Alyssia has always been an amazing sleeper, she has slept through (pretty much) waking maybe once a night since just a few months old after finally winning our battle with colic. She’s only ever not gone straight to sleep after her milk or woken in the night if she’s unwell or teething which I know go hand in hand with each other.
This past week has been hell for sleep, Alyssia’s been waking twice, maybe even 3 times a night and just won’t settle. What’s wrong with my daughter? Is she okay? Is she in pain? Why is she screaming and crying so much? It feels like it’s happening all over again, the colic. But that’s not possible at this age right? The first night I thought that maybe she had eaten something that she shouldn’t have, If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll know that Alyssia has CMPA.
She was crying uncontrollably, wouldn’t settle & had the snottiest nose ever.. I thought that maybe she just had a cold coming.. the seasons are changing, I’ve had a cold myself.. that would explain it? But the next day she woke up and was absolutely fine, running around and acting as if nothing had happened. It’s almost as if she was a completely different child, the day went on & she refused her morning nap (weird, considering she ALWAYS sleeps for an hour or so around 10.30) didn’t think anything of it, she had an afternoon nap instead.. Before we know it, its bedtime again and we are hit with night #2 of an unsettled baby, screaming, crying & wanting nothing but cuddles, so I did just that. We cuddled, we read books, the whole sha-bang but nope, nothing would calm her down. It must be teething, she’s got some pretty big ones coming through at the back so they must be irritating her. Calpol at the ready, a bottle of warm milk in hand. Problem solved? Nope, it took me yet again over 2 hours to get her to sleep.
She cried every time I left the room, she cried if I gave her a cuddle, she cried if I didn’t give her a cuddle, she just cried & cried. What am I doing wrong? She woke 3 times that night & thought it was time to get up and play at 4am.. 6am I can just about handle but 4am? Not even Cbeebies is on at that time.. She finally settled & the next morning she was fine again. What the? Are you poorly? Are you teething? Are you having me on? We spent the morning inside & the afternoon at the park.. she was tired out & went to bed early, I thought yay we’ve cracked it, I just need to let her run around for a bit in the afternoons.. I was wrong, oh so wrong.. she woke up at 9pm (2 hours after bedtime) and thought it was time to play, she wasn’t as upset but she was very clingy.. every time I left the room she would cry so I got into the cot with her, we read books, cuddled, sang songs, played with her teddies etc.. again it took me over 2 hours to get her to sleep but at least she wasn’t as upset tonight.. I turned to google.. “18 month old won’t settle” and bam, there it was.. 18 month sleep regression. Sh#t, how did I not know about this? Why did nobody tell me? I cried, I cried a lot.. I don’t know if it was out of relief or out of frustration? Relief that this is common, or frustrated that I was never told what to expect.
Day #4 of the sleep regression & I am exhausted, she’s been waking up to 3 times a night and boy, I am not used to this. It took me a while when I was pregnant to adjust, and again when she was born but I’m not pregnant, I don’t have a newborn and I feel like I’m doing night feeds all over again. This sh#t is hard. Mummy’s tired.. but I have to remember that it’s not her fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not anybody’s fault… it’s ‘common’ and that’s what’s stopping me from shouting “Go
the f#ck to sleep!!!!” at 2 am. Getting into her cot every night is hard work but the ninja moves to get out of the cot silently without waking her up are the hardest and I’m sure if you saw me do them you would be laughing, I’m only 5ft 3 so pretty short & I practically fall out of the cot every time and then bum shuffle my way out of the bedroom.
So not only are we teething, and having temper tantrums, we’re not sleeping.. I hate to say it guys, but the 18 month sleep regression is actually a thing, good luck because you might need it.. Sleep deprived mama x