Sunday, May 20, 2007


I'm absolutely shattered. For the last three weeks I haven't had an uninterrupted nights sleep. This may not sound so bad to some mums since Ewok has been sleeping through the night since he was 10 weeks old, but therein lies the rub.

Because he's been sleeping through the night, when he doesn't, it really buggers me up.

It started with teething trouble. Waking up three or four times a night with pain. Each time a bit of a pat and/or cuddle would see him off to sleep again. Occasionally I had to give him some pain relief and a prolonged cuddle.

He was getting over all that and had one night where he slept through again, however I didn't courtesy of our smoke alarms, which decided to go off in the middle of the night for no good reason. Fortunately they didn't wake Ewok up, just Wookiee and me.

The next night saw the start of a mini growth spurt, and he was suddenly waking up ravenous after only 3-4 hours sleep. For three nights in a row I had to get up and feed him twice in the night.

Last monday I went to Baby Club which is an hour and a half playgroup for under 1's at the local Sure Start centre, and asked the community nurse for some advice on what to about his waking. She told me not to feed him if I could help it, because I need him to be able to got to sleep without being fed (at the moment he still falls asleep and gets put to bed off the last feed of the night). Well that night he did wake up but obviously didn't want feeding this time (growth spurt over), however, while he would doze off almost straight away on my shoulder, ever time I put him down he started crying again. In the end I got him to sleep on me and then slowly lowered him down onto the bed beside me, and when he stayed asleep I just put a pillow on the far side of him (to stop him rolling off the bed) curled up on his other side and went to sleep myself. He did wake up a couple more times, but each time, because I was right there, I magaed to settle him down again almost straight away.

Over the next day and night I noticed that he was snuffling and quite snotty (ick), but otherwise fine. So I got the burner out and filled the house with camphor fumes which really helped him, it also helped him at night, but obviously I can't have the burner on at night. So I've been using a bowl of hot water with a few drops of oil under the head of the cot. The last three nights he's only woken up once, each night at the same time: 2:30am, despite when he goes to bed. Each time he'll fall asleep on my shoulder and then cry when I put him down, and it takes several attempts before he's tired enough to stay asleep.

Last night I decided after three attempts at putting him back down, that I was going to let him cry it out. Oh god it was awful.

In hindsight I should have left the room, I didn't realise that a baby's eyesight was so good at this age, so he would have been able to see me sitting there watching over him. He pushed himself up and sat in his cot and cried and cried. Every so often he would be obviously tired and start either falling forwards asleep and then waking up again, or actually trying to lie down. But each time he either bumped his head, or couldn't get comfy and would sit up and carry on crying. I really wanted to just go over and halp him to lie down, but I was worried that it I did that, it would disturb him to the point of setting him off again.

Eventually, after what seemed like hours, and after yet another of his failed attemptss to lie down, I did give in. I went over and scootched him down onto his back. He started grizzling again but didn't try and get up, and after a further 10-15 mins of wriggling and grizzling he finally got comfy on his side and went back to sleep. That was when I checked the clock and realised that I'd actually let him cry for about an hour. I didn't realise it had been so long. It felt like it, but I thought that was because I was sitting there listening to my darling crying his heart out.

After that I only got about 4 hours sleep before I woke up again and couldn't get back to sleep. He slept for another 2 hours before waking up and when I was his little face this morning I went to pieces. He looked quite pale, had red puffy bags under his eyes and his face was crusted with snot and blanket fluff and I felt like the worst mum in the world for doing that to my baby.

He's actually been fine today, maybe a little more tired and cranky than usual, but he went to bed at a good hour and I'll be following him soon. If he wakes up again tonight and wont settle I'll be letting him cry again, but this time, the first time he tries to lie down, if he can't manage it on his own then I'll be there to gently help him settle. No way I'm leaving him to struggle again.

I'm sure you will have your own opinions on this approach and I realise that by posting this that I may be in for some inflamatory comments. Feel free to post your opinions (whether you agree or disagree with my methods) but I ask that you please keep them constructive and polite. I'm always open to suggestions and possible insights from anyone who's been there and done that, especially if your kids turned out all right *grin*