Last month I started over obsessing about Frankie’s sleeping patterns, ranting and raving like a woman possessed to anyone who would listen. I was pacing the floor past midnight, he was disrupting the entire house, even Tinkerbell our lab was creeping through the house at all hours. I spent more time rocking, cradling, and searching for soothers than I did feeding, cooking and cleaning throughout the day
Kayla never slept through the night until she was nine months old, so sleepless nights wasn’t unusual. Frankie started following Kayla’s footsteps so I got books, searched the internet, tried co-sleeping and got advice from friends, family and strangers. Nothing seemed to work and I ended up stuck in a rut of answering his demands and needs immediately.
Kayla didn’t want to be around me because I was in such bad form. Her sleep was also being disrupted, one night she shouted ‘just shut him the hell up’ and another ‘just give him his bloody soother’, she was starting to resent her baby brother. My relationship was being jeopardized with my first born because I couldn’t get my little babóg to sleep at night. I did not want to play, I did not want to do leave the house, I wanted to hide behind the curtains and watch movies all day.
I was blathering over on my Twitter page and one morning a lovely lady, Niamh O’Reilly, a sleep expert from The Nursery, answered my cries. I proceeded to tell her our routine, only to discover we did not have one. Frankie was over sleeping during the day, I let him dictate, he slept when he wanted during the day, sometimes waking only for feeds or a soother. I assumed some babies slept 18 hours a day at five months. You would think on your second child you would have everything to perfection, I allowed Frankie to take the lead, responding to his demands, allowing him to eat, sleep and play when he wanted.
Niamh designed a structured routine for us and recommended to stay relatively strict for the first few days. Frankie wasn’t impressed, he was now napping in his cot, woken according to the schedule and breakfast, dinner and tea were now in my control.
Within two nights of following through with the firm routine Frankie slept from 7.30pm to 8.15am. I won’t lie I got an awful fright the first morning, I dived into his room to check his status, he was lying their cooing and content, it was so refreshing. Me and Kayla had celebratory pancakes for breakfast, we went the park, we baked cakes and I finally retained and enjoyed much needed one-on-one time with her.
Each and every day that followed we shadowed Niamh’s routine, twerking it to suit school runs and other herrings, Frankie has consistently continued to sleep through every single night apart from the day he got his four month injections.
The biggest tip Niamh gave us was his dream feed. Every night at 10pm, I give him a bottle, avoiding eye contact, with no interaction or nappy change, once he’s finished the bottle he gets a kiss goodnight, his soother and I leave his room till morning.
I was so drained, I had almost accepted I got one of those babies who doesn’t sleep. If any of you are struggling with a baby or toddler to sleep at night I highly recommend Niamh from The Nursery. Niamh helped me regain my family’s life back with friendly, responsive and practical advice. Frankie no longer dictates his routine and I’m very confident our routine will continue with a few adjustments as he gets older.
THANK YOU NIAMH!