Daddy and baby asleepI’ve talked at great length about my bedtime woes – here, here & here to name but a few… and in my brighter moments I accept that babies just don’t sleep and I’ll one day pine to be needed the way I am now. But in the depths of sleep deprivation, after a few too many consecutive near-sleepless nights, I’m at my wits end. It was in one of these moments that I delved into the world of co-sleeping and I’m here to tell you the results.

We’ve never had too much of a problem getting Henry into bed, it’s keeping him in there that induces my eyebags and keeps Touche Eclat in business. We have a bedtime routine, the standard story – bath – feed combo which I think helped to teach Henry the difference between day and night. He’s also fairly easy to settle back to sleep during the night most of the time. The problem is the frequency of his wakings. He generally makes it ’til about 1am without much fuss, but can then be up every hour. Which means I get very little sleep from then on and I’m almost certain he’s looking for comfort.

So last week Henry relegated his Daddy to the spare bed and we gave the whole co-sleeping thing a go. I placed a row of pillows at the edge of the bed and rolled myself up in the quilt to give him as much space as possible while he slept in his Grobag as normal – I also consulted the Lullaby Trust for safe co-sleeping. I wasn’t confident that I’d get that much sleep myself but concluded that not actually having to get out of bed would be preferrable to stumbling across the landing 17 times. I found I slept very lightly, and I don’t think I missed a stir, but it was 3am before he woke up and a quick pat on the back was all he needed and he was back to sleep until 7.30. Yep…7.30am. SEVEN THIRTY ANTE MERIDIEM. That’s like midday in parent terms. We all started the day with a family breakfast and much more  organisation than we’re generally accustomed to.

That night we did the same again from when he woke up the first time – that night at 11pm and he slept until 6am. I also slept better, still lightly but much better than normal and I felt pretty sprightly the following day.

Since then, we’ve had a couple of nights where he’s slept in the cot ok – only waking up once. We’ve also had a couple of nights where he’s slept with me from his first wake at around 1am and then he’s slept right through until a reasonable hour of the morning – ie. after 6am. People keep telling me that it’s not a great habit to get into, and they could be right. I like sharing the bed with my husband. But I also like not having to get out of bed and knowing that Henry is content and comfortable. It’s lovely to see him wake up and to feel and hear his little baby breath while he sleeps.

While it may not be a great habit, for now if he needs comfort I’m happy to oblige, I think we’re all better off having slept better and I’m thankful to have found a way to make that happen. In fact, if I could go back in time I think it’s something I would’ve explored earlier for a number of reasons and something I would definitely consider with a second baby.

What are your views on co-sleeping?

This post is in collaboration with Blinds-Hut. You can check out other sleeping experiments here.

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img_4078.jpgAs if I haven’t rambled on enough about sleep lately, I’m about to do it again. I thought I’d begin with a warning so I’ve only wasted you the time it’s taken to read this paragraph, rather than the whole sorry lot.

To the few that are still here – Hi Mum *waves*- I’ve come to accept that sleep deprivation is just part and parcel of motherhood, delivered along with mumguilt, worry and financial ruin when the stork delivers a lovely little newborn. However, there are probably some ways I could help myself in the sleep department:

  1. Not staying up ’til midnight blogging while half watching Coronation Street. When Henry was a newborn and I still remembered what it was like to have a full nights slumber, his longest chunk of sleep was, and still is from 7 to between 11 and 12. I used to sleep during that time too, so at least I was almost guaranteed something. Now I’m rarely in bed before midnight and often up more often than I was then. Pesky teeth.
  2. I could try to break the ‘feeding to sleep’ habit. I’m told a baby who self   settles is a baby who sleeps through the night. But breaking said habit will involve tears, tears aren’t my fave and I have no idea how to do this without tears. Answers on a postcard. Plus when you’re up several times in the night it’s nice to have something on hand chest to calm things down quickly.
  3. I could stop browsing *insert shop here* online or looking at blogs / Twitter / Instagram / Coronation Streer spoilers while attempting to feed back to sleep when he wakes in the night. Before I know what’s going on Henry’s fast asleep and still in my arms. I’m wired from the blue light and could’ve spent the last 30 minutes asleep myself. Although sometimes I need the blue light to keep myself awake. You win some, you lose some.
  4. I could take my mum up on her multiple offers to have Henry overnight once in a while. What can I say? I’m a clingy mum and I can’t bear to be away from him.

Even as I type the above, none are particularly appealing. I’m tired, but I like my evenings, I like blogging, I like a cuddle in the night and sometimes I find some great blogs. And there’s always coffee…

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When I first started this series many moons (8 weeks) ago, the lovely Frenchie Mummy suggested I open it up to other bloggers, and what a great idea that was. So how could I not feature my favourite Frenchie first? 

The Frenchie Mummy is one of my favourite reads – honest, witty and throughly entertaining, so I’m delighted to introduce Cécile, aka Frenchie Mummy as my first ever guest blogger….

Guilt. We call it la culpabilité in Frenchie language.

I had many guilty moments since we had Baba. The time I dressed him up with totally unmatched colours and he didn’t look cute as usual. The other one when I dropped his dummy in some wine in hope to make him have a nap in the afternoon (I needed to blog so badly I was desperate!)

Yes, sometimes I do not cook wonderful meals and I feel bad about ordering a pizza. So bad indeed that I also get some ice cream (a full tube of Häagen-Dazs doesn’t scare Frenchie Mummy when Grumpy Boyfriend is out) and a good bottle of wine.

But you know what is the thing I am the most guilty about? Baba’s sleeping routine. Or the lack of it should I say? It’s just something we have not really nailed with Grumpy Boyfriend…

Here are some of my best successes with mon bébé:

But sleeping time? C’est l’horreur in the Frenchie household! Just thinking about it is giving me an extra grey hair

This baby doesn’t like sleeping! And I feel like it’s my fault.

When he was very little, I read a lot about it and the importance of good habits. ‘Give him a bath, then a nice cuddle while you read your baby a book. Eventually, put him to bed giving him a kiss’. A fairy tale! Un conte de fées that is quite not happening for us. A book? Did you try to read a book to a 6 months old? I did and all Baba cared about was to eat the bloody livre!

The thing is, I bathe Baba at around 6pm every day. When it was time to implement a sleeping routine, I thought it was a bit early to put him to bed, especially when he was always having his last bottle at 8.30pm. And my mum agreed with me. ‘Just do it the French way.’ English people tend to have dinner quite early before 7pm (or am I wrong?). I thought that was why my health visitor told me to put him to bed at that time.

Grumpy Boyfriend and I always have dinner around 8pm (sometimes even later). So to cut a long story short, I would not put Baba in bed before 8.30pm. Correction! To be totally honest, he would have his last bottle and then would fall asleep in my arms. I know massive mistake!

Now evenings are a pain in the bum (to say the least…). I am dreading to get him to sleep. I tried to use some routines: give him some milk, sing him a lullaby (a made up song as Frenchie Mummy is not a very good singer) and then put him gently to bed.

He would start making a kind of a whinge, a weird noise that I can’t even describe. Then a louder roar and the cry, endlessly. It could last up to 40 minutes if I let him do so. He rolls over in his bed, ends up knocking his head and then c’est la tragédie! He screams so loudly that we have to put subtitles on to make sure that we follow on the movie we are trying to watch!

So I give up, pick him up and he stays up with us until he falls asleep either on the sofa or in his bouncer chair… Yep, that’s life. When you fail at doing something, well you get to endure the consequences…

All I am hoping for now is that we will not be struggling so badly to put Baba to bed once I am back to work in January. So this is my big #mumguilt; the thing I am not proud of as a super Frenchie mama.

What is yours? Do you also struggle to put your kids to bed? If so, please tell me it will get better! And if it’s not the case, just keep quiet or lie ludicrously!

P.S: the examples at the start of this post are totally fictive. I never ever gave some wine to my dearest Baba to get him to have a nap! I just bore him with cartoons on the laptop or sing with the worst voice ever some Frenchie songs from the 60’s. Some part of me thinks that I am like a modern Brigitte Bardot or Vanessa Paradis!

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Thank you so much to Frenchie Mummy for such a wonderful post. If you’d like to share your #mumguilt woes please get in touch, I’d love to here from you!

 

 

 

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