Now listen, I really don’t have anything to tell you about baby sleep except what worked for us.
Which is to say, NOTHING.
You cannot make your baby sleep. No matter how thick your blackout shades are or how long you let them cry it out or how many dream feeds you do or anything. None of that works. Are you hearing me, new mom? You can’t make them sleep.
And then once they do somehow fall asleep, the next day is a whole new ballgame. They are teething, or overtired, or not tired enough, or they ate too much or too little or they are going through a growth spurt or a mental leap or they are busting out of their swaddle or they aren’t swaddled tight enough.
In the end, babies are tiny mental patients. They do whatever they want. And never when you want them to do it, and for no good reason at all. They are adorable, tiny, psycho maniacs.
I get furious when I read something or hear someone tell some unsuspecting new mom that they need to do XX and then their babies will sleep! Aunties around the world telling these new moms that their baby needs rice cereal and then they will have a full tummy and then they will sleep through the night.
My biggest issue with all of this boils down to one major thing : You are not in control. There are going to be a million things that affect your baby that you cannot do one damn thing about.
But you know what that means? It means FREEDOM. It means you can stop putting so much pressure on yourself to do the perfect thing. There is no perfect thing. Besides love. And knowledge.
I will say that I truly appreciated knowledge from the following sources, that helped me both understand baby sleep, and also to laugh it off when none of that made a dang difference. Charlotte and I had a rough go of sleep for the first few months. I was obsessive about trying to figure out how to get her to nap longer. She slept great at night, but she went through MONTHS where she would only nap for 20 minutes at a time. Ultimately, I think the issue was that I was unable to let her cry it out, and therefore learn to self soothe, because I was dealing with (unaware to myself) pretty crippling postpartum anxiety. My daughter came out of the womb with her eyes wide open. She has always been super alert and spirited, which makes winding down a challenge. She’s a year and half now and she STILL cries before going to bed. Granted, it’s a very short cry nowadays, but back in the day it was rough going. Here are the resources that helped me through this time, just by learning to understand what was going on in that tiny maniac’s brain and body.
The Happiest Baby on The Block (I think every new parent would benefit from watching this before their baby is born, and watch his video too)
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child – Dr. Weissbluth (I liked that he advocates for plans that put the interest of the whole family first)
Just Babies Being Babies (This is Everything)
The Wonder Weeks (Alerts you to significant neurological leaps – fascinating!! This was always right on the money with sleep regressions)
Troublesome Tots (Bless this woman and her wisdom and for sharing it with the world)
Lastly, you will get through this. We will all sleep again.
For now, there’s ice cream.
This post is in collaboration with some other amazing moms!
Be sure to check out their stories below and leave some love.
ps. Want even more Mom stuff?
Check out My Birth Story Here