Reflections on motherhood...


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More on sleep (or the lack thereof)

We all want what we can't have.  It makes life truly unfair sometimes.

My DH asked what I wanted for my birthday.  I said one full night's sleep.  Just one. He smiled and said, "anything else?"

I settled for asking for a new hoodie.

Despite boldly proclaiming that "when Milkbaby is ready to sleep through the night, he will", I have to confess to continuing my search for the holy grail of motherhood.  From cry-it-out to co-sleeping, I feel like I've read just about every expert perspective or opinion.

Sleep (chiefly the lack of it) is still the most talked-about topic at my coffee/play groups.  We swap tips on what might have worked (but who really knows), groan in sympathy at someone's story of an extremely bad night (or succession of bad nights), brag (just a little) and celebrate when someone's baby is regularly "sleeping through", and discuss the latest guidebooks we're reading.

In desperation a few weeks ago, I borrowed The No-Cry Sleep Solution from the library.  The premise is nice, but some nights, preventing tears at bedtime in either mama or baby is very very difficult.  And it has some nice ideas in it too, nice in the way you might use the phrase "nice for some".  I'm not going to claim to have truly followed "The Solution" to the letter ... it's more that I have incorporated some of the techniques into my evening/nightly routines.

Mostly to no avail.  And even if we have a "good" night, I am left wondering what I did that worked, when in reality I probably had nothing to do with it.  So the same routine is repeated the following night, with (of course) wildly different results.

As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

That makes sense.  Parenthood is a special type of madness.

Best advice so far?


  1. I hear your pain Aphra! JS still hasn't reached the 5 hour sleep milestone - though I'm continually hopeful that tonight will be the night! Like Milkbaby he's a big baby with a big appetite - maybe that's part of why they're not great sleepers? I found the no cry sleep solution had some good ideas too and liked the way it wasn't as prescriptive and dogmatic as some of the 'experts' out there. But in the end if the baby doesn't want to sleep he doesn't want to sleep! I do take heart in the advice of an australian expert I heard on a webcast recently -'this will pass' - although the time for the passing seems quite variable!(Beth Macgregor is a child psychologist and author of 'helping your baby to sleep, why gentle techniques work best' - I'll be reading it once I'm back in Aus to try and glean some more tips!)
    Hang in there and keep up the great blog - it's a great read!

  2. That Einstein picture is great, I`ve seen it so many times beofre but it really jumped out at me in this post and made me feel better!


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