Last week, we were reaching the end of our tether with Sam waking hourly. Both of us were exhausted and realised that we needed to work it out. The book I’d picked up to try and help with sleep advocates rocking or assisting your baby get to sleep until they’re 6-8 months old, or are obviously ready to go to sleep on their own. This gentler approach appealed to me and seemed logical given Sam can be fairly highly strung!
It was on Tuesday evening that we noticed that when he woke up crying shortly after being put to bed, his eyes weren’t even open. As a test, Carl went up to see if he could rock him back to sleep. Within a couple of minutes Sam was peacefully sleeping again. He still woke frequently throughout the night.
On Wednesday, we bit the bullet and decided to see if he could be rocked back to sleep during the night, rather than me simply offering him a feed and us both falling asleep again. The wakings were frequent, but most of the time it was easy for Carl to rock him back to sleep. Taking only a couple of minutes to resettle him, we realised that Sam only woke to feed a couple of times. The other wakings were probably habit from usually being fed all night.
The change seemed to be immediate.
On Thursday night, he only woke 4 times. Twice he was quickly rocked back to sleep (both times before we had even gone up to bed) and twice for a feed.
Friday night, he woke 3 times and only once was for a feed.
Since then he seems to wake 3 or 4 times a night, twice he can be resettled and once or twice because he’s hungry.
On top of this, he has been going to bed between 6.30 and 7.15 each night.
Carl and I have had our first run of evenings together since Sam was born. We are even beginning to relax, knowing that the ‘chances are’ Sam will sleep for a few hours at a time and, if he wakes, the ‘chances are’ that he can be quickly and easily resettled.
We are going to keep him in with us for another week or so, to really get him used to sleeping better, then move him back to the nursery.
At last, we move forward.
Of course, we’ll get him sleeping well and then a tooth will appear and it’ll all fall apart!! But thank goodness that, for the time being at least, we seem to have said goodbye to hourly wakings.
Naps, however, are a different matter and another difficulty entirely…