Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dear baby, please sleep!

You cannot hear it enough: EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT. You "should" not compare your baby to those of your friends or other children, but it is really really hard not to. Enough said, let me compare my kids: all three were different sleepers and this third one is the worst!
Baby #3 is asleep at Oma's house.

Are you familiar with co-sleeping (bed-sharing or room-sharing)? For those of you who set up a cute nursery and never even knew the benefits of being in the same room as your baby, read this article by James McKenna Ph.D.,
Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone.

Did you read that sleep book that I recommended in Parenting School 101The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy. You had better because you will need it now and for the next years! It is best to start the techniques while your baby is only a couple of weeks old so your baby gets used to it and doesn't have to transition later. Clearly, Attachment Parenting's method of bed-sharing did not work for us for long! Room-sharing has worked very well (another form of co-sleeping).

There seem to be a few different thoughts that moms have on sleep:
  1. I'm a bed-sharer and it works for us now. Okay. Co-sleeping is hailed by the attachment parenting community and certainly has benefits to children. I keep my kids in a crib next to our bed after the newborn stage so they are still close enough to hear me but not smelling my milk and wanting an all night buffet. If bedsharing would not make my babies want to nurse all night I would have possibly done it longer.
  2. I'm a bed-sharer and we are going to stick to this even if at least one person does not get a good night's rest. This is where lots of moms are and it just doesn't make sense to me to knowingly make someone miserable. The baby needs longer spans for mental development and you need it to function better.
  3. I've read a few sleep books and tried one or two things they mention and the books just don't work for my baby. Of course not. You have to follow the book 100%. Seriously!
  4. What? I can get a long stretch at night from a breastfed baby?   Yep, don't you wish that you knew how to do that sooner!
  5. I need consecutive nighttime sleep so I make it happen. That's me when grandma visits and I can cater to my baby rather than the older kids.

I have read and re-read my sleep book and find it to be my sleep bible. There are different chapters for the different developmental stages.  My book worked great for my first two kids. This #3 is tougher because we could not (until recently) cater our days around her naps so she was overtired and not sleeping well at night. Then she started teething and whew now we are back at 2-3 wakings a night. Wish me luck tonight as we get back into our groove!


  1. What you suggest in your post is exactly the opposite of what I have always believed. You know, get the baby independent as quickly as possible. I am wondering now if that was a mistake? Every child is different of course, and my kids are beyond that stage so we'll see.

    1. I am sure that you made the best decisions for your situation. Yes kids are different and situations are different. If you have another baby, do read Dr. James McKenna's article linked above and some information on Attachment Parenting to learn the benefits of having a new baby close to you.

  2. for newborn baby sleeping well is very important...thanks for sharing this is very helpful...

    Pregnancy Care

  3. Very interesting, but did know that there is a natural product that broke the myth of sleepless nights with babies especially newborns, it is called Babies Magic Tea, I tried it on my twins and they were sleeping through the night since they were 7 days old