MONTH EIGHT: On Monday night, when my puppy dog PJs and I snuggled into bed at 8.30pm to try and relieve a chesty cough, snotty nose and eight straight months of sleep deprivation, I decided I’d change my attitude to sleep. Forget complaining. I have a bad sleeper. It’s just life. There’s nothing more I can do about it. Hourly feeds, we may as well become friends.
That was, until Monday night when my eight-month-old daughter Holly finally gave me permission to dream. Unfortunately, the head cold had other plans. But that’s beside the point. Holly went down to sleep at 7pm and, apart from a dummy run at 11pm, she slept until 4.45am. OK, so some of you wouldn’t be thrilled about starting your day at such an ungodly hour. But for me, that was bliss.
So what did I do differently?
- She now goes off to sleep easier than she ever has. This is a combination of now being in a sleeping bag fully unwrapped, persevering with self settling (it’s hard yakka, but worth it) and mastering the do-your-own-dummy technique (with hundreds of them, scattered throughout the bed).
- We dabbled with no meat and just veggies and it didn’t make an ounce of difference. So we’re back on slabs of steak again. However, I think it came down to adding more carbs to her dinner that proved the winner (rhyme not intentional). And thanks by the way, Elisha!
- The real change came when I stopped giving her the 10pm feed. The first night I popped the dummy back in and she grizzled for half an hour before returning to sleep. She woke again and was fed at 1am, 3am and 6am. The second night she woke at 11pm and grizzled for 10 minutes, went quiet for 10 minutes, then screamed for an hour. I gave in and fed her at midnight. She woke and was fed at 3am and 6.30am. The third night (Monday), she grizzled for 10 minutes, then nothing again until 4.45am. I was just thrilled not to be feeding her every hour, let alone getting a sleep through. The fourth night (Tuesday) she woke at 12.45am, grizzled a little, then I didn’t hear from her again until 4.45am. What’s with that time? Now the task is to work on getting her to wake “after’’ the sun has come up. I just don’t know how many more Ab Circle Pro ads I can take.
‘Til next month… when I’ll probably have to switch this challenge to help sleep deprived mums learn to self settle again.
What age did your little one finally give you a full night of sleep?
Read more from the Sleep Challenge.