New Year, New Bed
Jude turned 6 months old on the 28th December; following SIDS guidelines, time to move into his own room. And it couldn’t come soon enough in the end! Jude had been having bad nights for a few weeks leading up to his ‘6 month birthday’ and Steve and I were at the end of our tether. I had even spend a few nights (from about 3/4am onwards) sleeping with him on the couch (yeah I know, tut tut!), He would sleep next to me, but because I didn’t want to fall into a deep sleep which I would have in my own bed, I took him onto the couch so that I wouldn’t sleep as deeply and he would sleep.
So on the 29th December, we decided to put him into his own room. he went down perfectly initially (as he usually does), but as soon as Steve and I went up to bed, Jude woke up for a feed and wouldn’t go back down in his own cot. This however wasn’t unusual behaviour – this was what had been happening in the crib in our room. He would fall asleep in my arms but as soon as his head touched the mattress his eyes would wake up and there would be tears. We had already decided that we would leave him to cry in his room for a controlled amount of time. So we put him down even though he was awake and went into our room with the monitor on. We didn’t start timing him until he was really crying. None of this whimpering malarkey. Soon enough he – in true Jude style – let rip. The wailing began. We started timing. We had agreed that 15 minutes would be the cut off. (We had timed his crying for a minute, then 2 minutes, then 3 minutes for the few days leading up to this moment, but it hadn’t made a scrap of difference, so there had to be a significant difference this time.) Once he started crying, the time soon passed and we found ourselves at about 13 minutes in. Then I heard a bump. Uh oh. The crying worstened (although I didn’t thinkthat was possible!). I went into his room only to find him at the very top of the cot, his head touching the wood. He had got himself so worked up that he had wriggled up to the top of the crib and banged his head. Oops!
Back to square one then! Eventually, at about 3am, Steve took him downstairs so that I could get some sleep and he had worn himself out so much that he fell asleep and Steve was able to bring him back up and put him in his cot. At almost 5am! Wow, what a disaster!
So, despite moving him into his own room, it seemed desperate times called for more drastic measures. I think I had finally worked out that if we were weaning and expecting better nights, we would have to put him into more of a strict routine. For the first 6 months of his life he been breastfed on demand, so of course weaning was going to do weird things to him! The thing I have had to change most drastically is myself. Ultimately, we are the ones in control of his eating and napping. How are we to expect him to do that properly and in a routine if we don’t do the important things like eating in a routine too? So, on the first of January I started taking a note of his feeding , napping and sleeping times.
As you can see, I have written the total sleep time (1st Jan was 9h40mins) at the bottom of each day. The 3rd Jan he slept for over 11 hours from waking up, to waking up the next day (including naps). He has also, for the last 2 days, not napped in the morning. So, I was really hard on myself for the first few days, telling myself that I had to be more strict or how else was he supposed to do it, and now he’s ruining my routine by not napping when he’s supposed to!
At the moment, he likes to wake at around 3-4am and stay awake for 2 hours. This is the general thing for now. But I am extremely aware this could change tomorrow (or tonight, if we’re lucky!). Although, it could change to him waking at midnight for 4 hours, which would be a total disaster! So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that, despite things feeling sucks at the moment, sooner or later he’s going to sleep through. And in the meantime I can write my blog in the middle of the night whilst I’m trying to get him back off to sleep…..