I went through an interesting 2 weeks with my 9 month old recently.
Night time just wasn’t fun. She would fall asleep, no problem, but then throughout the night she’d be unsettled, feeding almost every hour (sometimes every half hour) and fussing between feeds. She was also waking at around 1am to roll around, play with the blinds, bang her dummy against the wall and generally try and get the party started. It was exhausting. Out of 10, I would rate it about a 1 on the fun scale.
It was something of a comfort that at the same time a friend of mine was going through the exact same thing with her baby. We had joked that our babies were soul sisters because their sleep patterns have always seemed in sync. We came up with every possible theory for why this was happening. A developmental leap perhaps? My Wonder Week app had a match with my daughter's age but not for my friend’s baby…
My friend’s baby was getting a tooth but mine had just had 4 come through, none of which bothered her at all.
Growth spurt? They’re always growing, right?
Wait… Full moon! Yep, blame the full moon!
Regardless of the reason, we were both confident of one thing – it would pass.
Mum would call me each morning and ask, “How was your night?”
“Same again. She fed a lot. And woke a lot in between.”
“No, it’s fine” I insisted. “It will pass. It always does.”
And it did.
After almost 2 weeks of this my daughter went back to her version of sleeping through the night. Just to clarify, technically her version of ‘sleeping through the night’ is going to bed and then feeding every 2-ish hours (but not waking, fussing, rolling around, or playing in between) until she wakes up with the sun. As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, this doesn’t bother me. I actually enjoy the nighttime snuggles and feeds. And since she has become a master of feeding in her sleep, I have become a master of sleeping through said feeds.
I have no doubt that more fussy periods will follow, but I also have no doubt that they will also end. So I have written this blog, not only to reassure other mothers of this, but to remind myself of this too. When you’re in the thick of it and you find yourself worrying that you will have to rock this child to sleep forever, that you can’t manage another night of almost constant feeding and that you will lose your mind if you wake up one more time to a baby’s finger going up your nose and into your brain while she shrieks “babababababaaa!” into your ear at 2am (a common disadvantage to bed-sharing) – just remember the ancient Persian saying: “This too shall pass.”
And I promise you that it will.
[The attached picture was taken during nap-time. As you can see, there’s not a whole lot of napping going on…]
Georgina Dowden is a mother, midwife and lactation consultant (IBCLC).
In her day to day life, she looks after her two beautiful children and also supports other families on their parenting journey.
If you would like to get in touch sleep/settling support, click here:
Home visits for breastfeeding support available if you live in the Northern Rivers of NSW.
(Originally published at: www.babydoc.com.au)