I must admit my jaw dropped when KWWL Meteorologist Mark Schnackenberg told me the 8-month-old baby he “baby sat” for the segment “Iowa’s Toughest Jobs: stay-at-home parent,” sleeps each night from 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
“That’s not normal,” I said in shock. And I guess the full truth is that’s not normal – at my home. At least not yet.
Even at just a few months old, my daughter appears to be more like me than I’d like in some ways: always wanting to be in the know, not wanting to miss the party, sensitive to noise and light while sleeping.
These characteristics, plus the fact that she is an infant, have resulted in countless sleepless nights for mom and dad.
Swaddling, pacifiers, routines have all been tried. They help, but so far there is no magic cure-all.
I remember someone I used to work with talking about how he believed that babies generally model their mothers’ temperament. He said that both his children slept through the night easily from just a few weeks of age - and he largely credited that to his wife’s calm temperament.
I believe – and maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better – that you can’t make sweeping generalizations about all children’s sleeping behavior after observing just two.
A family friend recently told me her son (who grew up to be a Harvard grad, so his sporadic sleep during his first year doesn’t appear to have hurt him too much!) nursed several times through out the night for the better part of his first year.
“I think he is such a sensitive person in general, he was looking for comfort in coping with adjusting to his new world, than food itself,” she said.
I really believe each child is different. I just hope mine allows me to get more than 5 hours of interrupted sleep soon! (It would be different if I didn’t wake up at 3 a.m.)
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This post was written by qni_it on May 21, 2010