Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sleep deprived

So, I'm going to talk about sleep. Again. I don't think I have ever talked about sleep, or lack of, more in my life than I have before I had a baby. Sleep was something that just happened every day. You went to bed, you fell asleep and so on.

Now, it's all I seem to think or talk about, especially to the hubby. I can't quite put my finger on it, but somewhere along the way, Charlie slipped back into a sleep regression, and now, five months down the line, it hasn't got any better. In fact, it seems to have got worse.

Each night goes something like this - dinner, play time, bath time and then back downstairs for some milk. Sometimes, he will drop off whilst having this feed, but if I try to take him upstairs, as soon as his head hits the mattress he wakes up and screams until I pick him up. Sometimes he won't fall asleep and so I take him upstairs, feed him on his chair and wait for him to fall asleep - he might or he might not. If he does, as soon as I place him in his cot, he wakes up. If he won't go to sleep then I take him to our room and lie on our bed with him and he falls asleep, but then, and you've probably guessed it right, as soon as I move to place him in his cot, he wakes up! The only way he will sleep through the night (and by sleep through, I mean until about 4am), is if we give in and put him in our bed. Now I know the critics will be saying, well I never should have had him in our bed to begin with. Perhaps, but I wouldn't have done it differently and I don't regret it.

My point with this post though, is that, I have been given tons of information about how to get Charlie to sleep. And do you know what? None of it worked. I've tried: cry it out - failed (he screams), controlled crying (worked initially when he was 6 months old now he screams), Sitting by his bed - failed (he screams). What's left?! I've read some stuff about sleep association and trying to replace feeding with something else, i.e. sucking their thumb, but it all sounds a bit pants. I've read about how to have a nightlight, give him a pillow, take the side of the cot off (he's far too young for that in my opinion), play soft music, blah blah - none of it works!!
I've been on the brink of despair with him, wondering why he does not even seem tired.  I have no time for anything now in the evening as he can still be awake at 11pm.

The problem, as far as I can see, is that NO ONE can tell you how to get your own baby to sleep. Each baby is different. They can only tell you what did work for them or what didn't. I'm tired of health visitors telling me to let him cry it out or use controlled crying. Even though I did my own version of controlled crying (I waited 4 mins before going back in each time, until he was asleep, I was never going to wait 15), why would any person, leave their child to cry and not go to them when their only desire is to have their mummy or daddy hold them? I just can't do it.  There's so much advice out though, it's hard to know what to do for the best.

So, I've decided just to let it be and not stress. We've moved a single mattress into our room for now so that I can lie down with him whilst he goes to sleep. Hopefully this will help.  I am going to try and get him to drop off without the boob you see, as I'd like him to be off that by the time he is 2 anyway. Although I won't if he isn't ready. But besides that, I'm just going to let it be. I've been so concerned with bedtime and what time he gets to sleep. But most babies at some point, will decide to go to sleep and sleep through, or so I've been told.  I just wish Charlie could do it a bit quicker. I want my evenings back, as much as I adore and love my little boy, I need some down time, time to recharge and prepare to start it all again the next day. But it will come, eventually. I never for one minute thought when I was pregnant that I would have a perfect sleeping baby (he is perfect of course, but not with sleep!), and it's not forever, there will come a time, my gorgeous little man will not need me or his Daddy the way he does now.

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