Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Does your Little one Sleep? Can I help?
Sleep for me is one thing of the past, as I'm sure it is with a lot of mothers. In the past, 5 hours sleep would have been terrible and I could not have functioned. Where as now if I get 5 hours I feel like jumping for joy and like I can achieve anything.
Lily has always been a terrible sleeper. Some people can't believe me at times when I say "lily slept really well last night, she only woke up 3 times."
When she was born, she was a typical newborn, I was breast feeding so she would be waking every 3 hours for feeds and it was tricky but I coped. As she got a few months older, she would start to give me 5 or 6 hours here and there and those nights were great! She fell asleep no problem either. I would lay her in her cot and she would self settle and fall asleep.
So the thing is, I put a lot in place to ensure Lily would sleep just like advised. I taught her to self settle. I never let her cry it out but always tried to settle her in her cot rather than rocking her to sleep. I thought great, its all working wonderfully! Then she hit 6 months!
Suddenly she started waking more often, every 3 hours without fail and every night. This was tiring, but I thought just a phase and carried on, thinking this wont last forever. My partner was up at 6am and worked all day and as I was breast feeding I did all the getting up in the night.
A few months later, did things get easier? No, they got worse. Lily started not wanting to go down to sleep. I couldn't figure what had gone wrong, was it that she was hungry still? Or wanting to play?Not tired? Maybe her naps were to long? Maybe it was just attention? Are her teeth hurting? I thought of every possibility.
I tried cutting out her nap, and of corse this worked but only because she was so so tired that she wanted to sleep. But this just lead to her being to tired in the day. She needed that nap still.
At 11 months old, the routine of every 3 hours went out of the window, and not in a good way. Suddenly it was every hour, 2 hours at the most. Not only was she waking up, she wasn't wanting to go back to sleep! She was still in our room but I was adament that she was not getting in my bed. This lead to a a lot of rocking, patting, stroking of the face, and maybe a hour later and she would be asleep.
This carried on for months and really started to get to me, not only had I not had a full nights sleep for a year, I was now getting woke up every hour.
Unfortunately for me, this lasted up until a week ago! Lily is now nearly 15 months old and finally sleeping a little better thought not straight through. She is waking 3 times a night, around 11pm, 2am and 5am and sleeping until 9am. Lily is still having her comfort night feeds and this is one thing I next need to tackle. But for now I am starting to feel more alive and enjoying that 4 hours she gives me from 5 to 9am.
I am now trying to figure out what it is thats helping her sleep better. Could it be that She has recently moved into her own room, or that she is now having 20oz of cows milk a day. Or that the room is a lot cooler than ours which she originally was in. Or is it the fact that this week she has started walking? I don't think I will figure out which is it. But it could be one of those factors that helps so I'm sticking to them.
So what can I maybe tell you to help? I am no expert when it comes to helping babies sleep but here are a few things that I can say, or that I wish I would of tried earlier.
1. Firstly, Keep it up! Your doing a great job. You should be proud that your so strong to have managed so many sleepless nights.
2. Relax, easier said than done but you can really stress over it and it doesn't help. Keep calm and do things that make that getting up nicer for you. A drink next to the bed and comfy dressing gown seem to help me.
3. If you can, ask your partner for help. One thing I wish I would have done is got my partner to go in and tried to settle her without a comfort feed from me. Getting her used to less comfort feeds at a earlier age.
4. For me I wish I would of given her more bottles, expressed more and let the partner give her them to get her used to it. I didn't start to introduce bottles until she was nearly 12 months and by this point all she wanted was my breast.
5. This is not a certain, but I think that a relaxing bedtime story and a relaxing room seems to help. So the sooner you can get that, the better.
I would love to hear your sleep stories and if your baby sleeps or what you did to help your baby sleep.
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I have not had any problems with sleep with any of my little ones, they have all slept through the night by 7 months, and before then we had pretty great schedules, but my hubby was pretty good at helping me with that by setting clear schedules pretty early and made sure I did not deviate. All kiddos are dif though, remember to just make time for you as a mom so that you can be well rested during those times..ReplyDelete
after having 6 children I was always strict with a bedtime routine I had to for my own sanity and am very lucky that they were all great sleepers but I do put that down to a strict routineReplyDelete
I'm a Mother of two and I am quite lucky that I have good sleepers and got them into a routine. Every child is different though and these are great tipsReplyDelete
I don't sleep enough without kids, I can't imagine how unproductive i'd be if I had kids! xReplyDelete
fantastic tips. I have 3 kids and I had no problems with sleep with any of them. but my sister had quite a few problems with 2 of hersReplyDelete
I think the key is sticking to routine even when they go through a leap or try to test their boundaries because the minute you waver it all goes to pot! Noah slept through at 3 months, perhaps I should put a tip post together too! xReplyDelete
I think with breastfeeding its hard because when there little you never know if a feed fills them up like you do a bottle and so they wake through hunger and that waking them becomes routine. So really when she started eating solids, she probably wasn't waking through hunger and It would have been best to cut the feeds out, but at the time I didn't think, and also got told that there wasn't anything wrong about comfort feeds so kept doing them.ReplyDelete
It would be great to look into the future and and to know whats the best action to take lol
By god you poor thing the no sleep must have taken its toll! I have insomnia so I don't sleep anyway and it leaves me feeling drained and sick all the time but I can't imagine how you feel xx Glad she is starting to settle a bit xReplyDelete
Yeah up until this week it had been getting to be quite a bit, tears and a little moody haha. But I somehow manage. I guess I don't have much choice. I just feel more tired when I think that its over 400 days where I haven't had 1 full nights sleep. lolDelete
I couldn't imagine what it would be like to have a child that wouldn't sleep, my daughter has always loved her sleep and has slept through from a very young age although I can't sleep myself as I suffer with terrible insomnia so I can only imagine how you must be feeling yourself xxReplyDelete
Charli | Beauty and Lifestyle Blogger at CHARLI B
Oh I can relate to this post. My children are older now (8, 10 and 12 years old) but when they were all babies... It was awful, I don't think I ever had any more than 3 hours sleep a night. I look back now and wonder how I got through it. You've pointed out some great tips! Relaxing is SO hard when you are so tired and all you can think about is sleep but it's important to try and relax.ReplyDelete
Really good post! xx
Thankyou, It was one subject I thought I should write about. Reading your comment I may update it a little with how the lack of sleep makes me feel as I haven't really said much about it, and with you saying you look back and wonder how you got through it, I think it would be a important part for me to remember.Delete
Glad Lily is finally sleeping a little better although I sympathise that it took until last week! We had no problems with Jack until he turned around 2 and he's still not out of it now - he does sleep quite well some nights but others barely at all xReplyDelete
Great tips. I'm struggling with my youngest at the moment yay for leaps and teething, she is fairly good thoughReplyDelete
I think the point about relaxing is a good one, and applies to most situation. I imagine that being stressed can really stress your baby out too.ReplyDelete
I don't sleep much now, I can't imagine what I'd be like if I had a child.ReplyDelete
Aw, glad to hear Lily is starting to sleep a bit more now, it must have been really tough getting to that point. Some great advice here for Mums. xxReplyDelete
This is such a good post. I really struggle with sleep and can't imagine it getting any better if I had a child.ReplyDelete
Great tips, we struggle with sleep too but nowhere nearly as badly as you have! Well done for keeping it up for so long! XReplyDelete
I remember the struggle well, although it is many years ago now. Great times for new parents. Wish I had known some of them!ReplyDelete
Great tips for struggling parents. The lady I live with often has her grandkids round and they don't sleep well at all and consequently neither do I!ReplyDelete
Some good tips, it can be so tough when they aren't sleeping through the night. L is 3 now so this isn't a problem any more but the other night be randomly got up at 4am and was expecting me to go and play! he went back to bed after a story but the next day I felt like a zombie! You soon get used to sleeping through the night hahaReplyDelete
I agree about creating a relaxing routine in a soothing, calm and darkened environment would probably help. Some stages are easier than others for getting them to sleep.ReplyDelete
I have a kitten who does not sleep and thinks 3-4am is the best time to run batsh*t crazy round the flat xReplyDelete
It's so tough when you're exclusively breast feeding. I'm out the other side of it now (my youngest didn't sleep through until she was three!) and VERY glad it's all done and dusted, but when I look back I'm glad I was able to be there to comfort her each night. It's quite amazing how well you can function on five hours a night, isn't it?! xReplyDelete