Sleeping is one of the joys of life. As a mother of an 8 month old I am not getting to experience those nightly joys. My baby wakes up every 2-3 hours at night. I am exhausted throughout the day because of my lack of sleep. I thought by now he would be sleeping a lot longer. I thought I would have to suffer from sleep deprivation for only a few months.
I have done numerous things in the last few weeks to try to get him to sleep through the night. For example, before I put him to bed I breastfed and gave him some applesauce to make sure his tummy was full. I gave him a warm bath and put fresh pajamas on. I gave a massage to help put him in a deep sleep. I avoided feeding him at night as a way of breaking his habit of eating. Instead I just patted him on his back to get him to sleep. One night I even spent an hour trying to get him to sleep with just patting his back. I did this for a couple of weeks and he still would wake up every few hours. I have given up trying those different things to get him to sleep. Currently I am just breastfeeding when he wakes up as a quicker method of putting him back to sleep.
I know there are some people who do get their baby to sleep through the whole night. I have even heard of a woman who got her baby to sleep through the night just after four weeks of giving birth. After thinking about other people’s success I decided to talk to a few people about what would be the best way in getting my baby to sleep through the night. I have talked to friends, family and even my baby’s doctor. I have received different suggestions. There are two suggestions that seem to come up frequently. One suggestion was, “Let him cry himself to sleep. Avoid intervening. After a week he will sleep through the night.” The other suggestion was, “Continue to do what you are doing. He will naturally sleep through the night when he is developmentally ready.” Two different ideas and both seem to work for the people I have talked to. Everyone appeared confident in the responds given.
I wasn’t satisfied with the two main suggestions. I am not sure if continuing to do what I am doing is going to work. I have done it for two weeks and I didn’t seem to go anywhere with that. Plus how long would I have to wait before he would be developmentally ready? I am also not sure if I could let my baby cry through the whole night without intervening. It seems a bit cruel. If I knew it definitely works then I would try it however, I am not sure if I want my baby to go through such an emotional roller coaster.
I decided to do a little bit of my own investigating and see what research has to say about getting your child to sleep through the night. Guess what? The two suggestions that my friends and family gave seem to dominate the research studies conducted. As a matter of fact the research studies confused me even more because they couldn’t agree on what sleeping through the night meant. The number of hours for sleeping through the night varied. For example, one article I read said that five hours was considered sleeping through the night.
Before I even take on either of the two suggestions I thought I would do a little experiment with my readers. Both male and female can participate in this experiment. I believe a man’s point of view is just as valuable in this case as a woman’s. I think whatever the overall outcome of this experiment is will be the method I will use. So please send me your answer to my experimental question: Should I let me baby cry himself to sleep? OR Should I resume putting him to sleep by patting his back and comforting him till his developmentally ready to fall asleep on his own?