Because at least half of my facebook friends have kids age 3 and under, I see a lot of wall posts about their kids sleep, or lack of it. Probably at least three a week! Funny thing is, the definition of ‘sleeping through the night’ is clearly different for each mom. I laugh when I see the different interpretations and the pain that all mom’s experience when their child doesn’t sleep through the night. Yes, been there done that… I can commiserate.
For me – ‘sleeping through the night’ means they don’t wake up, not a peep, not a cry, nothing. When my child ‘sleeps through the night’ – there is no involvement on my behalf between 10pm and 7am.
A: My 2 year old recently came in my room at 2am – grabbed himself a drink of water off my nightstand table (where he knows I always keep a glass) and chugged it. I awoke to a “gulk, gulk, gulk” by my bedside. I took him by the hand and told him it was time to go back to bed – which he did without argument, thankfully. Yes, not much work on my behalf but still woke up and then had to get myself back into sleep. Sleeping through the night: FAIL
B: During his six month growth spurt, Brooks would go to bed at 8pm and wake up around 4/5am screaming until he had his bottle. It only took 5-10 mins to get him out of bed, lay with him in bed as he slept-drank his way through 4-5oz then went right back into his crib. Still, the three nights in a row that he woke up STARVING, caused me to reinstitute his 10pm dream feed so that we wouldn’t have the late night munchies again. Problem solved. What was a FAIL turned around to a PASSING grade with the dream feed. (P.S. We only had to keep the dream feed for a week or two and then I was brave enough to let him try again and he did great. He got back on his 8p-7a regularly scheduled sleeping!)
C: Brooks doesn’t do a paci (not yet at least) so I can’t relate to the pain of the missing paci, but I definitely have friends who have – this is a common theme amongst the ‘not sleeping through the night’ angst that many moms experience. A friend posted on facebook about her 4 month old. “Slept really great last night with the exception of the three times that “Bob” needed me to reinsert his paci. Good sleeping.” That doesn’t sound like a great night of sleep. Three wake up calls, no matter how short, still result in three nighttime wake ups. FAIL
D: I remember the doctor saying that once they started getting 6 straight hours it was medically considered sleeping through the night. I dont know about you, but unless I want to get in the habit of only 6 hours a night, I am not ok with the “medical definition” of sleeping through the night. At his two month check up the doctors would praise him. “Wow, Brooks is doing great – these are long sleeping stretches.” Yes, that is fine and dandy, but I want my eight hours to be consecutive. (At the time, he was usually doing about 10p-5a, would nurse and then snooze again from 5:15-7:15a – but since I didn’t get into bed until after 11, I was only getting about 5 straight.)
If my kid is awake for any sort of diaper change, backrub, paci reinsertion, any meal/feeding or portion of a meal/feeding – this is not sleeping through the night. If my kid sleeps for 8 hours straight but those hours are from 8pm until 4am – this is not sleeping through the night. This is a tease because your night is going great and then -pow!- they are up and ready for playtime when you should be getting in your best hours of beautyrest!
I’m curious to hear what other moms have to say…. what do you consider sleeping through the night?