Louis outside Monmouth Coffee
When did it become lose-lose to have a kid? I refer to the options, as presented to me at 1am last night, for getting Louis to sleep properly. My choice: the pain of 15 months and counting of less than five hours of broken sleep a night, or the pain of listening to a hysterical Louis if we instead opt to leave him to figure out sleeping by himself. And, heaven knows, I seem to have spent enough time trying to help him.
Too much time, apparently, according to a new study I wrote about in the paper today, which blames anxious mums for having offspring who refuse to sleep. There's no point trying not to worry, either, because by the time you've had the baby, you've already done the damage: it links expectant mums' beliefs about sleep with the reality of life with their newborn. Marvelous. Thanks for that.
Some months back I blogged that I was searching for a Third Way, a compromise between leaving Louis to cry himself to sleep and being there for him every time he woke. Well, we called off that search pronto after a hideous week of trying to persuade Louis to spend all night in his cot and are firmly back to square one. Which is frankly, pretty tiring.
What I want to know is, how did it all go so wrong? Contrary to the Israeli study, I was adamant before Louis was born that I could get him to sleep well. I started a bedtime routine for him pronto and spent countless hours coaxing him to sleep by himself in his Moses basket. All was going so well, at three months he was sleeping though. Too well, as it turned out. I blame the jetlag when we moved to DC, but that's probably a lame excuse.
The truth is, I haven't a clue what I did wrong. But more worryingly, I haven't a clue how to put it right. And I'm tired. So tired. My one saving grace is that I've discovered the ultimate caffeine antidote to a(nother) bad night. It's called a Flat White, and it's an Aussie invention. I even managed to get a story into the paper about it. (My job's pretty good really: I get paid to write about things I'm interested in!) All I can say is, try it. And if it's not on the menu, ask anyway because if your barista knows his stuff, he'll whip one up. And, boy, will it wake you up! Louis, you're forgiven. For one more night, at least.