The question I get asked most frequently when it comes to Little Oats is, “So is she sleeping through the night?” My answer? A snort, vigorous head shaking, and an incredulous, “No.” I’m not quite sure where this fascination with sleeping through the night comes from; it seems to be the holy grail of baby behaviour. But of all the mommy-friends I have, there is precisely ONE who has a baby sleeping through the night. It seems to be more the exception than the rule.
As a newborn, Little Oats slept in 2-3 hour stretches, waking frequently to nurse around the clock. Her sleep started solidifying into 3-4 hour chunks around three months… right in time for the four month sleep regression. At four months, Little Oats was waking between 2 and 4 times per night, but she was getting a decent amount of sleep (and so was I). Naps regulated around 7 months, and she was down to 1-2 wake-ups nightly. I felt like I could live with this situation; I was getting about 4 hours of sleep in a stretch, and we were managing fairly well.
And then, 9 months hit. While I had read a few times about the “9 month sleep regression,” I didn’t expect it would happen to us. I didn’t think that her sleep could get a whole lot worse than it had been, and I wasn’t prepared in the slightest.
But it hit just the same.
The day after Little Oats turned 9 months, naps became a fight. Bedtime became a struggle of epic proportions. It would take hours to get her to sleep (often times giving up and just letting her watch TV with me), and when she finally fell asleep, she would be restless and wake frequently. Naps were skipped all together, or fought to the point that Little Oats would fall asleep at 5:30pm and mess up her night time sleep even further.