Sleeping through the night – This must be one of the most googled questions by new mums. From the day you pop your sprog out, I can assure you your sleep will never be the same again. I underestimated the beauty of sleep. I now also understand why sleep deprivation is used as a torture method. In the early days of having Layla I thought it was tough that she was awake for an hour, wanted a feed and then slept. Little did I know that as they get older this becomes more difficult.
“Sleep when she sleeps” they said. Sounds perfect but once you have visitors, need a poo, a shower or to get dressed this goes out the window. Plus sod’s law that as soon as you do close your eyes, the door goes, your phone rings or you’re so wired it just doesn’t happen. Plus when are you supposed to upload all those ca-yuuuute photos from that day?
For those that know me well, I LOVE my sleep. I once slept for 48 hours (following a house party where we made a space cake in the microwave, got so stoned that I wet myself from all the laughing and then lost the next 2 days to sleep… but that’s another story. I would also like to point out this was during my pre-children days before you all start looking up the number for Social Services). I loved university for the flexibility of power naps – go to a lecture, have a nap, do some coursework, have a nap, go out get wasted, have a nap…
I recently met with my NCT mum friends and we kicked off with our favourite topic “so what’s your baby’s routine like now?”. I hate the word routine mainly because I haven’t cracked one. I’m not ashamed to admit it but I do think if I had my time again I would have done things differently – I know I also need to get harder and show the baby who’s boss, right now she definitely is the boss of me. Breastfeeding for 6 months made it difficult as i’ve talked about before as this then led to co-sleeping, it was just so much easier to put her in the bed next to me and feed whilst I was half asleep.
9 months on and although the breastfeeding has stopped, the baby is still in our bed. I say “our” as in mine and Zak’s even though he has now relocated from the couch in our one-bed flat to the guest bedroom in our new house. He basically has his own quarters whilst me and the babe chill in the master bedroom. The one thing I am thankful for is that Layla now sleeps through the night – praise the fucking lord… HOWEVER this comes at the cost of me being next to her, meaning I’m usually in bed by 9.30pm.
I touched upon routine and this is generally how ours goes…
- 8.30 – 9.00am Baby wakes, pokes me in the eye/pinches my arm/ sucks on my nose. Nappy change, bottle, breakfast an hour later
- 10.30 / 11.00am Baby turns into a crank, needs a nap. I rock her to sleep in pram and she can sleep from 30 mins – 1.5 hours.
- 12.30pm Baby wakes for lunch, nappy change and play time
- 3.00pm Baby turns into a crank, needs a nap. I rock her to sleep in pram and she can sleep from 30 mins – 1.5 hours.
- 5.30pm Baby has her dinner, spits out what she doesn’t want/like the taste of. Playtime whilst I pick up all the discarded food.
- 7.30/8.00pm Husband gets in from work, we have dinner, baby watches us and we then give her bath & bottle.
- 9.00-9.30pm Baby turns into a crank, I shuffle her off to the bedroom, she passes out in the bed. I wonder what shit t.v. i’m missing, catch up on social media and eventually pass out.
I’m sure some of you might be shocked at this and might be asking the following:
- Why doesn’t she sleep in the cot?
- Why don’t you shift her routine earlier and then she will sleep earlier?
- She sleeps in until 9.00am?
My answer, we’ve tried both and she just doesn’t and wont. We’ve tried her in the cot, leaving her to play there in the day, and then putting her down when she’s “drowsy” of a night. This resulted in screaming like she was being tortured, turning purple before projectile vomiting all over the cot, carpet and me. So much for the Ferber method. As for the third… like mother like daughter.
I know i’ve got to break this and I will, however the nicest words of support I’ve received were “this age is the only time she depends on you so much, this decreases as they get older, the fact that you get a “lie-in” – enjoy it while you can”.
For you Mums out there, I am open to trying anything to get her in cot – have recently even looked into the Montessori bedroom idea where you place the mattress on the floor and bypass the cot completely. Has anyone tried this?
Any tips/ sharing your experience would be welcomed!
On that note, i’ve got about 10 minutes before she wakes and i’m still not dressed… laters x