Every new mum is obsessed with sleep! There’s the ‘My baby won’t sleep through the night!’ – Surprise! It’s a baby, they want cuddles and milk. Or the smug mum ‘my baby sleeps through 7pm-7am’ – just shut up why are you even talking about sleep? (I don’t believe you, let me come and stay the night so I can witness this miracle).
I’d say the first few weeks of sleep deprivation are the worst, you may have had sleepless nights before but you probably haven’t been woken up by crying at all hours of the night. Sleepless nights used to involve rolling around to get comfy and glaring at my snoring husband in the dark. There’s no snooze on this new human alarm! How great would a baby snooze button be to give yourself a chance to wake up before heaving yourself out of bed? A woman can dream… (actually she literally can’t when she’s woken up so often). I can now fly out of bed so fast that I sometimes need to steady myself with the wall while my head catches up.
A few weeks in, as if by magic, baby El seemed to know when it was night time. Not because she started sleeping through! (Don’t be ridiculous.) But because she would fall straight back to sleep after feeding.
A few months in I thought I was winning at life with only one wake up a night…got my hopes up too much didn’t I? After a few weeks feeling like I was bossing it then bam back to 3 night feeds!
El’s latest fun game is no matter how long I hold her while she falls asleep as soon as I put her back to bed her eyes open wide and she starts waving her arms and legs all excited to see me (as if I haven’t been there the whole time) shaking the whole Moses basket! This game gets a tad exhausting at 4am so I end up with her sleeping on me…
And that’s just the night time sleep.
Trying to get baby El to nap during the day is hard! Why don’t babies just sleep when they’re tired? They don’t know what’s good for them. If you miss the ‘sleepy cues’ you’re screwed. I apparently miss them a lot and end up pacing around rocking her to sleep because she can’t put herself to sleep once she’s started screaming.
One mum who had their baby 2 months after me had the audacity to tell me that my baby would sleep if I just fed her then swaddled her and put her down… funny! Yes she slept anywhere anyhow when she first popped out (there was no popping out it took quite a bit of effort!). But that didn’t last! After a month of being lulled into a false sense of security El started being more troublesome, kicking up a fuss. No longer going to sleep with a simple cuddle or feed… most babies would fall asleep on the boob but oh no! Not mine! (Dad’s appetite for sure.)
One tool is the magic dummy which I didn’t buy until week 15. I wish I hadn’t waited so long because it has really helped her chillax! I was worried about what people would think and all the bad things I’d heard about not being able to break the habit and possible damage to teeth but when you’ve tried everything else and there’s a chance it could make your baby happy then you go for it. I even had multiple health professionals suggest trying a dummy (just saying).
If I end up sleeping on the sofa or she wants cuddles for hours to nap then so be it. I’ll get comfy and cuddle it out. She won’t be a baby for long after all. (Yes she is sleeping on me right now! How else do I have time to type?)
What lengths do other people go to to give their baby a good sleep?
Feeling rather sleep deprived I had a hot chocolate with all the trimmings to go with this strawberry & raspberry victoria sponge! Always good cake at All Things Nice (Ewell Village).