Sleep..what’s that again?

1st June 2013
The words of Hamlet; “To sleep, perchance to dream” are so apt right now it’s untrue! I miss sleep SO much and I’m starting to feel the zombie, tell-tale signs of sleep deprivation that were constant in the first four months of Chunk’s life.

For the last few days, Chunk seems to not want to sleep through the night, and I think it’s a mixture of teething, a cough that hasn’t shifted in the last month, and possibly the sounds from the neighbours below.

Last night I had the fright of my life, when just before 10pm, he suddenly let out the loudest, high-pitched scream I have ever heard from him. It sounded like he was being attacked, so I leapt up from the sofa and ran in there to find him sitting up in his cot absolutely hysterical.

For once, instead of staying in his room and trying to get him back to sleep, I took him into the living room and just cuddled him, after checking if there was any physical reasons for the screaming. He wailed constantly for over an hour, and it got to the point where I was losing the will to live.
I thought we were supposed to gain the patience skill as parents, but mine seems to be even worse than before (probably due to always feeling so tired). I walked around with him, sat and rocked and even sang to him, but he continued to wail.

I put him in my bed, which can work quite well sometimes (but I am worried this might become a bad habit), but for once he decided he wanted to sleep across the bed, meaning I had to teeter on the edge! This went on for a few hours, along with the usual routine of Chunk moving around, then realising he wasn’t close to me, so sitting up and launching his big head at mine, or him waking up a bit and deciding it’s time to slap mummy’s face, pull her hair and rip her earrings out, before attempting to stand up and jump against the headboard.

By this point I got so frustrated at not being able to lay properly and actually sleep, that I ended up putting him back in his room and let him cry for 5 minutes before he fell asleep. Supernanny would call that ‘controlled crying’, huggers would call it cruel- I think it might be a bit of both, because I’m not always good at actually going in to soothe him! He used to be happy with some back stroking, but now he wants to get out of the cot for hugs and nothing else will suffice. I find sometimes if I do go in it starts the cycle all over again as it seems to wake him up even more.

Wow I sound so cruel- what’s worse is I started doing the controlled crying thing quite early (about 4 or 5 months) as I didn’t realize it should start about 6 months.
However it did work well, because he learnt to self soothe. I find that there are times this goes out the window though, like if he is ill or teething, or if he spends a lot of daytime naps falling asleep by other means (in the car on the way home, in the buggy etc).

Anywho, he then slept for about 3 hours, and was up at 6.30am. I can usually deal with this, but when he had also not slept well at all the night before and I had been to work in between that, it takes its toll!
I know you are all thinking- “what you moaning for, this is what parenting is and we all know we don’t sleep”, and whilst that’s right, I suppose I just wonder if there are better ways I can deal with my frustration during the periods where he is awake and I want to sleep. I get so angry and all logic seems to go out the window- I focus on the hours I have lost of sleep, and it slowly winds me up. Even writing this now I suppose I am able to start seeing the trails of thought I need to avoid, to try and keep myself calm.

I also need to break the habit of putting him in my bed and get back to being the hard, supernanny-styled parent I was 6 months ago. It’s amazing how tiredness through having an even more hectic routine can really lower the motivation to stick to discipline/routines/methods that we believe in.

What’s mad, is that before I know it he will be a teenager and I will be screaming at him to get out of bed in the middle of the day or trying to locate him after he didn’t come home one evening, so maybe it’s a case of better the devil you know!

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