Sleep training for parents

Ever since he was born Nano Mck has been a brilliant sleeper. Please do not think that last statement has any hint of smugness to it. I am not suggesting I’ve had anything to do with it. I have done nothing to control his sleep and he seems to naturally have fallen into a lovely nightly sleeping pattern.

From his very first nights he would usually wake once or twice and this soon became only once. At about three months he found he liked to suck his thumb and ever since then he has slept through the night, from around 7pm to 6 in the morning. He would often wake happy and content to lay in his cot for a while and could fall asleep anywhere.

So, as you see he is a brilliant sleeper, or at least he was. Suddenly, a week ago, at four and half months he has started waking in the night, at least twice. He wakes unhappy and hungry. He usually settles fairly quickly after a feed and will either go back in his cot or into the bed with us.

None of this is particularly unusual for an exclusively breastfed baby who is less than six months old, but I am really struggling to come to terms with this change. Mini Mck took a long time to become friends with sleep and I spent many hours and days trying to work out why and what I needed to do to ‘fix’ him. It was all very stressful and eventually I realised that by just accepting things as they were and going with what he needed I felt better.

Nano’s worst night has been similar to what Mini’s best night would be like, at the same age and yet I am once again obsessing about why he is waking and when it will end. I feel so tired and seem to fixate on this all day long. I find myself feeling annoyed and resentful (I can’t tell you how dreadful I feel admitting that) when I get woken and by the fact that I really need to go to bed earlier and so miss out on time for myself.

I am sure that some of these feelings are just my anxiousness that I am going to experience another year like Mini’s first and this was my biggest fear about having another baby. However, I have been saying since he was born how different Nano is in lots of ways and just because he is generally a good sleeper it doesn’t mean we won’t hit bumps in the road.

Before I put Nano to bed last night I found myself thinking how unfair I was being and realising that he is behaving in a totally normal way for a 4/5 month old, but this didn’t stop me groaning at midnight and again at half past one.

I am the one that needs sleep training. I need to change my attitude and realise that acceptance is far less stressful and exhausting than raging against the situation. I need to stop moaning about my lost time in the evening and enjoy the time I have, whilst still going to bed early and I really do mean early, I like my sleep. During the day, it does me no good constantly thinking about how tired I feel, instead I need to eat well, drink plenty and get on with the day.

I am still hoping that my amazing sleeping baby returns to me soon, but in the meantime I will suck it up and stop moaning*


*If you follow me on twitter then you may find that the not moaning bit doesn’t quite work out. 

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2 thoughts on “Sleep training for parents

  1. Oh Dear, I wrote about this in my blog this morning too. See how you go, but sleep trainers do exist for a reason. I hired one and never looked back! (details of her in my blog). my baby was a great sleeper but dummy addicted and so fidgety (swaddled till 4 months!). this lady had wisdom that I could never have and it was the best money I have ever spent. you know what they say – happy mummy = happy baby. good luck and please keep moaning, that's the only thing that keeps me sane

  2. I really hope that this is just a phase. You say you don't know how I cope with Kate's early morning antics but the fact is I didn't for a while and now I am just used to sleeping in fits and starts and some super early mornings. It depends if you are feeding or he is just awake but I used to leave bits and pieces in her room so that I would feel that I was doing something productive. Like folding the clean washing or writing a shopping list.

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