At 4am this morning I got back into bed after tucking Amelia in for the forth time and thought 4 at 4am. By 5am it was up to 6. This has been going on for weeks – really ever since she first got sick with the last big cold. She wakes and grizzles until we stagger into her room. “Tuck in?” she will say, followed by “Cup of Drink?” and then she says “night night” and turns over and goes back to sleep. On average it happens about three times a night but last night was particularly bad.
Perhaps it’s my fault. I may have been making a bigger deal out of it than I should and she’s picked up on it and it’s making it worse. Mum and Dad are away at the moment, so we decided to use this opportunity to go for broke and try a little of the comfort crying thing on Saturday night. She woke around 12 and started to grizzle. I stuck my head in the door and said “I am just here lovey, but it’s time for sleep.” That was fine for five minutes and then she started to grizzle again. I decided to just let her go and see if she might settle back to sleep. Wishful thinking indeed. Five minutes later she was totally hysterical, bawling “where are you mummy? Where are you mummy???”. Of course, this was too much for me to bear – I found that I was crying and shaking myself and rushed in and grabbed her, hugged her and then brought her back into bed with me to calm her down. Total failure.
Yesterday I rang our Maternal and Child Healthcare nurse and asked her what we should be doing. She said that a lot of times at this age comfort crying won’t really work and that we should see if we can ride it through, doing what we’re doing by tucking her in, minimal comforting, minimal eye contact etc – it’s probably just a phase. So I was a little relieved that she didn’t heavily suggest we keep going with the comfort crying, and she reassured me that I am not setting up any bad habits for life. But it’s no fun to have to see this kind of thing through. Big-P and I are taking it in turns to have a night of sleep in a room downstairs with the door closed. Yesterday (after my night of sleep) I felt fantastic. Today after 6 nocturnal tuck-ins I am fractious, volatile and ready to cry. Poor little Amelia has to deal with me while she is exhausted, whiney and tantrumy. We made a fine pair at Gymbaroo this morning. Thank goodness there were ducklings (real baby ducklings!) to cheer us up.