Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rants from a Single Mom: Leave my baby's sleep habits alone

My nine-month-old baby is not sleeping through the night yet.  Every few hours, she wakes up to nurse, or just snuggle closer to me.  As a single mom, the entire 'night shift' falls on me.  I don't get much sleep, it's rare that I get to sleep in and even rarer that I get to go to bed early.  I can accept this.  Do I wish I could get more sleep?
Yes.  Do I spend my days sulking and complaining, or trying to force my baby to sleep more at night? NO.  I can accept that it might be a while before my daughter sleeps through the night, and it will be even longer before I stop waking up at night to check on her.  What I cannot accept is that other people think I am wrong  for accepting this.

Not all babies sleep through the night.  As an adult, I sometimes wake up at night thirsty, or hungry, or uncomfortable.  How can I expect my daughter to not do the same?  I am not doing anything wrong by feeding my hungry baby at night or giving her a pacifier instead of letting her cry herself to sleep, although this is what I was told by an pediatrician.  I am not wrong in this, and there is nothing wrong with my baby.  No one, not my daughter's old pediatrician, not family, and certainly not strangers, can convince me that she 'should be' or 'needs to be' sleeping through the night by now.  As a parent, I'm used to people sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.  There is something about having children that opens you up to unwanted advice and criticism.  Even though I'm used to it, I never expected to be insulted because of my baby's sleep habits!

  I won't stand idly by and allow other people to talk down on me because Midge still wakes up at night.  She is happy and healthy!  I'm sleep deprived but otherwise fine as well.  So what's the issue?

To conclude this Rant from a Single Mom, my baby will sleep through the night when she is ready.  Nothing can make her, and no one is going to try.

When did your child start sleeping through the night?  Did people try to convince you that your child was somehow 'not normal' for not sleeping through the night before he/she was ready?

4 comments:

  1. Zeke is 4 months old & he sleeps for a couple hours at a time but still wakes up to nurse, play & even just to run his fingers through my hair. I am 'spoiling' him by co-sleeping apparently. I've been told its not normal to wake up during the night hungry....its normal for me LOL I get thirsty too! I think every child develops at their own pace & that people/drs need to understand that. My sons 4 month appointment is Tuesday so I get to go round with his dr about not vaccinating anymore. I have the same view on potty training though. As much as people may 'want' it to happen, it won't until the child is physically & mentally ready.

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    1. It's crazy the way people think tending to a child's needs is 'spoiling' them. As long as it's done safely, there is nothing wrong with co-sleeping. You're absolutely right, children don't do anything until they are ready, and good luck with the doctor!

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  2. My older kids didn't sleep through until they weaned, although my two month old has had quite a few 7 hour stretches.

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    1. It looks like Midge won't be sleeping through the night until she weans, either. I'm sure you're happy with those 7 hour stretches, though!

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