So, this post is about sleep...
Newborn (0 - 6 weeks): Liam did what I'd say most newborns do: He woke every few hours in the night to nurse. Normal new-mom stuff.
6 weeks -2 months: Baby Liam slept like a dream. He woke once a night to nurse. Other mothers were sincerely jealous of me.
2 months - 5 months: Up every 4-5 hours in the night to nurse. I think teething pains had him waking more often - this kid popped his first tooth at three months!
6 - 9 months: Liam digressed to waking up every 2-3 hours... change of diaper, and nurse... OMG. My body was not used to this.
9+ months : BABY LIAM GETS UP ZERO TIMES PER NIGHT. You heard me right: ZERO TIMES. I know that is probably not the proper way to say that, but it carries with it the most emphasis, so I'm saying it that way.
What brought about this change, you ask? Sleep-training.
Now, with all my pro-breastfeeding and baby-wearing ways, I tend to run with a click of mommas who are very "natural-based" and attachment-parenting-based in their thinking: i.e., baby cries - you answer cries; or, you co-sleep in the same bed as baby (Brady and I were never comfortable with this, nor did we want a baby in our bed).
For a few months now, my husband and I could not shake the feeling that Liam was able to sleep through the night... but I kept repeating the words I'd heard at momma-meetings so many times... "he needs you - answer his cries - babies can't sleep through the night" etc. etc. Now, I am not at all dogging these words of advice. I just couldn't shake this feeling that getting up with my 9-month old was not what he needed.
So, last weekend, I all of a sudden decided I wasn't going to get up anymore. Period.
With the support of my parents and a friend who also sleep-trained her baby (shout-out to Mel! You can read her hilarious momma-blog here: http://www.stlukescrblogs.com/ ) and of course my awesome husband, that night we turned off the baby-monitor and just went to sleep. We woke up to Liam crying at his usual time. We watched him on the monitor for 20 mins. as he moved around his crib, and alternated crying and silence. I reminded myself that he was safe. And then something magical happened: he went back to sleep and didn't wake up again until morning.
Since that first night, Liam has slept the entire night through - for one week so far. I can tell he moves around, but after he wakes, he puts himself back to sleep. :)
Now, everything I read about sleep-training and everything I'd heard from others said that most babies will spend the first night of sleep-training crying for around an hour, and then cry less and less each night (3-5 nights total). It took Liam one night, speaking testament to my Doi! moment that you have to listen to your gut when it comes to your kids. One of my closest friends tried sleep-training with her daughter, only to have her daughter throw-up from crying so hard. Sad faces. :( Sleep-training was not right for them, and that's ok! But it was right for us.
My baby is now happier during the day. He naps better during the day. Even our awesome daycare provider has noticed it. Yippy!
To wrap up this post, here's my Doi! moment:
I was listening to what everyone else had to say about my baby's sleep, and wasn't listening to myself. All children are different. My son needed sleep-training. It was right for him; it was right for us.
When you become a parent, you will begin receiving advice from everyone and their dog about what is best for children (no, Fido, the baby doesn't need your tennis ball...). Screw that. I know people mean well, but my biggest advice? NOTHING. Nothing at all. Listen to your gut about your kid. Period. End of story. Adios and have a pleasant tomorrow. I know I will have a pleasant tomorrow... because I'll be getting a straight eight hours of sleep... PEACE! :)