Cheech slept through the entire night last night for the first time in a good 2-3 months. And she woke up in the most splendid mood, to boot. I've been fighting a head cold and allergies for the past couple days, so I like to think that she subconsciously knew that I needed rest.
Sleep is hard. It's much, much harder than they lead you to believe. When she was an infant, with the exception of sleep training, Joe and I tried every trick in the book to get her sleeping at least a solid 8 hours. Maybe she was cold? We'd try layering her pajamas. Maybe she was hungry? We'd feed her right before going to bed ourselves. Maybe all those other people who didn't know our baby were right, and she really DID need to be sleeping on her own in a crib? Two weeks of her waking hourly in her crib, and I realized that all those other people didn't know their heads from their assholes. No one knows your baby the way you know your baby (my mom told me that shortly after Cheech was born, and it's the best parenting advice I've received to date). If any of those minor adjustments did work, they only lasted a night or two at the very most. Sleeping through the night, the entire night, didn't happen for us until she hit 11 months. Knowing what I know now, I can't help but look back at all of my frustrations over sleep and realize what a doofus I was.
Kids learn to sleep. Eventually, they all learn to sleep. But the thing is, just like crawling, walking, talking, etc., they do it on their own time. And sometimes they're really great at it, but sometimes they regress. Cheech didn't take her first unassisted steps until she was 15 months old, which made her a bit of a late walker. Although she's now had over a year of practice and it's safe to say she's basically mastered the skill, she STILL stumbles, misses a step, or plain trips over her own feet on a daily basis. Yet, unlike with sleep, I don't find myself asking, "Why can't she just walk perfectly all the time?". You see what I'm saying here? SLEEP IS HARD. If it wasn't, there wouldn't be countless books, websites, forums, and sleep specialists dedicated to children and their inconsistent sleep patterns. There are no answers, and the only solution is time.
The reason I decided to write this somewhat boring post is because I know that quite a few of you just had babies, or are on the verge of having babies. I'm probably the worst person to come to for parenting tips (I mean, I let my kid watch TV... which is apparently horrible), but trust me on this one, guys. Your baby will, one day, sleep. Just be patient, and ignore all those bags of tricks that so many people seem to have. I wish somebody had told me that. And if they did, I wish I would have believed them.