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Sleepless nights

Ok so we have all been there, some more than others but how has it affected you?

I remember people saying "oooh you just wait, make the most of your sleep as you won't be sleeping for a while" which is true and I can honestly say I have not had more than 4 hours solid sleep since Tillie was born and she is now 18 months old. You might not believe me but it really does not bother me.

I have listened to a number of mums moaning that their child kept them awake or they are annoyed at the fact that their baby who has slept through from being a few weeks old has suddenly started waking up in the night, they seem genuinely angry about this. (Probably through tiredness and it can make people say silly things but some people become almost obsessed about it and seem really angry)

I use social networking sites and have been really shocked by some status updates that I have seen, not once ever have I put that I was cross because Tillie wasn't sleeping through. I might have put that I was sat watching 'In the Night Garden' at 3am but I wasn't angry or annoyed, I just accepted it as part of being a mother and she is my baby girl and as long as she is happy then so am I.
The thoughts that some people have wouldn't even enter my head and if they did I certainly wouldn't tell other people about them!

I have never been someone who has needed a lot of sleep, I am fine at getting up early and even if Tillie has slept well then I would still get up in the night a few times just to check that she is ok.

Because of the hours that Nick works in the pub and the fact that when he is asleep NOTHING will wake him, he genuinely doesn't hear anything unless you physically shake him, he has never got up to feed Tillie in the night. This isn't a problem for us and occasionally when he has mentioned that he is tired, then realised that I have been up at least 5 times in the night then was up from 5am he soon stopped moaning. I think he has given me probably 3 lay ins since Tillie was born, but I love getting up with her in a morning, there is nothing better than morning cuddles so I can't stay in bed and sleep i am too busy listening to her giggling and have to get up and see what she is doing.

As I've mentioned Tillie is 18 months now, up until Christmas most nights she would wake up every hour in the night, some nights it would only be a couple of times but she would always wake up around 4.30 - 5am. Now some nights she can sleep through, and I always make sure that she is in bed for 7PM so I have time to either work or relax as I think it is important to still have your own time. I am very strict when it comes to bedtime; I have blogged about that in a previous post.

Don't get me wrong some days have been hard and I often needed an afternoon nap with Tillie to keep me going until bedtime. It is when people say "how do you do it I couldn't" - even the Doctor told me that I needed to start sleeping as he had no idea how my body was still functioning as my iron levels were extremely low. He told me that when I was ready there were steps they could advise me on how to get Tillie to sleep through.
I told him that I wasn't interested, I am happy and so is Tillie. As Tillie's laryngomalacia slowly improved I became stronger and I didn't rush through every time she made a noise. (If you haven't read the blog Tillie was born with a floppy larynx which made me a paranoid mum and if she cried it made her breathing very loud and she choked more).

Some people will completely disagree with me and say that children should sleep through the night and should be made to cry until they do I know parents who have done this and it has worked but I also know for a fact some children just don't sleep or can't sleep, some parents have tried everything! Believe me if Tillie slept particularly well one night I even tried the next day giving her the same food, even wearing the same pyjama's in the hope that it might help her to sleep better, but it doesn’t last! I even got to the stage where if she had slept through (one of five times hehe, or even if she just woke up once I daren't tell anyone that she slept well in case I cursed it!).

It is not the fact that I want to sleep all night long, I actually don't think I would be able to do it now.

In my post about Bedtime routines, I mentioned that Tillie has always gone down to bed beautifully, this changed when an emergency vehicle went past a couple of weeks ago which really unsettled her for a few nights and I was at risk of completely getting her out of the wonderful bedtime routine that we have always had - however after a few nights of her moaning she is going down absolutely fine again.

She is so good at taking herself off to sleep to the point where she can get up in the middle of the night crying if she hasn't seen her daddy much in the day time, she might wake up sobbing, come through into our room, go absolutely hyper kissing us both, then after a couple of minutes I say "Tillie say night night to Daddy it is time for bed again" and she will say "night night Daddy" and go straight back to sleep in her cot no tears at all. She really is a little star so that is why I don't mind getting up to her in the night it is not as if I am up for long at all, it might be only for 10 minutes whilst she has a quick drink then goes straight back to sleep.

I am lucky that I don't have to get up to work, things might be very different, but it does make things tricky trying to balance working in the pub as if we have an event on or I am needed at night time, chances are I am not much use as Tillie frequently wakes and I am dashing upstairs often in the middle of serving someone. It also puts us off going for a night out as I am worried that Tillie will wake if we are out, not that she would worry being with my mum as she adores her, but the fact I wouldn't be comfortable knowing that Tillie would be awake in the night, I don't think it is fair even though my mum wouldn't mind at all.

Do you need your sleep? Does it really bug you when your child doesn't sleep? Are you like me and genuinely don't mind? Have you tried everything to get your child to sleep through?

Comments

  1. Interesting post. Your blogs sometimes make me wish I'd had bigger gaps between my kids as I really enjoyed DD but then when DS was born it was so hard and I couldn't enjoy DD as much.

    I think its possibly ppl who are working or have other children who find it so hard to be up in the night. With DD we just went with it but it was hard. With DS he was a grumpy baby and woke up every 2 hours for a feed and hardly slept during the day. Having to deal with this as well as a toddler made it extremely hard to cope with a baby waking up all the time, plus I was trying to cope with PND so yes, I got really cross when I didn't get my sleep.

    Mostly they all sleep thru now so I don't mind too much if one of them wakes up - like you say its part of being a mum.

    Different children are different tho. DD is a heavy sleeper and was sleeping thru by 6 months. DS was a light sleeper and didn't sleep thru until 9 months and is the one most likely to wake up now.

    Baby slept thru almost from coming home from hospital. She was sleeping from 11-8 at 3 months and is now sleeping from 9-7 or 8. And I've been the same with all of them.

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  2. My daughter is 15 weeks and was sleeping well but recently we have started putting her to bed at 8.30 instead of 11pm and she now wakes up once in the night normally and then about 7am. I don't mind waking up at all cause I quite enjoy cuddling and feeding her in the night, although I do love it when she does sleep through! Its been rare the last few weeks though! x

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  3. For me, I think the worst times were when I wasn't getting any 3-hour stretches of sleep, usually because both girls would take it in turns to wake up. Three hours (roughly) is roughly one full sleep cycle for adults, and without it you don't fully rejuvenate as necessary. Too much of that can (for most people) be dangerous.

    I'm very relieved at the moment that our youngest is now sleeping through (she's also 18 months), for the first time ever (apart from a couple of flukes. However, I've only had a few full nights' sleep since, because the eldest has suddenly taken to waking up with nightmares (and various other requests) to make up for it.

    In general, I think if you're having a hard time with something (whether parenting, work or relationships), it can help a great deal to moan about it, and doing so in an innocent status update can be all that's available to some people, and of course preferable to taking it out on the children themselves. And, yes, severe lack of sleep really can make you think and say some horrible things. After all (cliche though it is), they do use sleep deprivation as torture.

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