Who needs sleep?

Me. And Lucas. Yup, definitely Lucas. Oh – and Fynn. Fynn’s just gotten the hang of sleep so I think he needs to keep that up. But Paige, nope. Paige has decided that sleep is the enemy and she does not want anything to do with it at all.

All babies go through some sort of a sleep regression at 4 months (so I’ve read). Most grow out of it around 5 months, maybe 6. It took Fynn until he was a year old to sleep through the night, and it still wasn’t the norm for months and months.

When I was pregnant with Paige I hoped and prayed that we would get a good sleeper, if there was such a thing. I stayed up at night telling myself that we would have at least one baby that would sleep well. And for four months Paige was a great sleeper for the most part. Then the four month sleep regression, in combination with teething, hit. She just gets worse and worse every night. I’m not joking. Fynn was a difficult sleeper, but never like this. Paige takes the cake. I won’t go into too much detail other than to say last night I think she was up almost every hour after midnight.

I’m a firm believer that the phrase “sleeping through the night” was coined to mock new parents and give them (as well as seasoned parents) yet another reason to feel inadequate. I’m not sure why, but people always ask how your baby is sleeping. I tend to answer honestly and then get looks of shock and disgust when I say “she’s not”. I know too many parents who are suffering from sleep deprivation as badly as Lucas and I are – I know a lot of babies just don’t sleep. Instead of the previously mentioned question, I tend to ask “how are you doing with the sleeping, or lack there of?” because I know that most parents will then be honest and say how sucky (for lack of better words) it is to have an infant who doesn’t sleep. I honestly believe most people lie in order to either brag about having a baby who sleeps, or just not feel like a freak who can’t get their baby to sleep (well, I’m sure that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point).

There are ways that some people train their babies to sleep. None of those methods work for our family. Both of our kids would never cry themselves to sleep, their cries would escalate and then they wouldn’t be able to calm down. And if you know me and Lucas, you can probably understand that we’re more of the gentle parenting types. That’s the route we’ve chosen to go – we kind of fell into the Attachment Parenting category by necessity. It just works for us. I don’t care what other people do, as long as they aren’t hurting their children. You need to do what’s right for your family. For us, it’s cuddling, co-sleeping if necessary, breastfeeding, baby wearing, snuggling, lots of hugs, talking things out (as much as you can with a two year old and an infant), when necessary stern looks and a slightly raised voice, and lots and lots of love.

Ask me at two in the afternoon if I love snuggling Paige to sleep, how she nuzzles into the crook of my arm to close her eyes, how she needs to hold my hand to fall asleep and I’ll say of course! However, at three in the morning (my breaking point) I’ll give you a different answer. But we’ve chosen this parenting route, and this road. It might be the road less traveled at times, but the scenery is awfully nice 🙂 I love my babies, and I love how Lucas and I have decided to parent them. We know we can’t control a whole lot when it comes to our children, but we can at least guide them in a loving manner.

For now, I just have to remind myself that I can’t control Paige’s sleep, and she will get it in her own time. After all, who needs sleep when you can stay up late and feel your babies soft fingers holding your hand, and smell that wonderful baby smell as your little ones head is resting on your chest? I guess I don’t need much sleep after all.

Who needs sleep? was originally posted on January 21st, 2009 at The Story of Fynn & Paige by moi…



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3 responses to “Who needs sleep?

  1. So true… I spent hours walking/holding my HUGE oldest child when he was a baby. Even after I knew I could easily put him down – simply because I just knew I eventually wouldn’t be able to do it for much longer. Now he’s four and beyond huge for his age and while I admit that I do still pick him up sometimes, I certainly don’t walk the hall with him singing lullabies!

  2. I’m so glad you wrote this, and reposted it here. This has been our life with Sean for the past 19 months. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that he’s just not a “good” sleeper, and regardless of what our society believes, I can’t force him into being one. So we still nurse at night, although I am trying to ease out of that. And he still comes into bed with us when I’m too tired to settle him back into his crib again. And to be completely honest, at 3 am when I’m awake with him again after only having had broken sleep all night, I’m not happy about this in the least. But when I wake up like I did this morning, and Sean’s stretched out beside me, sleeping peacefully, and I’m able to spend some time watching him sleep…I’m grateful for these moments. I know the day will come, far too soon, when he’ll be too grown up to even want to curl up in bed with Mom & Dad.

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