What is sleep?! I only dream of it – the good ol’ days when I would sleep for hours on end, wake up and still want to sleep some more. Lol!
My son Xander, is now 2 months (ululations!) but I have to say, I cannot wait for him to sleep through the night. Even if it means from 9pm to 6am – I’ll be more than ok with that. You see, newborns sleep a lot. According to BabyCenter, they sleep 16-17 hours a day – awesome, right?! Wrong!
In those 16-17hours, they sleep in blocks of 2-3hours. So just when you’re getting down to catch a snooze, he/she is up. Around 6-8weeks, their sleep patterns get better – less during the day, and more at night. However, it’s still not 6hours at a time. If you’re one of those mums whose child has slept great since birth, well go on and be happy, you lucky woman you!
In my case, I started a routine to help him differentiate day and night since he turned 3 weeks. How? Lots of noise, eye contact and interaction during the day, while at night, silence, no eye contact and pitch darkness (with a little night light on for diaper changes). We (hubby and I) developed a bedtime routine that involves a bath, prayers and a feed if necessary.
At 9 weeks, I can comfortably say that he’s got the hang of things in terms of night and day. When he wakes at night, he just feeds and goes back to sleep. HOWEVER, he still wakes every 2-3hours – no wonder my sleep deprivation. Sigh.
Another thing no one tells you is that babies are really noisy when they sleep. They making grunting noises, breathe heavily, laugh or even cry in their sleep. These are things that startle you so deep sleep is a dream. (no pun intended)
Some mums suggest “Sleep when baby sleeps” – which is easy to say and harder to do when you have to express milk, bond with a toddler, catch up on news and current affairs, plan and strategize your life now that you have other human beings to budget for…your mind is on overdrive! And when you finally decide to go down for a nap, 15minutes later the baby wakes since he’s had his share of sleep and you were just getting into it.
I sleep trained my daughter Zara when she was younger and it was the hardest thing to do, but it paid off. I didn’t CIO (Cry-It-Out) but was consistent in how I did it and by the time she was 9months, she was sleeping through the night. I intend to do the same with Xander and pray he catches on earlier – be sure I’ll be talking about it here.
Despite it all, I’ve learned to embrace it because I know it’s only for a season and it’s for a worthy cause. When I got Zara, my mum told me ‘Forget about sleep from now on’. She was right to some extent as I wake when she gets nightmares and calls for me from her room – and of course her ever hungry brother who needs to feed.
But there are days I’m totally knocked out and can’t hear a thing – until hubby shakes me saying “Sweetie, the baby just woke up!”