Sleeping Beauty

There is something so beautiful about a sleeping baby.

Maybe the beauty comes from the faces they pull, the little smiles, the concerned little grimaces. Or maybe the beauty comes from being able to really see your baby. Perfect, still and calm. Sometimes the chances that you get to inspect your baby are few and far between. Their flawless, perfectly soft skin, their never ending eyelashes, the rise and fall of their tiny chest, all so precious and all so engaging to watch. 


As a parent I know that the true beauty comes from the triumph of getting your baby to sleep. Sometimes it feels like it will never come, a real marathon effort. 
Your standards and expectations of sleep change the moment you have a baby. Functioning on minimal hours is the newfound norm and the seldom night of sleeping through is a glorious gift sent from above.
As an adult it is hard to imagine that you were ever so opposed to going to sleep. Fighting the overwhelming fatigue with every last bit of crazy, grumpy energy that you have. As any parent knows there is a window between tired and overtired. When you get to the ‘over tired’ stage a new child breaks out, we get a grumpy little man with a slight hysteria about him. Life is a whole lot easier if you can get through the window before we get to this stage.
The method of getting a child to sleep is a delicate art form. 
Our method, delicate in its own way, is a tedious and sometimes frustrating process. It is an exhausting cycle, that can go on for what feels like hours, feed, sleep, cot, wake, cry, rock, feed, sleep, cot, wake, cry, rock, repeat. 
We know our method will probably get us into trouble, when he is too heavy to rock or I am not breastfeeding anymore. I am sure all the sleeping experts out there would tell us that the method we are using is detrimental.We have read all about self soothing and settling techniques, we know about them, we have tried them, Leo got so worked up he was physically sick, it was awful, hence we are not self settlers. We are rockers. Our way works for us and if there is one thing I have learnt as a parent it is that you need to do what works for you, not what a book or someone else tells you to do. 


When we became parents we had expectations of how sleepless our nights would be and on the whole we have been pleasantly surprised. We have been extremely lucky and we are well aware of that. We have our tired days but we know that it will not last forever, one day I’ll be nagging my teenage son to get out of bed, annoyed that he is making us late for the sake of his sleep in. So for now I cherish every afternoon nap that I get, my little bear clinging to my chest.


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