Its 3am on a Sunday morning and for another weekend the silence outside is broken by the sound of a drunken rabble returning home from what sounds to have been the most amazing night ever. I on the other hand have spent the last couple of minutes mopping up a milk spillage that had been caused by a wildly misplaced teat. Luckily I think over time my 6 month old son’s nostril will return to normal size.
It had been 6 months of non-stop sleep deprivation and the time had come where my Wife and I decided that something needed to change. After all our son was now eating solids and although night time feeding did instantly settle him, his waking wasn’t due to hunger.
We had heard rumours that somewhere parents to babies the same age as our son were enjoying full nights of uninterrupted sleep. At first I thought these people were lying as I had come across ludicrous claims like this in the past by those competitive parent types. You know the type. Anyway it turned out that it was true and there were in fact sleep techniques out there that weren’t just controlled crying and produced quick results.
We were sold on a sleep technique called ‘The Broken Record’ and so the quest for the Holy Grail of sleep begun!
Now I knew it was going to be hard but I didn’t realise just how hard and within 15 minutes of uncontrollable crying I was close to caving in. It turns out that a baby couldn’t give a crap what you whisper in their ear or what phrase you continually repeat they just want to be comforted. Maybe we weren’t doing it right but in reality all we were doing was letting him cry himself back to sleep.
At the 30 minute mark of hysterical crying, tension had grown to an unbearable level between my Wife and I, it was like a Mexican stand-off. It was to my surprise that I was the weaker of the partnership and wanted to give in to the demands of the demon we call our son. I vaguely remember saying at the time “I would rather get up to feed him every night till he is 18 than this, its baby cruelty!”
45 minutes had passed and our son’s crying had eased off to an occasional high pitch gasp that sounded like a punctured set of bag pipes. We had weathered the storm and as our son nodded off, relations between my Wife and I instantly improved. The crying had worn him out and as I tried to get back to sleep I wondered if my attempts at repeating our selected phrase provoked him more than settled him. Would it have been easier just to have gone in once to check he wasn’t in distress then let him cry it out?
In the morning he woke and he couldn’t have been happier it seemed the torture that he endured was now just a supressed memory that would probably only reappear in a psychiatrist’s office.
We got lucky and only had to relive this ordeal for one more night and since then he has been sleeping from 7:30pm and waking between 5am – 7am. No doubt we will have more difficult nights to come and regardless of the fact that every morning I am playing a game of chicken with my Wife as to who will get up first, I am happy.
After a week of sleep the transformation has been amazing I feel like a human again. However, I am still being woken at night but now it’s by my bladder and as tempted as I am to let my bladder ‘cry it out’ I don’t fancy mopping it up in the morning.