More about not enough sleep

So, apparently sleep is one of the most talked about topics among parents. I heard this bit never imagined I would be one of those parents!

We have been sick with a hideous cold for almost 2 weeks now, and it seems that any progress we had made along the sleeping journey is now forgotten. BB is going to bed around six, and then waking every 3 hours.

The first time this happened I tried to ignore him and put him back down without feeding. Then when I changed his nappy the next morning it was hardly wet. I felt so guilty! He must have been thirsty and I know it's important to drink lots of fluids when you have a cold. So, the next night I fed him.

Now I think he is in the habit of it again - we had got down to just one feed during the night. I will have to go through the sleep training thing again - I'm just not sure when to start.

The last couple of nights he has also developed another habit which is even less desirable. For the last two nights, and one other night about a week ago, he has been waking after his midnight feed and not wanting to go back to sleep. The first time it happened I thought perhaps he was hungry, he hadn't eaten his tea. So, at about 2 am I ended up bringing him down the stairs and giving him so of his baby cereal. He slept well after that.

It is however the 'rules' that you don't come downstairs after your bath, not until morning. This was the first time I had broken it, I was sick and tired and desperate, and I am not planning on making a habit of it.

On Thursday night the waking happened again. He was awake from midnight until about 5am. Crying for most of it. I tried everything, breast feeding, doing the comfort every 5 minutes thing, bringing him in to my bed.  Nothing worked. Until finally, exhaustion beat him into a slumber  - until 6.30.

Last night it happened again. After his midnight feed he would not sleep. I did the every 5 minutes thing for as long as I could, and then I brought him to my bed where I held him tight for almost an hour before he finally stopped crying and fell asleep. After that we had a good night together.

I don't know where to go from here.

I am regretting stopping co-sleeping. He can't really do sleeping in my bed anymore. He moves around heaps and gets too excited that I am there and wants to play. I did have to put him in a cot for the part of the night I wasn't in bed, but I am wishing that I had continued to bring him back to mine once I  got in bed. I'd get more sleep for one thing. But I think he was also more secure when we slept together. He definitely cries more since we stopped - though of course I can't be sure that this is the reason. He is in that particularly clingy stage at the moment.

So, should I do the sleep training, and make him go through the night alone. Or should I build on the work I did last night and retrain him to sleep in my bed?

Another thing. I am wondering if Ovaltine could be the problem. I know this sounds like a crazy idea, but I have a jar in the cupboard, left over from when I was pregnant and going through a milky drink phase, and I have been using it up. I drank some last night and the night before, and one night a few days ago, though I can't be sure which, so I am not certain if it was the same night that he woke up before. Do you think this is possible?  I tried googling 'Ovaltine wakes up baby' and found nothing - it did however suggest that I was actually meaning to search for 'Ovaltine wake up gay', and lead me to this old image... which I thought was worth sharing!

Hello, and thanks for stopping by. My name is Emma and I am a lifestyle entrepreneur, writer, teacher, coach and mentor. I am passionate about eating real food, learning, travel and health. I get to spend my days with my amazing son who has chosen to learn from the world rather than at school. We write to share the life we love and to help others create a life they love too.


  1. No Ovaltine - No problem. He slept from 5.30pm to 8.30 am wit just 2 little feeds in that time and no crying! Hooray!

  2. What the bejeezus is IN ovaltine then? Evil drink ;-)
    Sadly, in my experience, it is a stage and you kind of have to go through night wakings and just know that they do end. You know there are tons of people who will give you their opinions as to how you should or shouldn't deal with it, but only YOU know what will work for you and BB.
    For what it's worth - we don't sleep alone or at least, it's kinda nicer to sleep with someone in the bed (I think ;-) ) yet we expect our babies/youngsters to. My middley was a screamer until we put him in the same room as his brother (how mean are WE?) and he stopped waking at night the very same night! Boo was brill in our room until 9 months, we moved her out, she was fab again for around 24 months then would wake without fail every night at around 3am. We ended up bringing a spare mattress into our room on the floor. She would then wake, get out of her bed and come into our room and lie down on the mattress and pull a blanket we left for her over herself. No more screaming - it worked for all of us. But it might not work for you or anyone else. 90% of what you get 'advised' won't work for you. Hugs though - it's rough. I remember crying my way around The Lookout in Bracknell when T was a baby because he'd stopped eating carrots and I thought the world had ended and he'd never eat a vegetable again...he's now a 12 year old veggie!!!!!!!!!!