Things They Don’t Tell You About Motherhood: Sleep Training

sleep

So it’s pretty clear to all of us before we venture into parenthood that sleep in the first few weeks/months is fleeting. Sleep training is one of the more popular topics in the mommy meet ups. Who’s sleeping through the night, what is their nap schedule, are you letting them cry it out, and so on. When we met with our pediatrician for one of our baby’s check ups the doctor asked how everyone was sleeping? They tell the mom to sleep when the baby sleeps and I was doing my best. He said “we don’t have babies to get more sleep.” I smiled and nodded. Later he told us story about perspective. To this day it changed my view on “Sleeping through the night”.

On the same day our doctor would see two sets of parents with babies the same age. Both parents have beautiful and healthy babies. He would ask the same question, “how is everyone sleeping?”. One couple complained. The baby wakes up every few hours to eat, we are exhausted. How can we get the baby to sleep in longer stretches? The second couple answers in delight, the baby is sleeping through the night, baby wakes up every few hours to feed and goes right back to sleep. PERSPECTIVE! This story, and a few miserable nights when the baby did not want to go back to sleep after her feed, made me realize what “sleeping through the night” really means. Spending 3 hours trying to sooth a wide eyed baby at 2 am, is not sleeping through the night and is miserable. Now my baby girl is 1 and she sleeps through the night without a feed. She started putting herself to sleep, and for now, all is good and right with the world.

To all the mommies still waking up to feed a few times through the night, there is light at the end of sleep training. The baby will have trained you to be a fully functioning and capable adult on 4-6hours of sleep. Sleeping through the night will last till they are learning to sleep in a big kid bed, then potty training, afraid of the dark, monsters under the bed, on their cell phone under the covers, waiting up for your teen’s curfew. You will never sleep sound again, and that’s why there is coffee!

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