As any parent knows, one of the hardest things is seeing/hearing your baby crying and not knowing why.
In my case, this is mostly at night time with Spencer. At just over 5 months he still sleeps (if you can call it that) like a newborn. I am lucky if I get a 3 hour period with no waking. Some nights are good (3 hour stretches) some nights (like tonight) are horrific!!
What gets me the most is the lack of pattern. We had 2 nights in a row since Spencer has been born where he miraculously slept for a 8 hour period! I literally could not believe my luck. Of course, typically I kept waking up and checking on him. It was just so unlike Spencer I couldn’t believe it was happening. These 2 nights were unfortunately just a lucky moment and never happened again since. – Another reason his 2/3 hour wake ups are so frustrating as I now know he is capable of sleeping for a longer stretch!
Spencer has always had a set bedtime routine from day 1. He has his bath at 6pm followed by a relaxing massage, nursery rhyme/book and a bottle then bed. One thing I am proud/happy about, is Spencer has not slept in my bed for months now and will stay in his own.
So why is Spencer still sleeping with no pattern and such frequent wake ups? A question I have asked Google/net mums numerous times during a state of desperation usually at some godly hour of the night. The answer? There isn’t one, there is about 100!!
The views/opinions/advice people have for bedtimes and sleeping with babies is endless. What does make sense, is that like us, babies wake numerous times in the night. As adults, we have just mastered the skill to roll over and go back to sleep. Babies however, haven’t quite got this skill yet and therefore look for or rely on whatever put them to sleep in the first place to get them back to sleep again. In my case, that was me. After reading a thousand different types of advice on self settling/soothing I have started to give it a go. Trying my very hardest to get Spencer into the habit of falling asleep on his own. I can hands down say the hardest most emotionally exhausting thing I have done to date. I just hope all my hard work soon pays off. Day 5 and it hasn’t made any difference yet!!
Another thing I read which could also be the case. Babies get use to and into the habit of “if I wake up I will get a bottle” – At least Spencer does. Looking back now, I had probably built a rod for my own back by giving Spencer milk every time he woke up! Now I am aware that a baby of Spencer’s age should be able to go 6 hours without a feed during the night I have started to swap his milk for water – something he is hating!!! Again, hopefully in a few more days this will become the new habit and he will realise it isn’t worth waking up for.
I am fastly realising parenthood really is just trial and error. There is no right/wrong way – Although it is one of the biggest things EVERYONE has an opinion on or will judge on. Yes, maybe Spencer’s lack of sleep is down to me feeding him at every wake/letting him co-sleep with me at the beginning/feeding him to sleep but all these moments we will never get again and every obstacle is a challenge we get over eventually.In the meantime… bring on the coffee and match sticks!!!
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