Exciting news today. Callum did it! He actually slept through the night!!!!
Lets go through the whole week though. It has been an emotional one for me. Monday didn't start too bad (was quite good considering the weekend). However, I had a dentist appointment (scary in itself but was just a quick check up so not too bad) and, just typical, Callum had decided he wanted a longer nap than his usual 45 minutes. I was taking him over the road so Lou could babysit for me while I was at my appointment. I left it until the last minute but still had to wake him up. I tried to take him over asleep so he could continue to sleep over the road but it didn't work. Little did I know at the time, that that would be the only long sleep he would go for. I can't help but wonder whether me waking him up caused the shorter naps for the rest of the week!
So, every day after that, he only did 30-45 minute naps each time and would wake up still tired and grumpy afterwards. Nothing I did could get him to go back off to sleep. I found myself counting the time down until bath then bedtime, which I hate. But it is so hard to deal with constant crying and clingyness. I think, what made matters worse, was when I was at a friends house on Thursday, he didn't want to go to sleep at all, being a new house and lots to take in. I ended up having to rock him in his car seat to go to sleep and then it was only for 30 minutes. By Friday, it was horrible. He wouldn't do any longer than 30 minutes and it was the 4th day of him being grumpy. For his luncthime nap, after he woke up after 30 minutes again, I ended up holding him in the rocking chair to get him off to sleep again before putting him down in his cot. Really bad but I just couldn't take another 2 hours of him crying and not wanting to play with anything. It was a short respite though as he had another 30 minutes for his next nap and woke up from that, just as grumpy as before. At least I only had an hour of it though before it was bathtime.
In addition to not sleeping for long, by Friday, he also wouldn't go down to sleep very easily and, on one occasion, it took me 30 minutes to get him to sleep and fell asleep through exhaustion rather than anything else.
So, daytime naps have been bad! However, on a positive side, bath and bedtime has been lots better. I give him his bath, then massage, and then I feed him his bottle, read a story or two then, if there is milk left, I offer it to him again. Then he goes in his cot, lullaby/lightshow on, light off, and that's it. He goes to sleep without another peep.
We decided during the week that we were going to try stopping the dreamfeed. I looked back at a couple months after he was born, before we started doing the dreamfeed, and he actually started going longer between feeds in the night. He would sometimes do up to 6 hours. Whereas now, he only did, on average 4 hours, sometimes 5 but often 3 hours. Also, it was the first sleep after we went to bed that he was starting to stretch out, where as we were disturbing this time and topping him up with milk. I can see how it works for others and definitely think, for some, it is worth doing, but it just wasn't working for us.
The first night of trying this, he woke up just before 12, then 4 and then 7, so not much better, then it was sometime before 10pm, then 3 then 7. Then he did from 6.30pm until 2.50am, so that was an 8 hour stretch!! Then last night, he had his milk at 6.30, going to bed at 7pm and then didn't wake until 7.10am :oD. I'm not expecting miracles at this point and fully expect it might be a one off but, at least now I know he can do it so I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Night times are getting sorted, just need to work on the daytimes now. But, this has given me renewed energy (easy to say when Stuart is home rather than being on my own) and has spurred me on.
A couple of days ago, I thought we were a long way off this and still felt like it might never happen, so, for those of you out there that still feel like this, it will happen, hang in there!