How Does The Baby Sleep?

When Florence was born we got no sleep until I finally relented and brought her in bed with us. It took three weeks for me to finally give up trying to lower her into the moses basket and remove my hands from her slowly so that she didn’t notice (she always did) and wait for the screams. When I sat down on my bed her whole body would relax and after we started co-sleeping I couldn’t understand what took me so long to do it in the first place. I was so flipping tired by that point that worries of rolling over on the baby (I never did) just didn’t enter my head.

I won’t say she slept well from then as she didn’t but at least every time she woke for ANOTHER feed, all I had to do was open my top and let her latch on. No getting up in the dark and sitting for hours in a cold room while she fed. She was a New Year’s Eve baby and it was cold and snowed for weeks, she was better, as was I, tucked up in a cosy bed.

Jimmy was born when she was two and a quarter and we made the transition into toddler bed for her. She liked it but still would come into us at some point in the early hours. It was a massive improvement though and with Jimmy, who SLEPT (who knew babies could do that?!) we got our first proper amount of sleep in I don’t know how long. It was a 6 month reprieve from night time madness and I thought it would last… How wrong I was!

For his first 6 months he slept so much people remarked on it daily. ‘He’s such a good baby’ people would say which I don’t agree with actually, just because she didn’t sleep didn’t mean Florence wasn’t a good baby, just that she didn’t sleep, but it’s what people say isn’t it.We thought we’d hit the slumber jackpot with Jimmy, every baby’s different and we thought he was just one of those sleepy ones! Then he got rotovirus and everything changed!

Jimmy was hospitalised with dehydration for 24 hours and 24 hours is all it took to change his sleeping habits forever but try as we might we simply haven’t ever been able to change them back. He slept on me in the hospital and it was as if he awoke to thinking ‘OH! I didn’t realise I could sleep ON you?! That’s far better for me so that’s what I’ll be doing from now on’! And I’m lazy, anything for a quiet life and I love co-sleeping so co-sleeping it was again!

I don’t believe in controlled crying, I could leave your baby but I could never leave my own and I’m programmed not to. Most of the sleep experts who recommend it don’t even have children and frankly what does that tell you? It’s easy to leave a baby you don’t feel is a part of you, anyone could do that, so put that in your pipe and smoke it sleep experts! One of these so called pros without children also recommends ‘putting out’ as soon as you get home from hospital! Sorry, but if you havent had a human come out of your ‘nou nou’ then you definitely don’t have a valid opinion on when we should do the rudie dance again thanks!

Anyway, back to the sleep or lack of it! Jimmy is now the same age Florence was when he was born and in his own bed but both of them play a game of musical beds all night long. Florence is much better than she was and does often stay in her own bed all night these days but still she does like to come in and Jimmy, well, he rules the roost! I still feed him and I won’t stop until he wants to but we only do it at night time. I say only in the evening and first thing in the morning as the rule but it’s the only way to get any sleep in the middle of the night so I give in. He goes to bed late, wakes early and lots of times in between! If his nap means he wakes up after lunch time then that’s it, he’ll be up till midnight! It’s a precarious line of him NEEDING to sleep but left too late and the whole day is ruined. I’ve even thrown water from his sippy cup over him to wake him up causing old ladies to flash me evils. I want to scream at them ‘FINE! You come and sit up till midnight with him then!’

It seems that I am preoccupied with sleep, getting it and not getting it, making Jimmy sleep and then stopping him from doing so and it’s exhausting!

I was asked if I’d like to come to a sleep powwow by family and lifestyle brand Worlds Apart who make lots of bed time related goodies to encourage children to sleep well. They promised a sleep expert in Mandy Gurney who actually had a child who didn’t sleep herself and it was at the Museum of Childhood. I was in!

Mandy was brilliant and as we all chatted about our very different (yet the same in the sense that they were all sleep related) problems she had insightful and interesting advice based on every individual. She didn’t tell me to stop breast feeding. TICK! She didn’t tell me to not co-sleep. TICK! and she didn’t tell me to have a baby then a few hours later make sure my husband still knew he was my main priority! TICK, TICK, TICK!

She actually advised me to make sure Jimmy sleeps, to push his nap time to later in the day (eeek) slowly and explained that his body doesn’t know how to sleep, is over tired and this makes adrenalin keep him going. The theory is that if he sleeps well in the day then he will sleep well at night. We need to turn the TV off and wind down properly before a bath which to begin with is simply for washing and not playing and in a soft light. It all makes sense and then when the children know the triggers they can play together in the bath again as long as it’s not too excited and calm. She said and I agree, if we get them down in the evening after a calm routine and a good nap then we have the evening to ourselves which is perfect. I then don’t mind if they wake up and come in bed with us, I actually quite like it for the most part and Mandy told me to do what I felt was best for me! Phew! Hopefully we will get this cracked wiht her help so thanks for the powwow everyone, other people chatting were Katy, Natalie, Kip, Clare, Kara and Sammy.

We also got given some lovely products by Worlds Apart to try out at home and the Go Glow night lights were lovely for our first go of them. They charge up and then can be pressed for a dim night light or removed for a bright torch. Both the children are very keen as they are Thomas and Peppa themed and Florence also has a light up Disney Princess wall sticker and light to try while Jimmy has a day bed to sleep in at Grams. Lovely and we’ll let you know how we get on!

Sleep Pow Wow

They also make wonderful beds at Worlds Apart (we’ve been perusing their site this morning). Jimmy and the littlest belonging to my friend Katy from Tramadol Modern Mummy spent a great deal of time in this Peppa Pig bed together yesterday – a sentence we don’t have to worry about until they’re teens!

So, we don’t get much sleep and haven’t for a while but things might be about to change…

I was invited to the powwow for some sleep tips and chat.


2 thoughts on “How Does The Baby Sleep?

  1. Great post hun.
    I am SO like you, anything for that easy life.

    As a Nanny I could get other peoples kids into a routine, I was able to leave them to get to sleep alone…..but not my children.
    Now I’m in trouble lol.

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