I’m going to tell you a secret. It’s something very few mothers will tell you about their babies. Even I don’t talk about it very much. It’s just not the kind of thing you want to say, especially around other moms of new babies. But here it is: my baby sleeps.
And this is where I duck to hide from the death glares coming my way from mothers of babies who don’t like to sleep.
I’ve heard a lot of war stories about infant sleep and experienced a few of my own with my first baby. Most of my friends have put in long nights walking the floor trying to soothe a crying baby into slumber. They’ve read all the books, tried all the techniques. Most can recite Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s verbatim. Many know Mark Weissbluth’s admonitions about getting good sleep. Some can do the Sleep Lady Shuffle like pros. Some of us will even cop to taking Ferber’s advice. All of this through a haze of sleep deprivation.
What you almost never hear is a mother saying that her baby was willing to sleep for long stretches of the night without much intervention. It’s like an unspoken rule that you don’t let that info slide. You might jinx it and the baby will never sleep again. Or, worse, your other mom friends will hear about your uncanny luck and shun you. Better to keep it quiet and enjoy the rest you’re getting without bragging.
But I’m coming clean with my baby sleep situation because it’s worth noting that it can and does happen. There are babies who sleep well. At least, my baby slept well the past few weeks. Night has fallen again and everything could change. Tomorrow I could be just as haggard as I was when my older child went through sleep phases that involved an endless series of wake-ups all night long.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have a baby who’s giving me the opportunity to sleep at night but I know with absolute certainty that this is not going to last forever. Something will change and my daughter and I will be the ones walking the floor in the wee hours. That’s the thing about baby sleep: nothing is forever.
So, for all the moms who are out there despairing of getting more than two hours in a row of rest, I’m here to tell you that it will happen one day. You’ll get your turn. And I’ll get my turn sporting under-eye bags after my baby switches it up on me.
How does your baby sleep? How has sleep changed over time?
Photo credit: Ergo Baby
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