3.5 months: crying – sleeping in the cot during the day – training

Catchy title – I know. So proud.

So yesterday I described a bad day w bubba. On reflection I realized there was a lot that was missed out. My head was thumping and was still full of fog, I don’t feel like I really got under the skin of it all. It was however a good reflection on how I was functioning by the end of it all. Kind of not functioning.

Why is my lovely little boy crying so much? Because I am changing his place of sleep during the day. His routine has been perfect up until now and even though he is currently exclusively breastfeeding he seems to be going through the night, even pulling off a 7.30m-6am last night – which he sleeps in his cot for. So, I’m happy. Problem is he sleeps his day naps in our bed. Why? Because he has always, for some reason, resisted sleeping in his moses basket or cot during the day. Why it makes a difference to him if he sleeps there during the day too, no one knows. You do what you can for a quiet household but it’s time for change.

Why is it important he sleeps in his cot? Safety amongst other things. The more he moves around the more he can slip under the duvet cover, fall off the bed etc – yep, die basically. Drama queen I know but which mother is not concerned about their child’s safety? I don’t worry about him when he’s in his cot, so it’s less stressful for me too. In the long run it will also help him sleep where I need to put him, I am a firm believer the child can show a preference but that they should not dictate.

The solution? To make the change, to be persistent and remain consistent until he starts sleeping in his cot for the proper length of time. ‘Isn’t it easier to make the changes slowly one by one to ease him into them?’ I kind of think the opposite. My point is if you make them all in one go then he knows the changes all belong together i.e. Nap time in the cot, in his sleeping sack, for his set sleeps where he will get picked up only once the allotted time is up (this is more about him sleeping his long nap over lunchtime).

‘Sounds like we created the problem in the first place.’ Yes, I’d agree, but you also learn to pick your battles. Truth is it all started when he was born, he didn’t eat for about 3 days, he was weak and every cry broke my heart a little. So although I was was super strict at night with picking him up when he cried, it felt like I was making him suffer unnecessarily during the day. He would fall asleep, be put in his cot and either wake up after 15mins or straight away. So I tried a range of solutions because there were 2 issues; the duration of naps and then the location of naps. It was only by putting him in our bed that we cracked the duration of naps which in turn helped him have a great routine (9-10 and 12-2). Genuinely I believe that babies are much happier if they sleep enough during the day (if you can get them to sleep of course!) a longer sleep at lunch means a less tear-y baby in the afternoon and for the rest of the day. I certainly saw this with Lolo. I do wonder why he prefers sleeping in our bed. Initially I think it was the morrow reflex, every time he’d reach out whilst he was asleep he would wake up, I can only assume this was because he hit the side of the basket. So we started putting him in our bed. The other reason I tried the bed was because it smelt of us (thank you Uncle Norman for that suggestion about smells) which would hopefully comfort him. Now, he’ll go down in the cot but still wakes up after about 30mins. At least I know its the location affecting the naps and not that he can’t sleep during the day! Helps with the conviction and persistence you see! I can only presume he now just doesn’t like the cot during the day due to the previous habit? Who knows. All I know is that he just cries for the whole of what should be a his nap time. He’s cried for 2 hours straight before. It’s exhausting for me – but surely for him too, no? You’d get bored eventually of all the crying wouldn’t you? And yes I’ve tried rocking him back to sleep again.

So now the challenge is to try to let him figure it out for himself. Stick to the routine, put him down in the cot and let him try to continue sleeping especially for his lunchtime nap. I’m hoping the crying won’t last too long. I know it can take a couple of weeks and I also know that if I falter I start back at the beginning again. It’s such a shame as once the routine was set we had such a happy baby and now he’s back to crying bloody murder. Can’t wait for it to be over.

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