The Chair

So what do you do?

When I was pregnant, we discussed this and there was no way on earth I was going to put up with it. Yet here I am! What am I waffling on about?

Bedtime practices & night-time disturbances.

I was going to be a 'put him down awake' type of mummy. I was going to be a 'he must learn to settle himself' type of mummy. Guess what? Turns out that I'm not!

When they're tiny weeny you can be cuddling them and all of a sudden they've fallen asleep. "Oh!" you say, "when did that happen?" So what are you supposed to do? Wake them up so you can then put them down in their moses basket awake (and screaming because they don't know why they're not asleep anymore)? What a prize bitch you'd have to be!

Anyway, I digress. We started with the bedtime 'awake under his cot mobile' malarky and it worked. Until he was 5 months old and learnt to roll over & grab the mobile. Hmmm, that went a bit wrong. Drop cot down a level, tuck end of sleeping bag in = sorted!

Then he got a bad cold. And he couldn't get to sleep flat on his back because his throat and nose got clogged up and he couldn't breathe and got scared. So to help this we cuddled him to sleep.

Oops!

And I say 'oops' because that's what we still have to do every night and he's 18 months old now.

Hmmm…

To be fair, I think it was also the change of milk-feeds that exacerbated the problem. If The Boy falls asleep in my arms having his bedtime bottle, what am I supposed to do; poke him 'til he wakes up & then ignore his tears? Just so I can do what Gina Ford says? (or as she is known in this house, 'evil, nazi woman')

So why am I sat here in this Ikea chair (you know the one; cream bucket chair, looks comfy but not when you've been sat in it for an hour and your arse is numb) holding my sleeping baby? 'Ignore him' you say. 'Let him cry it out' you say. 'No, bog off, he's my child' I say. I cannot listen to him cry. Can't do it. I'm not an advocate of controlled crying, I actually think it's a bit cruel (* disclaimer at bottom)

The reason why I won't use it is because The Boy does not wake up or play silly buggers at night. He slept through from 10pm – 6am at 6 weeks old! He goes down at 7.30pm & wakes up about 6.30am+. If he cries in the night, it will be because he's suffering from wind (he still gets colicky pains sometimes) or teething pains. And then he's sobbing in his sleep. I can't ignore him when he's hurting, it goes against every cell in my body.

So we cuddle him. It's not like we're going to be doing it forever. Can you imagine? 15 years old? Exactly.

And we have stopped excusing ourselves because he's our child! I don't criticise you for using a dummy with your three and a half year old child, or when he nutted The Boy on his 4 month old nose, so don't condemn me. (Oh I appear to be having a go at a work colleague here. How did that happen?)

And anyway, look at him…

God, my arse is numb.

(* I apologise to anyone to whom I may have caused offense: I'm not implying you're bad mothers if you use controlled crying, you're braver than I am. That's why your child is asleep, and I'm awake at 2am!)

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Comments

  1. says

    There is a difference between crying for attention and crying because something is wrong. Like you, when the little one woke up crying because something was wrong, we went and settled her. I would cuddle her until she settled. I would stay with her until the tears had stopped and she dozed off.

    Like your little man, she had always slept well until some bad teething and some illness hit. She also has been very hard to put down if she falls asleep on me. I spent hours pinned down by her when she was a baby.

    However, there came a point where she was no longer teething, and she was no longer ill, but she did have the habit of needing attention. This was a different sort of crying and then we practiced controlled crying because no matter how much it tore my heart out to let her cry (and it did) after a couple of days she slept through and didn't cry any more. Her crying was bad for us but more importantly it was bad for her. Taking an hour+ each time she cried to settle her meant she wasn't getting enough sleep and she was getting upset too often.
    A couple of days after controlled crying there was no stress for anyone and she slept better.
    Sorry for the essay!

    • says

      No don't apologise. Thank you for telling me about your experiences. I suspect that, like you, once all that's finished then we'll have to try it but no way can I see us using it at the moment.

  2. says

    Well done you for doing what is best for that gorgeous little guy, and not bending to outside pressure to do something you feel uncomfortable with x

  3. says

    I did the same, although Lucky never sleeps through, he most of the time falls asleep in my arms mid feed. The last week or so I have been leaving him in his cot and ive noticed he has started to self settle a bit which is strange since he is an absolute nightmare during the day and screams constantly for me!

    im trying my best not to give him attention all the time but it breaks me too to hear him cry and see the tears! i love snuggling him and making him feel safe.

    xx

  4. Katie B says

    I feel your pain, I too sat in the same ikea chair for an hour at 3.30am this morning, and for my efforts was rewarded with a numb ass and a bad neck!! My little man was a terrible sleeper grew out of it though and is now fantastic, hoping that little miss will do the same any day now….well a girl can dream! Here's hoping we get some sleep from Santa x

  5. says

    What a great post. We all have preconceptions of how we will deal with our kids but until they are here and you know their personalities we can't make choices. I used to say I would never let my boy watch tv. He is disabled and can not do much else so should I take his only fun time from him, heck no. We are the parents and we make the choices good and bad.

  6. says

    Like you said he's your child and it's up to you what you do, there's always someone that will criticise whatever we do, but it doesn't mean to say that their way is right, just that it works for them. I've not cuddled mine to sleep as I've never had to, Sam was an extremely easy 'text book' baby and Hanna & Jack had dummies (Jack still does!) but it helps me get a good night sleep and it works for us.
    Don't worry about what others may say or think, as long as you are all happy then keep doing it.
    xx

  7. says

    i love this post…
    my little ones fall asleep while we read to them – it's my favourite part of the day. who would want to miss that closeness – it's a time to cherish! thank you for sharing this post in the carnival

  8. Jodie Smith says

    The great thing about having just one is that you can cuddle them to sleep and its ok – with 3 there would be uproar lol!
    Fantastic post – as always. (see, I do comment on your blog ;))

  9. Working London mummy says

    Well thank got it's not just me. My daughter was born 6weeks early so always falling asleep with feeds. She now is 17 months and having bottle and cuddle at bed time. As you say they are not going to let you cuddle them forever so enjoy it while you can!

  10. says

    I have cuddled all my babies to sleep at night. They have grown up to be confident, secure and independent. No harm done! I've never wanted to leave them crying. Babyhood is over in the blink of an eye…enjoy the time in the way that you see fit! xxx

  11. says

    I have had hand holding at night, stroking of forehead for what seems like hours, singing to sleep, going to sleep in our bed and then carried in, going to sleep on the couch, rocked in the buggy. You name it I have had to do it over the years. We purposely have the largest bed we could find so that there's enough room for extra night time visitors.
    Now they mostly skip up to bed themselves with the ipod and ocking station to listen to a story. It all passes.

  12. says

    Just got round to reading the imperfect parenting carnival. Your post 'speaks' to me. DD is 2 1/2 and I still get into bed with her every night and stay till she falls asleep. Keep meaning to do that House of Tiny Tearaways thing of making her stay in bed by herself but actually, I don't want to.

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