Been There, Done That: Your Baby Will Sleep Through The Night Someday, I Promise
The days are long, but the years are short. As a parent of nearly eight years, this has become a bit of a motto for me. When you have little kids, whatever is happening in the moment feels like it will never end. The frustrating phases of refusing to sleep or drink from a bottle or stop knocking all of the books off the shelf seem to stretch on forever but in hindsight, they go by in the blink of an eye. Right now, I want to focus on sleep and how even though it feels like the “no sleep” phase of parenting is interminable, your baby will sleep through the night someday.
I am not here to say I am an expert by virtue of having slightly older children. The best I can do is tell you that I’ve been through it and my sanity is still (mostly) intact. As a new mom, I took comfort in parents of older children telling me that it would be over before I knew it — that right now, the round-the-clock feedings and numerous night wakings feel endless but one day, I would look back and hardly remember it. Rationally, you all know that. Time is not endless and kids grow up so of course, you know deep down that the sleepless nights phase won’t last forever. However, I found that while it was happening, my rational thoughts were hushed by my mental vortex of panic at 2 am when I honestly thought my son might never sleep again. It was the worst feeling and I wish I’d had someone by my side to remind me that it would be over one day.
Of course, I won’t minimize how awful it is to deal with when it’s happening. Few things weaken your resolve as a parent like not getting any sleep. My son was a terrible sleeper and I spent his first two years feeling like a complete zombie. At the time, I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now, he’s five and we all sleep through the night. It’s almost like those years never happened. Looking back on my time spent not knowing when my next good night’s sleep would come, I can’t believe I survived and I wish I could give myself a hug. It also feels like a distant memory and I laugh at all those times where I legitimately believed he would never sleep again.
When you find yourself slogging through the days and nights with a fussy baby refusing to sleep, feeling alone and as though you’ll never find relief, hang in there. No one sleep solution works for every baby and every parent so I’m not here to tell you how to fix it. I’m just here to remind you that you will get through it and once it’s over, you’ll look back and be proud you survived. You will even forget how awful it was — that’s how the human race continues! Get sleep when you can, ask for support wherever possible and know that all phases, no matter how horrific, do come to an end.