The Baby Forgot How To Sleep

From fairly near the beginning with both of our children, we have been blessed with good sleepers. Alexandra slept through from a few months old and has never, aside from the odd night of teething, looked back. When Max followed suit we were pretty pleased and, although I’d still been getting up to express and we had the eternal ‘putting the dummy back in the baby’s mouth’ momentary stirring regularly, things seemed like they’d all gone the right way again.

Then about two months ago, Max started getting up in the night. And by getting up in the night, I mean sometimes being unsettled for an hour or two at 10pm, sometimes being awake for three hours from 1am and sometimes never really settling for the majority of the night. He had a bout of bronchiolitis, we knew teething was starting and he was also rapidly outgrowing his Moses basket so we thought it was a combination of all of those. Knowing what to do wasn’t easy: you try the usual teething gel, more blankets, fewer blankets, rocking, shushing, patting. He spent a fair amount of time in our bed. It then came time to put him into the nursery his sister had just vacated – we wondered whether it might make things worse because he does like the comfort of being near to someone, or whether not having the disturbance of us coming to bed or getting up for the loo would make things easier for him.

Well the result wasn’t great. He had a few of his worst nights when we put him in his own room (he also had another cold, about his fifth of the winter, which wasn’t great timing but he was about to burst out of the ends of his Moses basket and if we waited until Max wasn’t snotty he’d have been in with us for years). I read an article one morning at 4am about the timings of naps and concluded that his afternoon nap needed moving backwards so he was waking around 4pm and that we needed to ensure he was in bed by 7.30pm at the latest. The first few nights of this new routine were much better, we were only up to him a couple of times in the night and that was just to replace his dummy rather than spending an hour or two trying to calm him with every and any baby soothing method we can think of.

Then two nights ago (Sunday), he didn’t have a great night. Last night was pants too – he was up for a while around the time we went to bed and then again in the early hours then there were about three hours where I never got the chance to get fully back to sleep in between getting up and down to him.

I’ve read articles saying if you can get them to self soothe then they’ll sleep better. Not so – Max now goes down sleepy but awake and gets himself to sleep almost immediately. But if he wakes up in the night then he needs us to come and settle him back down. I wonder whether weaning him off the dummy would help but I think it might make things worse at this point – and I really can’t face the few days of awful, awful crying that we know it’s likely to take to break the habit.

I wonder whether it’s related to the fact he has a lot of colds so his nose is blocked a fair amount (although we use Snufflebabe, nasal spray and have his cot at an angle in an attempt to help), whether it’s reflux (which is fairly under control on his meds although we tried to reduce them last week on the doctor’s advice and have gone back up to three doses as he’d started being sick more), whether it’s teething (two have popped through and he’s potentially showing signs number three is on its way), whether it’s separation anxiety (although he’ll sleep for the first few hours of the night absolutely fine on his own) or whether it’s his allergies (in which case we’re doomed until he grows out of them!).

Of course, the alternative is he read the article I wrote for the Motherload about baby sleep and decided to make me look a fool.

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

Shelf Life


Often when I make bigger purchases, I wonder how long they’re going to last. It’s inevitable I suppose! And you can’t always rely on what it says on the packaging as obviously they’re going to insist your baby will still be using their bouncer when they’re 27 cause they want to sell you their product! So here’s a little list of how long we used items for in the hope it informs you a little about (a) whether to buy things at all, and (b) how much to spend on stuff.

I also did a blog a very long time ago about things we’d found completely unnecessary (here) and things we’d loved (here), although I will probably do some update posts soon! So you might find those handy if you missed them first time round! 

Bouncer: when we first got this, she barely spent any time in it at all and when she was in it, she was slumped to one side so we’d have to put blankets round her to keep her vaguely in the right position. Since she’s been moving and able to throw herself off the sofa, she’s been using the bouncer for her daytime naps and she’s still doing so.

Moses basket: some people say they’re a waste of money because they only last five minutes. Alex stayed in hers until she was six months old when she went into her own room in her cot. And she wasn’t a particularly short baby.

First size car seat: she still uses this when she’s going in a different car, although she’s been in her ‘big girl’ Maxi Cosi Two Way Pearl in daddy’s car from about six months.

Pram: we swapped from a proper lie down carrycot style pram (part of a travel system) again at around six months and she’s been using her buggy (a Joie Nitro) ever since.

Sling: Alex went in this whenever we went on walks in the countryside from about three months until about a month or so ago (so around ten months) just because she’s on the 75th centile so quite a heavy baby to lug around! My nephew is now getting the use out of our old sling, although it wasn’t a particularly expensive one so I’m sure if you invested more (and used it much more regularly to get used to it) you could make it last longer.

High chair: from six months and still using it now, although she alternates between that and her booster seat so I can see us getting rid fairly soon.

Baby bath/bath chair: the baby bath didn’t get any use from about four/five months, simply because I found it much easier to have her in the seat in the big bath. We stopped using that once she could sit completely unaided for a long time at around eight months, and she’s just sat in the big bath ever since.

Jumparoo: this was packed away about a month ago but she hadn’t used it for a fair few weeks and it was just taking up space in our living room. Once she was crawling and cruising she kind of lost interest in it, although she still loves bouncing on the bed or jumping up and down when she’s stood up.

That’s the main items I can think of that we’ve stopped using, with a few that are still going strong.

Harriet and Alexandra x