Well meaning and kind strangers strike up conversations with me quite often when I’m out with my 9 month old baby. Which is great, I like talking to people. But it seems like I get one question more than anything else, “Is she sleeping all night for you?”
Unless I’m looking at someone who looks like she’s at the same stage of parenting as I am, pushing a stroller with a little one, I try to avoid the topic of sleep. I smile and just say, “she’s a great baby!” Which she is, she is a great baby, she just wakes up at night.
I’m done with sleep drama and obsessing about sleep. I’ve been there. With my first I read somewhere that babies can sleep through the night at six weeks. Luckily for him he complied and started sleeping at seven weeks old. I was spoiled. I was spoiled and thought I did everything right and was a sleep expert. I would happily and probably obnoxiously give sleep advice and tell people how *I* did it.
When my second came along he didn’t sleep through the night. I was so confused. I did everything the same. I had my sleep routine, a perfectly timed nap schedule, blasted the white noise, I swaddled and shushed and rocked. I researched and read and researched and read some more determined to fix what was wrong. I tried everything and was emotionally exhausted from caring and worrying about sleep. And then suddenly he was 15 months old and sleeping all night and it was like the sleep issues never happened.
So with my third, I just started going with the flow. If he woke up, I trudged into the nursery and nursed him to sleep. It was the path of least resistance. I decided it was okay and it became okay. It lasted until he was around a year and then suddenly he too was sleeping all night.
My 9 month old is my fourth and final baby. And she wakes up at night. Right now she’ll usually stir around midnight and then again at 3:00 am or 5:30 am. I can basically sleepwalk into her room, scoop her up, snuggle her and nurse her for five minutes. I put her back in her crib, shuffle back and fall into bed.
Many mornings I’ll wake up and I’m not even completely sure how many times she woke up. It’s just another part of my day. She naps and she’s happy, so I’m happy.
I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me. Maybe it’s just looking at her next to my eight year old. I have no idea how he’s not the little one in the crib crying for me. I swear he was just her size yesterday and now he’s such a big kid. Maybe it’s the fact that she kicks her legs with joy and stops crying as soon as she hears the door creak open. Maybe I’m just too worn down from caring about homework and sports practices and if my kids are making friends or doing well in school to worry about something I know will end with time.
So when people ask me about sleep, I want to tell them all that. That she doesn’t sleep all night, but it’s fine and that it’s just a phase that will be over before I can blink. That sometimes the quiet moments at night are the most peaceful times of my day. That she may not sleep all night, but she’s the best and sweetest baby on earth. That I have heard all the sleep advice in the world and none of it could make me not walk into that room when I hear her cry. It really is fine.
Am I alone in deciding not to worry about sleep?