Needing SLEEP!

I haven’t posted for a while despite having so many things I’ve wanted to talk about. Mainly, its because life has been ridiculously busy trying to manage a toddler, newborn and new business. But life does feel like its been that little bit more tricky lately.

3 months on into having our newborn, Ollie in our lives, we’re finding that the nights of broken sleep are catching up with us. He came out a very sleepy baby and this was a real relief, especially after our experience with our first child, Amber. However, things have slowly changed and he is now having real difficulty at getting settled enough to go to sleep. So, against all my wisdom, I’ve been feeding him to sleep more and more and then rocking him if that doesn’t do the trick. As a result, we’ve now got a baby who is addicted to being fed to sleep and when he goes through periods of slight wakefulness during his sleep (as all babies do once they reach the end of a 45 minute sleep cycle) he completely wakes up.

So, he’s now waking up in the middle of the night, not particularly hungry but just unable to relax and go back to sleep. Where do we go from here? It seems like our only real avenue is to help Ollie learn to sleep by himself. This is what we had to do with Amber when she kept waking up because the dummy would inevitably fall out of mouth throughout the night. Then she would keep waking and waking us up too. And so we initiated “controlled crying” with Amber when she was 3 months old. Knowing how controversial controlled crying is, I’ve thought about not talking about it on this blog. However, this blog is meant to help share information through our experiences so hopefully other mums might avoid going through post-natal depression or anxiety like I did. And lack of sleep can be a big contributor to this condition.

Controlled crying was a very uncomfortable experience but after being counselled by the Tresillian help care line that this was what was needed, we had the confidence to go ahead. Or rather, my husband did. I couldn’t cope with the crying and I trusted my husband to know how far to take it. I couldn’t believe how successful it was. The first session felt like it went on forever but only lasted 30 minutes. The next time, it was 10 minutes and then it just kept getting less and less time for her to get to sleep so that the following day, she was a fantastic sleeper. She was just waking once in the night to be fed and then as soon as she started solids at 4 months, she slept throught 2 nights later and has been ever since. (Of course there are the odd nights when she has a nightmare or her teddy bear has fallen out of bed but she is able to put herself right back to sleep.)

Armed with this knowledge, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is what we now need to do with Ollie. Unfortunately, I have not been having quite the same results as we did with Amber. However, I think it may have to do with the fact that it is me doing the controlled crying and I am not made of sterner stuff like my husband. I cave in and end up picking him up after 15 minutes of crying. Going in every few minutes to calm him down only gets me more upset – I simply can’t cope with seeing him screaming. So, this weekend, I’m going to get my husband to try and teach Ollie to learn to sleep properly and I’ll keep you posted on how we get on.

Anyway, changing the subject, our winter maternity clothes are about to hit our shop in the next two weeks. Its very exciting as I’ve spent so much time trying to get all the details and fit just right so that all mums-to-be can feel warm AND look chic this winter.

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