I don’t know at what point it was decided that part of being a “good” or “successful” mom was based on how your child sleeps because it could not further from the truth.
My first child slept through the night by 8 weeks and only had a few short regressions along the road (with the exception of a big sleep regression around 18 months (insert my 18 month sleep regression post here) and then some sleep issues when her little brother was born shortly after she turned 2). My second child, on the other hand did not sleep through the night consistently until 17 and a half months. 17 and a half months… He recently turned 2, and I still feel like I’m recovering.
I’m the same mom, did almost the same things with each child, but experienced vast differences. What does this tell me? Well, it tells me that my child’s sleep has not as much to do with me and as it has to do with my child. Every single child is different and develops at a different rate. Sleep is no different.
We cannot as moms use sleep to measure how well we are doing. We all know sleep does makes us better moms and getting up ten times throughout the night is bound to make anyone a bit on edge, but it doesn’t not measure whether or not we are a good mom.
So what can we do? We can give ourselves some grace. We can put on an extra tv show, use a pack n play, sneak in a nap, order take out, grab another (large) coffee and just power through. We can also ask for help. Ask our husbands to take a shift or two in the evenings, ask grandparents to take our little bundle of joy for a night (or the kids for a few hours in the day).
We have to remember that each stage is different and presents its own challenges. It may seem like the world is ending when we don’t sleep, but trust me it isn’t and it won’t, even if you wish the world would stop for a single day, so you could sleep. But, it is okay to shed a few tears when it’s 3:47am and you are up again.
We can take a breath, an extra sip of coffee, and know that this too shall pass.
….even if it takes 17.5 months.