As I sit here writing this it's 2:45am and I feel like I'm the only person awake in the world.
It's not a weekend, I'm not getting up for an exciting holiday - no - it's just another Tuesday night feed. And, in a few hours my other two will be up and I'll be bright eyed and bushy tailed looking after three small people and a full day of work ahead.
There's something so precious about these moments - the silence, the darkness, the connection. For a short while it truly feels like there's no one else here. But that can also be lonely sometimes.
It gives you too much time to be with your racing thoughts, reflecting on what's happened, mind racing to the day ahead, that mental checklist you do. Or scrolling on your phone to fill the nothingness.
It's a strange time and three babies in, it doesn't get any easier.
Tonight, I'm reflecting on the judgement and opinions I've faced as a breastfeeding Mum.
I never quite understood the external pressures of a baby to ‘sleep through’ the night until I become a mama.
And let's be serious, most adults don’t even sleep through. We toss, turn, go for a wee, wake up check our phone and the list goes on.
Here are a few of my personal favourites over the years...
Does the baby sleep through yet?
How does she sleep?
Do this, they will sleep better.
Why don’t you drop a nap...
They should be sleeping through by now!
Oh babies don’t sleep through when they are breastfed. (By the way - total myth)
You shouldn’t feed to sleep, they should be able to fall asleep on their own!
Don’t use white noise, they'll use it forever.
Let her cry it out, why don’t you do self-sooth?
Don’t co-sleep the baby will never go in her own room.
She’s using your boob like a dummy (story for another day!)
She needs to eat later to help them sleep better. Blah blah blah.
These are just a few of the suggestions and pressures I’ve had over the last four and a half years and maybe you’ve had a few of them too.
The thing is sleep is COMPLEX.
It’s a developmental milestone every baby meets at a different time.
Bottle feeding and breastfeeding have FA to do with it.
Each baby will sleep through when they are ready.
There is so much pressure on a mum to do what society and other generations did and do. But you need to do what suits you and your baby.
Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing.
Your babies sleep is not a reflection on you.
Babies might wake because their dreams were too vivid or too scary, they might wake because of an ache in their tummy, their hungry, going through a leap or seeking your comfort and that’s okay. All they have ever known is you.
You were their first home and will always be home.
Soon they will be too big to fall asleep on your chest and won’t be keeping you up at night. So as tired as you are mama, and let’s face it - we are TIRED.
Don’t worry or stress, sleep how you want to sleep and you have absolutely got this!
Anyway, my point is, you'll face judgement whatever you do.
So you might as well do what you want.
Every baby is different, every journey is different and each one is beautiful and valid.
You're not alone in your night feed, or your parenting style. I stand with you.
A tired, shhhh’ing, co-sleeping, feeds to sleep, boobing mama x