It’s inevitable. The question will always come up – always. From strangers to closest friends, they all ask. I never knew one question could cause so many emotions. For about 90% of you this will make you scratch your head and wonder what the heck I’m talking about, the other 10% – this is for you.
“Is he sleeping through the night?”
Yeah that question. We’ve all heard it – heck, I’m sure most of us have asked it one time or another. You know what? It sucks. I hate it.
The thing is, my baby doesn’t sleep through the night. Not even close. The conversation usually goes a little something like this:
“How is he sleeping? Is he sleeping through the night for you yet?” Me—“Umm no, he is still waking quite a bit at night, but I don’t mind” Them — “Oh wow, I could never do that, how are you still functioning…have you tried xyz yet?”
I feel like my success as a mom is solely determined by my answer to this question. Because my kid is a “bad sleeper” I am somehow doing something wrong as a parent. I’m sure some of you have been there too. The thing is, this question tells them nothing about your kid. They have no idea that he was taking independent steps by 8 months, that he is a great eater and loves to try new foods or any number of things.
In the past year of motherhood I’ve learned to own it and just shrug it off. Yep my kid wakes up 3 times per night. Am I tired? You bet. But that’s ok. I am ok with it (which is all that matters since I am the one waking with him). Nothing is broken. Nothing needs to be fixed. In fact, it’s normal and perfectly fine. There is no rule book that says all babies must sleep 12 hours without a peep by a certain age (that’s just pure crazy talk). I’ll be the first to admit that before I became a mom I assumed newborns woke up a lot but after a couple months they just slept like adults, I had no idea it could be more than a year before I got an uninterrupted night of sleep.
I’ve read a handfuls of sleep book, read articles and belong to baby sleep groups on Facebook. We’ve sleep trained using multiple methods. But you know what? None of that matters to your child. They are going to sleep how they want to sleep and we just have to roll with it. I know that he won’t sleep like this forever. It’s a phase, just like everything else and will be over before we know it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I miss those sweet moments of cuddling him in the night when they are gone.
I’m not sure what the obsession with sleeping through the night is or why it is so important for people to know how your child is sleeping. Now when I get asked that question I keep my answer simple and vague, then move onto the next topic. Mamas out there getting the same question – you may not embrace the rough sleep like I do, but answer it in a way that best serves you. Give yourself a break Mama, don’t let the critics get to you and remember, this too shall pass.