James and Ola Jordan are pretty exhausted. "We're walking around like zombies," James says, yawning. For whatever reason, unfortunately little Ella has decided to start waking up in the early hours of the night and refusing to sleep again - and the pair open up about the situation in their new Strictly Parenting column. Read about their week here...
WATCH: Baby Ella has been enjoying her new Finding Nemo bouncy chair
"The biggest thing that has happened this week is her sleep. We had a big change," James admits. "It's been like four days in a row now. It's been a bit of a nightmare. She was doing so well sleeping for months and now it's changed for whatever reason."
Speaking about how he was worried that his daughter might have had a nightmare after she woke up in hysterics, something very unusual for her, James explains: "The first time it happened she woke up and she was hysterical, and I said to Ola that I thought she had a nightmare because she wouldn't go back to sleep unless she was in your arms. Every time you tried to put her down she'd wake up and scream again. I thought she'd had a nightmare and was scared."
The tiny tot has been keeping her mum and dad up every night this week!
Ola continues: "It took a long time to put her down because we didn't want to bring her into bed with us. As soon as you start that she'll be used to it and think she can just scream and come into bed with us so it took a good few hours to settle her and go to sleep, and we knew she was really tired. We don't know why!
"Last night she woke up at three in the morning screaming. We don't know if she's in pain with her teeth, we can't work it out. She's been such a good sleeper up until now but this week it's like a switch has gone off."
The pair are trying to soothe her without letting her into their own bed
James adds: "I'm very soft but I'm also of the opinion that you don't want to start something you're going to have to continue. We've kept her in her own bed because if she starts coming in our bed she'll be there all the time. I'm also worried about rolling on top of her."
Ola took to Google for answers, but unfortunately there are many, many reasons that Ella isn't getting a good night's rest. "There's so many things it could be," Ola says. "It could mean the baby is cold or hot, nightmares, teething, too much noise, too much light. But she's okay when you put her on your shoulder, she'll fall asleep, but as soon as you put her down, she'll scream again and wakes up. We don't want her getting used to sleeping on our shoulders, but it took three hours to get her back to sleep, from three am to six in the morning."
Ola jokes about how tired she is, saying she is on 'auto-pilot'
The former Strictly pros admit that they think they have tried everything at this point, including trying to let her self-soothe. "We've tried leaving her longer to see if she'll cry it out and settle but then her crying gets so bad that we don't want to leave her," James says. "She's getting herself really worked up so we did end up picking her up but we did leave her for a while thinking she'd fall asleep, but she was just inconsolable."
Making light of Ella's new bedtime routine, James jokes: "We've been very lucky up until now, we've been like, 'Oh we've got this!' and she's gone, 'Oh no you haven't!' She's the boss now! We're hoping it's just a little phase she's going through because until now she's been the perfect baby."
The new parents are hoping that her early morning antics are a phase
The new parents admit that if it continues, they might start taking it in turns to get some shut-eye in the spare room. "I was going to say to James to go into the spare room because neither of us were getting any sleep," Ola says. "We can't both be exhausted."
Even though she is making them very sleepy, Ella has had a very fun week herself with a new bouncy chair! As seen in the video above, James and Ola bought their daughter an adorable Finding Nemo chair, and although she loves it now, it wasn't always the case.
Ella has upgraded to a bouncy chair, see her reaction to it in the video above!
"She's at the age where she should start trying and is able to bounce a bit," Ola says. "She's beginning to work out that's what she can do. She's reaching and grabbing things more. On the mat she's turning around much more now and can lift her bum up and put her knees under, she's really agile. We think she might be coming close to crawling."
James reveals that Ella has quickly gotten used to her fun new toy
Speaking about her new toy, James adds: "You have to adjust it to the right height but you don't want her to put too much pressure on her legs without them being bent. She didn't like it at all at first. She was very unstable because there's a lot of movement in the seat and it's good for her core strength and how to stabilise herself. She's gotten used to it now though! She likes it, she doesn't like being in there for too long but she'll get frustrated when we put her on the mat now because she can't move."
"You can see her want to reach for things but she can't move forwards yet. She can spin herself around and push herself backwards but still can't move forwards. She'll get angry at herself when she can't do it!
Find out more about James and Ola's parenting journey in their weekly column here