When I was pregnant with Scarlett I would hear about babies sleeping, all the time. They slept through the night from twelve weeks and I would finally feel like a normal person again.
My mother mentioned that both my little sister and I both slept from six weeks old and my partner slept through the night from day one. Yes, day one! So I guess you could say I was lured into a false sense of what is normal for babies and sleeping…
Scarlett was up at least every three hours when she was a newborn. She did sleep well those first few days but that was because she was jaundice. She began self settling by six weeks old; I thought I had one of those perfect babies. During the day she was still wanting to sleep on me or her daddy but she was sleeping at least and the nights she was in her cot.
Occasionally we coslept. It was easy and we made sure it was safe. It was what I needed on those nights when she constantly woke. But then twelve weeks hit and she dropped the 11pm and 1am feed and slept until 3am. Then 3.30am. Then 4am. Then 5am. I thought I had hit the baby jackpot. All that sleep was beautiful. I loved it. It is amazing what a big chunk of sleep can make you think is possible. I could conquer the world.
Then four months hit. By now I was back working full time in the two-three year olds room whilst her daddy stayed home to look after her. At four months old, my lovely sleeping daughter threw a spanner at me and we began waking every three hours again.
By six months old she was waking two hourly with an occasional up every hour in there too. We were cosleeping again because apparently as soon as she hit her cot she would be wide awake again, but then sleeping soundly in my arms the next minute. I swear she had been trained in sleep deprivation when I was at work.
We then moved, not a small move but rather out west when she was eight months old. At this point we would have nights where she slept through til 3am or was up every hour or every two hours or every three hours. It was never consistent, but the bonus of us moving meant I could stay home during the day. That was absolute bliss. Knowing that I could sit on that lounge all day if I needed it meant the world to me.
Scarlett is now ten months old and still doesn’t sleep through the night; although we are down to only two wakings a night which in my opinion is pretty amazing. At times, I wonder where I will be at when she turns one in November. I wonder if my little baby will finally be sleeping through by then.
I have figured out why she wakes though; nothing that I do or don’t do. It is because she realises that I am gone and wonders where I am. She knows that crying will get me to reappear. Separation anxiety at its best.
The strange thing is that I miss her when she sleeps through on those random nights. I actually wake to quickly check on her to make sure all is okay.
So, sleeping is not normal or the same as others and genetics certainly play no role at all determining whether your little one will sleep through the night. Not to mention, that just because they do at a young age, like Scarlett, doesn’t mean it will stay that way.
And that is okay!
Carly is a new mumma to her daughter Scarlett. She is an Early Childhood Teacher who loves working with the under three year olds and has been blogging since 2008. Carly is busy with her own business, Little Lettie Boxes, during the day when Scarlett is sleeping. She currently finds the time to update her blog Life Will Never Be The Same on weekends and will always post photographs to her instagram account.