Tips for Pregnancy Week 35Brought to you by
Sweet Dreams: Finding the right balance, so that everyone can get some sleep.
You've probably heard someone say that they “slept like a baby.” The phrase conjures up an image of a peaceful infant, undisturbed by anything. Those first days, or even weeks, you may find that your infant snoozes most of the day away, seemingly oblivious to the stream of admirers and the glare of the camera flash. Of course, as you spend hours just holding, cuddling, and gazing adoringly at the snoozing angel, you will realize that sleeping like a baby means snorting, passing gas, and plenty of funny grunts and grins.
Then will come a stage in which that tired newborn becomes a restless, cranky, demanding little creature, who wakes at all hours of the night with cries that seem to be demanding something, if only you could wake up enough to figure out what it is. This is the point where many new parents think that they have somehow done something wrong. What happened to that great sleeper, who snoozed peacefully from one feeding to the next? The baby they proudly bragged to their friends never fussed? You might start to worry that grandma was right, and you have somehow spoiled this innocent child. You can stop worrying. This happens. If it doesn't happen to you, count yourself insanely lucky and move on!
So, what can you do? You may not be able to avoid all sleep issues, but you can be prepared for them to arise. Visit the library and take a look at all the books by sleep “experts.” There are plenty to choose from. Try out a few to see if you can find one that fits your style and vision of yourself as a parent, but keep in mind that your baby's temperament will also play a part in your success with any given method. There are believers in co-sleeping and constant nursing; comforting, but keeping in their own crib; and close the door on it all, and don't look back until morning. Just because one person says it works doesn't mean it will work for you, so take it all with a grain of salt.
Ask around. Do you have any friends with children who seem surprisingly well rested? Talk to them about what they have tried, and what worked and didn't work. You may find that you get a completely different answer from each person you ask. You may also hear that they had to do different things with each of their children. Even parents of twins, or more, find that what works for one baby might not work for the other.
There is a reason why all those well-meaning people keep telling you to enjoy your sleep now. If only they could figure out a way to get a pregnant woman to sleep through the night!