Confession time: My daughter has never been a good sleeper.
Once the newborn haze of the first couple of days wore off, my husband and I quickly discovered that we had a poor sleeper on our hands. We spent countless nights rocking, bouncing, and generally soothing her to sleep. We’ve tried all the tricks and while some have helped short-term, nothing has really fixed the problem.
I remember one night very clearly; my daughter was just a couple of weeks old and had been up for HOURS. We finally took her to the living room, laid her in the pack and play, turned the tv onto the most boring channel we could find, and climbed onto the couch. I was willing to try anything that night (full disclosure: It didn’t work). When my husband left for work the next morning, I called my mom, crying, and asked if she could come stay with the baby so I could sleep.
Now that we’re nearing her first birthday, my opinion of sleep has changed a little. My daughter is still an AWFUL sleeper (read: two hour stretches some nights), but I try to approach it differently. Instead of beating myself up over it or getting upset, I just relish in the extra snuggles at night, since she doesn’t give me many during the day. I try to remind myself that these days will be over soon and she won’t need me anymore. I also force myself to get out of the house and do something the next day to try and get some more energy.
I wish there was a fool-proof solution for a sleep-deprived baby, but the last ten months have taught me that sometimes it’s the cards we’re dealt. I take the good with the bad; my daughter is funny, clever, and doesn’t miss a beat (which may be why she doesn’t sleep well). And it might not be true, but I read somewhere that poor sleepers are often highly intelligent.
One can hope.