It’s happening again. The rustle in the night, the pressure of tiny knees pressing at the end of the bed, the tiny warm body squeezing between us. The chatter.
“Mummy, I’m cold.”
“Daddy, I want some milk.”
“Mummy, is it morning now?”
“Daddy, I’m scared.”
“Mum, do dolphins have teeth?”
My little boy is a night person.
Not getting enough sleep is not only my problem. Hear Robin Bailey talk (and cry) about it on Mamamia’s podcast, The Well. (Post continues after audio.)
Parents of newborns look away now, but my Billy is four, and he has never, ever slept a whole night through without waking.
My first baby began to sleep “though the night” at eight months. At the time, I thought that was too old. I berated myself for not getting her to the sleep whisperer at six months.
I watched friends who refused to control-cry massaging their baby’s feet to get them to sleep until they were two. I thought (privately) they were crazy, and weak, and were letting their children walk all over them.
This guy. (Image:Supplied.)
And then I had Billy. He seemed to like sleeping for six months. And then he just gave it up.
I can almost remember, if I try, the first few months that I went back to work when he hit that six-month mark. I have one strong image in my mind, of me in the tiny office kitchen, holding onto the kettle and crying, silently.
Someone came in. "How's the baby?" they asked, in the brightly polite way of someone only cares mildly.
With my back to them, I wiped my eyes. "He's fine," I managed, and carried my strong tea out to my desk, hoping it would take my boss a while to realise that her capable manager had been replaced by the walking dead. "How am I going to pretend I know what I'm doing?" I used to think to myself every day as I shook myself awake at my stop on the bus.
Some funny fails from other sleep deprived mums. (Post continues after video.)
I have nothing against sleep-training. But our home is small, our kids share a room and our neighbours are close. We shushed and patted and knocked and read books and filled out worksheets, we put up notices in the hallway and pushed notes under people's doors and we slept on a pull-out bed in the lounge room for three nights that turned into three months...