So they say?
I'm seriously lacking in sleep at the moment. The baby has had 2 nights in 7 months where she has slept for more than 3-4 hours with no waking. I'm sure the damn teeth (or lack of them) have got a lot to do with this, but you know what? As much as I'm tired, I don't really mind. I mean she's not doing it to be naughty is she? She can't help it. Some babies just don't sleep for long periods. End of. I've done lots of research (that's the midwife in me) about sleep habits and actually, its more normal that your baby doesn't sleep for long periods as a newborn than does. We've had it drummed into us for years and years by health visitors, our mums, our friends, anyone really that our babes should be sleeping through by 6 weeks. This isn't true. I think (and I need to check my references) that sleeping through is classed as a 5 hour period.
The classic and oh so infuriating line I've had when people ask me if she's sleeping through, and I reply she isn't is “how are you feeding her?” When I say breast feeding I get that look. This really pisses me off. Why? Because A) you're undermining someone's choice of feeding B) you're insinuating breast milk is to blame and C) I'm fecking tired! Mix the A, B and C and you've got me. Its an outdated myth that formula fed babies sleep through the night. Ok, some of these babies do sleep longer stretches at a younger age. Do you know why? Because formula wasn't designed for the babies gut like breast milk was. This means that when you pop 3oz of aptamil into a week old baby, whose gut is the size of a ping pong ball approximately, they have to work really hard to break down the formula (breast milk is essily digestible) This in turn puts them into a deeper sleep as they're tired from the process. You know what else? This also puts the baby at risk of SIDS (cot death). See no one tells most mums about that, why? Because we pussy foot around them not wanting to upset them over their feeding choice. So why is it ok to basically berate mine?
I've also had lots of questions about how long I'm planning on breast feeding for. Most of them genuine, some not. One was even from a health visitor who was questioning my parenting choices after Bella was weighed one day. It was implied she needed more calories to get her weight up, when I said I'd up her breast feeds she told me it was food she needed more of. At 6 1/2 months! Its a well known fact breast milk contains so much goodness, and that whatever foods I give her won't match the calorie / fat content of my breast milk. Plus were doing blw so more food can end up on the floor, and into the cats mouth! That conversation went downhill once I'd thrown in blw….
So she doesn't sleep through, she will though. In her own time, until then she's safely tucked up in her co-sleeper next to me where she'll stay for about 2 hours, before feeding then probably cuddled up between me and her dad for the rest of the night. You know what? We love it. She's only going to be this little for a short period of her life, why dread it? Why worry. If she's 8 and still in between us then we'll reassess but until then were in Bella bliss 🙂
Nb- I will add some useful reading around baby and sleep habits soon.