For me, my first born was the cutest, most adorable thing on the planet. No one had a child like mine. Oh no! He was perfect. Well, he drank his bottles like there was no tomorrow. He played and giggled and hit all his milestones. Sure wasn’t he great? But sleep…em. That’s was a tricky one. You see as first time mom and dad we hadn’t a flippin clue. To get him to sleep we rocked, and brought for walks in buggy, rolled the buggy up and down in the front room till our arms nearly fell off, drove around in the car etc etc. You can see where I’m going with this….we just did whatever it took to get him to sleep. And it was exhausting.
I read books, I googled the life out of “how to get your baby to sleep”. What the hell were we doing wrong? I tried everything. Nothing worked. But even though we weren’t sleeping like we used to we didn’t care. Our boy was amazing. Who cares about independent sleeping! He’ll be fine. He’ll grow out of it. Sure it’ll be grand. Dear God, if only I knew then what I did now!
We must of had a good spell of him sleeping well cos when he was 7 months old we decided it was time for baby no 2! And we were absolutely blessed to have gotten pregnant first time round.
Now in the 9 months i was pregnant, I swiftly realised that my first born was a very spirited baby. He liked getting his own way, he certainly knew what he liked and didn’t like. He would throw tantrums till he was literally purple in the face. But also be so sweet and loving and affectionate. In the last few weeks of my pregnancy I knew I had to sort his sleeping. He had gotten used to one of us being in the room with him until he fell asleep. And yes I know there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. But with a new baby on the way it had to change. I did a thing called gradual withdrawal and even though it worked, it was soul destroying. I vowed I would not leave this happen with baby no2!
It was so so hard dealing with a baby who didn’t sleep well and being pregnant I can tell you. I tried to sleep when he slept but all I wanted to do was eat eat and eat. I was pregnant after all..
They say you learn from your mistakes!? Do you? Do you really? Well when baby no 2 was finally born. My darling first born stopped walking. Completely. For 8 weeks!!! For his 1st birthday he was walking and running around like a mad thing. And when this baby was born he was having none of it! We brought him to hospital and they did every test under the sun. They couldn’t find one thing wrong with him. They were baffled.
Anyhoo fast forward 8 weeks and slowly he began to walk again. It was like he regressed. And all over this little adorable new baby/intruder coming in to our life. So sleep for me really went out the window. So I went from being heavily pregnant AND having a toddler who wasnt a great sleeper, to then having a new born and a toddler who wouldn’t walk, and all the worry and stress over the whole thing. I thought I’d never sleep again!
BUT. It did get better. Oh the tears I cried. Somehow over time it gradually got better. I can’t even remember how, but I will never forget how tired I was. And let’s face it, the tiredness never really goes. It’s always there . That’s part of what being a parent is all about. You never fully relax do you?
Baby no2 was a better sleeper though. Now he wasn’t amazing..but better. I didn’t roll him around endlessly in the buggy to get him to sleep or any of that crap. I knew better this time round!
Of course I do remember some 5am wake ups and then my other son up at 7am and mammy then drinking copious amounts of coffee ALL DAY. But sure that’s what I did, and I’m sure so many other mammys have done the same.
Now my third (and final) son. Well. What can I say. You can read all the books in the world. Google the life out it. Have 20 children. It really doesn’t matter. They either sleep or they don’t. Every child is different. Some people have kids who would sleep anywhere and anytime (I hate you). And some just don’t. And that’s ok. I now have a 5 year old who loves his sleep and will go off to sleep in about 10 seconds. (Like any man..) and a 4 year old who is the same.
Now…I just need to work on my 7 month old! Ok so I may be exhausted now, but I know in a few years he will sleep like a log too. So I’m not gonna sweat it. I’m just gonna keep drinking my coffee…and moaning…I like a good moan..😉