You know… that thing people tell you, that you will never get again, once you’ve had children? The phrase that puts fear into every pregnant woman! The phrase that knocks your pre-baby excitement just a little bit.
Well actually, it wasn’t like that for me. With Bunny, I had insomnia all the way through my pregnancy. I rarely slept more than 2 hours a night and not for lack of trying. I spent my nights tossing and turning through a crazed half-awake -half-asleep reality and awoke more exhausted than when I went to bed. It was a relief once I gave birth, to actually be able to sleep properly. Yes I may have had to get up for night feeds, but by time Bunny was 5 weeks old, we had her in a routine, so I’d only need to get up once in the night.
Luckily I didn’t have insomnia with the twins, but because they were low birth weight babies, I had to feed them every 3 hours for the first few weeks, then every four hours after that, until I could get them into my adapted Gina Ford routine (That lady is a goddess!).
Before I continue, I feel I must justify my stance on Gina Ford – it’s not all about controlled crying – I don’t do that. I think the point is, if you get them in a good routine – they just don’t cry, because all their needs are satisified and they are happy! That is how it worked for me!
Sleep is very important though when you are a new mum. Recovering from labour and caring for a newborn (or two) is tiring. One thing I insisted on, while pregnant with the twins, was a bigger bed – Super King Size with a really good quality mattress. The reason? Partly our babymoon at a gorgeous hotel in London giving us the most comfortable night’s sleep EVER. Also partly, my favourite part of Sunday mornings – when the kids climb in our bed for a cuddle. We figured with three children climbing in – a double bed would just be a bit too crowded!
I have to say… it really was worth it! We love snuggles in bed, all five of us. I love the extra room me and Jonny have. We can sleep soundly next to each other, without waking each other up!
And if you’ve got a nice comfy mattress yourself – it only follows that your baby should have one too! Remember to never use a second hand mattress with an infant, invest in a new one for each baby (advice recommended by the Lullaby Trust).
I guess there are mums reading this now, who probably hate me! There are probably mums (and dads) who don’t get 12 hours sleep a night with a six year old and one year old twins. However, I still think all the scaremongering is really wrong. It’s not like that for everyone. I know lots of parents who still get a good night’s sleep with young babies. Especially those mums who had insomnia in pregnancy! I think a lot of it comes down to good, well planned routines and nice comfortable beds.
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emma t says
I’m with you. I tried Gina F, but N wouldn’t wake up when I needed him too (he seriously liked his sleep), but he naturally fell into pretty much her routine anyway which was perfect. I have more problems now he’s 2 1/2 with him waking around 6.20 and coming in with me. But apart from that, I think setting a regular routine was definitely what worked with us (and having a child that likes eating, sleeping and playing like textbook!)
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I don’t really rate Gina Ford. Everything we are doing or have done is more in the category that Claire Smith from ministry of mum came up with ( http://t.co/wRzB64uTgV ): “Whatever works parenting” she called it.
As our boys were extremely premature we didn’t mind it at all that we didn’t get much sleep or very disjointed sleep the first few months. We did the whole co-sleeping thing for the first few months. We took one of the sides of the cots and pushed them right against either side of our bed. So that I had Eddie next to me and my wife had Alex next to her. Also there was less of a risk that we would accidently roll onto them as for the time we did do the co-sleeping they were still so small that they didn’t really move when they were asleep. So that they were perfectly safe in their own cot but we had complete access to them at any given moment.
When it was time for my wife to go back to work we decided that it was time for the boys to go into their own room and then we did an adapted controlled crying. Since then we have instilled in them that when it is bedtime it is bedtime and so far we haven’t had any tantrums or arguments about bedtime. Obviously if you have the Grandparents round and the boys are supposed to go to bed and said Grandparents make a fuss about it we do get arguments and tantrums, but that is entirely the Grandparents fault.
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Sarah MumofThree World says
Your kids’ ability to sleep amazes me! My kids have never been bad sleepers, but your kids are something else!
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chantelle hazelden says
My kids have always been very good sleepers, they have slept throught the night since they were around 3 months old, it is very rare that they don’t sleep atleast 12 hours, I don’t think I could have coped otherwise because I generally don’t sleep very well, the mind never shuts off!!!
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