The books are rubbish. Don’t buy them. They tell you conflicting information about how to get babies to sleep but they just don’t work!
At 20 months, C should be able to self settle now. Some nights she does and falls asleep with no bother. I swear she is luring us into a false sense of achievement, like we’ve finally achieved great parent status, then the next night passes and BAM! – she just won’t settle down!!
She is shattered. I know she’s shattered. I lay down next to her cot, rubbing her leg through the bar hoping that the rhythm will send her off to sleep. But no. She just sits there, silently. Rubbing her eyes every now and then and her eyes dropping and opening again.
The pins and needles in my hand get worse as her head gently falls forward and her eyes close. I stop breathing as I realise that she’s nodded off. However, she’s still sitting up and as her head rolls she wakes again, which means I have to sit, with my whole arm now full of pins and needles.
I know I could leave her and let her cry it out but I hate the idea of it. We’ve tried it before, loads of times. Don’t get me wrong, we did it on D when she was 8 months old and it worked. A few nights were rough to start but she settled after the third night and then “slept like a baby” and still does.
So I lay here in the dark bedroom on the floor. My whole right side has no feeling as I watch my youngest daughter act with the same amount of stubbornness as her mother. I realise that although I knew this was what my night would entail, like every night, I still didn’t plan ahead and put a blanket or a pillow down to keep me a little bit comfy.
But C just won’t do crying it out. She cries for ever. I don’t mind a baby crying and think it’s good for them for parents not to run back straight away, but she really just doesn’t stop crying! She does quieten for a few seconds then realises why she was crying and goes at it again.
The worst thing is that even when she does nod off, in the laying down position, I know I can’t leave. That just doesn’t work. She hears me. The slightest movement and she is back up again, begging to be picked up and cuddled.
I’m all out of ideas and the mother in law is also out of ideas so I definitely know that we’ve tried everything.
I don’t expect you to know how to get C to sleep, and to stay asleep past 4 am. I don’t want you tell me your blissful stories of your baby who goes to sleep at 7 pm for a solid 12 hours and has started to learn the ABCs already!
I just want you to know that my baby doesn’t sleep, that the other two did and that all babies are different. Some are just a little more testing than others but are all loved in exactly the same way.