Babies don’t ‘sleep like a baby’

That saying ‘slept like a baby’… I’m calling B.S.
Who came up with that? Babies don’t sleep well. They sleep a lot yes, but not well.

(And to prove my point… here is a picture of Ivy playing in her cot while she was meant to be napping)

I’m going to contradict myself a little here but IVY IS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!
Ah, massive sigh of relief! It’s only taken us 18 months to get here and she’s technically not a ‘baby’ anymore but rather a ‘toddler’, so I guess my title still stands true πŸ™‚

For any expecting parent who has been told the first couple of months are hard but not to worry because they should start sleeping through the night after that. Please, do not listen to them. (And if you’re one of those people who had a baby like that… please stop telling everyone else!) I listened, and for a long period of time that advice made me feel like a failure and made me feel angry/resentful towards my baby who didn’t just not sleep through but slept terribly!
Everyone complains about being so tired and having ‘bad nights’ but go on to pretend their kid sleeps through, for what ever reason? Probably the whole, my kid is better than your kid thing…
It wasn’t until Ivy was around 6 months old that I had a conversation with a fellow mother who went on to tell me how her son (of a similar age) didn’t sleep through the night. All of a sudden I didn’t feel so crap anymore and knew I wasn’t alone. After just that one conversation, I started admitting to others that Ivy didn’t sleep through and once I started, mostly all of my other mummy friends agreed that their child didn’t either… What’s with the secrecy???

Given that so many had told me this little piece of ‘advice’ but yet at 3 months Ivy still was not sleeping through, I resorted to trying out some different ‘sleep training’ techniques. All of which made both myself and Ivy much more upset, even more tired and even more cranky! <<< this topic could be a whole other post in itself so I’ll try to be brief here…
I hated it. Everyone kept telling me different thing I should be trying because she ‘should’ be sleeping through by now. Which I later on found out is not true, especially for an exclusively breastfed baby. They typically don’t sleep through for a long while. It was a few months of torture for our whole family and I regret ever doing any of it. Now all babies are different and sometimes these things work, but I beg you not to try any type of sleep training or technique unless you are 100% comfortable with it. Don’t give in to the pressure of family or friends who tell you that you need to. Some babies like and need more cuddles than others, and thats more than okay! Enjoy it because I hear it doesn’t last forever.

It wasn’t until I gave up the idea of a good night sleep and decided to just roll with it, (knowing EVENTUALLY, in the probably far distant future, she would sleep through) that I started to make the nights work, relaxed into it and got used to waking up a few times each night. My body adjusted, because I wasn’t fighting it anymore. Ivy was happier because we weren’t constantly trying all these stupid ‘sleep training’ methods and we were happier.

I am simply writing this post to give future parents the heads up and to tell all the other parents who have a horrible sleeping child, you are not alone! One day it will get better and one day you will get sleep πŸ™‚


8 thoughts on “Babies don’t ‘sleep like a baby’

  1. The saying should be slept like a daddy, because men can sleep through anything!

    We had a good sleeper with number one but good to suit our lifestyle. She was never in bed before midnight but neither were we and then we all slept in. That only works in a house with a late shift worker because normal work hours and night owls are not a nice mix. And we co slept from 5 months. Oops…

  2. love it. another mama who finally gets it! Every time I write about my little one’s lack of sleep and the struggles with getting to where he would consistently sleep through (14 months) I feel more judgement and get more “advice”. Mama’s need to learn to trust themselves and their kiddo’s…every kid is different and they don’t sleep the same. thanks for making me feel sane!

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