On Sleeping Like a Baby


"How's she sleeping?"

For some reason this is everyone's first question when they meet Edie, as if her sleep habits determine whether or not she's a good baby. Or maybe they think I look tired and grumpy and want something to pin it on, I don't know. I also don't know who coined the phrase, "sleeping like a baby," or why we use to to mean sleeping well. 

Because, well, I have a baby. And I'll let you in on a little secret--babies wake up a lot. They startle easily. They nurse throughout the night and fight naps and if you let them get overtired, OH MAN--you're in for it. 

And you know what else? That's okay. Because they're babies and they have more needs than we know. And this season is short in the grand scheme of things.

My child is ten months old, and while she definitely sleeps better than she did when she was younger, she still "sleeps like a baby." A real baby, not the babies of legends. She's never slept through the night, but I also haven't felt any need to "train" her into doing so. My instincts say she wakes when she needs me, as she does two to three times most nights. She nurses drowsily and drifts back off and I soon follow. She half wakes again very early to cluster feed for about an hour before we get up for the day. And by that time she's silly happy from a night of snuggling against Mama and having milk accessible to fill her belly or comfort her whenever she needed it.

I love these sleep habits because I know she won't always have them. Her need for me won't always be so physical. I don't know why I'd want to train her out of it early or send her the message that her feelings aren't valid today, because then she might grow up to think they aren't worth hearing later.