If your mummy doesn’t sleep through the night – you are not alone.
This momentous milestone often takes a long time to achieve. Months. Maybe even years. That’s normal. It’s something that you and your mummy will achieve together in your own way, in your own time … but here, in the meantime, I’ve put together a little handful of tips for you: a collection of strategies you may wish to try, along your personal journey.
- First up, and perhaps most importantly, know this: It’s no use committing to training your mummy to sleep through the night unless the fact that she currently doesn’t bothers you. If you’re quite happy to be up multiple times throughout the night tending to your mummy, maybe this project is something you can consider later on: if ever.
- Set a bedtime routine. Keep it short and simple: bath, story and bedtime for you; chocolate, wine, some crappy TV and bed for your mummy.
- As part of the routine, you might want to sing your mummy a night-time song (‘Waah, waah, waaaaaah, mummeeeeee!’ is a personal favourite).
- Some physical ways in which you can manipulate your mummy’s sleeping environment that might help: make sure the room is dark, make sure she’s warm enough but not too hot. Maybe tuck some familiar and comforting object in beside her – her phone? A hipflask?
- Increase your mummy’s daytime feeds, so she doesn’t wake up hungry. You might also want to consider increasing her alcohol intake during the day.
- When your mummy wakes during the night, start teaching her that although you are always there for her, she doesn’t need you to get back to sleep. If she cries, pat her gently and tell her everything’s fine, but it’s time for sleep. Be gentle but firm. You might want to try another song at this point (‘Bwaaaah mah-meeeee, wah, wah’ is another goodie).
- During night-time wakings, ensure that stimulation is kept to a minimum. No TV, no radio, no poring longingly through her childless friends’ drunken party pictures on Facebook.
- Consider sharing the role of comforting mummy back to sleep with daddy now and then, to give you a break. Once your mummy is old enough to have forgotten the physical and emotional trauma she experienced squeezing you out, she might be ready to learn to be comforted in a way that only daddy knows how to do. Give this some time.
- If you wake up yourself during the night and your mummy is sleeping, resist the urge to wake her up just to check that she’s breathing! Yes, she’s breathing; yes, she’s alive. Yes, she knows you love her. Go back to sleep.
- Finally, when you wake up one morning and you realise, miracle of miracles, that your mummy has slept through … revel in the strange feeling. If she’s still sleeping, take a beautiful Anne Geddes-inspired pic of her wearing a crocheted hat from Etsy, or a bunny suit or something. Give her a kiss, wake her up gently, and quietly celebrate the awesomeness, together.