I'm sharing some thoughts for the mommies so entrenched in sleep concerns, battles and worries. I hope it is encouraging, it is meant to be. I see so many young moms struggling in this area.
Last night I was up twice. At one point I was up for about 30 minutes before I could fall asleep again.
My 14 yr old told me the other day he couldn't sleep at all the night before.
My 20 yr old daughter doesn't fall asleep until very late every night, since she was born.
My 25 yr old son is an early riser, every morning since he was born.
My mother hasn't had a solid 6-8 stretch of sleep in 34 yrs.
I share this because I'm afraid as moms we forget that babies are just little people. And people do not sleep the same way, every night. That's ok.
Think about you. Sometimes your brain is just too busy to fall asleep. Sometimes you're overtired. Sometimes your stomach is rumbling. Sometimes you want a midnight snack or drink. Sometimes you have a headache. Sometimes for no reason at all, you wake up and can't go back to sleep. Sometimes your clothes are itchy, sometimes, there's a sound you can't ignore or sometimes it's too quiet. Sometimes your nose is stuffy, or you have a little ache, sometimes you want a fan, sometimes you're cold. Sometimes you're hot.
Why do you not sleep perfectly? Are you not sleep trained? Of course you are, but you are also human and a hundred things effect us everyday and impact our sleep differently every day.
Babies are exactly the same only they have no way to tell you what it is that is waking them or bothering them. They can only cry for you to come and try to help.
If you have a baby who sleeps great, doesn't sleep great, was sleeping great then stopped sleeping great, it may or may not have anything to do with you. Cut yourself and your baby some slack.
I know sleep training is a thing now, and if it works for you, I encourage you to give it a go. As parents we try out lots of things to find a good fit. But if your baby isn't sleeping great it is NOT your failure. It's just not.
I had never even heard of sleep regression until this board. I suppose it's when a child was sleeping well and then doesn't for a spell? All my kids, my husband and myself experience sleep regression every month. One late movie, one night with pizza too late and it takes me a week or two to get back into a rhythm. Or a vacation, yikes.
What I'm saying is, moms, just relax. It's not you. You are NOT doing something wrong, there isn't anything wrong with your kid and you can't spoil a baby under age 1.
Things go along great until they don't. Then you regroup, try something else and keep going. This is parenting, whatever the issue, it's exactly like this.
I encourage you to give yourself a break on the sleep thing. Give your baby a break, he's just a little person with every single experience I mentioned above on any given day just like you.
You have kids, you knew when you started and you know even more now, sleep is an elusive companion. It will be for awhile but it gets better.
Be careful not to get buried on information overload. Books, techniques, and all of it can be great, I have some I love too. But sometimes we get so focused on the goals and taking in information, we forget to enjoy the journey. And this journey is so brief, so very brief. Don't miss it.
One last thing,
Comparison is the thief of joy.
It doesn't matter how your sister-in-law's baby sleeps. There are 10,000 factors that are completely different than your babies experience and yours. Don't allow yourself to succumb to the comparison game at this or any age with your child. It will rob of you of the joy that you are entitled to in these years.
Take what is useful, leave the rest. You are doing your very best, and that is good enough.