Dot writes: poor Frank. He crawled off the back step on Thursday and went smack, face-first on to the paving slabs. The result:
When Hugh was small we would probably have screeched off to hospital (then again, maybe not: it looks horrid but he only fell a few inches).
Just to make poor Frank’s life even worse, yesterday we plucked up courage and started trying to sleep-train him. We’ve been muddling along coping with the refusal to stay in his cot past 10.30pm and the continued night-feeding; it’s doable so long as Hugh doesn’t wake up too, though I’ve been finding that my back and my hip-joints start to ache from holding the same position too long. But one does hanker after uninterrupted sleep.
When we got Hugh to stay through the night in his room we did it by the ‘controlled-crying’ method, where you periodically return to comfort the baby in his own bedroom. There is no own bedroom for Frank, so the aim this time is to get him to sleep through in his cot in our room without coming in bed with me to feed; when he can do that maybe we’ll be able to move him in with Hugh, though then I would worry about Hugh disturbing Frank rather than the other way round. Still, it was inevitably going to be a noisy process, and our previous plan had been that Hugh and I would maybe go and stay in someone else’s house while Ken endured the outrage of the youngest. What we actually did was set up the tent in the garden. Ironically, on my first night of not feeding Frank I co-slept with Hugh, because he was too over-excited to settle in his compartment of the tent and I ended up taking him into mine. Meanwhile poor Frank woke up and howled from time to time, and poor Ken endured it until 4am when he brought him into bed. We’ll find out tonight whether this has yet had any effect on Frank’s expectations about sleeping with a nipple in his mouth.
I do feel terribly ambivalent about this. Frank is not being banished from our room to cry alone, but it is clearly a horrible process for him, and I very much doubt it will work as quickly as it did with Hugh. On the one hand, I have been feeling so tired; on the other hand, I don’t get much time with Frank and it is lovely to wake up next to his little smiling face. Ken was very keen to try controlled crying on Hugh but seems more neutral this time; and he is pretty sleep-deprived today. Well, it would seem especially mean to let last night have been for nothing. Hugh and I will have another go at camping and see what happens.