Well we continue to have fun and games with baby R’s sleep, or lack thereof. I guess this is what they call the four-month sleep regression. She’s waking up every one to two hours during the night, leaving my husband and I totally exhausted. Last night was a ‘good’ night – she woke at 11:30pm and 3:00am. I did the 3am stint. I checked her nappy first and took her downstairs to feed her, thinking that’d get her milk-drunk. Nope, not really. Once I burped her, which I have to do otherwise she gets terrible wind, she was wide awake. I paced up and down my little house, rocking and shushing her for what felt an eternity. At 4:45am, I eventually put her in her Sleepyhead, asleep. She woke immediately. I had to pass the baton to my husband at that point – I was tired out. Luckily after he took her I managed to get another hour’s sleep, so I feel half human today, but it’s still not enough. I can’t nap during the day, either, so I’m screwed unless I sleep during the night.
Putting baby down for sleep
I’ve also started freaking out that Baby R will not be put down to sleep unaided. It didn’t bother me until practically all the NCT girls on WhatsApp said they were managing to do it with their little ones. Just getting R to sleep by any method for me is a tiny miracle each time, so putting her in her Sleepyhead awake seems a tall order. I tried sleep training quite early on when she was about 10 weeks old, I think, but I just didn’t feel right about it. I’ve also since found other ways of getting her to nap during the day, such as taking her for a walk in the pram or using her Graco swing life saver). But now she’s older, I’m getting increasingly concerned she’s becoming too reliant on me for sleep, which isn’t good for either of us, particularly as I’m due to start my L4 counselling course this week. So it’s time to start again.
Pick up, put down
So far, I’m trying the pick up, put down approach, including shush and patting. All the recommendations are to start this method with the evening sleep, but I can’t quite deal with it at the moment and worry the crying will annoy the neighbours. So I’ve been trying it with one of the morning naps. The first day was BAD. I only picked her up and put her down twice, and she cried for an hour in my arms. I couldn’t settle her. The second time I could only cope with her crying for 45 minutes. After that, I took her out in the pram instead. Today, however, was more successful. After about 30 minutes of me picking her up and putting her down, I patted and shushed her in her cot. I couldn’t believe it when it immediately soothed her. She started whinging again, but calmed down quickly. Then fell asleep! Don’t get me wrong, she was fighting it – and her eyes kept pinging open – but she slept! It was only for 30 minutes in the end. But it DID work-ish. So I’ll keep persevering.
L4 counselling course begins
As I mentioned above, the other big news in my life is I start my two-year L4 counselling course this week. I feel like I should be excited, but I’m more anxious, if I’m honest. The L3 course was only six months and I found it hard-going. This was when I was working full-time in my full-on job, but being a full-time mommy at the moment is more full-on than any job I’ve done. So we’ll see how I get on. I’ll have to be more assertive I think in terms of getting my other half to look after her at the weekends so I can do the coursework. I feel guilty whenever he looks after her for any amount of time, but I don’t know why. He’s her dad and I’m with her on my own 95% of the time. It will do him good to spend a bit more one-on-one time with her. And if I can find more time in the day, perhaps if R’s sleep training goes to plan, then hopefully I can squeeze some more work into the days. I guess the key is being super efficient as a parent, when you have so many balls to juggle. Imagine how tough it’ll be when I’m back at work next year?! Best not think about that yet…