This is a bit of a rambling post with no images whatsoever. I feel like I’m always concentrating on getting my 366 project up to date, or working on nice photo posts, that I neglect the boring little thoughts in my head itching to be turned into blog posts. A week later, and that moment has passed, the thoughts are no longer relevent, and it’s yet another little part of life that will become faded because I’ve not documented the details.
So, as I wrote previously, Arlo started sleeping through at 19 months. At first, it was sporadic, maybe three days out of the week. But it quickly became more frequent, and at 23 months he’s going whole weeks without needing me in the night. I think I’ve been up with him twice in the last 30 days. I’ve said before that the difference has been really profound. I thought I’d become used to poor quality of sleep. I hadn’t.
In hindsight, I have realised how tough going the sleep deprivation was, and just why parents would give me those pitying looks when discussing how frequently Arlo waked at whichever particular age. It’s only once I got through to the other side that I understood what I had been missing.
I imagine if he had slept through earlier. Imagine feeling like this if he had slept through as a baby?! Would I have better enjoyed my time, remembered more of the day-to-day moments, been more relaxed? – things that all seem clearer now he’s sleeping through. Would I have been better able to cope with the day time struggles (constant holding and movement for months) if the nights had been easier? I have guilt that I didn’t particularly enjoy the little moments when he was a baby, and that my memory of this time is extremely fuzzy. But I guess it’s not important that I was a desperately knackered mess for a year and a half, as long as I did everything to meet Arlo’s needs.
He is still having the occasional night terror. But they are much less frequent than before. The last one he had, he was screaming for dada even though Sam was already holding him, he is just completely somewhere else – something that becomes even more obvious in the light of day when he has a terror at naptime. I know that the best thing to do is to leave them because picking them up can make it worse, but that’s easier said than done and I have to admit that we normally use different approaches. Sam will usually take him out into the hallway and turn the light on, the sudden light seems to calm him down, almost shocks him out of it I think. Surprise, surprise, I go for the breastfeeding option. He’s only refused once during a terror, most of the time it’s an almost instant relief for him.
We’ve had a bit of money come in from Sam’s work this month (woop woop!), so I’ve ordered Arlo a duvet and pillow. He’s been pillowless and in grobags up until this point because I couldn’t get my head around how these items would work when he needed to be fast asleep before we put him in the cot. Now he goes to sleep by himself, the pillow and duvet seem more feasible. Also, his grobags have a max limit of 18 months and are really getting quite short on him, so I wanted to try a duvet instead of shelling out on new grobags. I am really nervous to mess with his bed setup, I don’t want to ruin the good thing we’ve got going at the moment with him falling to sleep happily by himself – so if the duvet mucks up the plan then I guess it’ll be back to the grobags.
I don’t plan to take the sides off his cot until he can climb out. Not only am I scared of ruining the good sleep spell, but at the moment there are far too many storage items in his room that I wouldn’t feel comfortable for him to have free roam in there. Hopefully this problem should be sorted soon as we now have the money to get the holes in our loft fixed and finally evict those squirrels, so our stuff will be safe to be stored up there. Another added complication is that due to our house layout, we can’t fit a baby gate at the top of our stairs or in front of his door, and his door leads straight out onto the rather steep staircase. He is just getting to the stage where he can reach the handles to open doors himself, and it frightens me to think of him getting out onto that staircase unsupervised – another reason that the cot is staying for as long as possible! I am really not sure how to solve this door/staircase worry of mine, so any suggestions are very welcome!
Aside from his food intolerances and eczema, sleep has really been the major issue throughout his first year and the first half of his second year. Even though problems with sleep are completely expected for the first few years, it’s still a matter of survival. I look back at how things were only a few months ago, and I am proud of the way we managed to make it through with only the faintest of battle scars.