Cosleep no sleep part 2

Sorry blog I have been seriously neglecting you. I don’t know how all you busy blogging mums do it. How do you find time for parenting, possibly a job and blogging once or twice a week or more!? I really do struggle to fit everything in! I don’t feel too bad though because I am due back to work in a week and any spare time I have I just like to sloth around and enjoy the company of my beautiful son and husband. And I do really need all the slothing and rest I can get as the battle of sleep continues… almost 9 months old and baba is still waking in the night. Now obviously this can be a problem like when I am so tired I cannot funtion properly and feel like a crazy person but I really do try to be positive and keep going. Funnily enough it can actually bother other people more than it bothers us and we are the ones that are sleep deprived!

So many people ask about my son’s sleep which can be exhausting and fustrating!! And why do people have to look at you with such pity and make out like your child is naughty or you are a bad parent “Oh he STILL isn’t sleeping through? He is a pickle!”  “He comes into your bed? You want to stop that before it becomes a habit!” Yes it can become a bit of a habit but I’m sure he won’t be in our bed until he’s 18 and to be honest I actually like cosleeping with my child! Our culture frowns upon it but it’s completely natural. You wouldn’t tell your partner to go sleep in a different bed in a different room on their own so why do we expect this of our children? Especially as they spent their first 9 months if existence being with us every second day and night in the womb. The thing is, I know people mean well and they are probably genuine. I appreciate the concern, I really do, but it still makes me feel like I have somehow failed as a mother because I haven’t helped my child to sleep through the night.

Many other cultures across the world sleep with their children to nurture them, bond with them and feed them throughout the night so that they may thrive. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to hold your child in your arms all night and this phase doesn’t last long as they grow up quick! Why do we wish them to be independent from so young? Don’t get me wrong if your baby has been happy in their own bed in their own room from early on then that is great, it was obviously natural for them but for other babies it is not. The main thing is that the whole family gets the rest they need and everyone is happy. I think we should all respect other peoples parenting decisions and be more supportive of each other.

However, although I do enjoy cosleeping it’s getting to the point where little A is getting rather big and taking up lots of room and there is an awful lot of kicking and fidgeting going on which means my night is not so restful. It also means that it is difficult to leave him with someone else for an evening/ night as he will wake in his cot and freak out that he is not in our bed and we are not there. Plus returning to work means I really do need some decent sleep and as he is 9 months I think it’s healthy to start delveloping some independence.

Ofcourse trying to get him to stay in his bed and asleep is a mission impossible!! You do have to give the kid the benefit of the doubt as before 5 months we were unaware of his cows milk allergy and he was probably waking due to major tummy ache and reflux. Then between 5-7 months 7 pearly whites struck though is gums and then he had to deal with weaning off the breast!! It seems we hadn’t had any good opportunities to try and train him to sleep independently before then! At 7 months we seemed to have a break so between then and present we have tried various strategies to help him sleep better. These have been gentle approaches which include; a positive bedtime routine, lots of cuddles, kisses, back rubbing and shhhushing. For a while it seemed really positive and he was having longer stretches of sleep. There were even about 4 nights where he slept through completely and we were so excited but now I think we realise that these were times he was having growth spurts as the days following this he was bursting out of his clothes and we had to move to the next size up!! Damn, so close….

After speaking to health professionals our next option and perhaps one of the only options left is to try the ‘controlled crying’ approach. But as you may know this method is not for the faint hearted. We have already tried to leave little A to cry for a very short periods but I have rushed in after 2 minutes feeling awful at leaving my baby upset. I am just not sure I have it in me! It’s heartbreaking to hear their cry go from sad to frustrated to really cross. Surely there is another way? I have plenty of people who reassure me it will work and it is not harmful to the baby but it just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what to do!!

Has anyone else out there tried this method? Anyone got any alternative ideas? I’d love to hear from you.

I will try not leave it as long between now and my next post but  until then goodnight (currently writing this in bed) and I hope you have a peaceful sleep. Someone around here has to!!

peace2

Co-sleep, no-sleep

Sleep. Oh how I miss thee! I would have to say since having a baby the biggest challenge I have faced is coping on such little sleep!

Sleepy

The early days with our bundle of joy were a blur and we were in a constant state of sleep, nurse, sleep, nurse, cuddle… It was wonderful and I had some beautiful moments where I felt positively overwhelmed with happiness as I had created this beautiful human being who was mine, all mine.

As a newborn Arlo had a Moses basket but spent most of the night in our bed, on one of our chests or in our arms. It was tiring but also magical to share those nights being close and gently nursing. As he got older we felt he needed to spend more time in a bed of his own so from about 6/7 weeks we put in place a basic bedtime routine. It took him a while to go to sleep but he would go down eventually for about 2 hours in his own bed. Then it would be back and forth from our room to his cot to feed/ comfort him. It became tedious so we brought him to our room and and as he no longer fit in his Moses basket it was back to our bed.

We then tried having the travel cot in our room but he had become accustomed to sleeping with us so would not stay in there long! Trouble is as he has got older he takes up more room in our bed and is a lot more fidgety! He also thinks it very convenient having me so close for a snack every now and then. However the more he feeds the more fussy he becomes with wind and reflux. He has always been a hungry boy but struggles as his digestive system matures. Needless to say, our nights have become very disturbed!

As he has approached 4 months we are attempting a stricter routine and will try our best to train Arlo to sleep longer. We feel this is necessary as sleep deprivation is beginning to take its toll and he has got to an age where is capable of going longer with less feeds. At 16lb 11 I think he’s doing well!

I will keep you updated on how we are doing and strategies we are trying. Please share your stories of sleep with your little ones and any advice will be very appreciated!

peace2

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