You would think that as a seasoned mother, I would have learned to live without sleep a long time ago. But actually, I have a guilty secret, one I rarely shared with other new mothers for risk of being shunned from the 'Mom and Baby' gatherings. Geekygirl was one of those mythical babies that slept through the night. Not the 5 hrs that the baby books call 'sleeping through the night' but a solid 10-12 hours straight, from about 8 weeks of age. Rather than 'sleeping like a baby', she slept like a rugby player after a pub crawl, and she still does.
Geekybaby, however, sleeps like an actual baby. He sleeps a lot, but wakes up two or three times a night needing to nurse. I devoted this past weekend to reading sleep books and formulating a 'sleep plan'. I don't adhere to any particular 'parenting philosophy' so I chose two books from the opposite ends of the sleep training spectrum; 'The no cry sleep solution, by Elizabeth Pantley" and "solve your childs sleep problems" by Richard Ferber.
'No cry' gave the impression that a baby who wakes up only once or twice a night is basically the endgame of this strategy. After reading the sleep horror stories in the book, I feel grateful for the sleep I do get, but I'm greedy and I want more.
From Ferber what I was hoping to get was a strategy to allow for some crying to sleep, while minimizing distress to his sister who shares a room with him. Here is the very helpful advice he gives for children who share a room: "If you have a child who shares a room with the child being sleep trained, move them to another room for the training period"
Thanks Dr. Ferber, that is a big help. I guess I'll have to open up the east wing. Or maybe geekygirl can sleep in the billiard room, we can sacrifice our nightly game of snooker.
Since we don't actually have a billiard room, and since two children crying all night is not something I want to face, I guess I am officially joining the sleep deprived mummy club. And although my favourite place to be at 3.00am is asleep in bed, nursing my sweet geekybaby while the city sleeps and the geekycats stop by for a little nocturnal company is not a bad alternative. After all, in the blink of an eye he won't be my little baby, and may well be a rugby player going on pub crawls.