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What's with the obsession with sleep?

It seems where ever I go on here and IRL, everyone is obsessed with how much/how little a baby is sleeping. Everyone asks how baby is sleeping, every soon-to-be mother prays for a baby that "sleeps through the night", and those who don't get that "lucky" obsess about it, reading books and asking advice until the child does.

Why so obsessed? I mean, I get it... I did it with my first. I drove myself nuts trying to figure out his "sleep issues"... but with my second I just didn't. I knew he'd wake a lot at night and it honestly doesn't bother me one bit. I'd find it abnormal for a baby to sleep longer than several hours overnight... so, why the expectation? Why do we expect babies to do something that most don't do? Why do we think there is something wrong with them waking several times a night beyond 6 months? Why do we pray for them to do something that probably increases their risk of SIDS?

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Asked by LeanneC at 6:41 PM on Nov. 22, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 18 (6,435 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • SIDS?? You do realize they can be wide awake and suddenly die, right?

    As for expecting them to sleep...what gets me are the moms who insist there is some way to MAKE them sleep.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:47 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • Lack of knowledge and experiance is why they think they should or shouldn't sleep so much LOL.. Mine youngest is 8 YEARS old and he still doesnt sleep through the night, he never has. Yes he is special needs, sometimes he will sleep from 9 til midnight then be up until 9 the next night. He has done it since he was little. He also can't take a nap or he won't sleep for a few days. I wish I had his energy. Now the other 2 love to sleep.

    Answer by midnightmoma at 6:48 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • Because some mothers (like myself) literally cannont function if they go without sleep for a prolonged period of time. I also take up to 2 hrs to actually fall asleep. so a child who wakes up every 2-3 hrs is hard to handle.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:57 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • Because sometime they are waking more than every few hours... at 6 months old my son was waking 6-8 times/night! That isn't waking every several hours... it's waking every several minutes. We called it a "good" night when he only got up 3-4 times. And when both mom and dad work full time and don't sleep at night it gets to be really hard to even function.
    We found that we were causing the problems though by rocking him or breastfeeding him to sleep... if someone would have clued us in on other ways of doing things before he was 11 months it would have been nice!

    Answer by AmiJanell at 7:04 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • i think there is a difference between being obsessed with sleep and wishing for a good night's sleep, and thinking that your baby should sleep through the night.

    i didn't expect it but i still "obsessed" about it. it's extremely hard to function when you are sleep deprived. makes it hard to to obsess over it. my son woke frequently (mostly 5-6 times per night) until he was 17 mos old and i was in an online group of moms in the same situation where we would support each other and ask for advice.

    it's just like a lot of women, including myself, are "obsessed" with birth. we like to read about it, we like to talk to each other about our experiences, we like to get and give advice on upcoming births.

    i think basically it's that a lot of moms, including myself, like to talk to other women, get/give support, on all kinds of issues that are related to being a mom. i don't see a problem with that.

    Answer by Stefanie83 at 7:12 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • But when you decide to have a baby, you should KNOW they are not going to sleep through the night until they are good and ready to. It's a developmental thing! Working or not, you decided to become a mother and that is part of the job.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:13 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • Some moms actually want their baby to get restorative sleep.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:27 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • No, I have not heard of babies dying of SIDS while awake. I'm sure it's possible for them to die suddenly while awake but SIDS happens most often while sleeping.

    And I had a child who woke *really* often. Never slept longer than 2 hours and more often it was closer to every 30-45 minutes. I drove myself nuts trying to "figure" it out. I felt worse every morning because I was watching the clock and knew exactly how much sleep I missed out on. This time, I don't even know how often my baby wakes... it could be every hour, could be every 4. I don't know, and you know what? I sleep great.

    I'm just saying that maybe if we put less focus on it, and just accepted the fact that they're going to wake up and made things as easy on ourselves as possible... it wouldn't be such an issue.


    Answer by LeanneC at 7:32 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • some woman just appreciate sleep... I know I'm one of them... and yes I did wish my son would sleep thru the night asap but I knew that would most likely not be the case.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:11 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • I am trying not to obsess over it - I am a SAHM so I guess I don't NEED sleep as bad as moms who have to get up and go to work in the morning, but my 6 month old gets up about every hour. She nurses for 5-10 mins and then falls back to sleep, then does it again an hour later. She appears to be getting enough sleep - she's happy and doesn't need a lot of naps in the day. I just remind myself when I start to get caught up in all these so-called methods that when I was a baby there weren't all these books about how to get a baby to sleep...I am starting to just chalk it up to what happens when you have a baby and not stress over it too much! Good luck to all of you!

    Answer by stepmom929 at 8:18 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

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