The Pause

Near my 8th month of pregnancy, I started to panic about sleep. So I went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a book my friend Sarah recommended to me, Baby Wise. She told me she had all three of her kids sleeping through the night before they were 20 weeks old.

I didn’t believe her. All of sudden, the memory of being tormented by crying all night long and walking around like a zombie during the day came rushing back. If I could have stopped it, I would have, right? I read EVERY book available to a new mom.

Still, I realized I would have to change my parenting style as a mother. I couldn’t possibly carry BOTH boys around all day and wake up with both of them, on demand, for close to a year. Especially if they were on different schedules. It would kill me. I had two older boys to think of too!

At Barnes and Noble the staff member who brought me the Baby Wise suggested three or four other books. “Read it, read it, read it,” I said.

Then she handed me, Bringing Up Bebe. It was getting a lot of press in the new lately. Pamela Druckerman writes about the differences between American mothers and French ones.

Apparently in France babies sleep through the night between 2 and 4 months. TWO and FOUR months! I woke every three hours for 8 months with both Jack and Ben. Impossible, I thought.

In Bringing Up Bebe, she tells how she could find no sleep training books in France. And French mothers didn’t understand what she meant when she asked about it. No one let’s their kid cry for hours at night. It took many months of observation for her to realize it came down to one simple thing, French mother’s don’t run every time their kid makes a noise at night. They pause, even from the very beginning, and give their child a chance to settle themselves.

This time around I don’t have a monitor on full blast right next to my ear, even though the babies are just one bedroom away. I don’t want to hear any noises, just full out crying.

This time if I do hear a sound, I wait to see if they settle. I did this before I read the book, as a seasoned mom, but I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I did it also because I sometimes can’t get to them right away. I did it because I was so tired I didn’t wake at every peep.

Last night Sam gave me another 8 hour stretch. It’s not a fluke. Sometimes he does it. Aaron at most has given me 6 hours. It’s not consistent, and most of the time it’s staggered so I’m still waking up with only 2 or 3 hours in between but I’ll take it!

Maybe it’s not the formula, as I originally thought. Maybe it’s me?

Jack Holding Aaron and Sam

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4 thoughts on “The Pause

  1. I am so glad you are working it out and getting some sleep. I used babywise. All those books have one or two things that help. Babywises biggest thing for me was Not nursing to sleep because how they go to sleep is what they expect to be doing when they wake suddenly.

    Bravo Nikki. You continue to amaze me!

    • You read it too! It makes me want to read the Tiger Mom one too. Did you read that one? Any other books you liked? I’m always open to suggestion…

      • I read Tiger Mom as well. Reminded me of my mother. I did take away few key things from it like not letting kids quit so quickly.. I did that as a kid and now regret it (piano lessons).

        No other parenting books besides those too, but yes, Tiger Mom was awesome. You should read it.

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