When I was baking the little bun, she was very active with her movements. We always joked that she would be running right out the womb.
She’s not running yet, but she sure has stamina and endurance. She can’t even walk and we already have a challenging time keeping up with this wiggly worm. And unfortunately for me that means less sleep. She’s always trying to get somewhere or practicing a skill. At 4 months she found the joy of climbing and crawling over pillows. At her 6 month checkup, her pediatrician had said her physical skills were that of a 9 month old.
The first month she slept like baby, but the next couple months were a challenge on my sanity. She fought naps and declined naps if it meant she wasn’t in my arms. When she did nap they were 20-45 minutes long. After going down to sleep for the night, she would wake an hour later with her siren of a cry and sometimes wouldn't go back to sleep till an hour later.
A lot of frustration tears were shed from tired eyes. I tried darkening the room, white noise, swaddling, reading forums, sleep training, a sleep coach, and more reading. We share a room and I think that also added to the challenge. Like otters, naps and bedtime sleep had to be on me, it was her requirement.
It took me five months to reach out to other moms to learn from their wins and challenges. One mama came to my rescue, she helped me change my attitude that my baby really sucks at sleep —> she’s just a wakeful baby and might not need as much sleep as other babies. I had an expectation on what infant sleep was supposed to look like. I saw examples of schedules and thought, “What the heck am I missing?” What’s the secret? I stopped comparing. Georgina May’s facebook page, “Desperately Seeking Sleep” and Taylor Kulik’s Instagram page (@taylorkulik) had tons of info that led to many ‘Aha! moments’.
With a better understanding of Emma’s sleep habits I no longer forced her to take naps. I accepted where we were with her sleep, this is our life now and it might change tomorrow. The rain cloud over my head cleared and things got a lot easier. I followed her lead and organically we finally fell into a routine that worked for her.
At this time (5 months), I finally stuck to doing away with following schedules and the do’s and don’ts that surrounded sleep. I did what worked for us. I let go. I nursed before naps, let her fall asleep with the boob, sometimes the boob was in her mouth for most of the nap (she never took to the pacifier), I rocked her to sleep, the crib was used for anything but her, and we co-slept (since a newborn).
Currently she still likes contact naps, so usually we go out on a walk outside and it never fails with the sleepy dust. She is able to take naps alone if needed, but I appreciate these moments so much more and know they will be missed. A big bonus, she sleeps throughout the night (beside me)! I look back and have to laugh how dramatic I made this situation, motherhood is so humbling. I love it.