While being pregnant every single person told me that I should enjoy the first few months when the baby is still sleeping a lot. So my expectations were like that: My baby sleeps, it cries when it is hungry, I feed it and afterwards it will fall asleep again and maybe in the evenings there will be the crying hour but apart from that it is all relatively simple. But we had to figure out that the truth was completely different. As my little girl was not ‘sleeping like a baby’, this is the reason why I wrote this article.
When we were in hospital, C slept quite well and she had a good day and night rhythm from day one. The doctor´s advice was to have her in the same room the first year to avoid the sudden infant death, so we decided to have her sleeping in a baby bay next to our bed. For C´s health I was breastfeeding her which made it very easy for me during the nights. As soon as I heard her waking up, and as a mum you do very quickly, I took her out of the bay and laid her down next to me. C fell asleep straight away after breastfeeding and often even I didn´t realize anymore when she finished. With that kind of co-sleeping it felt like sleeping through the nights in one go. Even Jochen, my husband, didn`t even wake up. So we had the chance to load our batteries at night.
But during the day I had to realize very quickly that it was the complete opposite. Up to an age of roughly 4 months C was crying a lot during the day and she hardly slept. She even hated the pram most of the time. The only thing to get her into dreamland was to carry her around most of the time. It took me a while and many many tears to find out what her “problem” was. She simply had problems to fall asleep on her own because she was too much interested in what was going on around her in this new world she had arrived to. From that day on my one and only task was to look constantly on the watch to see when it was sleeping time again. Once we found that out the days became much easier.
Sometimes I felt really bad to tell other people the truth because I often had the impression I did something wrong or wasn´t a good mother. Especially the saying “If the mom is relaxed, the baby is as well” was no big help. But I figured out that as soon as I told them how I really felt, they admitted that they went through a tough time as well. The fact that I was not the only one helped me so much. Sometimes I wished that people would have told me before what it was really about but somehow nobody wants to be the bad mother that is talking negative things about motherhood. But in the meantime I heard of so many mums that battled with the same problems and I learned that it is just kind of normal. C was so easy during the night but hard work during daytime and friends of mine have the opposite meaning that their child is awake for 2-3 hours every night even though they are 1 year old already.
The truth is that sooner or later this topic is part of every mum´s life. Even if you have the best behaving and cutest baby, at some point there will be sleepless nights or hard days.
How did you experience the first months with your babies sleep? I’d love to read about your story.
In one of my next posts I want to share all the things with you that we tried to help my little girl falling asleep.