For months on end I spent literally hours rocking my little man during the night. He would wake and I would rock. Not a gentle, back and forth in the rocking chair, oh no – he liked to be rocked assertively, bounced even. Anything less and he was not happy. So we brought a Swiss ball. “Best thing ever!” we thought. “So much easier!” we agreed. Fast forward a few weeks and we were so sick of bouncing on that damn Swiss ball.
We had good nights: 2am wake, feed, 10 minutes of bouncing, back to sleep.
And we had bad nights: 9pm wake, feed, 20 minutes of bouncing, back to sleep, 1am wake, 1 hour of bouncing and crying, another feed, more bouncing, give up, 2 hours of TV, back to sleep, 6am awake and ready to start the day.
But through the good, the bad and the downright ugly, that orange Swiss ball was always there.
I fell off it once. Yip, middle of the night, bouncing away and plop! Flat on the floor (Baby Mac safely in my arms). Another time, my back was starting to ache so I thought I would roll forward, with babe in arms, to stretch it. Rolling forward was fine – getting back was not. I actually had to call out for help! Only I could get stuck on a Swiss ball. It got softer. We pumped it up. We bumped in to it the dark of the night and we played games with it during the day. And every night it would support us as either Mummy or Daddy tried desperately to get our little man back to sleep. And do you know what? Today I realised it has been months since we bounced on that damn Swiss ball!
If you haven’t been following the blog you can catch up on our experiences with a baby sleep consultant. Things have changed dramatically over the last 5 months. Sleep has (most of the time) been restored to the Mac household. We have routine and rituals. We have action plans and unspoken agreements. We still have bad nights – we’ve had teething, a spew bug, more teething, this incredibly hot summer and more teething. But we always, eventually, get back to the routine and the 11 hour stretches at night. We just feel more sane. And you know what? I don’t for a moment miss that ugly, orange Swiss ball.