My firstborn, Jasmine, was a fabulous sleeper. Ever since she was around 10 weeks old, she slept through the night. We were very, very lucky. And only now do I realise how lucky we were.
When I was pregnant with E, people warned me “Oh, you won’t get another one like that!” and I would roll my eyes. How on earth were they to know how my baby would sleep?! Well, it turns out, in this case – they were right.
Elowen is almost 15 months old and has never once slept through the night. She has bed-shared with us pretty much since birth and I’m still breastfeeding her. She wakes up every 3-4 hours at night for a feed and fusses, sometimes for hours, before going back to sleep. She doesn’t use a dummy or a soft toy as a comforter. Oh no, she uses me – more specifically my hair. She pulls it and twiddles it with one hand and sucks her thumb on the other hand. I wake up some mornings to find clumps of my hair on my pillow case. And aside from anything else, it’s really rather painful!
I realise it’s normal for infants (particularly breastfed babies/toddlers) to wake up frequently during the night. It’s why we’ve just carried on doing what we’ve been doing up until now. I figured she will grow out of it at some point. But also, I wouldn’t even know how to go about changing things up. I don’t know how to stop breastfeeding or how to get her sleeping in her own bed without her screaming the house down. I’m not prepared to do use any kind of Cry It Out methods – no judgement on those who do, that’s up to them, but I’m personally not comfortable with it.
It’s not just night times that are the problem either – she’ll only nap in the pushchair or in my arms and never for very long. This, I’m sure, is a big contributing factor to our night time woes.
Lately, I’ve found myself perusing the websites of local ‘sleep trainers’. These people claim that they can work with parents in order to get their child to sleep through the night. And perhaps, in my sleep deprived state, I’m just desperate for somebody to come in, work their magic, and give me back my 8 hours of sleep a night. But it sounds too good to be true.
I keep telling myself that some kids are good sleepers and others aren’t. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
I keep telling myself that this won’t last forever. I’ll probably miss E tugging on my hair, one day.
I keep telling myself that the days are long but the years are short.
I can’t cope with the lack of sleep any more. Something has got to give.
Hubby and I dread going to bed every evening because we know we’re in for a sh*t night. We just don’t know how sh*t yet.
15 months of broken sleep as taken it’s toll on me.
I’m too exhausted to function properly. Simple daily tasks are a struggle.
I spend all day snapping at Jasmine and I feel awful that she takes the brunt of my tiredness. It’s simply not fair on her.
And this is why, I’m seriously considering hiring a ‘sleep trainer’.
I’ve looked at the prices of consultations and they can be hundreds of pounds. It’s an expensive option but feels like the only one I’ve got.
And even if it means I have to eat beans on toast for the rest of the year, it’s the price I’m willing to pay for my sleep and my sanity.
*Photo is an old picture of E. She’d never fall asleep on the floor now. Not unless there was a tranquilizer dart involved. (Ooh, now there’s an idea!)
Have you ever hired a sleep trainer?