I don’t know whether it was just me being naive or if this is something all first time parents believe, but wasn’t sleep meant to get easier after the new born stage?! When Oliver was born I knew sleep would be a thing of the past, but I sort of thought it would come back after a while.
From The Beginning
We were very lucky with Oliver. When he was about 10 weeks old he was already sleeping through the night. I, stupidly, thought ‘Yes! We’ve cracked it! We’ve got our sleep back!’. From then on I thought that was it and we’d have the nights back to ourselves again. Yeah right.
I must admit we did have it lucky for a while. He never really seemed to have a problem sleeping through the night. We’d have the odd night of him being very unsettled but that was usually down to him feeling unwell. We had about 16 months of him sleeping really well.
The Dreaded 18 month Sleep Regression
Here’s where it all went tits up. Oliver never had a problem with these sleep regressions. He’d apparently been through numerous amounts of them but we didn’t notice a difference at all. Then came the 18 month sleep regression. It was almost like we had a newborn again.
He’d be a nightmare to settle down. He wouldn’t want to sleep and we’d have to go up and settle him down numerous times within the first hour. When we’d finally settle him down he’d wake up in a few hours. After a couple of times of him waking up and then us settling him down again, we’d go to bed – It’s times like this I wish I could tell my past self to stop it with these late nights. I’d regret it in the morning!
During the night was the worst. Waking up to a screaming toddler isn’t pleasant. Waking up to a screaming toddler who refuses to go back to sleep is even worse. Mummy and Daddy just want SOME sleep, please! This is when we resorted to co-sleeping. The times he’d wake up at 2am we just brought him back into the bed with us, which means no more sleep for mummy – Daddy falls back to sleep before you can say ‘Sleep Regression!’.
I kept telling myself ‘It’s okay. It’s just an 18 month sleep regression.’ It’s got to finish some time soon’. Well here we are. He’s now 21 months old and he’s still not sleeping right. I must admit he’s much better than he was. He’s settling down for sleep absolutely fine. It’s the 2-4am wake up’s that are killing me. We can’t seem to get him to go through the whole night again.
On the good nights he’ll possibly stir once or twice before Nathan and I go to bed and then will wake up around 4-5am which, considering how he has been, is pretty good going – This doesn’t happen very often unfortunately. On a normal night he’ll wake up at 2am and will refuse to go back to sleep unless he’s with us.
I must admit I miss the nights when he slept through till 6-7am in the morning with no issues – But we can have it perfect all the time, can we?!
The Positive Look On His Sleep
Trying to look on the positive side of things it has helped with my own sleep pattern. Before I’d be going to bed at 12-1am each and every night. As soon as this sleep regression hit it KILLED ME. I was like a walking zombie. For a good month or two I was having naps when Oliver was. It felt horrible. We weren’t doing anything and I would literally be living for my next nap with him.
Now that I know this isn’t going to get easier I’m going to bed a lot earlier. I’ll usually cave and I’ll head off to bed between 10-11pm, with Nathan shortly following. I’m now starting to not feel like a zombie in the morning, and it feels great!
I wish I could tell my past self to not take it for granted. I cannot believe now naive I was in thinking our sleep was back to normal after week 10 – I’m almost laughing out loud at myself! I know so many people have it a lot worse off than me and I’m moaning at something which probably doesn’t seem so bad in the grand scheme of things, but it was definitely a huge wake up call for me – quite literally!
At least I now know for when we have more children it’s only going downhill from here!!
Has anyone else experienced something similar? Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who was so naive in thinking sleep was meant to get easier after the newborn stage!