Babies & sleep. The least funny joke.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Sleep and babies!  Like oil and water!  Yes!  That is what this post is about.  Sleep and babies is such a mystery to me.  Wait.  Stop.  It's a mystery to us all, is it not?  Tell me you're the person who's got it figured out and I will call you a liar.  Or a bitch.  No, both.

My Mom told me I was the only one of her daughters (There are four of us, but you probably know that by now.) who just started sleeping through the night.  What?  Slap her.  I just started sleeping through the night?  Is that even a thing?  No sleep training, no crying it out, I just slept through the night.  Around four months old.  I'd give my four-month old self a fist-pump on the daily if I could.

There should be some sort of rule that you get what you gave.  You slept through the night at four months old, no questions asked, no whining and crying and gnashing of teeth.  Then your baby will do the same.  You were a total pissant of a teenager.  Then so will your teenagers be.  You were awesome?  Your kids will be awesome.  But there is no justice in this terrible world and the sweetest of people can still end up with the most horrible of teenagers.  It's a big cosmic joke.  The least funny joke.  The universe is poking us in the ribs all the time suggesting we laugh with it.  Out of my face, universe.

Back to sleep and babies.  I've suggested here and on Twitter that Parker nurse a little less at night.  Just a hint, really.  He laughs at me.  With a wave of his chubby little wrist, he tells me, "Mom, don't worry about scrambling up those eggs for my dinner.  It's almost bed-time.  The hours are upon us where I have open bar on your boobs.  There, there.  Don't trouble yourself.  Put down the spatula."  He's so polite.

I know there are a lot of theories on sleep and babies.  Books upon books.  My child will never learn how to sleep well on his own.  My cosleeping child will be more well-adjusted than your child who didn't cosleep.  Your sleeping-through-the-night child will be smarter than mine.  My child will be in my room until he's ten and nursing until he's fifteen.  Your child will be a brain surgeon and mine will be a gas station attendant.  My child will never be independent.  Your child will never be independent.  Your child will not form the Oedipus complex that mine inevitably will and thus not try to kill your husband in his sleep.

I made most of them up.

But here's what I'll say: to each his own.  I mean really.  To each his own!

And for now, we're just doing our thing.  (And occasionally being a little jealous of you fine folks whose babies slumber peacefully without waking for a drive-thru stop... or two, or three... at the 'ol milk bar.)

This post really declared nothing beyond the fact that babies and sleep are a mystery to me.  We're right back where we started.

58 comments:

  1. I don't have babies of my own {yet} but this post made me laugh the entire time :) Have a great day

    xoxo andrea
    www.yesterdaystomorrowblog.com

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  2. I loved this post, and its so so true.
    Babies and sleep. What a MYSTERY!
    Just keep doing your thing :) It all works out in the end.
    We co-slept and all three of my little ones are perfectly well adjusted and independent. And still end up in bed with us half the time.

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  3. Sleep training & colic have been the most hard part of parenting so far for me. But where colic lasted months - the initial sleep training only lasted a few days.

    To each their own is the best way to look at sleep and babies because every family and child is so different than the next.

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  4. Funniest post ever! I'm right there with you, I have an 11 month old who wakes up sometimes 3 times a night, but just last night she gave me 6 hours of sleep.

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  5. and the least funny part, that they never really sleep thru the night everynight. case in point: last night both my boys were up for 1.5 hours. at this point i'm counting my blessings that they were both up instead of taking turns and making it 3 hours!

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  6. this made me laugh so much and soon the mystery of babies and sleep will be perplexing me too :)

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  7. think i LOLed at the last big paragraph the most. because im pretty sure people do say all of those things. for sure.

    my mom says i slept through the night. that i was the bomb sleeper. the only time i didnt sleep was when her boobs dryed up and she didnt know and i was starved for like 2 weeks. *first child here*

    my brother did not sleep through the night. ever. he didnt nap either. he would MAYBE nap for 15 minutes ONLY if he was in his swing.

    we are both equally as smart (i might be smarter) and equally as gifted and talented (he is a bit more talented) and we are both extremely attractive. so. i agree with their to each their own statement.

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  8. @lady lee, sleep is up there for me too! but sometimes it's just freeing when i just put dowwwwn the books though, ya know? (though, admittedly, i have a few on my shelves here!)

    @sgunns, 6 hrs straight! go baby go!

    @nessa, at the same time... now THAT was nice of them!

    @megan, hahahahaha. LOL'd. also, shane and no napping... your poor mother.

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  9. all i can say is thank you for writing this!!!!! I have a 5 week old newborn and I am so done reading up on everyone's different theories of sleep...I have thrown schedules to the wind...I am just going with what feels right for our family! :) So glad I'm not alone!!

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  10. @charissa steyn, honestly that is seriously some of the best advice you can get... just forget the theories and books and just do your thing. the pressure of what everyone elses kid is or is not doing is too much sometimes! gotta do what feels right for YOU and YOUR baby. also, congrats on your new baby!!! 5 week old, eee!!

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  11. Haha I love Parker's politeness. I'm all for mamas doing what they want/need to do with their babies. That baby was made for YOU, so you are the best person to decide what they need!

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  12. I'm with Candice - sleep training was hard... but it was hard for like 2 days and then it was amazing. Have you thought about hiring a sleep consultant. I know it's so hard with all of the conflicting books out there... for us the sleep consultant just helped us pick a method and stick to it and it has changed our lives i kid you not.

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  13. I feel a little better knowing I am not the only one up all hours of the night!(only slightly) I always say that I am just an all you can eat buffet.

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  14. @ashley, i have friends that did that and were happy with the results (read: baby sleeping through the night!) but i can't say i am there... i'm mostly well-rested and ok with him still nursing at night. who knows what the future will hold though!!

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  15. Oh man... I was that awesome child. I just slept through the night. But I was also that pissy teenager so... knowing me I would take the sleepless child over that. Well, maybe not. Heck, I'm not a mother so I feel like I have no opinion on the matter.

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  16. I think I am totally just waiting for the day when Tate will just sleep through the night on his own. But since I climbed into my parents bed until I was 8(!) I am not holding my breath.

    We have transitioned Tate to sleeping on his crib mattress on the floor in our bedroom for most of the night. Sometimes I go lay next to him and nurse him and go back to bed when I wake up on the floor :). I convince myself that this is somehow better than having him in the bed. I do think it cut down on the "I'm going to nurse because you are next to me" mentality. But I am not sure I am getting much more sleep. I can sleep sprawled out on my stomach though, so there's that.

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  17. @dancing branflake, hey everyone gets an opinion! and YES. as someone who has experienced both a pissy teenager and a sleepless baby... i will take the baby every day over the teen!

    @madeline, hahaha. i know what you mean. i've done things like that too. i'm also waiting for the day when parker just does it! my pediatrician said if you don't 'train' then it will probably come around the age of two... WE WILL SEE.

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  18. Gahhhh my 2.5 month old got me all tricked by sleeping for 6-7 hours for two weeks. And then once I had told all my friends about how he was "totally sleeping through the night isn't he a gooooood babyyyyyyy " he woke up every two hours for two weeks. So there you go, it is a mystery to me, too.

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  19. you go, girl. it sounds like you have a solid place to land in trusting your instincts ... which is, i feel, especially tricky for a first-time mother of an infant (meaning you were a mother before Parker, but not to an infant). and that solid place can hold you through the ups and downs of all the differing perspectives of books, friends, family and different nights with Parker too.

    i had a few friends who were positively evangelical about crying-it-out. i went against my own instinct and tried it, because i didn't necessarily want to dismiss something that could work. i was willing to be surprised. (and have a sleeping baby -- bonus!) :) it was probably a good thing that i tried it, because doing so made me realize it wasn't the way i wanted to go.

    all that to say -- i totally agree with you that there are different strokes for different folks, as my grandaddy used to say. what's key is that you've chosen the way you want to go, trusted yourself (and Parker and Steve) and are comfy with it, and that's big. cheers!

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  20. I just wrote a post about giving baby advice. That is, I will never do it. Sure, my baby was a good sleeper. But I'm pregnant right now and if I go around telling people how its done the universe is going to bitch slap me with the worst sleeper ever this time. So I count my blessings, I know it wasn't me who did anything special. And if I can get this to happen with four or five babies then MAYBE I will tell someone, but probably not even then.

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  21. I couldn't agree more - all babies, children and parents are different!! We have been blessed with a little girl who likes to sleep (hard work at times) but mostly plain sailing but that doesn't mean she will always be like this or that her siblings will be the same one day...

    We just have to take it all in our stride and enjoy every day and every moment with the little miracles that they are (and huge glasses of wine for the days that they aren't!!)
    x

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  22. when you are ready then you will make it happen. I don't nurse still but my 2.5 year old is still in my bed. He has a nice fancy crib that we converted into a toddler bed and he never gets in there to sleep. He will sit on it to watch a show or play with his toys. But sleep is for momma's bed only. He still has moments when he will wake up during the night too. It is ridiculous. But it is what it is.

    My oldest daughter slept with me until she was 3. My other son NEVER wanted anything to do with my bed. And they are both excellent sleepers now at age 13 and 12. LOL! All that to say, there is hope!!

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  23. It's good to be as calm as possible about these sort of things and grateful that you don't have to drive a truck or do brain surgery the next day! My daughter was about 5 years old before she started sleeping through the night (sorry for the bad news) and would have nursed for years had I let her. But here's the good thing: She is 25, my best friend, a medical student, about to be married to a wonderful, smart, kind young man. Somehow most everyone learns to sleep through the night, use a toilet, talk, read...and it all goes by in a wink of an eye.

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  24. This post is so timely! My 10 month old girl sleeps with us. I LOVE her tiny body next to mine. What I don't love, 10 months later, is her waking up 5 (yep FIVE) times for the milk bar. I have wondered so many times if we should change things. Am I causing a "bad habit"? (in a 10 month old? doubt it.) Would she sleep better alone? (tried it. nope.) Will she start loving me more than her daddy after all this attachment? (nope. Daddy's girl-mama's broken heart.) Will she nurse between classes in middle school? (we all know the answer here, folks.) There are some days I am totally fine and other days I'm exhausted. Sometimes she sleeps for 3 hours, sometimes 1.5. It's a crap shoot. CRAP. Thanks, universe.

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  25. @jennifer, i have definitely gone the way of, "help me! how do i do this!" before (and grabbing all the books i could on sleep and babies) but for the most part, i've thrown my hands up in the air and i feel better that way!

    @alice, glad to know that it eventually will happen!

    @linda, thank you for this comment!!! i nearly teared up! it all comes full circle doesn't it? and the wink of an eye... that is so true. that's why a part of me is not ready to stop the nursing/cosleeping bit because it just means he's growing up!

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  26. @terri, crap shoot indeed! right there with ya, girl. :)

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  27. When we first moved to Chicago I met a friend that had 3 children, one of whom was a baby just a few months younger than Nolan and shortly after the "my name is Ashlee, nice to meet you" introduction, she said to me,

    "I am so happy to meet you. I do not talk about my baby's sleeping, eating, or growing habits."

    I was totally taken back so I said, "okay, why?"

    And she said, (I'm paraphrasing)

    "because if my baby sleeps through the night and yours doesn't, you'll think you're a bad mom, and if your baby walks before mine does, I'll think I'm a bad mom, so if we just don't talk about it then we can both be the best mom we can be for our children without judging each other".

    It was such a good lesson to me! I had to stop judging what other people were doing and realize what works for us is what works for us, and I say if Parker sleeps in your bed til he's 10 and nurses til he's 15, then GO PARKER!! :)

    Loved this post. You rock.

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  28. So true! Some days I think I have it figured out that I should just "go with the flow" and then other days I'm all "for the love, child, just sleep through the night!" It is truly a mystery!

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  29. just wanted to say, i feel your pain. my 9 month old is up at least 2 times a night to hit the milk maid (me). I tried to do 'night weaning' where you minimize the time they spend on the boob until you're down to a minute and then you cross your fingers and hope they sleep through it. But if you're Scarlett, then you just ignore all of that and climb mommy like a tree each time she comes into the room. Also, the crying thing doesn't work well for us, she just keeps crying if she's hungry.

    here's to hoping our children figure this sleep thing out soon. i mean, baby dreams should be filled with boob milk waterfalls, who wouldn't want to sleep??

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  30. love this. you are hysterical. i'm all for trusting your gut and doing what feels right... even though i occasionally freak out and think i'm ruining my kids forever. meredith didn't sleep through the night until she was weaned. for both us, i think we just got ready. we'll see what this little guy does, but he seems to be a snacking allllll through the night type :)

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  31. AMEN! Mine slept through the night as an infant and then stopped as a toddler. Now, most night we have a giant 2-year old wedged between us. But then I decided, MEH, who cares? Although baby 2 is coming in 3 months and I know, I just KNOW it's going to be a circus at 2am in our room. I'll give you a ring.

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  32. I really never comment, lurker, but I have said these same things so many times on my own blog and just in life. I was just a good sleeper as a baby, the only one of the 4 girls, and hoped my babies would be the same. My daughter is now 3 and she has always woken at night. She'll sleep in her room until she needs me and then come to our bed. She nursed for 26 months. We have a 2 month old now and he is much better than she ever was although I know that things can change quickly. I still have hope that he will be my sleeping mini me :)

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  33. Love your blog and hearing that someone else is going through the same things as I am. My 19 month old still nurses through the night and co-sleeps with us off and on. Some days I love it and others I put up with it. I can't do the cry it out at all but I know that one day she will sleep through the night all on her own. When that day comes (and she does it on a regular basis) I will be throwing a party!

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  34. Love your blog and hearing that someone else is going through the same things as I am. My 19 month old still nurses through the night and co-sleeps with us off and on. Some days I love it and others I put up with it. I can't do the cry it out at all but I know that one day she will sleep through the night all on her own. When that day comes (and she does it on a regular basis) I will be throwing a party!

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  35. I thought I had it all figured out. We did some light sleep training with my 1st around 3 months and he was an awesome sleeper after. He started sleeping through the night at 8 months, on his own, and never looked back. I was all patting myself on the back, thinking I had this all figured out. Then I had another baby. She actually slept pretty good in the beginning but it got worse, then really bad. We finally moved to a bigger house and she got her own room and started sleeping a lot better. She still likes to wake up once a night to eat though (at 1). I'm not longer patting myself on the back though. ; )

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  36. Our four year old co-slept with us until he was about one year old and still does not sleep through the night, he regularly ends up kicking us in the guts at least four times a week.

    The baby would have nothing to do with co-sleeping, and has not woke up once since she was four months old, she will be one this Sunday.

    I'm not stating a case for either, I am still sad that baby would not co-sleep, if she would have and ended up having the same sleep patterns as her big brother I would have been just fine with that.

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  37. Ain't that the truth! My mom claims we slept all night and were rarely fussy. I was also formula fed while my siblings were all breast fed. I'm definitely the most interesting of the bunch and while the others are possibly smarter, I'm way more creative and street smart. So there! :)

    You know, it really is a total crap shoot what kind of child you are going to get. One might sleep like a trooper but be a total brat when he gets older. The babe that cries for hours on end might turn out to be the sweetest thing in the world.

    After reading and rejecting every child rearing/sleep training book out there, I just went by instinct and that has carried me much further than anything else. Just enjoy that nursing while you can! I miss it more than anything. xo

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  38. Bridget. It will come. Oh, it will come, I promise. Our daughter slept in our bed full-time for a year, then moved to her own bed/room (for the first stretch at night) with no tears or complaints and now, at 19 months, is sleeping through the night more often than not. Last night 11 hours straight! And she is not what I would call "a sleeper". Really, it will come.

    http://your-fonder-heart.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-winding-road-to-weaning.html?m=1

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  39. Here's one I definitely CAN'T help you with...wrote the mother with 3 babies whose last didn't sleep through until 18 months. 18 months Bridget. 1-8 m-o-n-t-h-s. Oy.

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  40. I had four babies. None of them slept through the night until they were weaned. So....hang in there.

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  41. totally agree every baby is different. you just have to do what you are comfortable with and what's best for your family. i obsessed over my son not sleeping through the night and finally just gave up. it was such a relief. i occasionally tried to refuse the night feedings and he would get hysterical. finally just before 2 he understood when i said "not until the sun comes up. when it's light out" and would go back to sleep with minor whimpering. he didn't completely stop waking up until i was done breastfeeding. a friend gave me the best advice "it's only a season. enjoy how much he needs you now because this stage will pass by too quickly." but let me tell you, after 2 years of broken sleep, sleeping through the night makes you feel like a new woman! hang in there!

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  42. I'm so over the books too. I can't believe I spent so much time with them, for what! I know my child and myself. If I were them, I would publish a book of completely blank pages except for the first page, which would say: you are your child's best parent.

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  43. I love this post. I cosleep. My daughter is 20 months. She has slept through the night maybe 10 times in her whole life. I have given up. I think people who say their babies sleep through the night are lying. Or turning off the baby monitor. Just kidding (maybe).

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  44. @rachael, THAT BOOK MUST BE PUBLISHED. seriously, my best advice to new parents: SKIP THE BOOKS. ALL OF THEM.

    @emily, i've wondered whether they're lying too!

    @kezzie, yeah, i think i will attempt it when he can really understand! and you are right... it's a season and such a sweet one that i'm really not entirely ready to let go.

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  45. hahah! Same here. My 13 month old is quite the night-dairy fan. Ugh. But hey, I know I will miss it some day... so I persevere, and shower less. ;)
    -barbara

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  46. Geeze I feel like I could have written this myself! I absolutely loved it, if you figure out how to get a 14 month old to sleep through the night (and in his own bed)please share:)

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  47. well...you know how i feel about this. but i will say that i tried letting svea cry for 5 minutes one time and grant stood by her door and told me that she was crying because she thought we'd abandoned her. so... CIO is clearly not the path for us. she is sleeping in her crib through the night though with one feeding at 5am. i'll take it. and i won't complain.

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  48. I'm expecting my second and am literally terrified. We don't cosleep but my daughter slept through the night consistently from eight weeks on. Seriously, we have had maybe a dozen nights that she has woken up since the and always due to illness or teething. Which means this second little girl is not going to sleep through the night until she's like 12, right? Because who gets lucky twice?

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  50. If I were to write a book on parenting it would be called "It's a Mystery" and all the pages would be empty. You're a fabulous mom Bridget.

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  51. And now that I've read the previous comments, I see my book wouldn't sell because Rachael's would've already taken the market by storm!

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  52. i know what is to come. the sleepless nights! i love my sleep, so this is gonna be a toughie. but i literally wanna punch people in the face who say ... oh get ready to enter the tired years - and they last 30 years // get all the sleep you can now (i'm pretty sure you can't stock pile it) // andddddd pretty much every sleep deprived comment ever. i just wanna live in denial for a bit longer. ha.

    and i'm so with you on doing your own thing. do what works.

    and i lol-ed at the open bar on boobs comment!

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  53. With no sleep-training, all 4 of my kids started sleeping 12 hour stretches at night when I weaned them, and not a moment sooner!

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  54. I have been reading your blog for a while now but this is my first comment...I was just browsing thru actually looking for Parker's red moccasins because I love them. Anyway, this post struck a cord with me. I have a 9 month old who still does not sleep through the night. It seams like everyone I cross paths with and mention this to, throws so many sleep training ideas in my face. CIO, rice in milk, formula, bottle for bed, bigger bottle for bed, etc. I even had someone suggest me leaving my baby with them for a night to sleep train! Craziness. I happily(though extremely tiredly) wake up however many times it takes each night to nurse my baby.

    Thanks for this post. I loved it.

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    1. hi elena!! parker's red moccs are from freshly picked! and seriously, i can't reiterate this post enough -- forget the books and the advice, do what works for you!! wishing you lots of luck!

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  55. How's the swamps? From the pictures you look rather dark! I'm like hot damn! She black! I miss you, men. :( I haven't had a good laugh in a while... & those are beneficial to my survival! The day after you left I woke up & I was about to call you.. to tell you come over.. but I remembered you left me.. *sigh* oh, I had a dream about Joshua.& Cole..*awkward silence*.[can't say the details via internet] ;) I've been talking to my host family and what not. They love me.. already.. I think. I was talking to someone about you. & they said: When she comes back maybe she can make better rice now.. & they miss you as well. I don't know the exact date of when I leave but I hope its after you come back! So I can see you in real life again.. before my journey.. *sobs* Please be safe out there, young grasshopper. I LOVE YOU MAN! *sends virtual hug* Oh, it’s a girl going to the same place as I am.. & she asked me to teach her English.. but she’s from a Spanish speaking country!

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  56. very cute baby i like this baby picture.
    http://funnypicarchive.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/funny-pictures-to-relieve-stress/

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