Is screaming in the middle of the night an anti-sibling baby plot?

Scientists speculate that babies may have evolved to wake up in the middle of the night because overnight breastfeeding delays ovulation and, thus, the creation of a new sibling to compete for resources. (Word of caution: This idea might be hampered by a focus on Western babies. I recently read a book that suggests Western idea of "normal" nighttime waking aren't the norm everywhere.)

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  1. And here I just thought it was a plot to keep everyone too tired to do anything but sleep when they could, ovulation makes it besides the point...

  2. You feel like the worst person on earth. The issue is that you are not alone, you typically have this other parent with you that has to share your shame at letting your little DNA strands wail and cry in order to teach them a lesson that they don't really comprehend yet.

    If you have the fortitude to look each other in the eye the next morning and still consider yourself good parents for letting a little person (whose very existence depends solely on you) "cry it out" then you are stronger than we are. After a while it's just not worth the anguish you're all going through. You just pick them up and try again a month or so later.

  3. Seki says:

    Another thing that most books don't tell you (because if they did they wouldn't have any 'magical solutions' to sell) is that babies/kids aren't all the same. Variations in patterns, needs and behaviours DO exist. One person's magical cure may not work at all for another so you often have to figure out what works best for your own kid with trial, errors and instinct.

    Our daughter didn't sleep full nights until she was nearly 2. Ever since she popped out, she was extremely alert and never slept for long periods. We tried and heard it all. First, people told us the bottle could help: Nope. Then co-sleeping was advised: No luck. Then, they said the first solid foods would fix it: Nope. Then they said her crawling and walking would make her more tired: She was walking by 9 months and still no sleep. Then there were people saying that we needed to cut naps while others swore by the fact that more naps were necessary: No and no...

    Things got better when we finally stopped looking at it like a problem and started accepting that this was simply her natural pattern and energy level. It was still challenging but our attitude made it more serene for all of us. We no longer felt like we were all defective- us in our parenting and her in her sleep habits- in some way and had to 'fix' things.

    She's nearly 4 now and maintains an astonishing amount of energy (and still feels that sleeping is the most useless, boring thing on Earth). But she is healthy and thriving so giving up on all the tips didn't seem to have hurt in any way.

  4. If there is one thing I could tell every parent ever it's that they're doing fine and not to worry about this so much. If you worry about being a shitty parent in some way then you are actually doing it right.

  5. Ethel says:

    Cock blocking is the only real relevant argument here. Well, vulva blocking. In my experience nursing an infant every 3-4 hours does not preclude conception. Twice. Meaning, as long as you get enough calories you will ovulate, the critical aspect is the presence or lack thereof of sperm in the Fallopian tubes to meet the ovum.

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