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Nappy Ever After – I Can’t Get No Sleep

SleepWhen you’re expecting a baby, people come out with all kinds of funny comments. “Kiss goodbye to your social life!” they say cheerily, or, “Get used to sleepless nights!”

And I accepted both of those things would happen when my baby was born. But as he grew, he needed me a little less and my social life is now showing little buds on the tips of those barren branches. The sleepless nights, however, are still a problem.

He’s never been a good sleeper – it was as though he was scared he’d miss something and right from the first few days at home after his birth, he fought sleep. Gradually, I got him to sleep during the day. Night times were a different matter. At first, I thought it was due to breastfeeding – he was waking up for comfort. At eight months, we switched him to formula. He still woke often. We decided it was my fault, and switched our arrangements so that it was my husband who soothed him when he cried. That helped for a little while but my husband was a heavy sleeper and didn’t wake up as fast as me, so often I would be the one to rock the baby back to sleep.

I’ve read lots of books and blogs about baby sleep. Some advocate controlled crying – leaving him to cry instead of soothing him – but I knew that wasn’t for us. So I decided on trying the Pantley method, name after Elizabeth Pantley, which involves gently encouraging the baby to fall asleep on his/her own.

We moved our baby’s cot into his own room two nights ago. The first night was awful – he woke frequently up until three AM and screamed every time I laid him back down. Nothing I did calmed him and we both fell into an exhausted sleep around six. Last night was better – he settled relatively easily in his cot and woke four times, but didn’t cry and I was able to get him quickly back to sleep. Tonight could go either way. I’m hoping he’ll wake less often but am prepared for it to take a while to work. At least I’ve got Christmas to sleep through, eh?

About Tamsyn Murray

I live in Hertfordshire and make things up for a living. I write books for children, adults and educated animals. I own one cat, one dog and five rabbits, plus assorted humans.

3 comments on “Nappy Ever After – I Can’t Get No Sleep

  1. Shireen
    December 22, 2012

    Our little one was the same!! I fully understand the madness of a sleepless night and its effect on all of you! Hang in there and soon you too will get a full night’s sleep..there is an end to it all eventually. Our little one now sleeps 12 hours and we a are happy mummy and daddy once again! Good luck and sending good sleep vibes to you!

    • Tamsyn Murray
      December 22, 2012

      Survivors! Thank you for giving me hope. My memory might be going but I’m pretty sure my daughter wasn’t like this. Hopefully, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, once we got rid of his cold.

      Glad you’re all in a good sleepy place. Sweet dreams!

  2. Susan Walters
    December 23, 2012

    You will get there! I can sympathise as a fellow survivor! Our son was a terrible sleeper as a baby but it was our own fault. We picked him up every time he cried (as you do) and when we put him down he cried again. It was a vicious circle and it was awful. Eventually when he was 15 months old my husband was away for a few nights and I could take no more – I had to get my parents round to hold him just so I could eat my dinner because he wouldn’t go to sleep. So I tried a mild version of controlled crying where they are left for no longer than 10 mins at a time but when you go in you don’t pick them up or speak you just stroke their hair or tummy. An hour and a half the first night, 45 mins the second and three nights later he slept through the night! It’s not for everyone and you have to do what is right for you and your family but I hope you have success (and plenty of sleep over Christmas!)

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This entry was posted on December 22, 2012 by in Bea Family and tagged , .
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