The most talked about baby topic ever...sleep.
I lost track of how many people asked me how Hunter was sleeping after about week 1 of having him. As if sleeping is the only thing worth asking questions about when someone has a baby. I vowed to never ask someone how their baby was sleeping unless they brought up the topic. Some sleep, some don’t. Mine didn’t that’s for sure. I also vowed I wouldn’t complain about it either and I wasn’t going to let a lack of sleep stop me from doing everything I wanted to do. But for anyone that cares to read another sleep blog...here it goes because we have drastically changed things up!
If you have read my previous blog on co-sleeping you'll know that I absolutely loved everything about having Hunter in my bed and falling asleep on me. We would cuddle all night, I would feel his little face against mine as we fell asleep and it was perfect...until it wasn't. About 3 months ago he started waking up through out the night more and more. It got to the point where he was waking up at least 5 times each night, sometimes even 8 time and the only way I knew how to settle him was to breast feed him. We were still traveling along fine during the day despite the lack of sleep but I knew we would be at tipping point within a month so something had to change.
We did the one thing I said I would never do, the one thing I am still fundamentally opposed to...Controlled Crying. We followed the Ferber Method, where you place them in the cot and check on them at regular intervals. I honestly thought he would cry all night. The first night he cried for 40 minutes and it was horrible. I can listen to him cry though as unfortunately he used to cry with every car trip so I adjusted to that noise quickly. What I couldn't do was go back in to reassure him and then leave him crying still. Every part of my being wanted to pick him up and make it better. At one point I went in, after 20 minutes, his sleeping bag was wet with tears, he was standing at the cot and he reached his hand out and held my face. Safe to say when I walked out the room I cried and told Michael that he would have to be the one to go in and reassure him at every check in! Within 40 minutes he was asleep. He woke twice that night but he stayed in his own cot for 12 hours. Something I never even thought possible.
It's been 3 weeks now and sometimes he falls sleep within 2 minutes...yes TWO MINUTES! I don't even know myself. I am sitting on the couch without a baby on me and I suddenly have all this time. I feel excited yet guilty. I oddly feel like I am cheating this whole parent thing now...24 hours a day I would be with him and now it's literally cut in half. For 3 whole weeks he has stayed in his cot all night.
My bed feels bigger than ever and I have had 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, something I hadn't experience since Hunter was born...372 days if you want to be precise. I am however still sleeping on 20cm of mattress, it's an adjustment for us all! We always said we would do what worked for Hunter and us, not what people thought we should be doing. Co-sleeping worked and then it didn't, so we changed. Controlled Crying has worked this week, but perhaps in a month we will be onto something else or I'll have my cuddle buddy back (I do truly miss snuggling him, so that's what day sleep for - we can't change everything at once!). For now though I am going to make the most of my baby free time though!
Controlled Crying - the most necessary evil I have ever encountered.