When you have a baby that won't sleep

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When you have a baby that won't sleep

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What sleep challenges have we dealt with? Our first baby was - just did not sleep. He woke up every 45 minutes for 6-8-10 months. And it took a huge toll on me, my partner, and my relationship. No one got enough sleep and everyone was depressed and anxious about it. And we really didn't agree on how we should deal with it. She wanted to do one thing. I wanted to do another. She wanted to co-sleep. I couldn't sleep with the baby in the bed. And this went on for a while. And then we finally did some sleep training and he slept through the night. It was really traumatic. And when our second baby came along, we took on the mantra, whatever gets everybody the most sleep is what we are going to do. And if that meant crying it out, that's what we did. If that meant co-sleeping, that's what we did. And everything in between. We stopped reading all the books, and we stopped listening to all the people telling us what we should do, and we went with what worked for our house. So our second child slept in a crib. Sometimes he slept next to our bed. We did cry it out. We did more gentle forms of sleep training. We did scheduling. And what I really learned is you have to do what works for your family. There's so much out there about baby sleep, and it can make you feel guilty and anxious. It can make you feel like you're going to break your child and they'll never recover. And what you need to me realize is we all need sleep. Some people need a lot more sleep than others. I'm one of those people, but everybody needs it. And if you can't function, you're not going to be a good parent. So do what you need to do when you get it and go with what works for you and your family.

View Susan Goldberg, MA's video on When you have a baby that won't sleep...

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Susan Goldberg, MA

Author & Blogger

Susan Goldberg is a writer, editor, essayist and blogger, and coeditor of the award-winning anthology And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families. Her writing has been featured on the CBC and the Globe and Mail, in Ms., Lilith, and Stealing Time magazines, and several anthologies, including the forthcoming Chasing Rainbows: Exploring Gender-Fluid Parenting Practices. Susan is a contributing blogger at Today’sParent.com and VillageQ.com. In 2012, she was chosen as one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year. She’s currently (always) working on a novel, called Step on a Crack, and on Overflow, a one-woman performance piece about lingerie and breast cancer. Susan lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario, with her partner and their two sons.

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