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June 18, 2012

An Encouraging Pediatrician = Priceless

If I learned anything from my years in the elementary classroom (and trust me, I learned a ton!), it is that all kids are different - all children learn differently and develop at different speeds and that is 100% A-OKAY! Why, then, did I expect my Caleb to "follow the charts" when it came to his sleep routine?!

When Caleb was just a few months old, all of the books, magazines, and well-meaning friends kept talking about the point when Caleb would sleep "through the night". I had my definition of a baby "sleeping through the night": They would sleep from 8pm to 8am, right? *Exaggeration Being Used to Make a Point Here* Why the heck didn't anyone explain to me that a baby's version of "through the night" meant 5 HOURS! (This was not covered at the hospital!) My pediatrician had to break this news to me one afternoon when I came flying into his office yelling, "We need to talk!". Okay, it wasn't really like that; but there was one afternoon when I decided that I needed assistance getting Caleb to sleep as long as "everyone else's baby".

When I explained to the doctor that Caleb was sleeping 4-6 hours at a time and then waking up and eating ravenously, he assured me that I was doing a great job and that Caleb was perfectly normal and doing exactly what most other babies are doing at his age - possibly eating a bit more because he is so long. My thoughts at this point: "If that's the case, then why the heck is everyone else telling me that their baby has slept "through the night" since they were three and a half minutes old and that they have never had to get up to feed them til after the sun rises? If what you're telling me is true, then explain to me why I received such a hard time at a recent baby shower because my child was still eating during the night. Oh yeah, and Doc, can I take you home with me so you can reassure me that all is well when I'm getting up during the night (sometimes twice) to feed my hungry little booger?"

"Long babies typically eat more", the doctor said. My thoughts: "Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Babywise!" (Please forgive me for getting a little fiesty here - Sensitive Topic)

Why am I writing about this now? Two reasons:

#1 - Now it's my turn to brag proclaim to the entire world that my child is now consistently sleeping from 8:30pm until 6:30am without waking! Have there been nights here and there when this didn't happen? - Sure. We've had our random nights of issues - teething, stuffy nose, etc. Am I under any grand illusions that he will never wake up again during the night? - Heavens no, but we're doing great here; and I am singing the Hallelujah chorus at the top of my lungs.

#2 - I want to encourage new moms out there who might struggle with comparing, worrying, etc. that you.are.doing.everything.right. Your child is perfectly normal, and your little one is doing exactly what most other babies their age are doing.
Note: If you have one of those babies who slept from 8:30pm until 6:30am from the time they were just a few weeks old, I hate you. Well, not really - but I must say, my doctor says you're either lying or you have a very unusual baby. Go ahead and register them for gifted classes as they are clearly advanced. ;-)

Never Sarcastic

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