As most of you know, I have a 6-month-old baby boy, who I’ve been able to breastfeed thus far. To me, this is a great accomplishment because I could only breastfeed my daughter until she was four months old. Well, my son doesn’t sleep through the night yet. He wakes up for one nightly feeding, and instead of feeding him a bottle and then having to pump, I just latch him.
I looked for different “sleep training techniques,” and none have worked. I had a friend send me a nine-page sleep training schedule that her neighbor provided, and we did it for a week, but it didn’t work. (Mind you, every article I had read stated that sleep training usually lasts three to four days.) We tried introducing him to formula since it’s been said that formula holds them over for longer than breastmilk, didn’t work. We tried putting cereal in the breastmilk at night, didn’t work. The cry-it-out method? Who got some sleep with that? Not me nor my husband.
So, I started praying hard, with tears in my eyes. “Lord, please, please, please let this child sleep through the night.” I was beyond frustrated to the point that when he woke up, I started crying because I was so tired and over waking up a night. “Why, isn’t he sleeping!?” “Lord, please, how can I get him to sleep through the night?” Daily, I cried out to the Lord, begging him for an answer. Until He provided the answer, and it wasn’t the one I wanted.
I was texting with my cousin, her daughter is about to turn two years old, and I asked her when her daughter started sleeping through the night. She told me; that it wasn’t until she stopped breastfeeding. She breastfed her daughter for a year, and for that whole year, she woke up once at night to comfort feed, is what she told me. Because she knew her daughter couldn’t be hungry, she was old enough to sustain not eating through the night. And I knew right there my prayers had been answered. But it wasn’t the answer I was looking for. My son will not sleep through the night until I stop breastfeeding (hopefully, because I’ve heard stories of kids who don’t sleep through the night for years).
Right there, I realized I had to make a mental switch; instead of being frustrated that I wasn’t getting the sleep, I needed to understand that this is a comfort thing. I also now thank God that I can still produce breastmilk because the formula storage is very stressful for parents. Every time I pump, I thank God, “thank you, Lord, that I am still producing and am able to continue to feed my child.”
Yes, I’m still tired because he’s not sleeping through the night, but I’m no longer frustrated like I was. And I am more grateful for the time I’ve been able to breastfeed. You see, since my daughter was switched to formula feeding sooner, she slept through the night sooner, so this was new to me. It’s incredible what switching your mind to focus on the positive can do for you.
Also, God answers prayers, but it may not always be the answer we are looking for, but we still need to trust him.
With Love, Heidy
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