Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Late one night in Tokyo, Steve captured as all in a content moment of sleep...

Sleeping has been a long running issue in our house; about 5 and 3/4 years long in fact. Before that, it was generally great with lots of Sunday mornings spent in bed and pretty much 8 hours solid sleep every night. But with the arrival of the little people it's been problematic to say the very least. And this Mama is getting tired.

We thought that Minnie was a 'bad' sleeper and she was always fed to sleep and woke every 3 or so hours over night for more feeding to sleep. This went on until she was 2 1/2, when I weaned her from the 'book,' as she called it. For day time sleeps, I drove her around the coast and spent a lot of time sitting in the car reading. But we eventually got her to put herself to sleep at night and to only spend 1/2 the night in our bed. I think Minnie was almost 2 before she slept longer than 5 hours in a go.

The boy though, that's another story. From almost day 1 we have co-slept. Actually is was day 2 as the first night he was in NICU. Day 2 in the hospital the midwives actually suggested (after going through the standard warnings they have to advise) that I sleep with him. We had co-slept with Minnie so it was no drama - I knew what to do. We thought that we would do it a while and he would get the hang of sleeping next to but not with us. Louis is almost 18 months old and has spent every night in our bed. Every night being fed to sleep, which would be fine if he actually stayed asleep for a few hours, like his sister did. But the LouLou only manages 40 minutes or 20 or 5 or if I am really, really spoiled, about 1 hour. Then he wakes and cries and I spend another 30 or 40 minutes feeding him back to sleep. As you can imagine this makes my evening less than relaxing. I eventually fall asleep, usually fully dressed, as this merry go round spins into the night. Steve spends his evenings talking to the dog and listening to me complain, during the brief moments I am actually in the living room. Some days I don't mind. We know that it will pass, one day, and that babies do grow up so quickly. We just smile as I head up the long hallway for yet another 'getting him back to sleep' feeding session. Other days I have had it up to my bloodshot eye balls and feel completely helpless about the situation we are in.

Just so you know - Louis does not have a dummy or softie or cuddly. He does not know how to self settle and he drinks as much or my milk as a new born (well not quite but he is very attached to his 'susu')

So what do you do? What have you done? Have you tried comfort settling?


Hazel said...

Gosh I feel tired just reading this Rachael.
I'm afraid I have no words of wisdom, but as I think about the possibility of adding to our family (a non-furry member - I hope!) this sort of thing does freak me out a bit. I really don't do well on lack of sleep. Rob already knows (he has a 16 year old daughter) what it's like.
I hope someone else can offer you some useful tips/suggestions!

Hope's Mama said...

Oh mama, I feel for you. Angus never "slept through" til he was 11 months and he fed to sleep til he weaned himself at 15 months, and THAT felt like a long time. Juliet is fully cosleeping and I feel we may be heading down a similar path to the one you're on with Louis. I'll report back in 12 months to let you know how we're getting on!

Stella Luna said...

I'm in the same situation. Actually it's very freakily similar. I'm slowly trying to get my 11 month old to settle in her cot, she was fine in her bassinet (slept in it peacefully) until the transition and she's not having a bar of it. I'm trying to get her to sleep in it in the day (at first), and then hope to slowly make progress so that she doesn't scream each time I put her in the cot. wise answers here unfortunately. Good luck though.

Jenny said...

You might check out this website . It has a lot of information on feeding issues and specifically on sleep feeding. I really found it to be helpful with my daughter.

I hope you figure it out. When I don't get enough sleep I just can't be the mom I want to be. I definitely get it!


dear olive said...

Hello, I've just found your lovely blog for the first time. Hats off to you for surviving on that amount of sleep! I don't know if I've got any suggestions for you, but I can briefly tell you my story ... also had a crap sleeper, who we co-clept with, until she was about 10 months old, and when we put her into her own bed (which she didn't protest about), things definitely got better, but I was still getting up to feed from anything from every two hours to only twice per night. About two months before she turned two, I thought I can't handle this anymore, so I told her one night that Mummy didn't make any more me-me (our word for breast milk) at night, and that she could have me-me before she went to bed, and then again in the morning. She cried. And then slept through that night!! And now, a few months on from that, she sleeps through almost every single night. If she wakes up, I give her some water and she's usually happy with that. Every now and then she asks if she could try to see if there's any in there but I say no (meanie). It all happened pretty easily for us, I hope you can find a way too. What you're going through sounds incredibly hard! But I think what you're doing is so, so beautiful for your son. My advice for whatever it's worth, would be to let him know whatever you're planning to do, so that he knows what's going on. Good luck! Kellie xx