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The Natural Waves of Infant Sleep

My precious person is 12 weeks old tomorrow.

She is by far and away the sleepiest of my three and she has pretty much slept off her fourth trimester

I’m talking 3 hour day naps and 8-10 hour blocks at night.

Yep, I’ve put up my umbrella to shield the lemons coming my way for admitting that.

She’s one chilled little customer and though she’s had her ‘needier’ days, by and large, sleep has come easily to her.

She’s been boobed to sleep, cuddled, rocked and carrier napped each and every time. She’s easily transferred to her basket and side car cot 90% of the time.

She’s never been ‘taught’ to ‘self soothe’ but she obviously links sleep cycles just fine.

But suddenly, these last 3 days and nights, she’s catnapping like an expert …

She’s barely making 2-3 hours without waking to nurse at night …

Regression’ I hear them cry!

But, with even the smallest amount of observation, I can see my sweet babe is far from going backwards, she’s actually progressing with impressive speed.

Yes, her sleep has changed.

Yes, she is clearly needing more assistance than she did last week.

But a regression implies she has somehow ‘lost’ some ‘abilities’ and this is simply not true.

Her rapidly growing mind and body are hard at work.

She isn’t the same as she was last week.

She’s more advanced and far more ‘awake’ to her world.

Sure, she’s tiring more quickly. She was lasting between 1.5 to 2 hours between naps but after a catnap she’s lucky to make an hour but can you blame her?!?

The hour she is awake she doesn’t stop moving!

Little hands that can now grasp an object!

Little hands that can now open and move things with supreme concentration.

Little voice that chats and experiments with a range of sounds.

Little bright eyes that smile and light up at the sights before her.

Little chuckles and giggles that burst from within

Little legs that kick, push and dig in.

A little torso that twists and arches with attempts to roll becoming closer and closer to reality.

She’s nursing more often, needing more help to calm off to sleep and waking more frequently, but not because she has forgotten some mad sleep skills and in need of re-training.

She may not get back to the 8-10 hour blocks at night for the next month, year or even for life (I never make more than 4-5 hours before waking for a sip of water and/ or a toilet break and I’m 36 years old …) and that is okay.

I’m not sitting here wishing and praying for the sleep to return.

I’ve spent far too much time doing that in the past.

I’m living for the now.

She is only asking of me what she needs right now and I’m here to walk right beside her at this time in her life when she needs me so intensely.

I could ask all the questions, I could keep dreaming of the day, I could lament the hours of sleep lost but I don’t want to waste my precious energy on questions that have no answers and time since past.

I will spend my days in awe of what a small human learns in these early days, weeks, months and years and my nights knowing I am exactly where I need to be.

I’ll ride this wave with my darling and you can be sure I’ll be straight back there with her for the next one and the one after that.

We are in this together, my sweet love and I.

It’s an honour and privilege to be her mum ❤️

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