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?