A Letter From A mommy to Won't Sleep Baby

A Letter From A mommy to Won't Sleep Baby

How I wished you could tell me what was wrong. Were you too hot? Too cold? Were you just feeling lonely, even though I was in the bed right next to you? Was it that you hated your cot? I'd have willingly bought you a new one. Heck, I'd have bought more than 5! I'd have done what I can do to fix it.

I took you to the health visitor and the GP, convinced that there was something seriously wrong with you. They just told me to try controlled crying. I did – but your frightened, lonely cries broke my heart.

Not being able to get you to sleep made me feel like a loser as a mother. I often think this question:what was I doing wrong? I began to skip our NCT get-togethers as I felt everyone was judging me for your sleeplessness. I envied them for their 12-hours-a-night babies – and then I felt guilty for comparing.

Some nights, exhaustion got the better of me, and even though I swore I'd never co-sleep, I brought you into my bed. Those nights were delicious. You settled in my arms better than you ever did in your cot. When you wanted a feed I just rolled over and latched you on without even opening my eyes.

But then I'd wake up stricken with panic that I'd crushed you in my sleep, and I knew that wasn't a long-term solution.

Every now and then, you surprised me with a good night – a night where you only woke once or twice, instead of five times. I had a spring in my step the following day, and dared to hope that we were making progress. But it was always a one-off.

Sleep deprivation made me feel like I was losing my mind. I burst into tears in Sainsbury's. I lost my car keys for hours, and later found them in the fridge. I turned up at the clinic for your vaccinations on the wrong day.

People asked if I thought I had postnatal depression, but I knew I didn't. I knew everything would be fine if I could just get some sleep.

Slowly, slowly, things started to get better. I still don't know what changed, but those night wakings got fewer and further between. I pretended I hadn't noticed, not wanting to tempt fate. Then one night, you slept through. And the next. And the next.

It had taken 18 months, but finally, finally, you were doing it.

Now you're sleeping independently, I sometimes look at you curled up in your cot, with your thumb in your mouth and your floppy bunny pressed against your dimpled cheek, and I can look back fondly on those 3am moments.

I'm sorry I didn't appreciate those times when it was just the two of us, alone in the dark, with you dozing on my breast and me nuzzling your downy head and breathing in your sweet, milky, night-time smell.

I'm sorry for all those times when sleep deprivation made me a bad mummy.

I hope you know that whenever you need me, I'll be here for you – day or night.

Mommy love you.Sweet heart.

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