This article is for you – New Mom of your first child. There is so much advice and debate about sleep. There is sleep training, “no cry sleep solution” and everything in between.
When my daughter was born, I was faced with an ocean of contradictory information just like a lot of other young new moms. As any other mom, I wanted to do what is best for my baby. I was also very tired and sleep deprived, extremely sensitive (hormones through the roof!) and did I mention tired? My mom had passed a few years prior me having a baby. And because that reliable resource was forever gone I turned to books, friends and internet.
The first three months my baby slept (or rather was making attempts to sleep) in a bassinet next to our bed. It was ok only she was constantly calling out. Not crying her lungs out but rather whining and not willing to settle and it would stop instantly once myself or my husband would pick her up. When she was three months old we gave in to the pressure and scares of books. You know the story that says that if you do not teach your kid to sleep, he/she will have sleep problems all her life. We tried to let her cry it out. My mommy heart lasted forty minutes and I went to pick her up. We tried it again when she was six months old. That time she cried desperately and after 20 minutes of that heartbreaking cry she threw up. On that night I promised her and myself to never, NEVER! do it again. By the way, the advice of that particular book I was reading at the time was to just clean up the baby’s face and leave the room again… not even change the clothes because it would distract her from learning to self soothe…
As for our sleep solution, we decided to sleep in the same bed. And we love it, every single moment of it.
It took my daughter three months to stop throwing up when she was upset (for example, in a car seat or other situation when she was not left alone but just hard for her). It took us couple of years to learn to sleep through the night. And no, those predictions about her having sleep problems just turned out to be empty fears. My daughter is four years old now and she is sleeping 11 hours straight without waking up most of the nights.
Please, do not get me wrong. I am NOT against sleep training or sleep consultants. What I AM against of is the advice that is not catered to individual mom, baby and the whole family. I am against advice that goes against your own heart. Do your own research and do not get bullied into something that all your being screams no to. I had a chance to talk to a lot of families with children and every single family and every single child has had a different experience. If it feels right to co-sleep with your baby – please do. And know that your baby will be OK, she will grow into a wonderful human being thankfully or despite of your co-sleeping.
The other day I was talking to my friend, who is a university professor in Biology and she said to me: “the truth is that science still does not even know exactly why we need to sleep.” We also do not have any proof of “right or wrong” way of sleeping. If you do a Goolge search about sleeping habits of rich a famous you may find a lot of interesting information. Who knows, what if bizzare sleep habits change something in our brain chemistry that forces us to push ourselves out of the ordinary. But I regress. The point is that: Your life is yours and you are the only one who is responsible for your choices. While advice from outside can be useful. I invite you to always, always check in with yourself. I invite you to be true to yourself and gentle too. Be YOU, do YOU, find your Authenticity and stick to it. You are worth it and your baby is worth all the love for yourself that you can master. Because if you do not have love for yourself, there is nothing to share. Here is to Love and Peace on your journey.