Well, I won’t beat around the bush. I am so tired… So. Extremely. Tired.
Ever since George was born (six months ago already!) we have not slept uninterrupted for more than four hours at the most. Or maybe twice, but that’s it. And let me tell you: it ain’t fun. Honestly! We have tried everything, believe me, to get him to fall asleep, both during the day and at night. But baby George cannot seem to relax enough to drift off to sleep, whatever we do.
So we went to our family doctor, a pediatrician, a physiotherapist to get him to relax more, we went swimming, we started giving him solid foods, but still we have to walk him to sleep every single time he has to take a nap or at night. And when I say walk, I mean walk. Just the other day I discovered this app on my I-phone that tells you what distance you cover everyday and I was shocked. Fit for free I guess!
The thing is, babies need to sleep. So whenever someone tells me ‘well maybe he just doesn’t need that much sleep’ I want to scream. Babies his age need an average of 3,5 hours each day and 11 hours per night in order to rest and develop their tiny body and brains. Our baby George sleeps an average of 1,5 hours during the day and about 8 to 9 hours per night so I rest my case. That is too little sleep! Other people tell me to ‘just let him scream and cry and close the door so you won’t hear him’. Well, thank you for this (in our eyes) harsh tip, but it does not suit us. Besides, research has shown this method is not particularly cheered on by experts as it raises the stress level to unhealthy hights. So apart from the extreme fatigue we are experiencing, I am also worried about his development and trying so hard to get him all the sleep he needs. Which means I have to walk him to sleep every single day and every single night. Sometimes we have to walk two hours to get him to sleep for 45 minutes. I am not kidding. And then he wakes up again and we have to start all over. I find myself yelling at people that ring the doorbell, ambulances that drive by just as he is finally falling asleep, slamming doors, people chatting in front of my home, etc. I am losing it just a little bit…
During one of his rare naps I came across an article on the first official Sleep Coach in the Netherlands (http://sleepagency.com/), whom I happened to know, and I contacted her because we were getting desperate. As George was still too young to really coach him we started out with some handy coping strategies, but he just turned six months and now we are allowed to start the official training. Am I looking forward? Yes and no. The next couple of nights will probably be horrible, as we have to put him down awake and sit beside him to calm him down and make him feel safe enough to fall asleep on his own. Not a nice prospect, I must admit. But then again, the method seems rather friendly as you are not supposed to let your baby cry it out, and nights are horrible anyways so it can only get better, right?
So I will keep you updated on our little project here, and hopefully our little boy will be able to fall asleep all by himself in a week or two… Just in time for our next travels!