Freddie is eight months old, nearly nine months old. The time has flown by. I wish it would slow down, just a little. I do miss my baby boy being a little baby, but I don't really miss the cluster feeding phase and the endless sleepless nights. But, still, eight months down the line and I've still not had a decent night sleep. He's finally out of his snuzpod, and even though he could have done with another few weeks again in there, I felt it was time to move him into his big cot. He's still in our room but within the next two weeks he will be in his own room, which I'm dreading but needs to be done. I thought (hoped) there would be a huge change in his sleeping once he went into his own cot. I was wrong. He's exactly the same. But he seems to have gotten worse with sleeping during the night now, this started before he moved into his big cot.
He's always had the same kind of pattern during the night. He wakes up anything from 1-3 hours, three if I'm lucky. But some nights it could even be every half hour, which is a right pain. I started taking him upstairs to settle when he was around six months old, and I'm not sure if I may have left that too late. He's rubbish at settling during the evenings. He will go to bed around 7.30-8pm each night. Every other night he has a bath before bed. I feed him with cuddles and then put him down when he's sleeping as he falls asleep while feeding. For the past two weeks, he has been waking up every 30 minutes - 1 hour during the evenings. It's exhausting. It's the time where my partner and I get time to ourselves or my work time. It's my partner who will usually go up to settle him during the evenings but sometimes it can take forever, and I end up going up to calm him with cuddles or boob! But it repeats again.
Very rarely will he actually sleep from 7.30pm - midnight straight through. I think he's done it around four times but that's with one waking in between, he's never done it straight through. Before these two or three weeks, he used to settle down in the evenings with just a dummy, but my partner would also pick him up and put him in our bed if he got too upset. That's what I need to stop. I feel so nasty, but sometimes it has to be done. I remember getting the co-sleeping habit from Mia when she was around his age, and it took 5 long nights of crying, going back and forth reassuring her she wasn't alone.
It was hard.
It's Thursday now, and I started Wednesday evening. He was down 8pm, fed and settled. Put him straight in his cot, and he woke up an hour after. That's the time I knew I needed to stay upstairs and teach him to settle in his cot, with no boob! I was going to him every 5-10 minutes, sometimes less, putting his dummy back in and saying the words 'shh' and 'amsar cysgu wan' (time to sleep now). I want him to recognise and learn that those words mean it's sleep time. He finally went to sleep around midnight. He woke up 1.30am. Crying. I fed him, and we both fell asleep in my bed. He woke up once or twice afterwards, but I was so exhausted I didn't think that I needed to put him back in his cot. So, I need to re-start again. I think (hoping) once he learns to settle during the evening he can miss that midnight feed and just feed around the 3/4am. That's what I'm hoping will happen one day soon. He doesn't really feed properly around midnight, I think it's a comfort. He has super and feed before bed, so he can't be that hungry. He does feed properly on me around 3/4am though, and I don't mind still having to wake up once or twice during the night for feeds or putting his dummy back, but when it's every single hour or less, it's exhausting.
It may be down to my 'bad habits' if I can call it that? I personally did what was easier for me. I have to get three kids ready each morning for school and somehow function through the day with a baby who doesn't have long naps during the day either. I felt co-sleeping was the best and easiest way for me. I don't mind the possible co-sleeping from 5am onwards, but from the evening until then, I'd prefer him to settle in his own little space. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing this won't last forever.
He will sleep, one day.