Here’s my pre-warning –
This is a ‘Cry it out’ post…
I wasn’t sure I was gonna write this. Even as I type I’m not even sure if I will ever publish it. I don’t want negative comments… If you have nothing nice to say – Say nothing at all.
D is nearly thirteen months and for those thirteen months I have breastfed him on demand, day and night. Thirteen months since myself and my husband had our Master bed to ourselves. Thirteen months since I could relax in my living room after 7pm without either running up and down the stairs every twenty minutes to re-settle a boob-hungry baby or be able to speak in a normal voice without worrying about waking the baby lay next to me or on me. Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed lots and lots of cuddles and special moments with my littlest but there came a time when I needed to be just me for a few hours each evening. Not Mummy not a milk machine and not a human dummy.
We made the decision.
Something was gonna have to give. I couldn’t continue to be the only one able to settle him. I thought moving him to his own room was going to be too much. It needed to be baby steps. So the plan was he was going to learn to sleep by himself in a cot by our bed. Hopeful I wasn’t but I was getting close to my wits end and willing to try anything.
I had read loads, spoke to other Mums, even asked the advice of a professional. He was going to have to ‘Cry it Out.’ I hate that term! It makes it sound like I abandoned my baby in his cot and didn’t give a s**t. I really, really did! I’m pretty sure I cried more than him and it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. He’s a determined little bugger who knows what he likes!
There is so much conflicting advise out there re ‘sleep training’ and some forums or web pages I have ventured on to give the impression I am now Satan and must burn for the method I’ve used. Everyone has they’re own breaking point and I’m pretty sure mine was just around the corner I needed to sleep I’m my own bed with out having a little person tucked up under my oxter.
Last Sunday I was feeling strong. The baby cot which had been packed away when we left London was brought out of the attic and rebuilt. This was the night. We went for it. An hour later after running up and down the stairs in intervals of 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 minutes to reassure and calm an extremely angry one year old there was silence. He slept for five hours! This has been unheard of since D was a new-born too tired to wake up to the world yet.
Night time was hard and I couldn’t stop night feeding him and make him sleep by himself all in the one night so he had a boob and the process started again. With a little bit of hand holding through the bars and lots of shushing he was back asleep for another stint till he woke for him morning boob around five. It had been an emotional night but we’d made it and he still woke with his normal morning smile and cuddle for me. I hadn’t broken him and he had slept all night in a cot! Phew!!
The next night pretty much followed suit but by night three I was able to give him his bedtime feed pop him into his cot and leave the room. By the time I’d gotten downstairs set the timer on my phone and it alarmed he was already asleep there was no need for me to go back up and reassure him.
It was fantastic.
The house was tidied and I was sat with my feet up sipping a glass of white by the time the hubby got home. That night when he woke I didn’t offer him a feed and he didn’t look for it. He woke up, I turned on his dream sheep and off to the land of nod he went again.
Each night he woke at different intervals. I didn’t feed him just lay him back down and off to sleep he went again. Last night was the best ever! My boy slept from 7pm till 5am!! Might I just add he went back to sleep at 5 and didn’t have his morning feed till 7am!!!!
Well I felt like a new woman!
Fingers crossed by typing this I haven’t totally jinxed myself. I know there will be good nights and bad. I’m hoping there is a night out with the Hubster. Maybe even a Mummy let loose back in London for a night and lots of chilled out evening on the sofa in the not too distant future.
I am so, so, so sorry to any Mama’s reading this struggling to get any kip! I feel your pain! Hopefully you’ll find what works for you soon! Six months ago I wouldn’t have been ready to do this with D. Even a few weeks ago I wasn’t ready. This wasn’t a route I wanted to go down. F my first boy was such a routine driven baby and any form of ‘sleep training’ with him was minimal but he wasn’t reliant on my boob as comfort. Maybe that’s the difference.
Hopefully one Mummy (Or Daddy) will read this and it will give them the courage to let him/her ‘cry it out’ so they can get some much needed sleep. That will make it worth taking the risk of any backlash and I’ll be glad I hit ‘publish’.