Sleep Baby. Sleep.

Up until Emilie was three months old she spent her whole life asleep. We were admitted to hospital she had various test and after a while it was deemed that she was just going through the fourth trimester. Doing what she would be doing in the womb. 

Since then though, trying to get her to sleep for any stretch of time has been hard. I've had to rock her to sleep for every nap and every night time and then every 45 minutes in between. It's been a year of sleep deprivation and lots and lots of cuddles. 

Monday night I done something that I swore I would never do. About two minutes before I put her to bed I decided that I wouldn't rock her to sleep. I would lay her down and see what happened. Assuring myself that if she started to cry then I would go back to rocking her. Would you believe it but she talked to herself for a few minutes, whined a little and within ten minutes was fast asleep. Nap time the next day was the same. She woke half way through and sent herself back off to sleep. I was AMAZED. I phoned my sister, I told my father-in-law, I repeated it several times to Anthony. Our daughter was self settling and actually sleeping in large chunks!

Then Tuesday night came.. I was confident that after the night before and nap time earlier that day that she could do this. I laid her down, told her it was night time and that I loved her and walked out the room. She cried..  I was torn.. Do I pick her up and rock her? Every part of me was wanting to rush back into the bedroom, to scoop her up and rock her until she fell asleep. Another part of me though knew that she could do it, just like the night before. She cried for ten minutes, I went in popped her dummy in, told her I loved her again and walked out again. She whined for ten minutes and fell asleep. That night she woke once for about thirty seconds.. 

Wednesday night was the worst. She still only cried for ten minutes but I was in physical pain listening to her and the only thing that stopped me from running to her was her success from Monday night. After she fell asleep I sat on the sofa with tears in my eyes. I was sure that she would hate me. I felt like the worst mother in the world. My heart literally ached. Anthony told me that I was doing the right thing. I was helping her learn to sleep. I was teaching her a life skill and she would be be better for sleeping better. It didn't help me and I went to bed feeling terrible. Again she only woke once. 

Then yesterday.. Nap time success! I laid her down and within two minutes she was asleep.. No crying, no whining.. Just sleep. Bedtime was the same. It helped me to realise that maybe I had done the correct thing. 

She woke up at 12.30pm last night and didn't cry, she was just laying wide awake, she was like this on and off all night but this morning a fifth tooth has appeared so I'm hoping that was the cause. We're on day five now and I've just put her down for a nap and she went off to sleep happy.. 

I know that if she had cried on Monday, the first day, then I wouldn't have continued. I would have carried on rocking her to sleep every hour for as long as she needed it and I'm so glad that I waited until she was over a year old and obviously ready to learn this new skill. I still feel awful for Tuesday and Wednesday night though. I still have that ache when I think about her crying for those ten minutes. Anthony told me on Tuesday night that as a parent we sometimes have to make tough decisions for the benefit of our children and this was one of those times. 

Now i'm keeping my fingers crossed for tonight! This is all so new to me. James never needed any help in learning to self-settle, by six months old he was doing it himself. From day one Emilie has been a big learning curve for me!

1 comment

  1. Our kids can be so different in temperament. My daughter was awful to sleep, she actually didn't sleep through the night until she was about 8 months old. I was exhausted with her. The only way she would fall asleep would be if I rocked her too, and when she woke up, I had to rock her to sleep again and sometimes it would take an hour to get her settled down. I sure don't miss those days lol

    Hang in there, you're a good mummy and before you know it, she will be sleeping by herself for weeks on end without waking up :)


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