Sneaky Peek : Sleep Talk

Baby Sleeping by Martin-LyneSLEEP – the topic of conversations, thought processes and planning for most mother’s with young babies!  Unfortunately the topic is currently consuming me as James has totally regressed with his sleeping and has been very unsettled at night for many months.

I swallowed my pride last week and called in a ‘Sleep and Settling Consultant’!  Our mothers and grandmothers would ‘tut tut’ but I had reached breaking point.  I knew I needed help after I ashamedly hurled my Ugg boot across my bedroom in desperation, after so many nights of sleeplessness.

James would sleep well during the day as I have always been quite routine with him – punctuating my days by making sure I am home for his long lunch time sleep.  He would also settle well during the day and at bedtime but would then wake frequently from 11.00pm onwards.

Up until last week I would quickly breastfeed him and pop him back in his cot for another slumber.  Before I realised it, I was now on the self-perpetuating cycle of feeding him during the night and rewarding him for his wakefulness – resulting in exhaustion from being awake and having to make more milk.  Mooo!  I also knew I was feeding him for longer than he physically needed – especially as he had started well on solids and shouldn’t be needing any extra top-ups during the night.

I had made a rod for my own back – he was now in the habit of waking for a little midnight cuddle, some warm breast milk and a pat from his Mummy?  Why wouldn’t he?  Your mind can make the most appropriate justification for any behaviour – especially in the wee hours:

Oh he’s teething

It’s quicker to feed him so he will settle back to sleep

He didn’t drink much at bedtime, he must be hungry

We’re away on the boat – he isn’t in his familiar environment

Oh he must be still teething

Blah, blah, blah

I was like a walking zombie, only getting between 3 – 4 hours of sleep on my worst nights and enduring his crying of up to 2 hours at a time.  A helmet had encased my brain and all I could see was fog – I felt desperately tired and grumpy.

Ding Dong … Libby, the Sleep Consultant turned up last Friday and sat with me for nearly two hours to discuss my plight.  She taught me about sleep cycles; parent-led sleep associations; over-tiredness; pausing and consistency.  I had a previous understanding of all of these but I guess had lost the confidence to really apply them when the cards were down.

With copious notes in hand and a new vigor of hope in my step I felt excited about this next commitment.  Ironically James slept through that whole night … and the next … and the next.  I didn’t even need to apply my new routine … until last night when he was back to his old ways and persisted on crying from 1:40am to 3:20am.  Yawn!

A few steps forward and a couple back.  I am determined for this not to beat me.  I need my beauty sleep.  Xxx

2 comments on “Sneaky Peek : Sleep Talk

  1. neeta
    Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Oh Larni, I feel for you. I had a hell of a time with Leo and sleep and really struggled with it. Sounds like you have great advice from your lady, good on you for contacting her.The book that really saved me (not form Leo but with Max) was BabyBliss by Jo Ryan. It was my bible. Good luck xxxxxxxxx

  2. Larni Davies
    Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    Hi Neeta – thank you for your comments. Yes sleeplessness is no fun at all! I might have to have a look at the BabyBliss book. Bring on the long hours of slumber. x

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