My Toddler Now Settles Himself to Sleep and Sleeps All Night

Freddie, my 21 month old little boy, now sleeps all night and now even settles himself. Never in a million years did I think I'd be able to say those words together. For some reason, it makes me all teary. If you follow my blog, then you will know that Freddie was pretty much a rubbish sleeper ever since he was a few weeks old. From not settling in his cot, only falling asleep while feeding or in my arms, to then waking up every half an hour to two hours and so on. It was neverending, and it was exhausting.

Having to wake up to two other children, when you've been up all night is even more exhausting. I do ask myself "how did I cope?" because some days dragged, some days I just wanted them to end the second I woke up and some days were just the worst days ever. But once we got on with the day, it was good. But being sleep deprived with three children, two have to go to school every day, is probably one of the most challenging things I've had to go through as a parent.

Sleep deprivation ruined a lot of things. It ruined me as a person, it changed me a lot. It nearly ruined my relationship, and it ruined my confidence and my mind. It's crazy to think how much damage lack of sleep can actually do to you. When Freddie got to around 10 months old, I knew I had to change something. I came to some realisation that I did need help. I needed a change, not that I wanted it but realised that I needed it. That's when I decided to get my partner to help by giving Freddie a bottle in the evenings instead of my breastfeeding him to sleep. I remember that first evening of me not settling him. Not having cuddles and not feeding him to sleep. It felt strange but somewhat nice at the same time. I felt a little 'free' if that makes any sense.

Freddie has always been cuddled to sleep. He will always fall asleep in our arms, then we put him down once he is in a somewhat deep sleep. I got into the 'habit' of cuddling him to sleep because it was the only way I could get him to settle into his cot. But it was also something I loved doing too. I loved the evening cuddles, just my son and me.

As months went by, I was starting to get more work, which meant I needed extra hours to work. My partner helped more by settling him, and I would do it a couple of times a week. It was stress at times, especially when my partner went to New Zealand for nearly three weeks. It was tough, as it could take about 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes two hours to settle him. Depending on how tired he was.

About a week ago we decided it was time to help him learn how to settle himself. It wasn't an easy decision to make. But it has been really good so far. It took roughly 3 nights, and the 4th night he pretty much slept straight away. The 5th night, which is tonight, he didn't even cry, at all. He went to sleep with his baby doll in his arms, straight away.

We did do a sleeping method where we gave him a little cuddle, put him in his cot and left the room. He did cry, but that's how we help him. We make sure we go back into the room every 10 minutes or so. He never cried to the point where he was breaking his heart crying. We would never do that to him. We made sure that he knew we were still there and we hadn't left the house. Just making sure that he knows he is still safe. Each night got easier and easier. Then all of a sudden, bam, he just settles.

It makes me sad to think so many things have changed in such little time. Freddie is nearly 2 soon, and it's going too fast. I wish time would slow down just a little. But I am so grateful that he does sleep all night. From a baby who hardly slept during the day or night, for roughly a year, to a baby who now sleeps all night, is just amazing and I'm so glad we made these little changes to help him.

Happy Mum is Happy Baby!

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