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  1. #1
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    Default Advice Wanted. Struggling with life as a new Mum to 9 month old

    Hello Bub Hubbers,

    I am new to Bub Hub and Mum to a happy, cheeky 9 month old baby boy. I feel like I'm struggling at the moment and I'd really appreciate advice and support from other Mamas. I would especially like to hear from experienced parents that are open minded and down to earth. I accept that some people will want to voice their negative opinions especially as I am putting myself out there in order to get advice, but I'm beyond caring and can filter out the negative nellys.

    Here it is.... I have postnatal anxiety and have been seeing a Psychologist. I am feeling better and worrying less. The sleep deprivation however continues and I feel exhausted most of the time. The last week has been especially difficult as bub has had a virus.

    We tried Bec Judd's $200 an hour midwife which I personally found to be a waste of money. She basically suggested controlled crying which I could have found out from reading Save Our Sleep for $30. We also tried Ngala but that was also basically controlled crying. I am not comfortable with any form of controlled crying - i've tried but it isn't for me.

    Co sleeping does not seem to make a difference, maybe because he is bottle fed and just not very cuddly and affectionate - he wants his own space when he sleeps. I can't cuddle him to sleep or rock him to sleep, he only goes to sleep in swing, car or pram - mostly pram. He is a very alert baby and seems to be thriving but the sleep oh the sleep !

    A good day goes like this....

    6.30 am wake
    9am pram walk and nap for one hour
    1pm nap for 2 hours in pram
    7pm goes to bed on pram walk
    8pm wakes up for milk
    11pm wakes up for milk
    3:30 wakes up for milk

    A bad day like how it has been for the past week means that it takes hours for him to go to sleep and when he wakes up during the night I can't get him back to sleep without another pram walk or car ride and the napping just doesn't happen until he falls asleep at odd times from being so tired

    I think I developed anxiety because a) little to no family support b) the first four months I had breastfeeding struggles and was constantly pumping to help with supply etc and last but most significantly, the broken sleep.

    I have been seeing a Psychologist and I also tried daycare for two mornings a week to catchup on sleep. He kept getting sick so this wasn't helping me and the GP was concerned he may have lowered immunity so advised me to take him out of daycare. My husband is helping but I feel like its not enough. We don't have much family help and I have a very uncomfortable relationship with my Mother in Law who has recently offered help but I am reluctantly accepting out of desperation.

    I feel like, I am just existing and like this zombie with a head of afro hair. How does everyone else seem to cope ?

    I know I should do controlled crying for survival reasons but it's not for me and I can't get my head around it.

    I think maybe I'm not using my time efficiently. I just read a tip about getting husband to bath kids so you get 10 minutes and that she really looked forward to that ten minutes. Really ? Is that as good as it gets ? Am I too spoilt ? At this point I want to runaway to Bali and have him raised by a Nanny part time - I am sort of serious - I just want to lie in a room for an entire day and watch dvds and sleep. Practical tips welcome.
    Last edited by champagneandchocolate; 25-04-2017 at 22:54.

  2. #2
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    Firstly big hugs; its hard being a mum.
    Quick question, have you tried putting him in his bed, saying goodnight then leaving him a little while just to see if he can put himself to sleep without the pram?
    My DS2 is 19mths and has been quite a challenge with sleep. Hired a sleep consultant and it didn't work, rang ngala many times but i was too anxious to really try their advice properly.
    Could he do with less day sleep to encourage better night sleep?
    I think sometimes its all a developmental thing and aome get there in their own time. Doesn't make it easier for you though.
    Yes it does get better than the 10minute bathtime break. I get my break now with work and an extra daycare day.

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    champagneandchocolate  (26-04-2017)

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    Have you done a stay at ngala or just spoken to them on the phone? I'd really recommend doing a stay there, I did a day stay (and have friends who did overnight stays) and they were amazing. Your DS needs to learn to settle himself to sleep at some point, pramming him to sleep isn't a sustainable solution which you've obviously realised!
    I wasn't super comfortable with controlled crying, I'd tried it by myself and couldn't do it but at ngala it was easier because the nurse taught me about the different types of cries and waited with me while my DD self settled. Then it was easier at home because I knew it worked. They aren't super strict though, they say you can go in etc but it'll just take longer to get to the end goal. The first few days were hard but in the long run so worth it. Having said that, I still mostly feed or rock my DD to sleep but if she wakes in the night she can get herself back to sleep without me - and she was waking up between 4-10 times a night. I was just a wreck on so little sleep! Ngala saved me, they really did. My DD is still (at 18 months) a terrible day sleeper but I can handle that because I get a full nights sleep.
    Hugs. Being a mum is SO HARD. But I promise it gets better

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    champagneandchocolate  (26-04-2017)

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    Are you comfortable with your bub crying/whinging at all before sleep? There's is a difference between "controlled crying" and controlled comforting... (such as the shush/pat method...where you stay in the room). Regardless ANY sleep changes are going to be hard work at this point as the pram is now bubs sleep association. I was in the exact position as you with my 1st child and went to Ngala at 7 mths. To be honest I put what I learned there and managed to put into practice as almost life - saving (mine and hers!!). I was on the edge of a breakdown to be honest. It was sooo incredibly hard but oh so worth it.
    I would strongly consider re-instating daycare in some way. Family day care, less germs?? Most bubs have a horrendous 1st yr at daycare with illness...it's the norm unfortunately. If your GP thinks bub has immune issues you need them diagnosed (my DD has a diagnosed immune deficiency...took some finding but eventually pin pointed...and she went to daycare and survived!). I avoid dodgy relatives and ILs...they just feed into the stress and anxiety ha!
    Where is DH...sounds like you really do need a day/weekend out. Book a hotel room and a girlfriend and have a night away in your PJS and watch movies..or even send DH on a day trip with bub and spend the day in bed watching Netflix..you need a break..and bub and DH will be absolutely fine for 24hrs!!

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    champagneandchocolate  (26-04-2017)

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    It is so hard - especially when you have a bubba who doesnt sleep much.

    I do totally understand your objection to controlled crying. Its not for everyone, and if it isnt for you, that is ok. You dont have to justify that.

    I always found that sleep breeds more sleep. If you are able - spend a few days where you do nothing else at all except look after bubs and get him to sleep. Wether that involves the pram, the car, rocking, singing, a baby carrier .... whatever. And once bubs goes to sleep ... do EVERYTHING to keep him asleep for a good period.

    Make sure he has a full tummy, and sleeps properly. Once you get a few good sleeps into him, I found it easier to get them to sleep next time.

    The overtiredness simply makes them restless, anxious and unsettled and when they get to sleep they dont sleep properly so breaking that cycle is the biggest thing.


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    I remember being in a remarkably similar place to you back when my oldest was tiny (he is almost 8 now). He was a horrible sleeper. Shocking. I also hated the idea of controlled crying. So we just did what we had to do but i wasnt coping. It led to bad PND and we ended up at Ngala and i gave the controlled crying a go... but tbh, it didnt work at all. The ngala staff were quite shocked at how 'difficult' ds was with sleep. So i felt like i had no option but to soldier on.

    It does get easier. So much easier. I have had 2 more children since then (also both non sleepers, though it hasnt fazed me as much this time around.. must be used to it!)

    My recommendation would be to continue the pram sleeps during the day IF you find these are working for you and its manageable. But, i would attempt to get bub to sleep at night time in the bed. This alone should help with not having to get up and drive in the middle of the night. It also means theres only one change you have to focus on initially.

    I remember people telling me about 'routines' and what i should be doing and changing and so on in order for ds to sleep better.. i have since realised that ds was not the type of baby that would have miraculously started sleeping by implementing a few simple tweaks of his routine. I think this is what helped me be in a better place mentally for my next two kids... i let go of all my expectations and just dealt with the baby i got given (which is one who had clearly not read any sleep books!)

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    champagneandchocolate  (25-04-2017)

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    Completely relatable Hun. Just hang in there and know it does get better. My DD2 at 5mo woke every hour and would take 45 mins to get back to sleep. It was horrible, the worst time of my life. I was just broken.

    I couldn't do controlled crying either. I have a rocking chair, a super comfy lazy boy, and I used to rock my bubbas to sleep in that. Was great for when they were sick and I would sleep in the chair with them.

    My DD2 still doesn't put herself to sleep and she's 3. I lie in her door way at bedtime and during the night when she wakes I lie at the end of her bed.

    I haven't really offered any advice I just want you to know you're not alone and it does end.

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    Completely relatable Hun. Just hang in there and know it does get better. My DD2 at 5mo woke every hour and would take 45 mins to get back to sleep. It was horrible, the worst time of my life. I was just broken.

    I couldn't do controlled crying either. I have a rocking chair, a super comfy lazy boy, and I used to rock my bubbas to sleep in that. Was great for when they were sick and I would sleep in the chair with them.

    My DD2 still doesn't put herself to sleep and she's 3. I lie in her door way at bedtime and during the night when she wakes I lie at the end of her bed.

    I haven't really offered any advice I just want you to know you're not alone and it does end.

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    Thanks so much Barnaby, I found this really helpful and comforting. You've clearly parented a unique 'sleep challenged' baby too and know what it is like ! Thanks heaps xxx

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    Thanks heaps, very kind.


 

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