Izzi has always been a nightmare sleeper. Like with everything she’s the opposite to Abi (who slept like a dream from about 6 months…) Izzi on the other hand has slept through the night no more than 3 times in her 13 months.
Waking up at night to get her a bottle of milk has never really bothered me. Because that’s all she’s waking up for- milk. Her eating has obviously been shocking so it’s like she needed to stock up on all the milk through out the night. She would drink her milk and fall straight back to sleep. Some nights she didn’t even drink it all, she just needed a bit of comfort- like all little ones I guess.
Just before her 1st birthday I noticed the wake ups were more frequent but luckily she started to eat properly and they went from 3/4 times a night to just 1. Of course with that massive success came a ginormous problem (like everything with Izzi it’s 1 step forward, 20 steps back) and suddenly she couldn’t self settle. She would wake up and that’s that, she would scream, and scream, actually more of a yell (a really angry, loud yell that made her voice go horse for days…). The whole “Ignoring her” wasn’t an option from the moment she realised that if she either A- threw her dummy out the cot or B- hit her head on the cot you would have no choice but to get up and give her some sort of attention.
Children are very, very clever when it comes to learning how to get what they want as quick as possible. And all Izzi wanted was to be awake, Playing or cuddling!
Easter Saturday Izzi spent an hour scream yelling while I sat in the dark next to her. She was clean, fed, dosed up with teething gel and calpol and most importantly she was exhausted but she did not want to sleep. We never had to do “controlled crying” with Abi so it was completely new territory to me and if I’m honest, that hour killed me. But she eventually fell asleep and only woke up at 2am for some milk, followed by going straight back to sleep!
So controlled crying seem to be the approach we had to take. It was exhausting and I’ll say here that on top of the sudden refusal to sleep, Izzi has become, for lack of a better term, like a leech. She has to be attached to me or have me in her sights or she has a Chernobyl size meltdown. Again, Abi never did this and I remember wishing that She had wanted to cuddle more, or had been a bit clingier…
Well I can safely report that I now regret those wishes and despite how lovely the constant cuddles, kisses and feeling of being needed by the littlest Bolton are, it’s exhausting, annoying and draining. Especially when you need to pee…
With it being the easter holidays we wanted to use our 2 weeks of no school to finally put Izzi in with Abi.
We decorated their room, put up the bunk beds and planned to move the cot into their room. But because of Izzi’s sudden long, drawn out screams every bed time and throughout the night I wasn’t sure. Abi on the other hand was certain she was having her sister in with her. She wanted to finally share her room and the thought of it not happening yet, well it made her really bloody angry.
Chris was also pretty excited to finally have our room back to just Ours. In fact it was just me who was reluctant… I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m so over cautious/protective/crazy when it comes to Izzi (I blame how difficult she’s been since conception…) that not having her little snores close enough to hear all night makes me pretty panicky. But I can’t be a crazy Mumma forever…
SO, easter weekend chris worked like a Trojan, painted their room, made the bunk beds and finally it was ready.
We moved the cot into their room and that night we put them both to bed expecting a nightmare night… I was wrong. Izzi woke up at 1am for milk and I laid in our bed waiting for the screams of sleep refusal that never came… She woke up at 7am Tuesday morning with Abi. I told myself it was a fluke…
That night Abi had a sleepover at nannies so Izzi was in the room on her own. This wasn’t really a big deal because she was always in our room on her own for several hours before we’d come up to bed so I knew it wouldn’t be a problem. She went to bed at 7pm like a dream but at midnight she woke up with the notorious yell that sends shivers down my exhausted spine! Not even milk would make the demands for playing and cuddles stop. So for the first time ever I walked away, closed the door, led in bed and let her yell scream until she finally succumbed to her exhaustion and fell asleep. It was about an hour and a half and it definitely broke me a little.
She woke up the next morning at 7.30am and on Wednesday she wasn’t too bad on the clingy front… I joke. She was bloody awful and with Abi being nannies she was even worse. She wanted to lap up all the 1 on 1 mummy attention and spent most of the day on my lap. That being said she went down for a 2 hour nap without any argument…
Fast forward to now and she’s still clingy, but only wakes once for a couple of Oz of milk and falls straight to sleep after.
Like with her sudden change in food attitude, I have no idea what’s suddenly made our own little slice of devil turn less sleep stealer and more hug enforcer. It could be that she’s eating more (think me constantly feeding her throughout the day…) or it could be she literally doesn’t stop from the moment she wakes up. She’s climbing stairs, trying desperately hard to walk unaided and plays constantly. Or, and I think this is most likely, it could be that she’s in with Abi. Every night before bed they giggle and play and every morning, they wake up together and are playing and giggling within seconds. Their relationship is the sort of thing I dreamed of as a child.
Either way, its amazing and although I suspect it will change, for now I’m finally sleeping (still very lightly and interrupted- like all parents sleep) better than I have done in over a year.
Izzi is also happier and with her eating and now sleep 100 X better, hopefully now she’ll grow a bit more and we can be done with paediatricians and dieticians.
Of course, she’s still naughty and loves to chew furniture but I’ll say what I always say- She’s lucky she’s cute!