The Devil Mum: The Sleep Diaries, part 3

Devil mum

Once again, it’s been a long time since I last posted, and a lot has happened.

You may remember from my last post in the Sleep Diaries, that me and my beloved had parted ways. I was at my wits end, and wanted nothing more than his return. Well my friends, it is with great pleasure I can declare that we’ve been reunited once again. And boy, what a beautiful time it’s been.

Who do I have to thank? Well, that’s my not so public relationship with sleep training (until now).

*Waits for judgemental stares……*

Yep. Sleep training.

Almost everyone’s face drops when I tell them. I can instantly see the judgement in their eyes…

“She lets her baby cry? What a she devil!!”

Not everyone realises that sleep training doesn’t mean ‘crying it out’ and leaving your baby to cry all night. There are SO. MANY. METHODS. I place emphasis on this, because as a severely sleep deprived Mum, I wanted nothing more than to scour through pages and pages of information about which methods would make me a ‘good’, but unhappy Mum, or a ‘bad’, but rested Mum. After a lot of research, and I mean ALOT, I decided to try out the ‘pick up put down‘ method.

This lasted all of 45 minutes.

While it may work for other families, picking up D proved too stimulating for him, and just made things 10 times worse. All of that research I’d done to reach this decision, out the window in just a few minutes. Within the following 2 minutes, I changed my mind and decided to go with ‘controlled comforting/crying’.

As I said… Devil mum, I know.

I did alter the method to fit with what I was comfortable with though, which I won’t bore you with the details, but it was a bit ‘gentler’ than what the standard method suggests. Mainly because I felt God awful about doing this method before we actually started it. I scoured through forums, trying to find likeminded women to try and persuade myself that I wasn’t a horrible person, and that I was doing the right thing. This link best describes how we went about it. Good ol’ Jo Frost.

At first I thought I could cheat… I would properly follow the method at bedtime, but when he woke in the night I quickly gave up and started feeding him the second he became unsettled. I also thought getting into his cot with him and feeding him laying down wouldn’t count, as I wasn’t picking him up. Nobody would know, right? Well, nobody other than my baby… you know… the one who I was trying to sleep train. So, yeah… that didn’t work. Day by day his sleeping got worse and worse.

The following weekend, I decided to go all out.

I COULD DO THIS.

Within 2 nights D was sleeping better. Sleeping in 3 hour intervals rather than the 1 hourly wakings I’d grown accustomed to. Sure, I was up with him for a while at each waking, but he was waking less often.

Fast forward a few weeks, and he’s now waking once, maybe twice a night on a typical night. And it really shows – in both of us. D is so much more alert and happier in the day, and I’m actually functioning like a normal human being again.

No longer do I feel the need to call my husband crying because “my baby won’t sleep!!!!!”.

No longer do I spend my days searching the depths of Google, desperately trying to find out how to get him to sleep.

And no longer do I feel like an awful Mum, for sleep training my baby. I can now be the best Mum I can be, because I have the energy to do so.

And we all lived happily after.

The end.

(I hope…)