I’ve been a mum now for 6 months and I honestly have forgotten what it feels like to sleep through the night. I’ve been waiting for when I get to sleep uninterrupted for a while and I’m hoping it’s sooner than much later. My sleepless night started during pregnancy which means for almost a year now I have had a broken sleep pattern – first to indigestion and Zoe kicking the crap out of me while in my tummy and now it’s to rocking, feeding and chatting/playing depending on what she feels like. I know I should have paid more attention to all the sleep training stuff but how was I to figure all that out while still trying to understand this little being? I found it tough but I can’t complain too much I see the flicker of light in the distance, hopefully not too far and all thanks to CARBS!
So experts say by 3 months babies are capable of soothing themselves back to sleep … really? Mine hasn’t figured out that super power yet. By month three I was just finally enjoying breastfeeding and learning to bathe her among all the other things I can’t seem to place my finger on that eats up all of my time to get into the precise sleep guru space.
I took it for granted that babies would sleep once they’ve eaten, which I soon learnt as not always being true. I’m not sure how she knows once she’s been placed on her bed. I mean she’s still sleeping and all but once you lay her down she would wiggle turn and start screaming. But immediately you pick her up, she would fall right back to sleep – it totally drove me bonkers. I probably should have left her to cry it out a little and hopefully learn to self-sooth, but the first time mum love and compassion wouldn’t let me. So I would carry her, rock and sing her back to sleep. Like a shrewd master, she demanded it every time!
By 4 months and with grandma gone, we decided to stick to a routine but the poor girl wasn’t having any of it – lol! I was determined to see it through but it wasn’t easy and I soon gave up. I was spending my whole evening trying to get her to sleep; changing her, reading and feeding her. But once I place her down she stays for 10 mins and starts screaming, and I start all over again with the rocking. Until the golden moment after a couple of tries when she finally goes down and sleeps for 3 hours then wakes for a feed. That’s been my life until now all thanks to weaning. I can still hear my friend screaming into my ears, give that girl some carbs so she has the strength to sleep for longer. I finally did! I got some carbs into her diet and she’s loving it (my girl is a massive foodie I have to say). A bit of Potatoes, butternut squash and Cerelac is finally coming in handy and paying off. It hasn’t magically stopped her from waking up the initial time you try to lay her down but its cut down the time drastically and has also reduced her night feeding. We are currently down to 2 feeds from 4 during a 10 to 12 hour sleep. I hope I don’t jinx it by rejoicing too early 🙂
If I had to do this again I most certainly will do things differently. Most importantly, I’ll try and get her into self-soothing early, start a routine on time (not a 100% sure though it would have made a difference), planning my time better as well because I was often tired by her bedtime and the whole going to bed routine is a piece of work on its own. But, oh well we are here and it’s been a heck of a ride and as I count down to resuming work in 3 weeks my focus is to get her to settle down more quickly and earlier to make life a little easier once work load gets added on.
I also have to say it’s not all been baby war with my munchkin, she has been a star with handling the move to her room and sleeping in her cot bed like a boss lady. Which has been much appreciated by husbandman and myself. Somehow though, I’ve started the tradition of morning sleep-in with mum and dad during the weekends and I’m loving it – snuggling up with two of my fav people still has its kick. Now I need to shut my laptop and get some sleep before feed time xx