As I patted my 8month old baby (B2) to sleep tonight, I thought about the desperate lengths I’ve gone to on occasions to get my children to sleep. Let me paint the picture for you a little more.
To get this gorgeous little baby to sleep through the night, we’ve tried:
- removing foods/caffiene from my diet (I’m breastfeeding),
- drinking Rooibos tea,
- changing B2’s breastfeeds (number of feeds, times, expressed bottles),
- changing B2’s solids (amounts of solids, types of solids, times of solids),
- changing times & length of B2’s day-sleeps,
- changing baby’s bedding & clothing (warmer, cooler, types of sheets, sleeping bags, socks etc.),
- and lastly, since we’ve tried everything else we can think of to get him to sleep through the night, why not also try taking him out of our room and putting him in a different cot in a different room?!
So tonight I was bent at the waist, hair dangling in my face, flopped over the side of a low porta-cot, situated in my husband’s study, patting my child to sleep and getting a really good hamstring stretch in the process and thinking of the desperate measures I’ve been through to get my children to sleep over the past three years.
I remember a very wise midwife telling me as a new parent, when B1 was only a few days old, that sometimes you just have to do whatever will work. If that means giving your baby a bath in the middle of the night to settle them, then give your baby a bath in the middle of the night. And so one night I did.
I remember lying/sleeping on the floor by B1’s cot, patting him each time he stirred, as he had sleepless nights continually for a few months (we later found out he had an intolerance to cow’s milk common in kids 12-24months, but he hadn’t started having symptoms until after he’d been on it for over a month).
Then there was the time when B1 had an ear infection (maybe even both ears?). Hubby and I spend a few nights in a row taking turns of driving B1 around in last-ditch effort to get him to sleep. There was one night in particular I remember we were so tired we both went as we weren’t sure it was safe for either of us to be driving on our own. Completely overtired, we thought it would be hilarious to turn it into a “Maccers Crawl”, ordering just one small thing to share from each McDonalds drive-thru we could find (eg. sml orange juice, hash brown, mini snack wrap). We learned valuable information that night/morning about our local McDonalds, and it’s so useful that I’m going to share it all with you. I wonder if it’s the same at all McDonalds? Feel free to test this out when you are next having a sleepless night up with your baby, and comment on what you find!
At our local McDonalds, when the regular menu turns over to the breakfast menu (around 4 am), the Eftpos system doesn’t work until the Manager comes on duty at 6am. How bizare is that!?!
On a serious note, I want to leave you with the other thing that the lovely, wonderful and wise midwife told me. She told me that when I’m up in the middle of the night, with the light on and a screaming baby, don’t think that you’re alone. Out there, in other houses, there are other lights on, and other babies crying. How often I’ve found this to be true, the morning after a sleepless night when I’ve spoken to other mums. We just have a giggle, about how we missed a perfect 2am opportunity to have coffee together! 🙂
What have you done in desperation to get your baby to sleep, or some sleep for yourself?