This is the post I wish I had read when I was listening to everyone else and trying to ‘sleep train’ Mushroom.
Like potty training for the previous generation (when Mothers were expected to potty train their children well before they turned two – far too early in my opinion), sleep is the current hot topic. A recent netmums report shows that most parents don’t get enough sleep until Junior is well into his/her first year. Despite this, a third of those questioned still feel the need to lie about how well their children sleep, as if it’s some kind of measure of thier mothering skills rather than a reflection of their child’s personality – which, take note all control freaks (me included) is beyond anyone’s control.
There’s a multi million pound industry cashing in on our paranoia about babies and sleep with some desperate sleep deprived parents spending up to £1,000 a week on sleep specialists. I was even tempted to do this myself at the beginning, having been told – by a health visitor – that Mushroom’s wakefulness was due to my failure to sleep train him. He wasn’t even 9 months old at the time. Since then I have relaxed about the whole sleep training issue, just trying to ensure I get enough sleep most days any which way I can. I have continued to rock/cuddle/pat Mushroom to sleep depending on his mood, and I still stay in his room until he’s asleep most nights. Over the past few weeks, I noticed that although he was still waking several times a night (I can hear him sit up and get a drink. Maybe I should turn the monitor down a bit more), he’d only call me maybe once – and this was when he was in a lot of pain with his teeth and/or struggling to breathe because of a rather nasty chest infection. If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that within the past few weeks, he has slept through the night at least once. Since that first time, he has slept through once more (from 7pm to 5am) and on the nights that he has woken up it’s actually worked out better, as he’s been awake around 11pm/12am, and then slept through until 6.30. Such late mornings are unheard of in our house and I am really enjoying these ‘lie-ins.’
So, my point is – although the sleep training did work, after a fashion, it was only temporary. This sleeping through the night business (and I think I can say, without jinxing anything, that we’re almost there) had happened organically, now that Mushroom is ready. If I had known this 12 months ago, it would have saved me a lot of time, worry and google searches! Every child is different. Maybe sleep training worked for you. If so, congratulations! If you’re in the middle of trying to sleep train a 14 month old, take heart that your child will eventually sleep through the night (or at least stop disturbing you when s/he wakes up). According to the Netmums report, more that 75% of children sleep through the night by the time they are two years old. Mushroom is currently 16 months old and only just on his way.
By the way, if you got here my frantically googling the sentence underlined above, or perhaps you typed ‘Will my child ever sleep through the night?’ – Hello! You are me, two months ago. I can’t say that my experience will match yours, perhaps your child will sleep through tonight, maybe not for another year. All I know is that letting go did wonders for how I feel… So all I can say is, if you’d like
a moan to share your story, do leave a comment below. In the meantime… Don’t sweat the sleep stuff!