Monday, 2 September 2013

Meet Ted: the Duracell Bunny Baby

The concept of a Duracell Bunny Baby is something I first came across on the Analytical Armadillo blog; it is a neat term for babies who have boundless energy and Do Not Sleep. Naps, night-time - sleep does not come easily to these little fireballs. 

Fifteen month-old Theodore is one such baby. 

Do not be fooled by the cuteness. This was taken at 11pm. He is laughing at my attempts to make him SLEEP.

A year ago I wrote a post about bedsharing and how the first three months of sleeping with Ted in our bed had gone. At that point, I was still confident that within a few months, he would make the gentle transition to his cot as my three previous children have done. The theory is simple: at a certain age, my babies have each started sleeping from late evening through to the small hours of the morning. This is when they are put into the cot; when they wake, I put them in my bed until morning. That's not an ideological thing. I'm just too lazy and fond of sleep to spend hours pacing the bedroom rocking them back to sleep. Eventually, the time between putting them down and them waking again stretches out until they sleep through in their own room of their own accord.

Beautiful, yes?

The other Smalls enjoying their time snuggled in my bed.

Please explain this to Ted! At fifteen months, he still does not nap for more than half an hour at a time and even that is dependent upon being held by someone. Occasionally - rarely - we are able to put him down on the sofa. We've successfully managed an hour or two stint in the cot on fewer than half a dozen occasions but the general rule of thumb is that children one, two and three go off to bed at 7pm and are asleep by 8pm. Ted gets into his pyjamas at the same time and the attempts to make him Go To Sleep begin. It might be me feeding him, Andy walking round the room rocking him, putting him down somewhere and singing/patting/ssshing him. Ninety-per-cent of the time NOTHING WORKS and at 10pm, the little bugger is still literally bouncing round the lounge and giggling at us. 

Last night, it was midnight before he finally gave in and nodded off. 

I don't do controlled crying at all, and even if I was prepared to consider it, it would be a very bad idea for Ted as he's prone to breath holding attacks and goes blue if he cries. There are also three other children in this house who have to get up early for school, so having a crying baby around just wouldn't be fair on them. I've beaten myself up, analysed all my decisions about bedsharing and breastfeeding and blamed myself over and over again for creating the Incredible Non-Sleeping Baby, but then I remembered reading about Duracell Bunny Babies. 

Reading down the list of bullet points on the Analytical Armadillo post about DBBs, it describes Ted to a tee. I'm so relieved to be able to tell myself this is not my fault. This is not a "something wrong" or a way I've broken the baby. It does, however, mean I don't know how to put it right and get this boy sleeping in some kind of vaguely sensible pattern.

Thankfully, once Ted has given in and dozed off he stays mostly asleep as long as I lie right next to him. If I move away, all hell breaks loose but there is honestly nowhere I'd rather be at 2am than lying in my bed, so that's not an issue. It would be MARVELLOUS if he spent some time asleep in his own bed though. I was mentally prepared for six months to a year of bedsharing and breastfeeding, but Ted seems intent on continuing both. He does seem a lot younger - if that doesn't sound daft - than my other children did at this age, so maybe this is just him taking in life at his own pace. 

I must keep reminding myself to just relax and embrace all the little bits of babyhood while I still can. He will grow up soon and eventually forge his independence and then I know I'll miss his evening antics and afternoons spent with him snoozing lightly in my arms while I will the rest of the world to shut the hell up lest they wake him.

This too shall pass.... this too shall pass.... Where's the gin?


  1. Have you seen the WIO post of the Nurshable blog, her daughter is younger than Ted but the principle is the same - they'll find their way when they are ready
    Enjoy the cuddles they never last long enough!

  2. Ohh that's lovely. I feel more mellow already :-D Thanks, Becky x