I am currently approximately 4 months pregnant. Pregnant and with a 14 month old who I am still attempting to get to sleep well at nights… It has been a year-long struggle. Trying to find the balance between letting her self-sooth and also be there when she is struggling over the course of the night has led my partner and I to ask ourselves a lot of questions about what we were doing.
My daughter’s sleep cycles over the course of the night are inconsistent at best. On certain nights when my daughter is not sick, or teething, or cold, or doesn’t have a nightmare, she will be able to fall asleep on her own, wake up and fall asleep without our help, and sleep through the night until about 7.30 am. Those nights are paradise. They make me a happy mom (especially considering I am a pregnant TIRED mom)
And then there are the teething nights – the nights where my daughter wakes up every three to four hours, stands up, looks at me and screams and cries until I pick her up. Sometimes a simple kiss and a hug and a little soothing phrase of telling her everything will be okay are enough to help her get back to sleep again. I can put her straight back into her bed, she’ll turn onto her side with her blankie stuffed in her hands, and she’ll put herself back to sleep.
But then there are the times that she is having NONE of my crap. “Pfff… Sleep in my own bed?? You gotta be kidding me!” She seems to scream at me. Those nights, it seems as though she is begging for me to hold her and put her to sleep. Once she’s asleep, she’ll go right back to her bed (if I haven’t fallen totally asleep myself).
I feel so torn about this issue. On one hand, I know that bringing her into our bed won’t help her in the long run – that it will create a habit that is difficult to break. Yet, the fact is that she doesn’t always want to sleep with us. Actually, the majority of the time, she prefers to sleep on her own. She’s quite the jiggler and sleeps better when she has the space to move around and make herself comfortable.
She also never naps in my arms. When I ask her if she wants to go to sleep now, she smiles at me and runs to the gate, actually looking forward to going to bed.
And so when she insists on sleeping with us, I feel that maybe there’s a genuine need on her behalf, and I’m hard-pressed to leave her alone with whatever she’s struggling with. I know that teething and being sick sucks.
BUT now I’m growing a belly, and sleeping on my back is becoming painful. I am aware that soon enough, it will be physically impossible for me to bring her into bed with me.
On top of that, I soooo don’t want to be that mom who ends up with all of her babies in bed with her. God, I already think that there isn’t space enough for both my boyfriend and I in bed, how are we supposed to fit a boy and a girl on top of that?! I definitely want to break this cycle before it’s too late. So what am I supposed to do?
I honestly have no idea. I’ll probably have to let her cry it out a little bit for a few days and hope that this passes and she learns to sleep on her own, despite the molars coming in and the plugged up nose… I think that I’ll continue to get up to give her a hug and put her back into her blankets (because it can get so cold in our room at night!) But I think I need to vow to myself that this needs to stop before I need a weekly visit with my osteopath due to a crushed back…
Right at this moment, I’m soooo praying that my little boy will be a better sleeper. 😦