Timothy will be 6 months at the end of this month, I cannot believe it! As a fitness pro, I know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. Even moderation sleep deprivation elevates the hormone ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and can lead to weight gain. Before Timothy was born, I was the kind of person who easily slept 8 hours a night. I cherished my beauty rest, my husband often made fun of me for turning out the lights by 9 or 930pm. Well my friends, my days of 8 hours straight shut eye are long gone. I can’t remember the last time I had a solid night’s sleep.
I hear other new mom’s speak about their baby’s going down at 7pm and sleeping till 7am, it makes me want to cry. My little guy takes after my husband, he’s definitely a night owl. I will finally get him to conk out around 830pm or 9pm to have him wake again at 11pm or 12 and again at 2am. I get so tired, I often bring him in to bed with me to nurse so I can finally get us both back to sleep. My pediatrician asked me at our last visit if Timothy was sleeping through the night and said at his age (then 4 months) he should be able to.
Ugh, what am I to do? My part time Columbian nanny, Gloria, told me I have a marshmallow heart. I’m too soft, I just can’t bear the thought of him crying it out. I hear horror stories of friends who let their infants cry up to 2 hours straight before they finally fall asleep. Yet, they tell me in the long run everyone is happier and mom, dad and baby all get a better night’s sleep. It takes 3 to 5 days of letting them cry and then they finally understand how to self soothe is the theory.
I also hear of family’s who let their kids co-sleep with them and feel safe and warm and comforted and eventually they want to be in their own beds. Problem is, when is that eventually? I often have very early morning clients and when I haven’t had a wink of sleep all night, it’s hard to do yoga all day long. I also am starting to feel the long term effects on my mood. Lack of sleep definitely can lead to depression!
I haven’t discovered the answer yet; and I am writing this blog now at 834pm hoping Timothy may just make it at least 5 or 6 hours tonight before waking up and crying. I could invest in a great set of ear plugs, or I can just keep snuggling him and deal with the sleep deprivation for a few more months. As my mom says, “The days are long, but the years are short.” I know soon I will be longing for the days when my little boy wanted to sleep with his mommy.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!