Monday, September 27, 2010

Breaking-In Mommy: Total Sleeping Times

Breaking-in mommy may seem like an odd title, but I thought it relevant for what I am going to write about for the next few days.

What does breaking-in mommy mean?

It means many things for first time moms as well as experienced moms.
One thing breaking-in mommy means:

•    Your child may not sleep on schedule as some books say

All the books told me that my child would need around 12 hours of sleep at night and a total of about 15 hours of sleep a day.

I was really excited about this fact.  That meant my child would have a 3 hour nap during the day where I could do my online work.  Sure I might have to wait about 3 months until we both recovered, but, then, I would have the freedom to make money while he slept.  Yeah!

That did not happen.

My first child decided that he only needed about 8-10 hours of sleep a night.  He finally slept through the night (as defined by 5 hours of straight sleep) around 6 months of age.  In addition, he only slept those 5 hours straight if he was in our bed.  If he wasn’t in our bed, he would only sleep 2 or 3 hours straight.  To this day (he is almost 2), he has to fall asleep in our bed and be moved to his bed later, where he will stay for the rest of the night.

As for naps, he needed two naps for the first year of life.  He would take one at 11am and another around 3pm.  Each of these naps was two hours long, but he would not take them without me.  He needed to sleep on me from the 3rd day of life, with a pacifier (which was something I never wanted my children to use).  Don’t get me wrong, I loved those first naps because I needed them as well, being a new mommy, but it gets a little old after a while.

One wonderful thing about that first little guy was how he could sleep anywhere at any time.  If I had to go to the emergency room for my mom, and we were there for 6 hours, he would fall asleep if he needed to sleep.  It was great!

Now, with my second child, who just turned 4 months old, it is totally different.  He takes two 20-30 minute naps, one in the morning, one in the evening, and another 2 or 3 hour nap midday.  Sometimes he will sleep up to 12 hours with only one or two feeding breaks, at night.  Some of this odd schedule is the fact that his brother tends to like waking him up, if he gets the chance.

The thing I have learned is to go with what the child needs for sleep.  If you need to catch a nap with them, do it!  Don’t be ashamed.  Also, don’t worry if you don’t get enough sleep one night.  After all, you will either catch up somewhere and no one ever died from lack of sleep or lived longer for worrying about it.

What have you learned about sleep with you little ones?

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