|Image: Disney Clips|
A couple of weeks ago, my health visitor made her final visit to us; D had dropped a little in weight the month before and, although he still resembled a French rugby player in (relative) size and stature, she wanted to check on him. I also think she wanted to keep an eye on me, as I'd had some really tough days where I'd felt like I was struggling.
Anyway, over a cup of tea, we were talking about D's bedtime. I said that we'd not started to putting him to bed at a regular time, but were finding that he fell asleep earlier and earlier and wouldn't nap during the day. She told me that, really, we should have started earlier on a sleep routine. She talked about how it might be harder now to get him to go to sleep and, if we started a new sleep routine, it was maybe better to warn the neighbours in advance. (These are the neighbours who had to put up with hours of nightly screaming when D was tiny and colic-infested. I figured they wouldn't know the difference...)
I had visions of screaming, of D's dad and I clinging to each other, weeping with exhaustion. We'd been warned it would be hard. We braced ourselves.
And, to be honest, it was the complete opposite of what we were expecting. Yes, we had to go upstairs a couple of times on the first night and soothe D to sleep. We went up once the next night. But then, after that, D found his own rhythm. He's going to sleep earlier and earlier and 7pm seems to be the optimal time. We're not doing anything, other than giving him his last bottle, playing Ewan and providing a dummy if he wants it. He's started cuddling a stripy monkey for comfort, which is very cute, even if it sometimes looks like he's snogging it a bit.
He did have a cold for a few nights which has disrupted it slightly, but then I've had the same cold, so I figure we can be martyrs together. He generally wakes up at 3am and coos until either his D or I give in at pretending we're asleep and make a bottle. We've recently started him on solids, which may mean he forgoes this bottle as well. Which would be utterly excellent.
Naptimes are still hit and miss. He will generally sleep an hour and a half after getting up (and watching Pingu during tummy time!), but I've yet to get him into a stricter routine with afternoons. Any advice on this is welcome!
So, what have I learnt? To not count my chickens- I know he could go back to being a sleep-refuser (seriously, this baby will FIGHT sleep if he thinks he'll miss something!) To be grateful for the time I get with D's dad in an evening- it's nice to relax a bit. It's also really, really nice not to dread a 9pm screaming fit. I'm taking advantage of the peace before he becomes more mobile!