps. Yours doesn't.
My theory is that the universe just gifted them an easy sleeper. Some people even get multiple easy sleepers. That's great for them. But it doesn't necessarily mean they have any useful advice for those of us who aren't in that boat. Example: The Sleep Lady. Wrote a book. Probably makes lots of money. Her kids both slept through the night (STTN) by 8 weeks old, which she admits herself in her book (that I stupidly bought). Tell me again how you are an "expert"?
The biggest thing I heard as a frustrated new mom was put the baby down "drowsy but awake". Oh, you just put the baby down, and let him go to sleep? GENIUS. Why didn't I think of that? Clearly that was the answer.
Except that Dalton, from birth, screamed like he had been dropped into an ice bath if he was put down. Drowsy, awake, asleep, dead asleep, or anything in between - that child didn't appreciate it. There was no "drowsy but awake". Trust me, we tried. I tried so hard that my phone now autocorrects other things to the term "DBA". He wasn't having it. For us, drowsy but awake would have been letting our newborn cry it out, which, um, no. I worked really hard not to jump up and get him for every little cry, so if he was just fussing, I gave him time. But that was rare. More often, it was all out hysteria rather than minor fussing. I think some babies just have a smoother transition to life on the outside, and some, like mine, need a little more comfort to adjust.
|Throwback Dalton newborn photo!|
Dalton also didn't sleep anywhere but on us. Again, all those experts that were blessed with sleeping children gave us their sage advice. Swaddle, rock and play, white noise, warm up his sleeping spot, let him sleep with something you've worn, etc, etc, etc. We tried it all. Dalton is smart. He wasn't fooled by a tight swaddle and a rock and play, he wanted a parent. People probably judged that. I see people in FB mom groups (seriously I'm in too many) bragging about how they didn't nurse to sleep/didn't use sleep crutches/put baby in the crib from day 1/whatever. That's great. You didn't NEED to do those things. But I truly believe that some babies DO need them, because they are all different, just like adults. My husband can fall asleep anywhere, any time, with no problem. Me? I need to be in my bed, on my side, hugging my body pillow, preferably with white noise, and complete darkness. If there was one method that worked for all babies, there wouldn't be two trillion books/websites/theories all proclaiming they are THE way to get your baby to sleep.
|Probably one of the last times he ever fell asleep with me :(|
I liken it to Michael Phelps mom (who Dalton has met and high fived BTW). She put her kid in swim lessons, encouraged him, and BOOM - Olympic athlete. So she has a perfect method, right? Except for every MP, there are a few thousand kids also being encouraged in swim lessons who are just average swimmers at best. Is she a great mom for encouraging that natural talent? Absolutely! I'm sure her support was integral to his success. But all the rest of the parents whose results didn't yield an Olympian didn't do anything wrong. Kids: YMMV.
I know I didn't ruin him for life (or Royce either, who, incidentally, does the drowsy but awake thing) because the world's authority on motherhood and resident best mother ever, my own mom, nursed me, my brother, and sister to sleep, and NOT ONE of us requires it any longer. In fact, none of us required it past infancy, and on top of that, we are all functioning, even productive members of society. And Dalton now gets a story, song, kiss, and gets plopped in his crib and we see him in the morning.
I guess this post doesn't really have a point, I'm just putting it out there because I bet there are other moms whose babies just say no to drowsy but awake, or wake up all night far past when they are "supposed" to, or just generally don't follow whatever some sleep expert said, so - solidarity. We can sleep when we're dead, and until then, COFFEE.
I demand all mothers with sleep hating babies comment (no matter how old your baby is now) so that we can all join forces. #normalizebeingawakeallnight