My baby has been sleeping through the night from 10 days old. He’s now 9 weeks and has settled into a routine of 10 pm to 7 am. This still feels absolutely unreal to me and I feel guilty sharing it because I know most babies don’t sleep through the night from such an early age. How silly that I should feel guilt about this though! It’s nothing I’ve done differently this time and I’ve had babies that took an hour to feed at night and then another hour to settle… and they’d do this multiple times. I’ve had a child that didn’t sleep through till 16 months and another that still woke regularly at 5 years old. I’ve had babies that couldn’t sleep on their back and had to be semi-upright in a bouncer. Still others who only slept when attached to me.
I’ve had people say it’s because I’m more relaxed this time, but I’m not buying that. I am not my kid. My kid is not me. Yes, they can and do feed off our mood and emotions, but he’s his own person and I don’t think I’m so chill as to induce sleep in others like some kind of sleep genie.
And if he doesn’t want to or can’t sleep for whatever reason, he won’t. Never mind me.
I have a friend whose children didn’t sleep well at night for quite some time and she said something that has stuck and that I apply to so very many situations:
It is what it is.
This is such a simple mindset shift but has a powerful impact. I remember being very impressed that she’d been able to get to that point when she was so sleep deprived and it’s been such an enormous help in my parenting journey.
As a society, we are so attached to the idea that sleep is a key indicator of the “goodness” of a child. But it’s so ridiculous! I don’t even sleep through the night. How can we expect a tiny baby to? And if we’re blessed with such a unicorn, how can we expect that to be the norm?
It’s not. And it shouldn’t be. Unless of course it is for your child. And that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? What’s “normal” for my child isn’t necessarily normal for yours.
And that’s not to say we ignore warning signs or neglect to seek help where our instincts guide us to. It’s just a reminder that no two babies (or children) are the same, and milestones are only guidelines. And guidelines are flexible.
Also, for what it’s worth, my baby doesn’t sleep during the day 😅
And for this, I repeat: it is what it is.