But I know it's true that some parents who say their kids STTN just simply aren't responding, because a neighbor, when my first wasn't STTN, told me to just wear earplugs to bed and that she'd STTN. Obviously her idea of STTN isn't that the baby is STTN. She defines it by whether the parents STTN. So no, of course it isn't the case with all parents, and particularly not with AP parents whose kids STTN, but in the word at large, when parents are telling us their kids STTN, I do think we should take it with a grain of salt. Maybe they are naturally good sleepers, like my second, but maybe they are waking up at night and know no one will take care of them, or maybe they've just given up.
I think the problem is the expectation. How long do you sleep at night? Do you sleep completely uninterrupted without ever waking? My DH was breastfed and coslept with his mother. I was formula fed and was CIO-ed into a crib from birth. My DH and I both sleep, if left to our own devices, about 8 hours a night, and we wake up multiple times. Sometimes we need to go to the bathroom, sometimes we need a drink, and sometimes we just need to roll over and reposition.
So why is the expectation that our babies and kids will sleep for 10 hours without ever waking? I think that's ridiculous.
My DD has gone through periods where she has slept horribly and other times she will sleep very well for a month or so.
Sleeping through the night depends on so many factors--personality, the composition of a mother's milk (more nutrient dense, sleep longer), the size of the baby's stomach and speed of metabolism, whether the baby/toddler is over tired, over stimulated, napped or didn't nap for whatever reason, teething, having nightmares, going through an insecure phase, hot, cold, wakes up when they pee or sleeps soundly through peeing, and so many other variables.
I don't think you can just pin it on one parenting style.
I slept in a crib and I was formula fed. My mom told me I didn't sleep through the night for the first time until I was 5 years old. I have vivid memories from childhood of waking up at night alone and being terrified. I still wake up often at night and get up or watch TV for several hours. My dad is the same way, and my DD does that too sometimes. My DH sleeps like a rock, he would sleep through an earthquake.
Momma to Sweet Rosie 7/06, Lost Baby J 1/09 at 12 weeks pregnant, Spitfire Ada born 4/21/10, and Baby Boy due July/August 2013!
Aspiring urban homesteader, photographer, homeschooling momma! Blog link in my profile.
I don't think AP creates bad sleepers. Babies come with their own personalities and temperaments. In fact, now that he is sleeping better, I strongly believe that my AP style allowed him to feel comfortable with sleep. (of course, I may just be telling myself that to make up the 18 months of sleepless hell- smile)
My LO just never could sleep on his own. He was very high-needs and nursed every 30 minutes after he was born. He only took 20 minute naps until he turned around 6 months old then he finally started taking longer naps. I had to HOLD him for every single nap - it was impossible to put him down. He would wake up every hour or two EVERY NIGHT until around 18 months old. Now at two, he is taking one 2-3 hour nap a day and sleeps well at night, waking occasionally to check on me or for a glass of water. I do think weaning (he self-weaned two months ago) made a difference, but he still wakes for a drink sometimes. He actually tells me "I'm tired" when he is tired and we'll start his bedtime routine earlier if necessary. Sleep just isn't a battle with him.
My family, who advocated CIO, was shocked to see how well his sleeping habits have improved. Frankly, I didn't do anything different. I just continued with a loving bedtime routine and am here for him every night. My cousin's baby who was CIO'd, however, is now five years old and still wakes at night and tries to crawl into her parents' bed. They are against it so it is still a struggle for them to have her stay in her own bed all night long. I told them that maybe it is just a power struggle and if they allowed her to stay in her bed sometimes, she wouldn't feel the need to wake up. They said they don't want to make it a bad habit. It's funny because she was an AMAZING sleeper when she was a baby. When I babysat her, I could literally just put her down in her crib during naptimes and bedtimes and she would go to sleep without a peep. No comforting, no nothing. But now, it seems like without the "crib" to hold her in, she will venture out.
Good sleepers, bad sleepers. Who knows? I think it's silly that our parenting is judged based on how well our babies sleep. Not all adults STTN! And I really do not see a pattern based on AP and sleep.
Anyhow - long answer but we are AP and no we don't have bad sleepers. Ours can go 7:30/8 until 7 the next morning. Plus a nap for dd.
I know this forum is for advocating co-sleeping, which is a beautiful philosphy, but perhaps not for eveyone. It would be appreciable if people did not automatically consider those who don't co-sleep as heartless unloving parents condemning their babies to lonely abbandonment. You can be attentive and present and nuturing to a baby who is not in your bed. We too just do what works for our families, with love.
Okay, like I said in my previous post, I haven't read the whole thread, but from what I have read, I have NOT seen this sentiment expressed in the slightest. I don't think anyone is suggesting that people who don't co-sleep are "heartless unloving parents condemning their babies to lonely abandonment." I personally mentioned that parents who do not co-sleep are more likely (than parents who co-sleep) to become less sensitized to their child's night wakings, thus will report a child STTN when the reality is that the child is not. This is NOT saying that ALL parents who do not co-sleep become desensitized. Just that you will find MORE desensitized parents in the non-cosleeping group. I don't think that's an unfair statement to make.
I know for me personally, now that my children are no longer in bed with me, I don't always wake up when they do. In fact, my children have gotten up and started throwing up in the middle of the night, and I've slept through the whole thing. Luckily my husband hears them. If I had not co-slept with them as babies, I don't think I would have heard them crying in the night. I know that's just me, but I'm sure there are others like me out there. And if they don't co-sleep, they might be reporting good sleepers, when in fact they simply aren't aware of their child waking up. It's just ONE reason for why co-sleepers can appear to be crappier sleepers than other children.
Do you all really think you have NO idea what is causing behavior you run across in the real world? I know this board does not extend that sort of courtesy to mainstream behaviors and parents of mainstream moms. I just think some kids I know are tired. Why is that so threatening?
But whatever it is, I know a lot of hippy preschool aged kids who need more sleep, way more than the CIO crowd.
FTR I also don't think there's anything wrong with setting some boundaries/making some changes in your family life if that's what you need to do for your own health (mental, emotional, physical). OP - Your children need you, but they also need you to be healthy. PPD isn't something I'd want to mess around with - I really liked Amanda's post on her plans for the second time around. Maybe you can start to make some plans now to try and head it off at the pass? What can your husband, family, friends do to help you out? I'd also recommend Amanda's blog in general for the depression issue. Maybe there's something else there that would be helpful too? Perhaps it's an issue you can come at from a number of different sides than just the sleep issue (which may or not be adjustable).
|Perhaps AP families realize that babies wake at night, that babies nurse at night, and are OK with it, accept it and expect it...|
I knew babies woke up, a lot, and that it was totally normal. What I did not know, because I'd never done it before, was try to live for months with a baby who woke up every few hours on my own.
I thought I could do it. Haven't mothers done this since the beginning of time? I cannot describe how heavy the feeling of failure was as I slowly came unraveled by meeting my sons needs. Self-hatred is not a strong enough word.
Perhaps instead of applauding each other, you could take a moment to be thankful that not only did you have appropriate expectations, you were able to meet them.
And my 4 month old is sleeping 3-4 hours at a time, on average (she's gone as long as 6 hours some nights) and has done this from the start.
I've been blessed. And having lived through some rough nights of someone waking every hour (we've had those times, though overall the spaces between wakings has been pretty good with each child) I know how blessed I am to have gotten through them and have children who are sleeping well.
So, I'd agree with pp's who said it's a personal issue, not a parenting one. I'm sure someone's already mentioned this (but I didn't read through all the pages of responses) but sleep/waking issues can be related to allergies or food sensitivities. Kids can also get restless when they're on the verge of a developmental milestone. So there can be many reasons a child might be waking up more at night.
Jen, mom of R (9), T (7), C (5), and E (2) ... my s
A lot of great discussion developed around the original post, so we're leaving it here as a resource. I know there tend to be strong feelings around sleep issues, but we ask that you please remember we cannot host personal attacks or bashing anywhere on the boards, even if it's a result of sleep deprivation.
Thanks for understanding.