Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A battle with myself!

You may remember me saying that our baby struggles to sleep in the daytime. No, that actually doesn't cover it, she is 'anti sleep', she will do anything to avoid sleep (eyes rolling but holding those lids open...just), she laughs in the face of sleep.

Now I can usually get round this, since a 12 week old who doesn't sleep between 8 - 6 can be quite hard going, by taking her out for a walk (ahhh, let's see you try and keep those lids open with a bumpy pram ride) or in the car (again, movement is my saviour). And we do both enjoy a good walk or tend to leave the house most days therefore a car journey provides a half hour nap or two.

However, I am realising that depending on such tactics may not work long term, it would be pretty handy to get a bit of washing done on a day when in the house and Mabel is so much happier and more playful if she has managed to sleep.

So yesterday I attempted to break these bad sleep habits.

Rather than waiting till she was tired (which I've fallen foul of in the past) after her mid morning feed (sucking her hand, yawning, all the signs were there) I popped her down in her basket, in her sleep bag and left the room.

And waited. Twenty minutes went by with her happily gurgling, occasionally snorting (nothing unusual there, Fee is right that I gave birth not to a baby but a little piglet) and cooing.
Twenty flaming minutes with no sign of sleep.

And whilst this was going on did I get on with my list of jobs? No. I sat outside her room peeping in the door like some sort of absolute loser. I emailed G Kisby (from the landing, sat with laptop on my knee) asking for reassurance that this wasn't neglect. I pretty much sat on my hands, quietly.
Thirty minutes later and the goos turned to tired cries. But by this time it was thirty minutes, I couldn't leave her alone for thirty minutes could I?

Downstairs again, now with a baby happily dozing on my shoulder (success? O.k not really - who am I kidding), I found a missed call and text from G Kisby, "if she isn't crying she'll be fine", "you're doing o.k, just leave her for a bit".

Dam it! Baby wins. Though in this case I'm not actually sure she even knew much about it...the battle was very much with myself!


  1. looks to me like you've forgotten the mantra we practised..."I'm in charge, not mabel".
    Quit the worrying and leave her to cry a little - at some point she has to learn to sleep by herself.
    fee x (hope you're other readers know that I'm your big sister...otherwise I would be looking terribly interfering!)
    FYI those aren't coos and gurgles - they are the sound Mabel makes when she's repeating HER mantra..."if I cry a bit longer she comes and gets me out"!!!!

  2. Ha! I've been there too :) It's not neglect, it's helping her to become independent. She's fine. My FP used to 'chatter' away to herself for maybe an hour before falling asleep at night.

    Good luck with the nappies, btw. If you post about the experience, will you pop a link on my 'Great Nappy Debate' linky?

  3. Hi Rachel, yes I will do. I have the nappies washed, organised and ready to go but am attempting to get these sleeping issues under control before take on another challenge...
    And also another day when we don't leave the house for fear of finding they don't work when out and about...
    Nelly x


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