Friday 3 June 2016

SLEEP: Will my baby ever sleep through the night?

A month or so ago we'd had enough. We'd had enough of getting up multiple times a night. Of never having a full nights sleep. Of having to lean over Isabella's cot to rub her back. A year had passed and we'd not slept a full nights sleep, enough was enough. Something had to change. 

I had been hanging on to feeding Isabella once during the night, mainly to keep my milk flow up and I did enjoy the precious time together in the night. However I then returned to work and getting up in the night quickly became too much. We were both getting so tired, with many nights my husband having to sleep on the floor of Isabella's nursery. As a parent I expected little to no sleep at the start, even at nine months, but by 12 months I really thought we would have 'nailed' the whole sleep thing. We had followed all of the recommended guidance on how to get your child to "self soothe". For most of her life we'd put Isabella down awake so she could settle herself, instead we'd be faced by screaming and over an hour of rubbing her back to get her to sleep. Your back starts to hurt after 20 minutes, over an hour is seriously painful. 
We have never co-slept, the one early morning I did bring her into our bed she spent the whole time clambering over us, resulting in no one getting any sleep. They say that they will be better at self settling if they sleep in their own cot, our experience is quite the opposite. Isabella has never really been able to self soothe, despite trying so many techniques. The leaving her to cry for increasing amounts of time, sitting next to her cot then gradually moving away, rubbing her back, not rubbing her back, playing music, having it silent, raising the bed, having it flat, a nightlight, no nightlight. I could go on and on. 

I feel so lucky in many respects - we've had a very positive experience of parenting, just not the sleep side of things. Every night has been filled with feelings of dread, as we know that at some point Isabella will wake up and probably not go back to sleep easily. On the odd night she did go back to sleep quickly I would lie awake watching the monitor wandering if she was ok. That unsettling feeling of not knowing if/why/when your baby will sleep through the night is exhausting in itself, let alone the fact that you're actually not getting a lot of sleep either.

At 12 months old I decided that we needed to, once again, change something to try and encourage Isabella to sleep through the night. The one thing left that I knew she was waking up for was her 3am nightfeed. She certainly didn't need it now, so it had to go. I was very anxious about dropping it, as it left only one feed a day. However, I'm so glad I did as we have had a few full nights sleep since!!!! It may have taken 13 months but we're getting there. Hope has been restored, thankfully. 

Since dropping the feed she's slept through the night four times, we're talking 7pm-6am. How amazing is that?! The best part is that we actually slept through the night too - no staring at the baby monitor, checking social media or laying wide awake worrying. I slept for more than four hours...solid. I dreamt like I've not dreamt before, it's like my body had finally reached a deep enough sleep to properly dream.

We once again hope that we've turned a corner - the number of full nights sleep will hopefully increase, we'll hopefully become more refreshed, the dark circle under our eyes will hopefully disappear and hopefully Isabella will be completely refreshed in the morning too. 

When did your baby start consistently sleeping through the night?

Feel free to leave a comment :)

Helen x


  1. Ohhhhhhh, sleeping through!!!!!! How good is it to wake up refreshed in the morning?! We had a few weeks of it at eleven months (Matilda had voluntarily ditched her night feed around nine months) and then she turned one a combination of vaccinations, molars and then a bug threw her sleep completely off. She's 13 and a half months now and we're just starting to get the occasional full night again - fingers crossed it lasts! For both you and me!

  2. I was lucky that my daughter started sleeping thru at about 9 months. I'm convinced it was too do with solids and her eating better. How did you find dropping her night feed? Did Isabella drop it without nych trouble? I really hope she continue to sleep well :) I never thought my day would come and altho she is an early riser (5.30, 6 if we are lucky!) she sleeps thru. Still feel shattered tho lol X

  3. YAY for you guys!! Living on broken sleep is super tough. Long may the full night sleeps continue! xx


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