Little Bear the Sleep Thief

So you may have gathered from my posts so far that Little Bear isn't much of a sleeper. She never has been; she never had that lovely sleepy newborn stage where all she wanted to do was snuggle and snooze. I spent the first three nights of her life pacing the corridors of the hospital as she howled, too embarrassed to stay in the ward with the other mums and their peacefully slumbering newborns. Her sleep hasnt got an awful lot better since and now our nights look like this:

6.15pm- begin bed time routine. It must be the exact same every single night otherwise (LOL) LB might not sleep. The bed time routine involves naked time (LB, not us...), a bath and a bottle in a dark room (again- the baby, not us...)

7.30pm - tiptoe out of the bedroom, leaving LB to sleep. Scarf dinner down our faces as fast as humanly possible before she wakes up while simultaneously trying to maintain an adult relationship by asking about each other's day.

8pm- resettle a wailing LB, trying not to resort to feeding her back to sleep coz, you know, then she won't be able to self soothe and I'll have to breastfeed her until she's 11. The internet says so. Fact.

9pm- go to bed, putting on our jammies in the corridor in case the shedding of clothes wakes the baby. Whisper 'good luck! I love you!' to PB. Coz now night time requires luck.

sleepy baby

9.20pm- attempt to settle a wailing LB without a feed. Give up after about ten minutes and feed her. Put her down 'drowsy but awake' because the internet says so. And Mumsnet. Put on Ewan the Dream Sheep, plug her in with a dummy and drift off to sleep.

11.30pm- LB stirs. Flail around trying to get the dummy back into her mouth before she properly wakes. Miss her mouth because I didn't bother opening my eyes. Poke her repeatedly in the ear with the dummy. Feed shrieking dummy-eared baby. Put her down drowsy. Pick her up because she knows that self soothing is for losers and she has worked herself into a frenzy. Rock her to sleep even though the internet says that is a surefire way to make sure she grows up to be an insomniac. And probably a criminal.

1am- LB stirs. Immediately pick her up and feed her to sleep (fuck you, internet!) Put her down fast asleep. She wakes immediately. Repeat process for an hour. Cry. Pull LB into bed next to me even though everyone knows this will result in LB suffocating and dying and never being able to sleep alone, ever. She'll also deffo grow up sexually repressed. And possibly infertile. Baby instantly falls asleep. Lie rigidly in bed, unable to relax for fear of accidentally killing baby and/or rendering her infertile.


Pretty much the only way to guarantee any sleep

1.45am - baby throws up, drenching me, herself and the sheet. Consider getting up and changing sheets. Too much effort. Rub sick in as much as possible, lay a muslin over the wet patch and remember fondly a time when a wet patch in the bed meant a substantially more fun night than I'm currently having.

3am- LB stirs. Announce hysterically to Papa Bear that I will ACTUALLY DIE. LB falls asleep quickly and goes down like a dream. Score.
As I close my eyes she shits with a sound like water glugging down a drain. Have intense internal debate as to the pros and cons of leaving LB in her own filth until she wakes again. Realise that the major con is that the social will probably take her away. Ponder whether that might, in fact, be a pro. Change LB's nappy. Hand her to Papa Bear who eventually settles her after another hour.

6am- LB stirs. Feed her and settle her until 7 while Googling 'baby sleep solution 4 months' , 'baby sleep not normal 4 months' 'mother dies of sleep deprivation' 'sleep deprivation Guantanamo Bay torture' 'baby jailed for torturing mother'. Cry.

7.20am- PBs alarm goes off and the day has begun. LB looks up out of her crib and beams at us as though our faces are the most exciting thing she's ever seen. Instantly forget the details of last night's torture in the joy of her smiling little face. It wasn't really that bad a night, right?