Monday, 26 November 2012

Trying it out...

OK, so we've had to do it. And my heart is breaking. We are assured by the 'professionals' that it won't harm your baby. But it still doesn't make it any easier (if you read this when you're older, little one, mummy and daddy had to do this for you). Only as I pace up and down the hall, climb the walls, weep in the car and gait around the garden; his cries are still resonating around me.

Nearly 6 months of sleepless nights, long days and arms as a solid as steel, the decision has been made: the tough love brigade are in town.

No longer do we have the daddy reps (200 per rock), jigging swings, Auntie arm ache or beneficial bouncer to get him to the land of zeds (at this rate we could have made some decent wonga as personal baby gym trainers) - here come the plucky parents; well, not quite...
'What if he loses his trust in us?' we ask the health visitor, 'his cries are his only way to communicate with us' we meekly protest. Get a grip I tell myself, people have been doing this for centuries.
At home we brace ourselves for the wails; and it's hard. On the second occasion he goes to sleep within one minute, ‘Hurrah!’ we think, ‘we've cracked it’. But alas, it was a one-off.

Day two, however, is hard-core; the leaflet tells us to up the time by almost double. By 9am my husband says 'Look, if this is too much we won't do it - we can't have two people crying in the house' as I sit there with tears streaming down my face. We decide to try a 'milder version' and it starts to work.

Then on one occasion I find him lying there staring into space - 'Oh god, has he already given up on us? Is he thinking they're not going to bother?' I think pathetically. My husband keeps talking about those adverts where orphans don't even bother to cry as no-one comes to them...pull yourself together Mrs W, surely this is exactly what we are trying to achieve: him being able to settle himself.
When he's up, he gets extra cuddles; I overhear my husband explaining why we had to do this and that 'daddy loves him more than anything'. He's all smiles and gives us a what-are-you-on-about look and we breathe a sigh of relief.

Day four arrives and I swear his voice has gone a little hoarse - don't get me started I'm going to well up again.

My desire for wine and chocolate has gone up a notch.

We tell each other we are a team, we are in this together - we keep giving each other pep talks when the other one cracks. I honestly don't know how single parents do it; I have admiration for them - along with a new found respect for my parents.

So, we mostly have our evenings back and what's the first thing we do? Err play scrabble of course, because that's high on the agenda in any marriage, naturally...

The conclusion? I hate to admit it as I've put it off for so long, but it's made the world of difference and it's kinda getting easier. I know there will be better days than some. Most parents go through this at some stage and no-one can tell you to try it until you decide you're ready. And I'm convinced our bubba is thinking; 'Hallelujah! I'm finally allowed to learn to sleep by myself.'

Still, if you have a nocturnal or non-napper nipper, I know a brilliant rocking method that will tone those arms right up, I charge by the hour...

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on supporting each other:) Makes me chuckle when I hear parents to be say confidently 'Oh when the baby comes along - it won't change our lives one bit - baby will have to fit in with us' LOL!
    Julia x