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  • When does one sleep

    As I sit here with my 1 month old dozing in my arms and my 3 year old just falling to sleep after fighting bed time for the last few hours I am pondering how I am going to handle life when the husband leaves for the 3 week swing next week.

    My specific concern is my sleep, when do I get to have any? My toddler is an early riser, usually up between 5:30/6am, my newborn is a night owl, catnaps between midnight and 5ish, lately the toddler has been fighting going to bed (yep, new found fomo since baby bro arrived) and I find I’m dealing with that until around 9:30/10 (the process starts at 7:30), he isn’t tantruming, it’s a fairly calm process, but looooooong.

    Toddler naps in the day, right around when I need to be organising dinner and trying to get prepared for everything else, so sleeping then isn’t really an option, at night generally if I put my head down I’m lucky to get to starting to fall asleep before the newborn is waking, he isn’t awake all night, he will sleep in my arms but wakes in the bassinet, only at night, sleeps like a champ in the day in the bassinet.

    So with newborn being too young to start a real sleep regime and toddler waking as soon as newborn starts sleeping how do I get any sleep? How have other mums managed on their own? Any tips tricks or magic that anyone can share?

    Please haaaaaaaalp.

  • #2
    Freeze meals if you can, use a slow cooker. If they happen to sleep at the same time then you sleep too! Everything else can wait xox

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    • #3
      Cook extra for the next day? make things in the morning you can reheat easily later that day?
      Soups, pasta dishes, casseroles etc!
      You could even have your "main" meal at lunch and just a sandwich, toast, weetbix etc later?
      Pre-prepare veg/fruit and have them in containers in the fridge for quick salads or plates for your 3yo to pick at with some toast fingers, a boiled egg and a meat etc

      Do you babywear bub in a wrap or carrier?

      I've got a 2.5 month old, 4yo and 8yo. My multi cooker is a godsend! I can have a veg packed casserole on the table within an hour. The other night I chopped the meat, browned it while I chopped the veggies, threw the veg In with my chosen flavors/ sauces/ herbs etc, put the lid on for pressure cooking... while it cooked I bathed all 3 kids... and dinner was ready soon after. Just needed thickening.

      As for sleep... housework can wait. If you get a chance for sleep - take it! Even 15 mins will help! If toddler is asleep and baby settles, close your eyes!

      It won't last forever.

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      • #4
        When does one sleep

        is the toddler at daycare? i’d sleep in the day when bub sleeps. even an hour here or there can go a long way in helping you feel a bit more rested. two kids 24/7 on your own is tough (well it is for me but i’m used to daycare and working so being home with kids is a foreign concept to me lol). as the baby gets older, he will hopefully get into more of a routine and sleep a bit longer at night. i feel your pain with the older kid though, my ds is notorious for eking out bedtime and stalling then we’d find we were getting zero evening ourselves. he’s also an early riser. we cut out the day naps to the extent possible (he still has one at childcare but i’m going to ask them to stop allowing him to sleep in the day as it’s stuffing up his night sleep and pushing out his bedtime). can you just cut the nap out and hopefully he will go to bed earlier. i think you’ll find with 2 you’ll naturally cut corners and be firmer with both kids about what you’ll accept; i find with my baby dd i am way more structured in terms of her bedtime, whereas when it was just ds, we’d have the luxury of stuffing around and we’d accept whatever as it was just him and he had all of our attention. with two, you’ll quickly realize this isn’t an option and so you’ll find ways to make it work.

        big hugs, i’d die if my dh was away for extended periods haha. actually my dh was working late one day each week and in the early days, one of his aunties would come by and help me with ds daycare pick up then help with dinner and bath routine (i struggled with the bath routine due to having a cs). i found that immensely helpful in those early days as dd was fussy and cluster feeding and i just couldn’t put her down. i’m fine now and cope alone but in those early days, a bit of a hand from family could be a lifeline for you too?

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        • #5
          To be honest I think a 3 year old who isn’t going to sleep at night doesn’t need a nap anymore. Well certainly not one every day. He’s probably taking ages to sleep because he’s just not tired. Perhaps trial a bit of quiet time instead of a nap and put him to bed a little earlier at night.

          Maybe also put the baby in bed with you if they will sleep in your arms at night. It’s not too early for a bedtime routine. I don’t mean times but evening ritual of bath, feed, cuddle, bed.

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          • #6
            I used to start pepping dinner after breakfast and try to get the essentials done early. That way if a napping opportunity arose I could take it. I had school run with the older child when when DH worked away, so that would often stuff up naps (for DS and me!) but DD was old enough that I could let her watch TV for 30 minutes if DS had fallen asleep and I could nap too - just a quick one to get my sanity back before facing the sleepless night ahead.

            I do agree that the bedtime faffing is a symptom that day naps may be on the way out.

            DH was not away when DS was newborn, but he was working 90+ hours a week split shifts. So I'd rarely see him and he was more sleep deprived than I was. He started FIFO when DS was about 10mo and still an awful sleeper. He was on a 3/1 roster and it was awful! We gave up after less than a year as it just wasn't right for our family - so I have absolute sympathy for how hard it is!

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            • #7
              I only have one, I don't have any solutions for you other than to say I wouldn't be letting the 3yo have naps at all, is it maybe possible to get him out during the day for some exercise or something to expend energy?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BigRedV View Post
                Maybe also put the baby in bed with you if they will sleep in your arms at night. It’s not too early for a bedtime routine. I don’t mean times but evening ritual of bath, feed, cuddle, bed.
                skip the bath. babies do not need to be bathed every day. realistically, until they start daycare, they’re not getting dirty. i give dd regular wipe downs with a damp cloth but only bother with a bath if she’s had an epic nappy explosion and is way past a wipe down.

                i think people make their lives harder than they need to be bathing babies every day. a girl in my mother’s group (whose hubby works late every single night) complains how hard her evening is constantly so i suggested skipping baby baths. stubbornly she ignores the advice. oh well, do as you please but don’t whinge that your life is hard.

                Comment


                • #9
                  re cooking, don’t cook every day. it’s such a waste of time prepping, cooking and clearing up every single day when you’re alone and time poor. cook a big batch of something that both you and 3 year old like and have it go for a few nights. then it’s just heat and eat.

                  we’ve always done that, even pre kids, i honestly don’t think i could ever go back to cooking every night again.

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                  • #10
                    I've bathed kiddo most days for the simple reason it makes him really sleepy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks heaps for all the advise, you’re absolutely right, I’m making life hard by cooking every day, I had great intentions of being completely organised with meals and prep but I just never get to doing a big cook up, but I’m going to get on top of that, I like the idea of big lunch light dinner so I’ll try and adopt that.

                      I did consider dropping naps, but master 3 is awful without a nap, I skip them sometimes in an attempt to wean but on those days he is so tired and stroppy and we still have the same issues at night, I mean he is actually tired but he wants me in there all the time, this is all new, for real he was sleeping normal then we had a bad windy night and he got scared and that was around the same time baby came home and it’s never been the same, he just wants someone in there with him reading books and singing songs. He would also happily fall asleep on the couch but all of this is really inconvenient, But alas I make it work, I do agree naps are on the way out, but not ready to go just yet.

                      Baby loves a bath, I do baths mostly just to get him used to water and the feeling of it, not to wash but only once a week when master 3 is at daycare, he goes twice a week and I do pretty much nothing but rest on those days.

                      Hopefully fifo will be over soon, we never wanted to do this when we had kids but things didn’t always go according to plan.

                      Thanks again for the advice, I’ll keep at it and just do my best. Xx

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        i’d up the daycare days, add another day and get the cooking out the way on that day.

                        i actually think the crappy sleep is just a feature of the age (3) because ds is 3 and the same and my mother’s group are saying the same with their 3 year olds. alas it’s a tough age.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When does one sleep

                          Originally posted by turquoisecoast View Post
                          skip the bath. babies do not need to be bathed every day. realistically, until they start daycare, they’re not getting dirty. i give dd regular wipe downs with a damp cloth but only bother with a bath if she’s had an epic nappy explosion and is way past a wipe down.

                          i think people make their lives harder than they need to be bathing babies every day. a girl in my mother’s group (whose hubby works late every single night) complains how hard her evening is constantly so i suggested skipping baby baths. stubbornly she ignores the advice. oh well, do as you please but don’t whinge that your life is hard.
                          Of course they don’t need it. I don’t find bathing a baby hard. I didn’t use soap or anything but I found it wore them out. I just placed them in the warm water for a bit of a play. I found it worked wonders for making them tired, giving me a really long stint of sleep for the first part of the night after a good feed before bed. Mine were overall pretty good sleepers. Plus the olde ones loved having their baby brother or sister in the bath with them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BigRedV View Post
                            To be honest I think a 3 year old who isn’t going to sleep at night doesn’t need a nap anymore. Well certainly not one every day. He’s probably taking ages to sleep because he’s just not tired. Perhaps trial a bit of quiet time instead of a nap and put him to bed a little earlier at night.

                            Maybe also put the baby in bed with you if they will sleep in your arms at night. It’s not too early for a bedtime routine. I don’t mean times but evening ritual of bath, feed, cuddle, bed.
                            ^^^this.
                            try bringing toddler bedtime forwards by an hour or more as sounds like isnt tired enough at bedtime. bring the whole routine forward by 2 hours ie if dinners at 5pm then make it at 3pm then bath and quiet time and bed by 5ish. close the blinds etc. then after awhile stretch the time back out again.
                            bulk cook and freeze while hubbys home so just need to defrost and heat for rhose tough days.
                            and do you have any help and support? ie a mum or sister, daycare etc?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tdez View Post
                              Thanks heaps for all the advise, you’re absolutely right, I’m making life hard by cooking every day, I had great intentions of being completely organised with meals and prep but I just never get to doing a big cook up, but I’m going to get on top of that, I like the idea of big lunch light dinner so I’ll try and adopt that.

                              I did consider dropping naps, but master 3 is awful without a nap, I skip them sometimes in an attempt to wean but on those days he is so tired and stroppy and we still have the same issues at night, I mean he is actually tired but he wants me in there all the time, this is all new, for real he was sleeping normal then we had a bad windy night and he got scared and that was around the same time baby came home and it’s never been the same, he just wants someone in there with him reading books and singing songs. He would also happily fall asleep on the couch but all of this is really inconvenient, But alas I make it work, I do agree naps are on the way out, but not ready to go just yet.

                              Baby loves a bath, I do baths mostly just to get him used to water and the feeling of it, not to wash but only once a week when master 3 is at daycare, he goes twice a week and I do pretty much nothing but rest on those days.

                              Hopefully fifo will be over soon, we never wanted to do this when we had kids but things didn’t always go according to plan.

                              Thanks again for the advice, I’ll keep at it and just do my best. Xx
                              we still have to stay with our almost 4yr old DS until he's asleep. put bub in baby carrier and just set a limit of how many songs/stories etc and then say thats enough I'll stay with you its ok you can go to sleep ill be here.
                              with our DS its far quicker to just stay with him than to fight with him. its meeting his emotional needs too. Ive had to do it with bub while breastfeeding etc

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