So this weekend, we took Ethan for his checkup to the clinic. Now as I’ve mentioned before, I LOOOVVEEEE the nurse and trust her fully. The good news is that Ethan’s very healthy – weighing in at a good 10.5kgs and with a length of 73cms, he’s quite a big boy, bigger than the average 6.5month old!
So of course, Larraine started off by asking me the “usual” questions…is everything okay, how is Ethan eating, what is he eating (of course I had to admit to the “bad mum” tendency of giving him cereal instead of cooking!), is he rolling yet (which to my surprise is NOT a milestone according to her), has he got any teeth and then of course the dreaded question…HOW IS HE SLEEPING???? I think every mother dreads this, why I really don’t know why – it’s not like you can MAKE your child sleep…well, not according to me but according to Larraine, YOU CAN!!!!!!! She went through the list of things that may be affecting his sleep, bearing in mind that up to about 4months, Ethan was a really good sleeper…
– What exactly is he eating…perhaps he’s not getting enough protein?
– Is he warm enough at night?
– Does he go to bed at the same time every night?
– Does he sleep in his own cot?
And then she asked whether Ethan goes to sleep with a dummy and then the penny dropped (well, for her, it did!). She said to us that Ethan has gotten used to the idea that when he so much as whimpers, we’ll come running. So basically, what happens is that he goes to bed sucking a dummy and just as he’s falling into a deep sleep, his mouth relaxes, and his dummy falls out and then he starts getting niggly and ends up crying just because he KNOWS that we’ll come running ready to pop the dummy back in or soothe him. She’s of course right, but the only way to overcome this of course is to practise “tough love”. So she says that we should just let him cry – it will take a few days, but eventually, he’ll understand that when he wakes up, he must just go back to sleep and that mummy and daddy are not there to jump to his every need.
So of course, Angelo the “disciplinarean” decided that we should give it a try ‘cos waking up 7-8times a night is just not working for
ME us. We thought we’d try it when we get back to our own place as letting my sister go through the torture in the middle of the night is just inhumane! So on Sunday night, Ethan went to bed at his usual 7:30pm – Lauren was out at the time. An hour or so later, he wakes up crying…now his crying is the sort of crying that sounds like there’s somethings wrong but he cries in his sleep so his eyes are completely shut. We tried to put the dummy back in (which the nurse also said he needs to lose by the way) but not even that helped so we decided to just let him cry and see what happens. So off we walked back into the lounge, shut the door and tried to chat over and above his crying. Poor child…after 5minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore. I stormed into the room, picked him up into my arms and rocked him back to sleep continuously kissing him on his cheeks and assuring him that it was okay. He finally fell asleep…thankfully kids are so forgiving, or maybe he’s too young to remember…but the next morning he was all smiles and laughs for mummy and daddy, no recollection of the torture we put him throught he night before.
I think we’ve decided after that short 5minutes that the “tough love” thing isn’t for us! I mean, my folks didn’t do that with any of us girls and we all turned out fine and as the saying goes…”this too shall pass”. I remember the first few months after Ethan was born – how I’d walk around rocking him to bed every night singing to him to lull him off to sleep. I complained every other day about how heavy he was and how my back was hurting and how I needed to find another way to put him to sleep. I got some advise from two mums that he’d soon grow out of it and that soon, he wouldn’t want me to put him to bed that way anymore. Two months later, he all of a sudden decided that wouldn’t work and he now prefers falling asleep while laying next to us on the bed gazing into our eyes and I already miss those days!
So, for a change, I think that I’ll ignore the trusted advice from the nurse and cater to my darling’s every need because soon enough (fingers crossed) he’ll grow out of it, and hopefully we’ll be sleeping a bit better than we are now 🙂