*Cue broken record *
Jasper didn’t sleep through the night until he was 13 months and 6 days. Now I know if you’ve read my blog for a while, watched my videos or follow me on social media then that won’t be the first time you’ve heard me say it.
Sleep was never our strong point, and being a form of torture in some countries, sleep deprivation really took its toll on me in the end. At every mini age milestone I’d say ‘I’m sure Jasper will be sleeping by the time he’s 6 months’, then when his 6 month mark came and went, I said the same for 9 months, 12 months and so on.
I felt exhausted, stressed and anxious. I felt guilt that my husband wasn’t getting enough sleep for work the next day; I felt like a failure for not being one of those ‘my baby slept through from 8 weeks’ kinda mums (I’ll tell you now those women are rare and not human); and most importantly I felt a little out of control.
Controlled crying was always one of those ‘if this doesn’t work, we’ll give that a go’ kind of solutions and when increasing and decreasing his food and milk intake, playing around with his sleep times and throwing every kind of comforter at his cot didn’t work; we decided to take a whack at it.
I was never strict sticking to specific times but I took parts of the method and implemented it int what worked for our family. Being someone that was scared of our house; very anxious post partum and probably suffering from a little separation anxiety after 13 months (and 6 days) of co sleeping; I was able to stick to controlled crying at bedtime; but when it came to middle of the night wakes, I really struggled. I’d be terrified going downstairs in the dark, even if the lights were on. My mind would play tricks on me and I’d imagine some ghostly girl in a nightgown waiting for me in the corridor. Leaning over the cot I’d be scared someone was behind me and in the end I’d just take Jasper back up to our room with the plan to start again tomorrow.
Pete would always give it a go; we’d take it in turns most nights but I do admit I’d often tell him it was his turn and that he’d slept through mine just os that I wouldn’t have to do it.
We had one successful night, that 13 months and 6 days breakthrough where he managed about 8-5 but that was only one night. We then had another night about 3 weeks later; 2 nights in a row after a month; but nothing stable. Nothing that really showed he was sleeping through.
In the end I just figured that he wasn’t ready. His body wasn’t ready to sleep through the night and that was okay. As long as I knew he was having enough milk, food and sleep in the day I knew I was doing all I could. I focused more on getting him to self settle, that way if he did wake in the night, I knew he could settle himself back to sleep if he was able to unless he had a temperature, wet nappy or maybe a bad dream.
It helped me to be a bit more understanding at 3am and it made me relax and not stress myself out too much that I hadn’t mastered the art of a sleeping baby!
As I suspected Jasper slept through when he was ready; after a string of unsettled months; moving house 5 times, a few bouts of tonsillitis and bad eczema; he finally got settled and slept. We do have the odd night when he wakes and ends up in Mumas bed, but that’s fine. I missed the cuddles anyway!
Please do check out my latest vlog all about controlled crying; it goes into a bit more detail of our journey with it and my views on it because oh my is there a lot of controversy!
Please know that it is always down to you. There is no right or wrong, only opinions. Controlled crying works, its tried and tested but for some mumas it’s not the right thing; be it practically or emotionally. You’re not cruel if you do it and you’re not weak if you don’t. Implement it into your own routine and see what happens but take off the pressure and know you probably won’t have a 10 year old still waking in the night – hang in there sleep deprived muma!