It’s been months since my last Britmums column, and I’m firmly blaming sleep deprivation! My baby is eleven months old now. I’m not sure I can even really still call her a baby at all – she’s crawling, cruising and starting to stand by herself. It feels like she’s moving further away from babyhood every day, which I suppose she is! But one way in which my youngest child is still very much a baby, is her sleep, or lack thereof! Until last week, she hadn’t slept continuously through a single night since birth.
With our eldest daughter, we resorted to a method of sleep training at around nine months. Looking back, I’m not sure why we felt the need to resort to this. I think because she had always been such an amazing sleeper, sleeping through the night from around 11 weeks of age, that when she suddenly had a sleep regression when she moved into her own room at eight months, we thought she must be broken in some way!
Our youngest girl is a different kettle of fish, though. She’s still exclusively breastfed and we hated sleep training our first baby, so we’re reluctant to do it with our second, and last, baby (even though it worked!). As a result, I’m still up several times per night as she refuses to settle without the breast. Slowly, gradually, she’s starting to show signs that she’s able to sleep through the night (it’s happened once or twice in the past week or so), but in the meantime, I’m learning how to deal with the sleep deprivation.
Lucy has written a great post on how to survive on five hours sleep per night. She shares hints and tips such as avoiding using your phone during the night (I am guilty of this one!) and avoiding caffeine. I also really enjoyed this post from Hayley who, rather than evangelising about what you should do, shared some things that she and her husband didn’t do with their second baby, to help them sleep.
And if you’re not sure whether you really are sleep deprived, then check out this post of 21 signs that you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, by Emma, just to be sure!