C has never been a great sleeper From the minute he was born we have struggled with getting him to sleep at night.
He always needed at least one feed a night up until he was about 10weeks old when he suddenly started sleeping 10pm-6am, having a feed and going back down to about 9am. I thought I’d cracked it, I was getting some sleep and really enjoying it. It didn’t last long, less than 5 weeks later he was back to waking at least once a night and needing a feed. As he was such a poor feeder too these middle of the night feeds lasted 30-45mins so by the time I got back to bed I’d be wide awake!
Sleepless nights do not a happy mummy make.
I remember saying to C often that lack of sleep can kill a person. I felt so drained, the bags under my eyes turned into luggage sets and I struggled to cope with everyday tasks, its times like these when you remember that sleep deprevation is a form of torture! C often has bags under his eyes too, people must think I deprive him of his sleep – if only they knew!
This continued for months. We tried everything
- CONTROLLED CRYING – each and every night he just screamed for hours, we worried about waking the neighbours and poor R had to work so it caused a lot of stress and we didn’t get anywhere.
- PORRIDGE BEFORE BED – this didn’t work either, he’d wake up in the night because he had pooed and then I’d have to change him and feed him.
- DREAM FEEDS – pointless, waking C to feed him didn’t mean he didn’t wake in the night it just meant I had a very grumpy baby at about 11.30pm.
He carried on having a feed in the night for a long time, everyone told me he didn’t need it but I was so tired by this point from the ongoing lack of sleep that I just couldn’t face withdrawing the one thing that made him go back to sleep. Its amazing how quickly I give in when I’m tired! During the day I can be strict, I try not to back down, but in the middle of the night when you’re tired and everyone is being disturbed it is so easy to give in. We got into the horrid position of having C in our bed at some point every night, well it was either that or me on the floor in his bed room! So we would spend the early hours being kicked, punched, jumped on etc. I was back at work too by this point and it was awful having to get up and go to work after rubbish sleep, I’d catch myself napping on my lunch break just to catch up a little bit, setting the timer on my phone so I didn’t sleep too long! Not exactly the best way to deal with it but the only way I could cope.
I fell pregnant when C was about 13mths old, this made it even worse, I wasn’t just tired from lack of sleep, I was tired from early pregnancy, being sick and generally exhausted! We carried on, C in our bed from about 4am, us both suffering from poor sleep. I developed SPD and this made things even worse, getting out of bed in the middle of the night was horrendous, physical pain on top of lack of sleep made me VERY grumpy. The SPD got worse and I was signed off work at 23wks. At least now I would get some rest during the day! Some nights he did sleep through, those nights were absolute bliss, I think those nights are the only thing that kept me going at times, those and the nights he spent at Grandma’s house!
C’s sleeping didn’t get much better but by the time I was about 28wks pregnant I had had enough. I couldn’t have C in our bed, I was in too much pain to have him kicking me so I decided to just go in his room and put him back to bed, no fuss, no kisses, just straight back into bed. It nearly killed me! Physically, it was so hard, I could barely walk by this point and grabbing an active toddler was excruciating but so necessary. It took me about 10days before I could get him to go straight back down in his own bed, but it eventually worked. He still woke up but would go back to sleep in his own bed after I had tucked him in again.
Once LissyLou arrived I hoped that he would settle down, after the first week in which he was horrendous, waking 3 times a night (I think the stress of a new baby affected him very badly) he settled back down to waking once a night. I lived with it, I had a new baby to contend with, was recovering from a csection and in all honesty just couldn’t face doing anything. During this time we had good nights and bad nights, he’d have a run of sleeping through but then it would be peppered with nights of waking.
Now we are still in the same place, it doesn’t matter if he has had a daytime sleep or not, it doesn’t matter if you think you have worn him out……
My latest effort is something I like to call ‘Reward Training’. Basically I do the usual bedtime routine then as I tuck him in I tell him that if he stays in his own bed all night and doesn’t shout mummy then he will get….. or can do…. etc IT WORKED 🙂 for two nights 🙁
Back to the drawing board………………………..