For the past few nights, Squeaker has slept in 5+ hour stretches! Pre-baby, I did not understand how this could possibly be a good thing, but after months of uncomfortable pregnancy sleep and 10 weeks of being in various states of consciousness–I feel like I’ve won the lottery! I have found sleep to be one of the most contentious topics in new mom land. Where does he sleep? Where do I sleep? Where does dad sleep? Is it okay for him to sleep in a chair? Can he sleep swaddled? Is he allowed a blanket? And I felt guilty every time I discussed our sleep habits with friends or the pediatrician. I always felt like I had to justify our choices. The undercurrent of all these conversations was always: is the kid going to die because you did it wrong? It’s a pretty heavy unspoken implication. Seriously though, is my kid going to stop breathing if I do it wrong?!?!
Let’s just say that I think my family has made it through the darkest hours on this front. I’m the first to admit that we might have been doing it wrong. I don’t know. I have, however, forgiven myself for every time he sleeps in some way that “the books” and “the experts” would say is less-than-optimal. Sometimes he sleeps in bed with me. Sometimes he sleeps in his car seat. But lately, he has been sleeping in his crib! This is a BIG deal. He has started to go down in the evenings (usually around 11pm) and sleeping consistently until 9:30 or so. We would feed him at least 3 times in that span. Usually my husband would give him a bottle once and I’d nurse him twice during his “sleep hours.” Lately though, as my husband and I pass each other like ships in the night, blearily passing off key details about poops and ounces of milk, the details have changed. “He hasn’t woken up since we put him down at 11,” or “Just keep sleeping, he hasn’t woken up yet.” Eight weeks ago, this seemed completely unattainable. I am feeling good. It’s 8:00am and I woke up on my own. No cranky baby, no alarm clock. I just woke up.
So, to those of you out there that have done this before–you were right. It does get better. It does get easier. To those of you who are about to do this for the first time–It does get better. It does get easier. Eventually, they drop feedings, and you will sleep again.
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