When moms get together especially moms with new babies, the question often comes up “Is your baby sleeping through the night?”. Our society puts so much pressure on new parents on the subject of getting your baby to sleep through the night. There are books, blogs, articles, research papers, so many different forms of communication that give you a list of all the things you should do or not do, to get your baby to sleep through the night. At our pediatrician, they even give you an article at the 4 month check up, telling you why your baby should be sleeping through the night at 4 months of age. In my opinion, this is crazy and absurd to be told how your baby should be sleeping at that young of an age, honestly, at any age. Isn’t every child different? How can we put a blanket statement out there about babies sleep habits? Every baby is unique and has different needs, desires etc.
I have come to understand this in a greater way with my second child, Joaquin. I wish I could take all my second baby knowledge and learning’s and pass them on to first baby parents but I am not sure it would help because it is such a learning experience the first time around and such a right of passage to get where I am now as a mother.
The one thing I know for certain is that when it comes to the sleeping habits of any baby or child, it is important to trust and listen to our intuition as mothers. Joaquin is 22 months and just started sleeping through the night about a month ago. Prior to that, he would wake up often. At first it was to nurse, then he stopped nursing, then it was just for comfort. I was told by so many different people that I had to “break” Joaquin of his bad sleeping habits and that he would never learn to sleep through the night, unless I trained him to sleep. I have never believed that to be true for any baby. Do not get me wrong, waking up every couple hours at night was at times, brutal. Of course, I was tired but I knew my son needed me and needed to be comforted. He would wake up crying and all he would need was me to pick up him, hug him and lay him back down and he would go back to sleep. The older he was getting, the less he would wake until one night, he slept through the night and then a few more nights and a few more. I can happily say that for the majority of the time, he sleeps all night. I am proud of myself for trusting my intuition and not giving in to the immense pressure to get Joaquin to sleep through the night. I knew that he was a sensitive soul and needed extra support and love which provided him security to eventually be able to sleep on his own.
Trust me, it was a long and bumpy road and at times, I struggled with what to do but I held true to my heart and I am now rewarded with a full nights sleep.
Trust yourself as a mother. You will always be given opinions on what you should be doing for your child but remember that only you know what is best for that sweet little girl or little boy.
Follow your intuition.
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