It’s not for lack of trying, and maybe if I were tougher, more willing to just get it done, then she would sleep for 12 hours straight. Right now, though, it’s just how it is. I’ve come to a point in our “sleep relationship” that I’ve stopped fighting and started accepting that this is how she is, that eventually, I can hope, she will grow out of it.
How did we get to this point? Well, we had a baby. Everyone knows that newborns don’t sleep through the night and neither of us was expecting that. Those first weeks were rough, they were a blur really, but after a while she started to sleep a bit longer and I started to get some rest. Some time around six to eight weeks, when we were living in a hotel during our PCS, she started sleeping up to nine hours a night. Hallelujah!
When we moved it all crumbled. By the time we got to our new duty station, she was about eleven weeks old and waking up every two hours or so. It was hard. I chalked it up to the move and the beginning of teething (darn kids teethe early on my husband’s side)! Weeks and weeks went by, I was exhausted, barely able to hold on. The only thing I could do was nurse her every two to three hours and keep hoping and hoping, hoping, hoping.
Some weeks would be restful, when she would only wake one or two times. Once those teeth came in or another growth spurt popped up, she went back to waking up every couple of hours all night long. My husband wasn’t much help because one- he can’t really breastfeed, and two- he was in flight school and that took priority.
Now, at nearly 18 months old, I can say she sleeps pretty well. But what do I know? She goes to bed around 7pm, wakes up about 5 hours later, and then again a few hours after that, and then up for the day around 7am. That’s my normal. Those are the good nights.
Don’t worry yourselves, I’m not looking for advice. I’ve heard it all. Maybe she’s hungry, give her more food. Nope. Maybe she’s sleeping too much during the day, or maybe she’s not sleeping enough. Nope. Change her bedtime. Change her night routine. Wake her up earlier. Let her sleep with you, or no, have her sleep in her own crib. Just have her cry it out, it won’t hurt. I have read every sleep book I could get my hands on (maybe about seven) and even tried to implement some of the tactics they offered. It caused too much stress for both of us. It just wasn’t worth it.
For now, I manage. I am surprisingly awake during the day, but always eager for rest once the night comes. I just keep hoping that soon, soon, she will sleep longer and I will get that rest I once cherished so much before she was born. It probably won’t be until she’s a teen, though.