Baby Not Sleeping Through the Night? By Robyn Birkin
Baby not sleeping through the night?
Don’t worry, mine doesn’t either and she is 16 months old!
And you know what? I’m cool with it.
I remember in the early days, my heart was filled with love but my body was weary from sleepless nights, desperately Googling when Chloe would finally sleep through the night. The answer online was maybe 4 months, probably 6 months but almost definitely by 12 months.
But as we approached 6 months she started waking more and more, not less. Frantically, I consulted my books, looking for a gentle solution.
Music check. Dark room check. Bedtime story and bath check. Don’t feed to sleep check (well mostly!). No pacifier check. Lovey check.
But short of leaving her to cry endlessly, we tried everything and she STILL didn’t sleep through the night.
She would wake and cry hysterically, furious if she didn’t get the boob. We struggled to feed lying down and she wasn’t interested in sleeping next to me in bed so each and every time I would get up and go to her.
I had a bed in her room when she was born, and the bed stayed so I didn’t have to traipse down the hall, groggy in the middle on the night. Once or twice we tried moving the bed out and the difference in how rested I felt (comparatively) was remarkable.
As the months rolled on, Chloe’s sleeping ebbed and flowed. Some nights she would wake endlessly and others she would wake only once or twice.
As we approached 12 months, Chloe was waking and feeding an average of 6 times a night and feeding 4 times in the day. Talk about exhausting!
Babies don’t come naturally to my husband and I. Chloe is an ICSI (kind of like IVF) baby and we wanted to try again but our fertility clinic advised us we needed to fully wean before we could embark on our next round of fertility treatments.
My instinct told me it was time to night wean too. The tiredness was having a toll on my body and I had to do what I could manage. For three nights I moved my mattress right next to Chloe’s cot and patted her and cuddled her and talked her through.
On the fourth night, finally, she was happy to sleep next to me.
But, does she sleep through the night now?
This is how we have continued.
When Chloe wakes, usually around 11pm, I take her into the spare room where together we sleep for the rest of the night.
You have to do whatever works. My husband wakes up at 4.30am to go into work and working in a high risk job, can’t afford to be tired. And I get it. Why should a small child sleep through the night without her mama close? It’s lonely at night. Chloe wakes multiple times after that, but not having to get up gives me enough rest.
Hey, whatever works! And this is what works for us.
Trust your instincts mama and follow your heart… and if your baby doesn’t sleep through the night, don’t sweat it. You are their world and they don’t want to be without you.
Robyn Birkin is a author, fertility warrior and zen mama who lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband and daughter, Chloe, a gorgeous result of IVF treatments. She has recently shared an honest and raw account of her journey with infertility, IVF and miscarriage in her book, Screw Infertility! When she is not trying to stop her daughter, Chloe, writing on walls and trying to give the cat a nervous breakdown, she writes stories for fertility warriors, life lovers and vegan babes on her blog, Modern Day Missus. She is a lover of veggies, surfie dudes and sunshine, and is in the juice (over smoothies) camp.