The Quest for Sleep




yawning baby

From the featured blog, Confessions from a Working Mom



I’ll admit it…


 
I was one of those moms who thought she would spend her maternity leave leisurely strolling through the neighborhood, pushing a pram (no, I’m not British, but like Madonna, I like to sound that way); I thought I’d be spending afternoon coffee dates with my girlfriends; and I thought—for sure—I’d be getting lots and LOTS of rest.
 
Because, honestly, how much work could one little baby be?
 
Well, you know what people say what you assume… It’s not nice.

 Six weeks in, and I hadn’t slept more than 90 minutes at a stretch since my beautiful daughter came home from the hospital. By 12 weeks, I was starting to hallucinate and took on the gaunt look of a strung-out addict. I brought in reinforcements.
 
Actually, I brought in Dr. Harvey Karp and what’s come to be known in my house as the “Baby Bible”—aka, his book, “Happiest Baby On The Block.”
 
In case you’ve never read it, I’ll encapsulate the entire 100-some-page book in a few words. It focuses on the theme of the “5 S’s”: swaddling, side/stomach position (that only counts as one “S”), shushing, swinging, and sucking. Dr. Karp claims that when you use some or all of these techniques in combination, your baby will sleep so soundly that your friends, neighbors, and countrymen will start calling him or her the “happiest baby on the block”.
 
I tried to follow Dr. Karp’s advice. I tried swaddling my daughter; she fought me like a Sumo wrestler, and managed to wiggle her little arms free in under 15 seconds. I tried cradling her on her side, her tiny body nestled next to mine. She pushed away, as though I smelled as if I hadn’t showered for days (ok, I hadn’t showered for days, but she didn’t know that!).
 
But, I am persistent… I am dedicated… I am as stubborn as an ox… and I kept trying… and trying… and trying.
 
And finally, one night, my daughter started sleeping. First, it was just in 3-5 hour stretches, but after three months without any shut eye whatsoever, that absurdly short period started to feel like I’d reached mommy-nirvana. After about four weeks on the “5 S” method, my girl was sleeping for 8-10 hours at a time, and I finally looked less like a zombie and more like the mother I’d set out to be.
 
Now, you don’t need this book to make the “5 S”‘s work for you. All you really need is some patience, persistence, and a strong cup of coffee.
 
Read more from the blog, Confessions from a Working Mom