Confessions of a Sleep Deprived Daddy
I?ve been doing a fair amount of research on sleep lately. I?ve done it at 2:12 a.m., I?ve done it at 4:47 a.m., or any other myriad of times that my boy is awake squawking. There?s a certain degree of irony involved when you?re doing research on sleep while you should be sleeping.
Most of the relevant information out there on infant sleep seems to conflict with each other and then there are a few reports that are honest enough to basically assert that your baby will sleep about as much as your baby wants to sleep. I know many of you would argue with me – that they like routine, you should feed them a certain time before bed, that you should never pick them up when crying in bed, etc. There are tricks for sure, but on the whole when the kid is tired, the kid is tired. It?s not quantum physics.
Or maybe it is quantum physics and that explains why nobody can figure it out. My next book will be on the benefits of string theory on infant naps. Check your local bookstores. But I digress?
A close friend of ours has an 8 month old baby who goes to bed at about 6:30 p.m. and on bad nights, gets up once before she sleeps until 7:00 a.m. Another friend of ours with a 7 month old puts their little darling to bed at 7:00 p.m. and she typically doesn?t make a peep until 7:00 a.m.
Our 9 month old boy has never been a big fan of sleep from the time he arrived. His modus operandi is sleepytime at 8:00, maybe 8:15. If I cross my fingers, stand on my head and pat my stomach at the same time, he sleeps until about 11:30 and then it?s pretty much one hour naps interrupted by wake-the-dead screaming until we can?t stand it anymore – typically around 6:00 a.m. Thus, my research on sleep.
And then I turned up this gem from an ?expert? on a prominent news site: ?by nine months, your baby will likely be sleeping soundly through the night.? And somewhere, at the crack of dawn, someone was giving the finger to their laptop.
Is my kid behind the curve?
As I started to obsess about remedial education, our insomniac bundle threw me a curve. He went from 8:30 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. with only one interruption somewhere around 3:30 a.m. Though it was a significant breakthrough, instead of sleeping, I spent roughly two hours worrying that something was wrong because he hadn?t awakened every 45 minutes to try and shake the roof tiles off with his bellowing.
Thinking this was a harbinger of things to come, we confidently put the boy down for bed at 8:00 the following night and started making plans for a long night?s rest. He woke up no fewer than 14 times before 6:00 a.m.
But just in case you?re curious, experts say that most 9 month-olds sleep soundly through the night.