I’ve been exceptionally lucky, when it comes to Byron’s sleeping patterns. It only took him until the age of seven weeks, before he decided that sleep is in fact awesome and he’d like some more of it— and so he just decided to sleep through one night. And the one after that. And the next. And so on. I can remember texting my mum after the fifth night and saying something along the lines of
He’s done it again! This is just a phase… right?!
Well, apparently not.
I wish I had some kind of answer for the sleep-deprived, bleary-eyed mothers who ask, “How the hell did you do this?!” because in truth, I just don’t know. There’s a belief that formula-fed babies sleep better, because they’re fuller and also less likely to wake up to want that cuddle with their mama. I only breastfed for the first few weeks and then B was formula-fed, so that could be a part of it, but I guess we’ll never know if that had any effect.
A lot of parents put their child’s sleeping habits down to a great routine— but we’ve never imposed a strict bedtime routine, or any routine for that matter. Perhaps we would have, had Byron not started sleeping through the night so early, but I think we were both probably a bit too worried about upsetting this routine he’d set himself and we didn’t want to risk the 2am and 4am feeds again! After a while, it seemed like he was getting tired at around the same time every evening, so we put him to bed at 8:30pm and we still do. I know this probably horrifies some parents— and I know I get some odd looks when I turn up at the supermarket at 7:30pm to grab some milk, with a baby that’s wide awake— but it works for us.
And the same goes for daytime naps; we simply let him sleep when he’s tired. He’s got it down to a morning nap and a longer afternoon one, but the morning z’s are sloping off now, as he gets older and he’s starting to sleep for a little longer through the night. It’s no big deal to him or us if his naps are a little earlier or later than usual. It allows us to sometimes do things that we otherwise wouldn’t.
Now 15 months down the line, we have something that resembles a rough routine, I’ve started to think more about sleep training (especially since reading about Charlotte’s success!) A few months ago, I started to put Byron down in his cot awake for bedtime (he’s usually with us until he’s asleep) using the cry it out technique. It worked to some extent but we failed to do it every single night and soon fell back into a routine of having a cuddle before bed time.
More recently, he’s been getting really clingy with me and won’t settle down with his dad, if he knows I’m in the room. He cries and cries, until I have him, when he just instantly stops! So we’re going to take us both out of the equation and start to put him to bed on his own, before he understands even more what’s happening, grows up and things get even harder. It’ll be nice to not have to be the one to get him to sleep every night and I know he can get himself to sleep, because he does it in the day and he gets himself back to sleep in the night too.
If you’ve done any sleep training with your child, please let me know how it went!