My son is now 4 months old. Translation, I have not gotten a full night’s sleep in 4 months. There have been nights where I have gotten 6 straight hours, and those mornings I feel like a new woman! Most nights, however, I’m lucky to get 4 straight hours before he is up wanting to nurse.
I’ve asked my other mom friends about this, and some are in the same boat as me, and others tell me to just let him “cry it out,” it worked for them! To me, that’s just mean. The only way a baby knows how to tell you something is wrong is by crying, thus when they cry at night, something is wrong! As a mom, it is our job to make everything right again, so I just can’t imagine letting my son cry without me coming to his rescue. Some may say I am spoiling him; that by me coming to him every time he cries is making him think that he can get whatever he wants if he makes a little noise; and if we keep up with this routine he will never learn to sleep through the night.
Well you know what I say? He’s a baby. He won’t be a baby for very long, and in ten years when he is running away from my kisses and sleeping over at a friends house for the first time, I will wish he was this little again so he would spend the night snuggling with me instead. I will gladly give up a few hours of sleep to make my child stop crying, to let him know that his mom will always be there for him. To me, if I let him cry and he eventually does stop and falls asleep, that might be great for me, but not my baby. Instead, he goes to sleep thinking his mom no longer cares if he cries. He thinks being uncomfortable and hungry is how he’s supposed to feel. He has simply given up.
Everyone always says “Just wait until he’s a teenager. He won’t love you anymore!” and “Enjoy it while it lasts.” So that is what I am going to do. Take in every baby moment, every cry, every smile, every laugh, and always know that I will love him as hard as I can for as long as I possibly can before he grows up and doesn’t need me to rescue him anymore. I know he will always need me, but not like he does now. He won’t always need me to rock him back to sleep, to be his only source of food, to pick him up when he is uncomfortable, to change him when he’s wet, to be present so he can feel better just knowing I’m around.
So yes. I am exhausted and would love nothing more than a full night of sleep. But I won’t rest knowing my baby needs me.