"Is he sleeping better?", "How is he in the night for you now?" are just some of the questions we get asked so many times at least once a week. If you follow my blog, then you will probably know that Freddie has been the worst sleeper out of the three. Sleep deprivation is horrible, and it has definitely changed me as a parent. However, I knew it wouldn't last forever, whether it would last for 2, 5 or 10 years. I knew one day that I would get my sleep and so I wouldn't complain or get too upset about it. It was hard some days, in particular through the time of him waking up every hour or half hour. The other times I did find difficult was when he wouldn't settle in the evenings. Mainly because it's the evenings, I do my work, and with Freddie being up most of the evening and not properly going to sleep until really late, I would be too tired to carry on working and needed some sleep before he woke up again an hour or two later.

We decided to do some sleep training. We failed twice because we just gave in. I used excuses saying it's not right for Freddie and so on. I do know he is a cuddly baby, always has been. He still gets cuddled to go to sleep and for his nap during the day. However, it was one day I decided I can't just sit and cuddle him for the whole night. I felt myself going down hill. I felt like myself going into a very dark place - a place I didn't want to get back into. The evenings for me is a time I can relax and feel myself a little, a time I can get my work done and others go to bed early before starting the day again the following day. It was all getting too much. I was losing money, and I honestly felt like I was losing my mind too.

Before starting sleep training again, properly, I made a huge decision to start Freddie on formula in the evenings before bed. This meant that my partner could help out. This started when he was around 10 months old, and it's been one of the best decisions I've made. It took me roughly 2-3 months to decide, and I'm glad I did. My partner has now been helping me settle him to bed for a few months, and it has really helped. Not long after, I decided to start the sleep training properly, or as some would call it - "the crying out method." I don't really like that phrase, but in all honesty, I do believe that is what has helped Freddie sleep much better today.

It took a good while to get Freddie into that routine to understand that during the evenings he needs to sleep in his cot. I started to realise that the minute we picked him up, he would go straight back to sleep - but only in our arms. The moment we put him back down, he would cry again. Anything before 11pm, we won't pick him up. We will go back to the room, put him to lie down and stroke his face and leave. He would never properly cry like he was hurt, it was always a moaning kind of cry. It was difficult to begin with - it still is when we do it, but it doesn't happen as often anymore.

Now at 13 months old, Freddie will have some nights where he will sleep all night and other nights where he will wake up the once. Talking about this week, he has had more nights of full-night sleeping than he has of nights of waking up. He also went through a stage of waking up between 5.30am and 6.30am as a wake up to start the day but this week he has been waking up between 7 and 7.45am which puts him in a better mood in the mornings too.

So after 13 months, I can properly say that Freddie DOES sleep better during the night.

Although it's never been a subject, I've complained badly about. There have been a lot of tears and even a lot of arguments between my partner and I because I was just so badly exhausted. Still, now, I am still exhausted even when he is sleeping better. But having a full night sleep and being able to go to bed knowing he will either only wake up once or not wake up at all is such a good feeling. Then waking up the following morning after a full night sleep is just even better.

How do your little ones sleep?

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