The Popple is a slightly-worse-than-average sleeper, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
She’s slept for up to eight hours in a row at night, but it’s only happened a few times. Usually she sleeps for at least one 4-6 hour stretch, plus a few shorter ones at the beginning of the night and early in the morning. I feed her twice most nights. She has never, ever slept through the entire night without waking.
She takes two naps most days. The morning nap is usually in her cot; the afternoon nap almost never is. She usually needs to be pushed in the buggy or rocked in the carrier for her second nap. Naps tend to last around 45 minutes, though she sometimes sleeps longer.
So why am I so proud of these somewhat acceptable sleeping habits?
We went through about four months where the Popple woke up every 1-2 hours ALL NIGHT. We tried all the things. The pick-up-put-down method. Controlled crying (that REALLY made things worse). Cuddles. Dummies. Feeding. Rocking. Nightlight. No nightlight. Blackout curtains. Toys that played lullabies. Me singing lullabies. Some block thing that projected green stars onto the ceiling. Nothing worked.
For a few months the Popple refused to go in her cot at all, and we resorted to co-sleeping. I spent many uncomfortable nights curled up on the edge of the bed, because the Popple sprawls out pretty spectacularly for a wee thing. The nights were long and the days were even longer, when my head always felt fuzzy, like it was stuffed with cotton wool.
And then, just like that, she started sleeping. Kind of.
I don’t think my husband and I had much to do with it. It was as though she just decided one day that she was finally going to have a go at this whole sleeping thing, and bless her, she’s trying. She’s just not that great at it. To be fair, neither am I, and I’ve had 30-plus years of practice.
(Popple, I’d like to apologise in advance if you’ve inherited by habit of waking up at 3am to re-run awkward conversations from several years ago in my head so I can feel weird about them all over again.)
But she sleeps for more than two hours at a time, mostly. She goes into her cot without protest at night and sometimes naps there during the day. I no longer have to share my bed with a squirmy, farting baby.
It feels like winning.