Jamie’s Story

Sleep, where do I start with that?! Jamie is 14 months old, and most of the time, he still wakes in the night. He was born at 03.19am on Tuesday 26th June 2012, and the first day, he slept, but not ALL day, but a lot of it, midwifes told me that’s normal because being born is exhausting for them as well. We went home at about 7:30pm the same day, and were told to wake Jamie every 4 hours to feed him. That night, My husband set him alarm for 2am after we had fed him at 10pm. 2am came, and the alarm went off, so we woke Jamie, fed him and put him back to sleep. We had to wake him again at 6am for his next feed. The next day, Jamie was awake a lot but that night we still had to wake him for feeding. The next day, the midwife came to see us, and told us that waking him during the night wasn’t needed, and that she doesn’t advise parents to do it, after all, why wake a sleeping baby?.

So that night, we didn’t set alarms, but Jamie woke, I’m not surprised really because since he was born, he had been fed every 4 hours at least! And every night after that he woke up. My nephew slept through at 8 weeks, so I was hoping that Jamie would do the same. 8 weeks old came and went and Jamie still woke, but it wasn’t only once or twice a night. When Jamie was 13 weeks old, we moved and his sleep was disrupted for a few nights, he was up loads but I decided that it was because of the move and it had just unsettled him. I still hoped he would sleep through before Christmas, when he would be 6 months old. At 20 weeks old, he gave me hope! 4 nights in a row he slept from half 7 until 6am, at last! But after 4 nights, he was back to waking at least once a night. Christmas came, we had started weaning, so I was really hoping that he would start sleeping through soon, but he didn’t!

Health visitors started telling me to leave him to cry as he would learn he wouldn’t get milk, and would go back to sleep, but I didn’t want to try that yet, he was still so young! So we tried all sorts instead, dummies, music, having the radio on all night but nothing seemed to work, he still woke up! When he was 9 months old, I took him to clinic to be weighed, and the health visitor told me I really needed to try letting him cry because at 9 months, he was a brilliant weight, and was just feeding at night because of habit. So that night, I tried. 2 hours, I tried not giving him any milk, going in and out of his bedroom trying to settle him, in the end I gave up, 2 hours was too long of my baby crying and I was heartbroken that I could have stopped it. So I gave him a bottle and after another half hour, he went back to sleep. I have no idea how long he would have cried for, and I still feel awful that I left it that long, but I just did what the health visitor told me to. He started walking at 10 months, and at his 9-12 month review which we had when he was 10.5 months, I was told that he wouldn’t sleep through because he was so advanced that he needed that much more stimulation during the day that anything I did wouldn’t be enough.

He was walking, saying some words, and already trying to climb things! So I just accepted he would sleep through in his own time. His first birthday came, and still we had only ever had about 10/15 nights where he has slept all night! Now, he’s 14 months old, he is a happy, thriving little boy, who is into everything! I have again been told by a health visitor recently to just let him cry and he will soon go back to sleep, but he doesn’t! I have tried again after he woke for the first time at 5:10am and guess what, we ended up starting the day then, the following night, his sleep was worse again. I genuinely believe that Jamie just doesn’t need as much sleep as other toddlers.

He only naps once during the day, sometimes he doesn’t nap at all and he is still doing everything he should be and more. Since Jamie was a couple of days old, he’s always been more awake than most other children his age! One day he will sleep all night, and when he is a teenager and I can’t get him out of bed before midday, I will remind him, that when he was little, he never wanted to sleep! He was in a Moses basket for a few days, then a swinging crib, then at 10 weeks a cot because he outgrew his crib.

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