Friday, May 1, 2009

Thoughts on Sleeping Through The Night

His grunts and whines echo from the baby monitor on the bedside table. A quick glance at the clock never reveals morning; it's always between 12 and 3am.

I pull myself from bed and tip toe into the hallway. A two-year-old sleeps nearby and I certainly don't want two little ones awake in the middle of the night. I slip into the darkened room and feel my way to his crib, the light from outside illuminates a hungry 7-month-old, sitting up and still half enveloped in the swaddle from bedtime.

I pick him up and hold him close to my chest. I make quiet "shush" noises in his ear to keep the protests of an empty tummy quiet long enough to duck back into the adult's bedroom.

We lay back down in bed and snuggle under blankets. His tiny hands are often like ice as he rolls toward me, flailing and frustrated that I'm taking more than 0.005 seconds to settle next to him.

He nurses.

His small warm body is curled into mine and I hear the satisfied sounds of eating. I know his eyes are likely still closed and soon we both fall back to sleep. I'm too tired to move him back to his own bed and honestly, I don't want to. It's a quiet, blissful time of bonding. I'm most grateful for breastfeeding during these wee hours of the morning and although most give a tiny look of pity when I reply "not yet" to the sleeping-through-the-night questions, I'm secretly glad. I don't want my baby to abandon our nighttime routine just yet. I love it and wouldn't change it for the world.


  1. I miss those nights, only it was James who got up and brought our youngest to me in bed. I nursed her till she was 2 1/2 years old. She is now 4 almost 5 and still wakes up to come crawl in our bed. Funny thing is, I don't mind at all. There's a song out right now by Darius Rucker (who was the lead singer for Hootie) and it makes me cry every time.

  2. What a lovely telling of your nightly ritual. I co-sleep, so when people ask if DD sleeps through the night I usually say yes because I never have to wake up to feed her (and really, that's what people are concerned about), but then I realize that she does usually wake at some point to nurse, and then again at a normal morning hour, following which she will sleep some more. I love the bond, but even moreso, I love that I get a full night sleep (usually).

  3. I love how you wrote this, I love that time too! I always wonder why there is such an emphasis on whether they STTN or not.