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  1. #1
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    Default Living with a poor sleeper

    Hi All,

    I have a 1 yr old DS and a 3 Yr Old DD. My DD was and is a great sleeper. My DS is not. For the past year I have had to deal with a terrible sleeper. At first it was just life with a newborn, we co-slept a bit to get through although I hated it, whilst I enjoy the cuddles I cannot sleep well but it was better than nothing.

    Now my DS sleeps in his own cot and has done since he was about 5 months. But I use the term sleep very loosely. In the past 12 months we have had one night where he has "slept through" and maybe a handful where we have only gone in once or twice. A usual night is more like 6-10 times.

    Most recently it has been having to sit and watch TV with him asleep on me as the only way to cope and for him to sleep. He is not a big fan of DH at night and continues to scream even though he is being held and soothed. He doesn't scream for me much once I have him. But I am exhausted and I cannot continue this.

    We have just moved to QLD and have no friends or family here for support. My DD is suffering because my DS is taking up all my time and I am grouchy because I am so tired.

    We did sleep training with my DD when she was about 7 months, which was very gentle and responsive and she learned to put herself to sleep quickly.

    I haven't done it with DS and I honestly don't know if it would work anyhow. He is very stubborn and such a mummys boy.

    I am feel like I am slipping into depression though due to the lack of sleep. I am seriously on the edge of no longer coping and it is only the thought of my DD that is keeping me going.

    My DS has some mild health issues, CMPI and Reflux as well as Eczema. So I am always wondering if it is something to do with that that is causing his wakes ups or it is that we are too responsive to him. I don't want him waking my DD up so we try not to let him cry, but he does anyway and she sleeps through it so I am probably worrying over nothing.

    Sorry for the essay, but I suppose my question is how do other people cope with the exhaustion? How do you get on with your day without making mistakes? I can't be the only one with such a terrible sleeper? And do you think I should be tougher with him? It is affecting my relationship with him and my DH. I love him to pieces but I hate the situation I am in.

  2. #2
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    Oh that sounds so hard I'm in a similar situation except that my partner does most of the overnight resettling. Honestly, that's the only way I can function and even then it's hard (some days I'm up with the kids from 6am, leave for work about 2, get home 11:30pm, express and then get broken sleep from midnight).
    Our 3 year old is a fantastic sleeper too, and has been since doing sleep training. I've tried a little with DA but not really gotten anywhere. Not sure where we're going from here yet. I keep reminding myself that it won't last forever, but that's not as good as some rest!

  3. #3
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    Wow, I don't know how you cope with that.

    That is what I keep telling myself, it is not forever it will get better, but 12 months down the track it is getting worse not better.

  4. #4
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    I know you said it may not work but if you are on the verge of not coping you need to change something. It doesn't have to be done harshly. I am definitely not one to do controlled crying or anything but responsive settling is more gentle. With some support. Would you consider going to the Ellen Barren centre in Brisbane for some help getting him to sleep better? You can get a referral from your child health nurse. They also have videos on their website.
    You have to think about yourself and the rest of your family xx

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  6. #5
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    I would 2nd going to your GP or health nurse and getting a referral to the Ellen Baron centre.

    6-10 wake ups a night for the past year? No idea how you have been coping OP. You must be one strong Mumma.

    If you go ahead with getting a referral try not to minmise the impact that this situation is having on you, your marital relationship or your family as a whole. They will prioritise your wait along those lines.

    I realise the whole baby-infancy thing isn't forever but it's intense and it's also really hard to enjoy it when both you and your baby are chronically sleep deprived. As PP said, the Ellen Baron centre use responsive settling techniques, not controlled crying. They can also accomodate your DD and partner in your stay, if you wish.

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    Default Living with a poor sleeper

    I don't know how to help, but just say your not alone.

    My DD did the same - wake 6-8 times a night until a week ago, just shy of her 1st birthday. I didn't realise until now what a messed up haze I was living in until now. My head is now clear and I'm a million times happier, getting along better with DF because I'm not so grumpy and most importantly enjoying every moment with DD.

    I don't have any practical advice on how to cope (as I don't think I did very well), but it's worth trying sleep school or CC/CIO in case they help. It will be worth it. I get not wanting to disturb your DD by letting your DS cry but in the long run your DD (and the rest of the family) will benefit from having a happier mummy who is not sleep deprived.

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  10. #7
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    Thanks All,

    So last night we did some soft CC. Basically the night routine was the same but instead of rocking/patting to sleep after his feed he was put in his cot and DH/I sat next to him in rotation, 20 minutes each. On my second go he fell asleep and didn't wake till 5am. ( which is a pretty normal wake up for him) my DH went in before he left for work and he was back asleep within 20 mins. And slept till I woke him at 7am.

    I don't know who that child was but I hope they come visit again tonight.

    The main difference apart from the self settling was he fell asleep on his tummy. I wonder if with his reflux and itching due to eczema that helped.

    I had thought about sleep schools but I really don't want one that sends you to bed for the first night and tell you to leave your child with them.

    We will stick with our plan for the next week (gradually moving further away from the cot) and see where we are then.

    Thank you

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  12. #8
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    That sounds great hope it continues!
    By the way Ellen Barron is not like that if you do need to go :-)

  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MINIRoo View Post
    Thanks All,

    So last night we did some soft CC. Basically the night routine was the same but instead of rocking/patting to sleep after his feed he was put in his cot and DH/I sat next to him in rotation, 20 minutes each. On my second go he fell asleep and didn't wake till 5am. ( which is a pretty normal wake up for him) my DH went in before he left for work and he was back asleep within 20 mins. And slept till I woke him at 7am.

    I don't know who that child was but I hope they come visit again tonight.

    The main difference apart from the self settling was he fell asleep on his tummy. I wonder if with his reflux and itching due to eczema that helped.

    I had thought about sleep schools but I really don't want one that sends you to bed for the first night and tell you to leave your child with them.

    We will stick with our plan for the next week (gradually moving further away from the cot) and see where we are then.

    Thank you
    Good work OP. Chances are it was the not rocking/patting to sleep hat helped bub sleep through. When a bub is aided to sleep (pat/rock/milk/dummy) and that aid disappears through the night, when bub stirs between sleep cycles bub will wake and think "wtf! Where has my boob/bottle/dummy/cuddle gone?!"

  14. #10
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    So things have improved a bit. But things have stalled. I'm sitting here with him asleep in my arms as for some reason tonight he is not happy in his bed.

    We had a couple of sleep throughs but it's mostly been 2 wake ups since we started but we seem to be heading backwards again.

    I'm getting to the point of just letting him cry. We leave him for a few minutes but he gets hysterical.


 

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