Sleep baby sleep

March 23, 2008 at 7:24 am 1 comment

Baby

I haven’t had a full night sleep since the Munchkin was born 16 months ago.

 Despite reading every book about infant sleep that I could find, it soon became clear that my baby was just not a ‘self-settling’ type of baby. Leaving her to cry never worked. She never did the ‘cry cry pause’ that the books talked about – she just screamed, and screamed louder. I couldn’t pat her back and ‘shhhh’ her to sleep, she would arch her back and turn purple with rage.  If I didn’t respond to her cries pronto, I would be rocking and settling for ages before she would finally settle, exhausted, on the breast.  

She would wake every 3 hours, sometimes more often, all night. Sometimes we would get a six hour stretch, and think we had made progress, but it would never last. During the day she would sleep for 20 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. Then at about a year old that turned into 30 -45 minutes, once a day.  It was so hard to find any real support. All the mainstream books described babies that just didn’t act like mine did. The Plunket nurse and GP suggested varying styles of ‘controlled crying’ and my friends all had babies that responded to well to this sort of advice.  

A turning point for me was reading ‘The Fussy Baby Book’ and going to La Leche League. Realising that their were other babies like mine, and that I wasn’t a terrible mother was a revelation. The advice I got from the ‘attachment parenting’ school didn’t solve the problem. We were still very much sleepless in Aoteoroa. But I stopped worrying so much about it. 

I’m pleased to report that we are starting to see some progress now. For the last few nights, Munchkin has slept from 7pm till 2am or so, without waking. Its starting to feel like a pattern, so my fingers and toes are firmly crossed. Last night she fell asleep without breastfeeding, and did the same tonight … amazing. 

So to those of you expecting children and reading all about ‘accidental parenting’ and the need to ‘sleep train’ your baby, please know there are other options out there. I wish I had known about the options when Munchkin was born, it would have saved months of heartache.  

My favourite blog on this subject is Megan’s Parenting Baby to Sleep blog. Its also worth checking out Pinky McKay, Elizabeth Pantley, and good ol’ Dr William Sears. And if  you want to get a bit scientific, it have a look at Centre for Attachment. I hope you all are blessed with babies that sleep. I sincerely hope mine has turned a corner.

 PS – I’ve changed the font after some feedback that Papyrus was very hard to read. What do you think of this one?

PPS – Isn’t that a beautiful photo. Its not Munchkin , full credit can be found here.

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Entry filed under: Parenting.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. highwaycottage  |  March 23, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I hear you on the sleep thing, I’ve had 3 whole nights sleep in 19 mths. Cam still wakes at least once a night, but at least I can cope with that 🙂

    Love the new font, not quite as pretty, but much easier to read.

    Reply

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