Littl'un and I started sleep training today and it's going swimmingly... so swimmingly in fact that I am writing this article from inside his cot. Yes I am staring up a the jungle patterns on his ceiling breathing a sigh of relief that he is finally sleeping, but parental guilt is bubbling up inside me - I know that once again I've balls'd up.
As if climbing into the cot isn't shameful enough, I have to confess I cheated. I'm an avid follower of The Baby Whisperer (whose stupid idea it was to get in the cot in the first place). She said getting into the cot with baby when they first make the move from your room to their nursery can help them see the cot is a nice place to be. It isn't; I am very squished up and I can't roll over. I have been here for over an hour now and, as I try to wake up the pins and needles in my arm and extracate myself without dislocating a hip or waking Littl'un, I can't help but think that my life was marginally more glamorous before he came along.
The Baby Whisperer is a great advocate of the 'pick up put down' method of getting baby to sleep, which basically means every time they cry you pick them up and comfort them and the moment they stop crying you lay them down. After an hour of this Littl'un was still screaming and I had lost the will to live.... then the seed of an idea began to grow... I twisted clumsily around, propped my body up on one elbow and - to put it crassly - boobed him to sleep.
Not good. I can almost hear Baby Whisperer repromanding me in that patronising literary tone, which I'm sure she has because throughout the bloody book she calls the reader 'Love'. And suddenly I want to burn the book to ashes or feed it to the baby because let's face it - all they do at this age is eat books.
Sleep is definitely my weakness with Littl'un and it's causing madness to slowly set in. Last night as I tried to settle myself back to sleep after feeding on demand every two hours, I was stopped in my tracks by the Poddington Peas theme tune on loop in my head. After that I moved on to There's a Worm at the Bottom of my Garden and then it was 7am, I'd had a grand total of 3 hours of piecemeal sleep and it was time to get up. Sleep deprivation is crippling - it's this tiredness that makes me curse sanctamonious know-it-alls who come in all fresh-faced and energised and magic babies to sleep.
We've tried white noise, Ewan the womb-noise sheep, comforters, black out blinds, putting one of my t-shirts in the cot with him so he smells me... you name it, nothing works. I've realised that all the gimmicks under the moon (like what I did there?!) are no substitute for a well-rested mother (or father) with the energy to persevere.