After enduring a year of getting up in the night, I am finally getting a full nights sleep. If you have been a parent to a child who wakes in the night, you will understand why I am so happy to sleep without any interruption. I was very lucky throughout our first year that despite the waking, Oliver wasn’t an early riser. Never have I had to get up at 6am (or earlier) and we often slept in till 9 or later.
When Oliver was around 12 weeks old he started sleeping through. We thought we had it made, how perfect! How naive more like, and at about 16 weeks the frequent night waking began. The dreaded four month sleep regression is most certainly a real thing. But we rode it out and I dealt with the night time waking. I always said I didn’t want to sleep train Oliver, and I think he just needed his own time to work sleep out and when he did it would be when he wanted to.
For the past three of four months Oliver has only been waking once a night which was a good improvement on the two or three wake up calls I had previously. I easily fed him back to sleep and all in all we would be up for about 10 minutes maximum. But those 10 minutes of waking every night was tiring when the morning came. I had tried to stop him waking, leaving him to whine a bit longer before I went in, even trying to send Stu in in my place (this sent Oliver straight into meltdown!). But nothing had worked.
On Oliver’s first birthday he finally did the one thing I had dreamt of for months, he slept through. It was like a little present back to me! I thought it was a fluke, but every night since (bar one – damn teething) he has slept through. I feel like a new woman! However, a full nights sleep does come with its drawbacks. I’m now having to get up at 7am, something I haven’t done in a very, very long time! I suppose at least it’s preparing me for the even earlier starts I will have for work when I go back next week.
Along with a full nights sleep, Oliver will happily go to sleep independently. Since he was about 6 months old, the only way we could get him to sleep was by lying with him. Now I give him a feed and pop him in the cot, turn the light out and he goes straight to sleep. It’s such a weight lifted and has given me my evenings back!
The one thing I have learnt from our journey with sleep is that you’ve just got to ride it out. Do what works for you, and they will get there eventually. It may take a week, it may take a year, but you will make it through.
Did your child sleep well or did you try every trick in the book to help them get there?