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No Finish Line

Posted Apr 23 2009 5:27pm
Parenthood is all very misleading.

What is pretty much the number one question you will be asked when you are with a newborn at the grocery store, a restaurant, your inlaws, or anywhere in public you might happen to be? Is the baby sleeping through the night yet?

When you are asked this question, your answer may vary depending on the day. You might have been up only once the night before or so many times that you lost count. You might not even have the strength to put a coherent string of words together, depending on how much (or little) sleep you got.

But the thing is, you have your bloodshot eye on the prize. You believe that if you can just get your little one to sleep through the night, you will have achieved The Full Night Of Sleep and you will get that from then on out. So, you do whatever you can to get this to happen. You blog. You read. You read some more. You ask parents of other babies (and then wish you hadn't, especially if their little one is already sleeping through). You google. You read some more. You blog some more, pleading for some secret trick that you might not yet have uncovered.

What is so very misleading is that getting your baby to sleep through the night is not a one shot deal. It's not like they magically sleep through one night and then every night that follows until they turn 18. No. Nope. Nada. Absolutely not. They might sleep through many nights, but then they will teethe, or get a cold, or the sky is blue, and bam! You are right back to those nights of multiple wakeups wondering what the heck is going on.

In case you hadn't figured it out yet, we are going through more sleep issues with Will. His napping during the day has remained relatively untouched (for which I am very grateful), but his nighttime sleep has become very unpredictable.

He goes to his bed every night around 8 PM, drowsy but awake, and usually settles for the night without so much as a whimper. Then, about an hour later, he is up for the first time, and every hour until about midnight, when he usually settles for about five hours until 5 AM, when nothing but a bit of milk will settle him back until 7 AM. He doesn't have a binky that needs replacing or a mobile that he can't turn on himself as a sleep association. We don't rock him to sleep. We have a great bedtime routine. He takes regular naps. All of the things that the books will tell you need to change if your baby isn't STTN. He was sleeping through the night just fine for about six weeks and now this.

Like I said, once you achieve the magic that is STTN, you think you've got it down. And then, buckle up, because you ain't seen nothing yet!
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