My daughter doesn’t sleep. No seriously. From the day she was born she awake for hours at a time. All the doctors and nurses were shocked at how awake and alert she was all the time in the hospital. At two months old she would happily go all day without a nap. By 8 months she was down to one nap a day if I was lucky. And these are her day time sleeping habits, if you can call it that.
Her night sleeping? Well that is a laugh. She was breastfeed exclusively as a baby, so she awoke a lot at night for feedings. However close to a year old she stopped feeding at night but was still waking up. It was not a rare thing for me to be up 3 times a night with her. Sometimes on really lucky nights she would be awake for 1-2 hours. Just awake. Not crying, not wanting to play with a sudden burst of energy, just awake. On those nights we cuddle and I sing lullabies to her. I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world.
My daughter is now 2 years old and I could probably count on one hand how many nights my daughter has slept all night, on her own with no co-sleeping.
Here is the thing, no I will not “sleep train” my daughter. No I will not leave her to cry it out. And no, she is not my first child. And yes, I will complain about how tired I am.
I have 2 older boys. My boys are 13 months apart. Sleep was a must for everyone in the house when they were babies. Both of my boys were sleeping 12 hours at two months old. Both my boys had two naps a day until they were a year old. Both my boys were on the same schedule when my youngest was 6 months old, it included 12 hours at night, and a 3-4 hour nap. Every. Single. Day. My boys loved sleep. I totally nailed the bedtime routine with them.
I know all about a schedule, calming a baby before bed, routine and baby massages. I did it with my boys and perfected it with them. I have read countless books, spoken to countless doctors and parents. Spent way too many hours on google reading articles.
My daughter? I tried the same thing I did with the boys, it didn’t help. I switched things up, it didn’t help. I talked to my doctor. I read more books. I talked to more parents. My daughter just doesn’t seem to need as to sleep as much as her brothers did. She is just as healthy, and happy as they were at her age. She is at the top chart for everything.
However sleeping training or letting my child cry it out was never an option. Why? Because they would not work on her, and I personally would never leave my child to cry in her room at night. I made the personally decision when I first became a mother many moons ago to never do that.
If my child needs me, I will be there even if its 3 am.
I have come to the conclusion that my daughter is an odd one, she is perfectly happy to not sleep. My daughter also loves cuddles. My daughter also sometimes needs to co-sleep with her mama. It happens. Why should I deny my daughter that? My parenting role does not end at bed time and restart in the morning. I am a mother 24/7.
Will my daughter grow out of this? Yes. Will she sleep all night on her own? Eventually. Will I complain about my lack of sleep? Yes. Am I willing to let my daughter cry in her room alone at night? No. Its a personal choice, and it is my choice.
If any of my children wake up for any reason in the night I am there for them. If any of my children need extra cuddles and to co-sleep I will. It is my choice.
Co-sleeping when we need it works for us. It works for our family. It works for my daughter and me. It works for my sanity, sorta.
Slowly but surely she is sleeping more and more on her own. But when she needs me, I will be there.
I fully believe she will figure this out on her own when she is ready. Her sleep has already improved so much with us taking it at her pace, and that is what I plan to continue going.
Until she fully figures this sleep thing on, pass the coffee. Lots of coffee. And possibly some chocolate too!