Jack is almost 9 months old and not the best sleeper. He never really has been. He was very colicky from about his 2nd week to his 5th week. I mean, he cried non-stop, all-day, every day. Until he was about 14 weeks old I couldn’t put him down without a screaming fit. (Upside, I’m now a pro at baby wearing!) He slept okay at night until he was 4 months old, but naptimes have always been a struggle. One day when he was 2 weeks old he was awake for 15 hours straight. I’m not even kidding…. He has just always been very interested in observing everything around him, and I totally believe he has some major FOMO (fear of missing out) issues.
I tried every sleep method I could find because I refused to let him cry for very long (he screamed in the car every. single. car ride. until he was almost 6 months old and I couldn’t listen to him cry at night too!) We finally had to adopt the “cry it out” method a few months ago when he refused to fall asleep at night his usual way (rocking), and when we realized that he was waking up to 8 (count ’em 8!) times at night. Everything I had read and everything everyone had told me said to stick it out for 3 nights/days (we also trained him for naps at the same time) and that by the 4th night he would stop fighting sleep and fall asleep without crying. Most things I read said their baby usually fell asleep after 20 or 30 minutes of crying. Well I’m not one to boast, but I think my little dude must have some major crying endurance because the longest he’s gone was more than twice that (don’t worry, I was constantly checking on him) and he would still cry every night if I let him.
But I’ve decided I don’t want to. I’ve had enough of the crying. He is currently letting me rock him to sleep and after a few tries of setting him down, he usually sleeps 8 hours, wakes up around 5:00 am to nurse and then sleeps a couple more hours (and I’m not complainin’). Naps are still a struggle; I usually get one good nap in the morning 45 min.- 1 hr. and if I’m lucky a 20- 30 min. nap in the afternoon. He’s usually exhausted by bedtime but is a very happy, active boy most of the day .
I’ve decided to give up on the idea of having a good sleeper or getting anything done during the day. I’m lucky enough to get to stay home with my son every day and I plan to savor every minute of it. I recently read a quote that I can’t get out of my head and has really changed my perspective on Jack’s sleeping habits. I’ve realized it just means he wants me to hold him and I’m going to do just that until he won’t let me anymore…
Here is the quote:
“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ’till tomorrow. For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep”- Ruth Hamilton
So far, I haven’t learned any secret sleep weapon or great tricks, but I’ve learned to trust my mom instincts and be a little more willing to go with the flow when it comes to Jack’s sleep habits. They are only babies for a short amount of time and I’m going to cherish this time.
On that note, I better go get my little “sleeper” who is currently playing in his bed instead of the aforementioned sleep….