When people speak to families with young babies “How do they sleep?” is never far from being asked. Sleep is such a focus in the early years, mostly around not getting enough.
Right now we are on a sleep journey. I am not currently getting a lot of sleep; I’m actually writing this from my bed where I just enjoyed my Monday lie-in (until 8.30!). But yes, not a lot of sleep happening for me right now. I won’t lie, I’ve been struggling a little – I’m not someone who needs a massive amount of sleep but at the moment we’re waking probably around every forty five minutes to an hour through the night.
This is new territory for me. Arthur slept through the night from around six months old. He napped like a champion practically to the minute every single day. What an amazing parent I was! I did everything right, I had the perfect baby! Turns out, he’s just like his dad and could sleep through nuclear apocalypse. Fred is not that child. I’m trying to lean in to it, take every day as it comes and just do what’s necessary to get through. Right now this is what it looks like:
Co-sleeping when we need to. Fred goes into his bed in his and Arthur’s room at 19h. It’s taken WEEKS to get him to do that. Before he would just wake up the moment we put him down. Now he will sleep in there from around 19h to 22h-midnight. After that he generally won’t go back down in his own bed so we co-sleep until the morning (this is the part where he wakes up every hour.)
Going to bed early. I go to bed between 21-22h every night. It’s a sad, old lady thing to do but it basically ensures that I get SOME sleep.
Embracing this season. It won’t be like this forever – I’m choosing to believe that, to lean into it, to take care of myself and my family within this rather than bending it to my will. And there are a myriad of reasons why I won’t try to bend this sleep situation to my will, not yet anyway. I’m trusting that Fred’s doing what he needs to do for now and that he’ll sleep when he’s ready.
Honestly, as someone who loves rhythm, routine and predictability, it’s taking a lot for me to let go of control on this one. I’d love to wave a wand and have two boys sleeping happily in their beds in their bedroom. I’d love to have a clear step by step solution to apply to this but nothing is making itself apparent right now.
We’re doing ok. We’re powering through. We’re accepting help. We’re being kind to ourselves. And that’s all any of us can really do!