More adventures in sleeping: a mystery solved

photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc
photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc

So, this being the real world, it was inevitable that this sleeping through the night business wouldn’t last. We had a sweet, sweet few months where myself and the husband would go to bed together and actually wake up in the same bed, which was nice.

But then winter and germy creche-going toddlers ruined everything and we all got hit by every sniffle, sore throat, scratchy cough, little fever and upset stomach going. It was six weeks of relentless illness. And of course by default, the sleep broke – and it stayed broke, for really the longest time. From sometime in December (too blurry to be more specific) until not too long ago at all, we were in a vicious cycle of poor little Pip waking up literally every sleep cycle from when he went down in the evening.

It was fairly torturous to be honest.

But not as torturous as previous episodes of sleeplessness had been, because I had changed my thinking on it all and I let it wash over me. Yeah, I was pretty tired but myself and T took it in turns doing one night on and one night off so even if I had a rough night’s sleep I knew at least tomorrow I’d get a full seven hours in the spare room. I also knew “this too shall pass” because it always does. Even though I’ve whispered it to myself in the past, at those times I was willing myself to believe it but I actually know it’s true now, which makes a huge difference. Now I’m not sure if T would share my outlook on it, but that’s how I feel!

In another way we settled into a rhythm with it. One of us would just got to bed early and lash him in the big bed beside us. He seemed to sleep much better like that – particularly if he had manoeuvred himself so that he was lying prostrate on one of the pillows – and sometimes when he was just about to wake you could resettle him with a quick back rub and he’d be gone again. We got a lot of reading done…

Then slowly all the little pieces started coming together. I noticed one evening when I was home alone with Pip that he didn’t stir in the bed when I got up and pottered around the room getting clothes ready for the next day and doing a few bits and pieces. He stayed fast asleep with his arms wrapped around a pillow.

A few days later, T came down the stairs after putting Pip down and said “I think I’ve figured it out”. My sceptical eyebrow went up. He looked at the clock and said “we’ll see in 45 minutes”.

45 minutes later, still a sleeping baby. And another 45 minutes later. And another 45 minutes later.


My husband, the super sleuth, had indeed figured it out. It was the pillow all along. He had popped the pillow into the cot, Pip launched himself on it and promptly fell asleep. Happy days.

So now we’re putting him down on the pillow every night and it seems to be working. It’s working so well in fact, that I could nearly drop him from a height onto the pillow and he won’t wake up. (I’m not doing this, obviously). Before the pillow police get all up in my duvet, we’re using a very firm, non allergenic pillow. He’s 30lbs and his shoulders are much wider than his head. All the safety boxes are ticked. We’re a-okay.

Here’s to some well earned sleep so. I’m just whispering that bit though because once bitten, twice shy and all that.

I’ll keep you posted!

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2 thoughts on “More adventures in sleeping: a mystery solved”

  1. Tricksy little things aren’t they, the kids! I’m glad he’s over the spate of illnesses. Can’t believe a pillow made such a difference.

    Our young lad’s pillow isn’t firm at all, but it’s super thin. I didn’t research (I know! Me!) the safety aspect beforehand but ikea sell pillows for front & back & side sleepers. The one I got for a front sleeper has about as much down as 2 ducklings in it (except its man made). Then again he was also 2.5 when we got it for the big boy bed, so maybe beyond the stage of needing to worry about that?

    1. Oh God yeah, well past. The guidelines seem to be keep them pillow-free for as long as they’ll sleep without it but if they need it, they should be 12 months plus, their shoulders should be wider than their head and it should be firm and ideally man made fibres. Not that Pip actually uses it for a pillow, more like a sleeping ramp because he lies on it longways. Although he made a mockery of me last night by having a crap night’s sleep. I KNEW that would happen as soon as I published this 🙂 Tonight is another night…

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