The night I decided to parent

Last night was a bad night. In fact it was a bad day! I’ve been feeling under the weather since Saturday, and last night, not much had changed. My temperature was up and down, and I was eating like an elephant. In this vulnerable state, I decided around 5pm that I was going to launch operation “Isla will fall asleep by herself in the cot tonight and stay asleep for 12 hours”! Obviously now that I’m reflecting on last night events, maybe my expectations were set too high… but last night, I was on a mission, one that was destined to fail!

So around 5pm, I decided that it was was about time Isla fell asleep in her cot by herself, rather than falling asleep in my arms, which is a bad habit that we’ve got ourselves into. I’m totally exhausted and have been completely run down, and I’ve had to nurse Isla back to full health as she was also poorly. Needless to say, I was exhausted, ratty, and sick.

So with no plan of action, and ed completely out of the loop of my action plan, I started my mission. By 8pm I have finished her night time routine and she’s had a last feed, ensuring she didn’t fall asleep as I need that to happen in the cot. So half sleepy, I place her in the cot and like magic she falls asleep! I waltz back into the lounge, feeling like a God, and sit down with a ham sandwich and packet of popcorn (because I’m poorly, remember) and enjoy a little tv.

This joyous moment lasts about 50 minutes before I hear Isla kicking off! Now, when I was reading online about good night time routines, it did emphasise not to let your child get to that state, but they don’t know Isla, and Isla can go from 0-100 in seconds! So I’m already losing this little game. I pick her up, give her a cuddle, put her dummy back in, wait for her to calm down and place her back in the cot. She’s calm. I say goodnight, and leave the room. I don’t want to bore you, but I’m doing this for an hour, in and out, in and out, at one point I stopped leaving and ducked behind the cot- I was getting sick of standing outside the door. Olivia had walked passed a few times to use the toilet, which is out of character, but I’m sure she was just checking on the wellbeing of her sister. Isla is so oversensitive to movements and shadows, I was waving at Olivia to move along very quickly from Islas eye sight.

Anyway, I’m panicking now. Like I’ve said, it’s been an hour and this bodge job of a routine isn’t working. I’m Googling “babies, crying it out”, in hope to be reassured that this half hearted attempt at gaining some extra hours in the evening to myself isn’t going to cause any long term emotional or trust issues for Isla. I’m so desperate at this point. So I start to freak out, because some people are saying it’s ok, and other are outright calling it abuse! So now I’m ducked behind the cot, appearing every now and again to soothe her, Ill, exhausted, angry, vulnerable and now heartbroken. So when I pick her up, I decide that maybe I should just rock her to sleep then put her down. I’m completely confused as to what routine I’m following. After checking Google, I think I’ve covered at least 4 different approaches to get a baby to sleep!

So I’m rocking her to sleep, and she’s off! And I’m trying so hard to not breath as I don’t want her to wake. Every time I try and lay her down, her bottom lip starts to quiver! Followed by a scream! It is very clear I am not in control. She must hate me….the neighbours must hate me… I hate me at this point!

I text my friend and ask her for some advise, and of course… she implemented a routine months ago, so her little one sleeps 12 hours and settles herself. This was enough to push me over the edge…

So I took Isla, and bought her to the lounge. She smiled and was so happy to see daddy, he gave her a big cuddle. She looked up at me and smiled beautifully… she’d forgiven me instantly for the two hours of horror I’d just put her through….

So I’ve decided that I’m not going to try that again anytime soon… it’s too much! Once I’m well and I know what I’m doing, I might give it another try, but to be honest, I’m a little bit traumatised by the whole situation.

Any hints and tips would be received so so gratefully! She’s five months old, and she’s a cheeky little devil!

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