In one of lifestyle blogger Emily Norris’s YouTube videos, her four month old son Jackson shows all the signs of needing a nap: rubbing his eyes and ears, making little crooning mogwai noises like Gizmo from Gremlins, etc. So what his mum does is take him to his cot whilst he’s nice and sleepy, lay him down inside it, and simply leave him to fall asleep on his own.
At four and a half months, our Mary has never managed this astonishing feat, and we have to essentially trick our baby into bed. I can breastfeed her to sleep, while Andrew has to rock her to oblivion while playing Billy Joel. Then, when she’s in a deep slumber, we slip her into bed and tiptoe out. If Mary wakes and we’re not there, she cries hot salty tears of anguish and wails as if we’ve abandoned her in the Kalahari desert.
Must we ‘sleep train’ our girl, leave her to cry and break all three of our hearts in doing so? Or will this situation resolve itself like the Era of the Binky did? (We were told we’d have to ‘wean’ Mary off her binky/dummy/pacifier, but at three months she simply removed it from her mouth with her own chubby paw and never wanted it again.)
Strangely, Mary is actually a good wee sleeper, snoozing for eight hour chunks in her bedside cot, and can fall fast asleep during wacky baby classes, on her playmat, along my outstretched legs, and even when she watches TV upside down, back arched over my lap (don’t ask).
So we’re going to give it to six months, and pray to the baby gods that she learns to view our bedroom as a dreamy paradise, rather than a wasteland where babies are left to perish.