Saturday, February 21, 2009

The battles continue

I’d like to say everything was rosy and lovely from then on but Benjamin was still a spirited baby. At 6 months he was as far from sleeping more than 4 hours at night as he’d ever been. Getting him off to sleep was no longer a problem. Keeping him asleep was.


For the first 6 to 7 months of Benjamin’s life, I used to dread the question “How is his sleeping?” Somehow it felt like I had failed and had got something wrong. There’d be one of three responses to my reply: another “helpful” tip or sure-to-work method; a “you must be doing something wrong” look coupled with an awkward silence; or a sympathetic “I’ve been there” look and a dose of ‘it will get better” encouragement. Sadly the last response was most rare.


Nearing the end of his sixth month, my husband and I (thank goodness for him!) managed to get Benjamin consistently sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night. Taking the advice of a nurse, we left Benjamin to cry at night, checking in on him at regular intervals. The nurse said it would take four to seven nights. I remember thinking “You don’t know my son”. And I was right. It took over three weeks!! Close to four actually. It was hell for me having to listen to son crying. But we persisted (I’m pretty persistent too...wonder where Benjamin gets it from?) and finally we had breakthrough.


Then we dared to go away over Christmas. And the night waking began again. Maybe it was the heat, maybe the strange house. Who knows? But had I vowed never to put me and my son through the crying thing again and so I found myself feeding him several times a night again. Give him an inch...you know the rest.


For another two or so months this continued. I hoped and prayed he would stop waking by himself. Spirited babies don’t often just stop doing things they like. And unless I still wanted to be feeding him several times a night for the next year, I decided to do something about it. Thankfully this time it only took a few nights.



So by nine months I managed to get him to sleep as long as some babies do at two or three months. But that is something I don’t like to think about : )

2 comments:

GB said...

Hello Penny - Found you through Sammy's blog! Hope you don't mind me lurking :) I have very strong-willed children too! From what I've read here a big WELL DONE is in order. Sleep is such a tricky thing isn't it? What works for some just isn't the thing for others!I've learned that I can listen to advice (and lots want to give it - bless them) ... but it doesn't necessarily mean it will be what is needed! It does get better - you're right, we should be shouting that from the roof tops!. I remember thinking that "sleeping through" was a bit of a myth - and then it only meant 5 hours max!!! For us it lasted (with both!) about 16-18 months until they slept through completely... but now are fantastic sleepers! Yay! Good on you - what a great mum you are! You obviously know your babe inside out!
Blessings,
Gail

Penny said...

Hi Gail
Don't mind you lurking at all! : )
Thanks for the encouragement. Appreciate it

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