Shhh, Don’t Wake the Baby

After writing about how I deal with sleep deprivation last month, it seems as though both my children took the hint and for the past few weeks they have both been letting mommy get her beauty sleep (and save some money on take-away cappuccinos). I had a good chuckle thinking about how quickly sleep situations can change and just when you think you have found a groove, you get thrown a curveball. Luckily though, we are not alone in our quest for a good night’s sleep.

Sleep, and more specifically, the sleep patterns of our children, seems to be one of the most popular topics among moms, both new and old. I can recall countless conversations with moms in Clamber Club, in the park, in the supermarket and in the pediatricians waiting rooms all focused on their children’s sleep. The amazing thing, is that no two conversations have ever been the same!

Clamber Club Franchisee Michelle Littlejohns from Durbanville Babies Clamber Club has shared her thoughts and experiences on the topic with us. I must say, even though I know that I am not alone with my sleep struggles it is always so comforting to hear those of other moms.

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Michelle’s beautiful sleeping baby. It is easy to forget how difficult getting to this point can sometimes be.

There is something I cannot seem to understand…… Mankind has been parenting since the beginning of time. In fact, I am almost quiet confident to say, that parenting was most likely the very first responsibility we ever had.

In many beliefs, Adam and Eve were first, second, they became parents!

And since then we have achieved amazing feats…. Man has built the pyramids, we have cured many an illness, put man on the moon and managed to survive just about anything that mother nature has thrown at us. Yet, through all that, we still cannot figure out the sleeping habits of a baby!!! It is something that truly amazes me!

But in the same breath, should this realization not offer us moms some kind of peace and comfort, that if by now we haven’t figured it out, we may never do? That there is no right or wrong way of putting your little one down and how they should be sleeping.

It does not matter if your baby is breast fed or bottle fed, if they sleep in their own room or yours, whether you rock them or simply put them down, whether you have started them on solids or not (to name but a few) – the sleeping habits of a baby remains a mystery!

And what about your little one sleeping through the night?

Moms are programmed to believe that their babies SHOULD be sleeping through the night, never waking to fed or for reassurance and that if they do do this, they won’t grow into capable, independent adults! Really? Are your little ones not human, with their own thoughts and feelings? Their bodies are growing at a rapid rate with an immense amount of information to absorb on a daily basis. Would this not affect how you sleep each and every night?

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Shhh, all tucked in with my teddy bear.

This very topic is by far the number one discussed issue in my class. So one week we did a survey. I asked all the mommies “Whose babies were sleeping well and through the night?”. Those that were, were by far in the minority – another sure sign that our babies are all individuals with their own, very specific needs.

So where does this leave all us sleep deprived moms?

With the reassurance that your little one is absolutely perfect! Doing exactly what they are meant to. That we can breathe, relax and know that we, as mothers, WILL survive this (somehow), just as all those generations did before us. That this too shall pass and that one morning, we may wake up to discover we have had a full night sleep and on rushing to our little ones room to check, we will find them still curled up, warm and cosy and we will get the opportunity to simply watch them, to see how big they have gotten in such a short time.

And in that moment, Mommy, please, take the opportunity to pat yourself on the back, for you have made it!!!!!!

Michelle Littlejohns runs the Durbanville Babies Clamber Club.

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