THE LIST of things you should and shouldn’t do when bringing up a baby is endless. Depending on what book you are reading or who you are talking to, you are sure to be doing something wrong.
These last few days, the list has been on my mind. There may as well be a whole sub section on sleep. Everyone’s got an opinion. Overwhelmingly, there seems to be a consensus over how to put your baby down to bed. Do it while they’re awake, the apparent best advice is. Don’t put them down asleep, or they’ll never learn to settle themselves. Well, as far as I can tell, lots of us big people must have been put to bed already asleep and we all put ourselves to bed at night now.
It’s become really clear to me over the last couple of days that the Little Mister can’t put himself to sleep. He was doing it until about five months, but since we’ve stopped swaddling him, he just can’t figure it out.
I have a choice when he needs a nap – either let him scream and get incredibly worked up – or feed him to sleep. I always choose to feed. Maybe then, this is why he can’t put himself back to sleep when he wakes (repeatedly) at night. Maybe it’s why he has started refusing to go into his cot in the day when he’s awake. Probably. The daytime aversion to his cot is definitely new. He starts getting worked up if I take him into his room and the curtains are drawn. He just doesn’t want to go to bed. I don’t blame him, he might miss out on stuff – no-one else is asleep. So begins the crying. And then the feed. And then the darling, floppy, blissfully content and full Little Mister falls asleep mid cuddle.
But, I’m prepared to believe it’s something he’ll grow out of. At the moment, I’m not ready to subject him to “sleep training”. It’s in vogue, I know. But right now, it doesn’t feel right for us. If the Little Mister needs cuddles, (milky) treats, and to feel like he’s really cosy and secure in order to drop off, then that’s what he’s going to get. I’ll save the training for when we’re really exhausted.