Getting Babies To Sleep
Listening to Yourself
If you feel ambivalent about your baby’s sleeping patterns it may be because you haven’t acknowledged what your own needs are.
It would be funny if I wasn’t so tired. The other day I was watching him through closed eyes so he couldn’t see that I was awake. He was sitting in bed in between us and just playing and then he looked around and realized that we were both asleep, or so he thought, and he reached over and hit Mike on the back. Mike turned over and mumbled something to him and then fell back asleep. So, Jonathan turned towards me and whacked me until I “woke up”. I thought “Who’s running the show here?” I don’t know. I’d like to have our bed back but Jonathan really seems to need to be with us.’
Sarah, mother of Jonathan, aged seven months
Sometimes practical problems cloud the issue further:
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I tried to put her in her cot but she didn’t sleep for long. I just didn’t leave her for long. I couldn’t get a routine because I had the other children, and sometimes I was doing different things. She ended up being in our bed and I think I wanted her there. I kept giving her targets. I said: “By the time I get to six weeks she’ll be on her own.” So I felt under pressure a lot of the time. I felt I was letting Pete down. He’s not pushy at all, but every so often he j okes about it. ’
Kim, mother of Camlo, five, Evie, two, and Eden, nine months
And sometimes the way we live our lives stops us doing what we want even when we are sure what is for the best.
When Bernard was seven weeks old my step-daughter came to live with us. As we only have two bedrooms and our lodger had the second, my step-daughter slept in the sitting-room This meant I couldn’t bring Bernard downstairs if he woke up. So, because my partner works long hours I would put him to me immediately so he didn’t disturb my partner’s rest. Now our lodger has moved out, my step-daughter is in the second bedroom and I can again use the sitting room at night. ’