I suppose it’s one of those things we shouldn’t do, but we live by the clock. From very early on we’ve had the mantra of “Routine is King”, and given the looks of amazement (and sometimes envy) we get when we talk about Daisy’s sleep patterns, and bed-time, and morning routine, it would seem to be quite a good mantra to live by.
The problems often stem from following these things too rigidly, and we have fallen foul of that in the past. So now we don’t automatically assume that 7pm is bed time (it almost always is however), and we are prepared to stretch it a bit if a late nap snuck in, either in the car or just because Daisy needed it.
My biggest problem is not living by the clock when daisy is going to sleep. Don’t get me wrong you need that clock. When you have a crying or restless baby, in a darkened room, minutes can stretch into the distance, at least with a clock you can keep some form of perspective (incidentally I have become an expert at counting to sixty in exactly one minute). I often find myself setting little milestones on the clock, partly to keep me sane, and partly to confirm we are making progress.
From quite a while early on, when sleeping wasn’t a put in cot and sit routine, I would be holding Daisy thinking “she looks asleep now, in five minutes I will leave/put her down.” only to see her wake up in my arms after four and a half minutes. Now I’m much more ruthless, I go; oh well she looks asleep, and she isn’t still recovering from a tantrum, I’ll leave the room. I have to say this always works, the only time you have to go back in, is when you put her straight down, occasionally looking asleep while you carry her is just a front.
Back to today; well I started this post, because of the time, it’s now 5:30am, Daisy woke at 5. I don’t know why, she was crying something that didn’t immediately stop when I entered the room, so it wasn’t a normal wake.
The problem is that 5 is awfully close to 6 and one of our unwritten rules is if she wakes after around 4:30 then she won’t go back to sleep. I have little doubt that is true, but after sitting with Daisy for the last 30 minutes, I do wonder, she does look very tired, admittedly she’s not showing any real signs of wanting to sleep (she is in the chair in the study, if she was REALLY tired she would fall asleep there ) , and if I put her back down, I would almost certainly have an hour long hissy fit, before real morning arrived. Something I’m not to prepared to do, given it’s only 5 in the morning.
Do I have a point ? Probably not, I suppose I started by thinking that the 4:30 rule was a bit arbitrary, and to some extent it is. I’m sure if I had gone in this morning and she had started to nod off I would have left her. One things for sure, she’s not going back to sleep just now.