So, is she sleeping through the night yet?
That is not my favourite question! Especially since most well-intentioned askers aren’t aware that the technical definition of sleeping through the night for a baby is a five hour long stretch and really want to know if she is sleeping all night long. My daughter is five and a half months old. She doesn’t “sleep through the night” by anyone’s definition. Waking up 3, 4 sometimes 5 times a night can be a little wearing. It can also lead to a trip to the library and the mountain of baby sleep books on my coffee table. There must be a solution to this “problem”!
Of the books I borrowed, only two offered me any real insight into my problem; Nighttime Parenting by Dr. William Sears and The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. My problem isn’t that I have a baby that wakes up during the night. My problem is that I had lost perspective. I don’t think there is any one label or style of parenting that describes me, but a majority of attachment parenting philosophies certainly feel right. I needed to be reminded that being a parent is a 24 hour a day job.
Breastfeeding my daughter is my favourite part of this new motherhood thing. I need to keep perspective about these night feedings. They are all mine. It’s just me and my baby. There is nothing like watching her curl up, close her eyes and drink. She gently caresses my face and chest with her drowsy hand and I have the privilege of helping her drift back to sleep. I am lucky that our wakings are peaceful and calm most nights. Sure, I am gently working on teaching my daughter to “sleep through the night”, but, until she can, I will be there for her.
It wasn’t quite an epiphany, but gaining this perspective has lifted a weight off my shoulders. Now, here’s a post by Nurshable I wish I was eloquent enough to have written myself! It captures exactly how I feel about this whole sleep training business.