OUR CHILDREN SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT. They always have done. The Duchess and I are understandably relieved and very grateful. But we don’t like to talk about it too much. On account of the hatred we see in the eyes of other parents.
Like when our son, Boy Wonder, was about nine months old and we bumped into a couple from our ante-natal class. We were like four excitable puppies in a bog roll factory talking about the wonders of parenting. Until they had the misfortune to enquire: ‘And how’s he sleeping?’
The Duchess and I became even more breathless, practically spitting at the couple as we exclaimed, almost in unison: ‘Absolutely brilliant! For the last four or five months, he’s slept through the night!’
We should have registered their forced smiles and narrowing eyes but, alas, we were now on a high and so stupidly returned their question. The mum looked away, as if we’d spoken of the death of a close family member. The dad sighed and said: ‘Not well, actually. We’re up every hour most nights. We’re… very tired.’
We shuffled away, thankful for our good fortune. We also felt tired most of the time so it was hard to imagine how we’d cope with a child that didn’t sleep well. We thought we’d find out with our daughter, Little Buddha, just because that’s the way it works, the old karma, but she started sleeping through after only two months.
So, what’s our secret, why do both our children sleep through the night? It could still be pure luck but I always think of what happened during those first difficult nights after the birth of Boy Wonder. Out of desperation, as our sanity teetered on the brink of collapse, I took him out of the Moses basket, laid on our bed and put him on my chest. He instantly quietened before falling asleep.
The Duchess worried that my slender frame might still do him harm if I rolled over, so we did a bit of research and bought what remains THE BEST BABY PRODUCT WE’VE EVER BOUGHT. It’s called the Snuggle Nest – two words my friends and colleagues never expected to hear in the same sentence from me – and it might well be sold out in the UK right now because we can’t shut up about its magical powers.
We didn’t even bother trying to cajole Little Buddha into sleeping in the Moses basket and instead had the Snuggle Nest set up and ready to go. Once again, we laid either side of her and held her hands. We all fell asleep and it was easy to soothe her when she stirred during the night. The Snuggle Nest contains metal bars in the casing so our daughter never had to worry about the Snoring Walrus squashing her. And she wasn’t in danger from me, either.
Co-sleeping is controversial in some quarters but what’s so wrong with making your little ones feel safe and secure? We put our daughter in her own room after six months and she often sleeps through the night for 14 hours or more. It’s got so ridiculous that if it gets to 8am and she hasn’t stirred, my imagination starts to play tricks and I sometimes wake her up just to be sure she’s okay. That’s right, you didn’t just misread that: I wake her up.
I know, I know. You hate us, right? Ah well, I won’t lose any sleep over it.