Sleep Isn’t Something All Babies Do
When I was pregnant, I would hear mixed things from other mummas about sleep. Some would tell me that they had their little sleeping through immediately (aka around the twelve-week mark) and others I knew that their little didn’t sleep and they were nearing two or three or five. I was certain that my baby would sleep. Why? Because I slept through the night from eight weeks old and my partner, well he slept through since day one. Yep. I was just going to have a baby who slept because we both were sleepers.
Oh. How wrong I was.
I still remember the midwife coming in on day four (yes, I was still in hospital) and waking me at around six in the morning and I pretty much rolled over and tried my hardest to ignore her. This is where I have bad Mumma guilt, because said lovely midwife (and she was lovely) had been with my unsettled baby girl since around 2 or 3 in the morning (the details are super foggy because I needed sleep).
She was coming in to inform me that my baby girl had jaundice and was about to be put under the lights. I woke up pretty quickly then.
Let’s fast forward a little. Scarlett (that would be the baby girl) was a great night sleeper. I would get from around 7 pm until around midnight uninterrupted. I was amazed. I knew it. I was a little smug. She continued stretching that out to about 3 am. I was a new mum and loving it!
When I had to return to work when she was three and a half months old and she was sleeping through the night. Here I was thinking I nailed it.
THEN I didn’t think that so much. The supposed four months sleep regression hit at 4.5months. We were up one to two times a night. It was manageable but not a whole lot of fun. Because I was now back to working full time and dealing with twenty two-three-year-olds for eight hours every day. Fun was not a word I was thinking.
By 6 months she was up every three hours. I almost had a newborn back. Believe me, I was not feeling clucky at all. By eight months it was every couple of hours, sometimes she would surprise me and sleep for a four-hour stretch. But few and far between. I was like a zombie but a mum. A mumbie. You might notice them down the street, they are there and “awake” but they are dreaming of a whole night of sleep.
It only got worse. At one point she was up every hour. Sometimes she would only manage a sleep cycle of 40-45 minutes before she would wake.
To get through it we did a lot of cosleeping and I am the first to offer this as a piece of advice to new mums who are struggling. It got me through it and I am usually a terrible sleeper (who tosses and turns) but I didn’t when she was with me. I actually find that even now when she sleeps with me we both have a better nights sleep.
Scarlett is almost 3.5 years old. She has been sleeping through for roughly eighteen-ish months. I say ‘ish’ because there have still been nights where I have to climb into bed with her and sleep alongside her (I perfected the ability to climb in and out of her cot when she was younger but made sure to upgrade to a king single so we fit perfectly beside each other).
So, what am I getting at? Every baby is different and their needs are different. My daughter loves being near someone of a night and was a terrible sleeper. Other children are great sleepers and hate cosleeping. Find what works for you and do it.