My Good, Little Sleeper

DenaDecember 18, 2013

My good, little sleeper. Oh, how I have desperately waited & wished to be able to say those words. As I was suffering through the throes of new motherhood, a lot of the advice that I received was along the lines of, “One day it will just get better.” And as ambiguous as the advice was, it gave me comfort. I held fast to the hope that one day it would just get better. I remember a very specific conversation with a friend in which she was empathizing with me over the initial pain of breastfeeding. She said, “One day it will just stop hurting.” She was right.

The “suffering” that lasted the longest for us was surely the lack of sleep. Sleep has always been a critical part of my ability to function. I know that a lot of people can go without sleep or run happily on just a few hours. In fact, my own father cannot sleep more than five hours a night. If he gets too much sleep, it makes him feel poorly. (I can’t even imagine that!?!?) But I’ve never been one of those people. Without sleep, my brain shuts down. I experience sharp, physical symptoms — dark, haze blurs my vision; I develop swollen glands; and my depression flares up intensely. That said, lack of sleep is simply a reality of new motherhood. You grin and bear it. For me, the fact that Roman James was the sweetest, most angelic baby for most of his waking hours made it easier to push through. I always knew that one day it would get better. And recently, it did.

To get a good night’s sleep, you always need a comfortable bed. A comfortable bed is always welcoming and makes you fresh when you awake in the morning. This applies to your child, as well. In fact, you have two reasons to choose a good crib mattress. One is to give your child the right level of comfort as the way you expect in your bed, and the other is a good night’s sleep.

We’ve got a nap time routine. I pop Roman in his swing; cover him with his blankie; give him three toys (a green link, a red crab, & a board book); turn his swing & white noise on; and leave the room. It’s like magic. He plays for a little while and then falls asleep. So many mamas and sleep books told me about the importance of routine, but it just never worked for us. I don’t know if I wasn’t consistent enough or he wasn’t ready; but my goodness! All that I can say now is that when it works, it really works! We’re working on a bedtime routine now, too. We still get a few tears at bedtime and he still occasionally wakes up once or twice in the night. However, most nights he sleeps straight through — and this week he has slept until 7 am twice! After waking up no later than 4:30 am for six months, I truly never thought that I would sleep until 7 again. I cannot tell you how overjoyed & grateful I am about this.

It’s easy to spend a lot of time complaining about things like no sleep, no free time, etc. but it’s so important to count victories, too. My good, little sleeper is definitely a victory for me.

P.S. How cute is it that he sleeps with his hands behind his head like that? He’s been doing it since he was born! Also notice the link in his left hand. 😉 Amen for sleep! xo

Comments (10)

  • Andrea

    December 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    These are such darling photos you will cherish forever! If one thing is for certain, change is inevitable. These babies sleep habits change and change and change and we are constantly adjusting to the new normal. 🙂 I’m happy to hear you have a good routine going!

    1. Dena

      December 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Thanks so much, Andrea. You’re so right about the change thing, too! xo

  • Suzy

    December 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    That pose is too cute!

    I’m SO happy for you guys! And 7am?! Wow wow wow! Jealous!!

    1. Dena

      December 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      Right!? He sleeps like such a boss — the position and the hours. I really hope this keeps up and that it’s not a fluke. It’s Christmas-come-early ’round here. =D

  • farzana

    December 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    He looks so peaceful & beautiful!

    1. Dena

      December 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      I just want to kiss & kiss & kiss him when he’s asleep. My little smoosh face.

  • Rachel Torres

    December 18, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    We’re working on the same thing in our house! It’s harder to have a routine with the third, than it was with the first two. Always so much going on! Luckily my Plan B (baby carrier) always works 🙂

    1. Dena

      December 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      I wish Roman would have taken to a carrier. I tried so much in the beginning & he hated it. He’ll get in for playtime, hikes, out and about. But he refuses to nap in one! So glad it’s a great option for you, especially with three!! Ahhh. 😉

  • Tara

    December 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Thank you for posting about sleep! Jack is 8 weeks and the sleep is just getting worse with 30 min catnaps and I’m at my wits end. Everyone says it will get better but I, like you, NEED my sleep so am anxiously awaiting this day.

    1. Dena

      December 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      You are so welcome, love. I’ve written about it A LOT. You can check out all of the posts here:


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