Extract from private diary
Originally written on 15 January, 2018, when Leo was 4 months old
From day one I’ve had the question ‘ how is Leo sleeping’. Since then it has evolved to ‘Is Leo sleeping through the night yet?’ and ‘He should’ or ‘you should do X’.
The answer is no, he is not. But don’t pitty me for it. Today I had a slight breakdown. Not because of lack of sleep, neither because my baby cries. But because other people’s opinions and thoughts on the subject. Not because I believe them or feel overwhelmed by what they think, but they way they make me feel – like I’m not doing it right, or should be doing it a certain way.
I trust my instincts and I know my child better than anyone. And no two babies are the same. I met a mother of twins yesterday, and she told me something interesting. She started early on with routine which ‘many’ say is essential. One twin took to it like a duck to water, at 6 months, and he sleeps through the night. The other twin, did not. We came to talk about nature vs. nurture. And that these two are being cared for in identical ways, still display such difference in characters with different need for sleep and feed.
I know, it is easy for people to ask and talk about sleep as that is such a huge thing with babies. Easy conversation. Like talking about the weather with strangers or point out pregnant women’s growing bumps. The fact is, they sleep, at some point, but perhaps not when you ideally want them to.
An the truth is, I don’t mind him waking 3 times a night because he is hungry or got a sore tummy. Usually one time with Matthew during his shift between 8.30pm-1am, and twice with me, between 1am-7am. I find it quiet cosy to put his warm body on mine when feeding, listen to his small grunting noises and eventually see him falling off the nipple in a milk coma with milk running down his cheek and feel small warm breaths agains my boob.
So perhaps we could all just stop talking about sleep, or at least stop asking about it. I choose when and with whom I want to share his sleep patterns with. As sleep he does, perhaps just no how the ‘average Joe’ would like him to.