In the past year as a mum, I have been asked this question about 824 times*, and my response is always an awkward raise of the eyebrows that says “don’t ask”.
Emma has never been a good sleeper. In the early days, I lived in hope that it would change soon. One day we’re going to wake up at 7am and realise she slept through, and rejoice to everyone we know. As a side note: this did happen ONCE, and I foolishly took the picture below and sent it to my family What’s App group….only for it never to happen ever again. Dammit. #smugmummyfail. Six months have passed since then, and there is a little improvement but we are still so far away that all shred of hope has well and truly left the building.
For a while, I was avidly searching for solutions to reduce the amount of times she was waking in the night – including giving her a banana before bed, Weetabix before bed, Weetabix and banana before bed, reducing the amount of milk slowly to wean her off, adjusting bedtimes, using white noise and Norah Jones as a background noise. The list goes on, but I think you catch my drift. Until one day I decided to stop and
Just make peace that this is how it is, until it’s not anymore
I know that sounds simplistic but that shift in my mind made such a difference. Because I realised it was my expectations that was driving me nuts – I was expecting her to suddenly change and couldn’t handle it when week after week, it remained the same (or worse, depending on the teething and colds!). Maybe she’s the kind of baby that needs comfort during the night, maybe she’s just not ready for it – who knows, but it felt too hard to be pushing her to change when she didn’t want to. And don’t get me started on the good/bad sleeper comment – implying that babies who don’t sleep through the night are bad babies!!
So things are pretty much the same as they have been for months. We keep doing the same routine of having a dance on the bed without her nappy on, bath and then a painful screaming match as I frantically get her dressed, wondering how I can still find it impossible to do up the sleepsuit without getting a button wrong. We’re still on standby from 9.45pm onwards, waiting for Emma to wake and have her night-time feed, unsure whether that night we’ll be up every 2 hours, 3 hours or maybe even a longer stretch. And that’s ok, because she has to sleep through one day, right?!
*In truth, I’m not sure how many times but it was A LOT.