The Sleep Deprivation Struggle
Sooooo my son is approaching his 4 month sleep regression. I was hoping he’d skip this, as my daughter went through it too; and I was naively hoping it’d be like “hey you already had a YEAR of bad sleep with your first kid, now you’ve lucked out and have a great sleeper for your second because you paid your dues!” Unfortunately this is not the case. And this means that I am waking up every one to two hours to nurse my son back to sleep.
Now I should address a few things here. 1) before you go out and panic, remember this: just because my kids went through/are going through these sleep regressions does not mean yours will too. Deep breaths in. And out. 2) if your kids ARE going through this, I promise you it does not last forever; when you’re in the thick of it, it feels like there’s no end in sight. But at some point you’ll look back and be like “Hey! We’re getting good chunks of sleep now!” Or “Wow! We all slept through the night last night!” It happens. At some point, it WILL happen. Remember, children are always changing.
3) This one gets its own paragraph because I know there’s a whole lot of opinions about nursing back to sleep, like “they’ll never learn to fall asleep on their own” and “they need to learn to self soothe” and all that. Look, this isn’t my first rodeo. I did exactly this with my daughter when she was going through her sleep regressions (yes that is plural, somehow I kept it all together and survived, haha) and she sleeps through the entire night now. By herself. Without needing me to fall back asleep. Yes occasionally she’ll have a nightmare and want me to lay next to her, but that is actually pretty rare. So in my personal opinion, do I think it’s ok to nurse a baby back to sleep? Yeah! I do. But that’s just it. It worked for me, so that’s what I’ll keep doing. Eventually we will night wean him and sleep will no longer be a distant memory.
So if any of you are the middle of crazy hourly to two hourly wake ups and you’re downing coffee like it’s water, don’t worry. You’re not alone. And this will not last forever. With my first child I remember crying to my husband that we were doomed and would never sleep again. And in writing this I realize how dramatic that sounds, but when you’re in the throes of sleepless nights, everything and nothing makes sense. But that was because it was my first kid, and I had no reference to go off of, I didn’t know what to expect. But she got older, and needed me less and less at night; and is now able to sleep the whole night. And as my friend and I were recently discussing our lack of sleep; I’ll leave you with this: the first year is tough. There’s just no getting around it. But it gets better! And remember, you are one tough mama and you’ve got this! Nothing lasts forever. And when you wake up and see their sweet smiling face, you are reminded that you have a brand new day in front of you.