Thursday, January 31, 2008

Info for parents and a little rant

I've heard great things about the book "The Wonder Weeks" by Frans Plooij and I've also heard that copies aren't so easy to come by without paying through the nose.

Well here is a link to a summary of the book. The highlights for those of us who want to understand sleep regressions and developmental milestones better without having to track down the book and read the whole thing. :-)

For those unfamiliar, Ask Moxie has some great posts on the topic, too.

I find the sleep regressions kind of fascinating. Not only because they are so predictable (the number of message board posts I've seen titled "4 month sleep issues!" and "8/9 month sleep issues!" is astounding), but also because absolutely NO ONE warns you about them. If I wasn't a regular reader of Ask Moxie's blog I would have no clue why Heather went from sleeping all night to waking 2-3 times a night at 4 months.

Is there a reason that pediatricians don't talk about this stuff??!! No offense to the doctors out there, but I hear about so many doctors telling their patients to just let their kids cry or that their BABIES shouldn't be waking up overnight after a certain age or weight. Is there not enough guilt in our lives already without making us feel like failures because our babies want a little comfort or food when it is dark? If the parents aren't upset about getting up then why is there all this pressure to change the behavior? And if we know that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to adults, why would we possibly expect that every baby should be doing the same thing at the same time?

And most importantly, adults don't sleep well when there are stress or changes in their lives. They might have trouble falling asleep, or bad dreams, or they might wake frequently. With all that babies are learning and the all the ways that they are changing and growing, how can we possibly expect them to sleep like perfect angels every night from the time they are weeks old?

And no, this isn't sleep deprivation talking. Heather slept from 8pm to 6am last night. (We were just woken once by a cat having a hairball on the bed. Thank you, Stewart.) I'm hopeful that the breaking through of her 4th tooth and the antibiotics for the ear infection that we didn't know she had will mean more good nights of sleep in our near future.

*knock on wood*

And by good nights I don't mean that I expect her to sleep from 8 to 7 every night without a disturbance. It would be nice, but I'm not going to push my luck. :-)

I hope that some of this information is helpful to those of you with younger babies. You might be lucky and have kids who sleep through all of this developmental stuff, but if you aren't at least you will know why it is happening!


Michelle said...

I feel like I teach a lot of my friends with small babies about sleep regressions because you are right, no one talks about them unless you've read Moxie! I feel good about being able to guide other moms through them because had I not known what the heck was going on, I probably would have snapped at those points. Wonder why docs don't ever mention them since they are so predictable?!

Michelle said...

awww man, I thought we were in the clear for a while, Amy. Week 55 here we come!

DrDrama said...

The things you learn in residency about infant sleep are very minimal, unfortunately. There is little time spent on basic parenting issues like sleep and eating. I had never even heard of the 4 month sleep regression until I started doing my own research. Very annoying!

Anna said...

In case you want to read more, the Sq Hill branch has a copy of Wonder Weeks. The format of the translation is basically a glorified baby book, though, and I ended up feeling bad because some of the "weeks" make it sound like your kid should be gearing up for Harvard and here's Henry, just being a baby, you know?

Very well said, Amy!