24 May 2013


If lack of sleep is associated in any way with higher than average intelligence, as I have heard, then our child is EXTREMELY GIFTED. Though I suspect this is just an ego-petting line in the vein of 'if you suffer from morning sickness your baby will be healthy'.

I feel like we've had more than our fair share of sleep issues.

Catnaps. Nap rousings. Nap refusals. Extremely-late-in-the-day naps. Way-too-long naps. Will only be fed/rocked/driven to sleep naps. Nap wakings that set off seismic monitors along the Eastern Seabord. Bedtime refusals. Night-time wake-ups to the power of this-has-become-my-entire-life-for-gods-sake-just-sleep! Three AM starts. Five AM starts. Five AM starts. Five AM starts. And in the last week, night terrors. (Plus the usual chorus of wake-ups, nap refusals and early risings.) 

When I think back on his nearly two years of life, I recall small spells when the sleep was good. Meaning he only woke up twice at night. 

I am clawing out my eyes through lack of sleep, exhaustion, end-of-my-tetherness. And I am the (only) sound-sleeper of the three of us.

I want my evenings back.

Cancel that.

I want some time back at the end of the day without being so burnt out that I can actually do things.

I am pretty much down to feeding him once during the day - in a quest for a daytime nap - and at nighttime wake-ups. I have had an intense urge to wean. But then I think about the trauma it would inflict on him and give up the idea as fanciful fluff. And there's the small issue of how I'd get him to sleep... though in a very recent development I've had some success with guided meditation at night.

I probably could have just posted a very long uuuurrrggghhhhh. And spared you three minutes.

I am biding my time. And hoping his current spell of angst dissolves. Pronto.


Oh and Blogger, why doth you change your font size settings so?


Rebecca Alexis said...

sleep issues are the very hardest. I think anyway as I had three boys who have all had their difficulties with sleep. I also deplored the books that advocated crying it out. Have you read "The No Cry Sleep Solution"? Though it is not perfect. It has a really healthy and happy approach to the nap time/bedtime battles with the littles. xxoo

Anonymous said...

Oh I do feel for you so! We are seven months in to what sounds like a similar situation with Saffron as I think you may be aware... I don't have any advice whatsoever I'm sorry... as my heart brims over with jealousy thinking of my friends popping their babies in their cots and walking out to make dinner/watch tv/fold washing/do whatever they like, I wonder what I have done wrong with this baby and what I can do (besides the very helpful suggestion I am getting more and more of from onlookers - let her cry). If it is any consolation, although we did not have the same extent of sleeping issues with Nella, in the last twelve months (she just turned 3) her sleep has turned from problematic at times to just fine. She is now old enough to understand that it is bed time, and even if she doesn't want to go to sleep she is old enough to understand "the rules" and mainly adhere to them. (Eg. even if not asleep, must stay in bed, etc.) In this sense, you are about to cross another developmental threshold which - regardless of sleep issues - will make you situation a WHOLE lot easier. Hang in there, sleep is near. Many kind thoughts and sleepy vibes from me to you Sam xxxx

little earth stories said...

Rebecca - thanks for the recommendation. I have heard about that book but haven't read it ... admittedly because I have my defences up against sleep books - oddly enough. I will have to check it out. xx

Mietta said...

My little one is not the most straightfoward of day sleepers either, although night time sleep is much smoother... he still wakes (and is breastfed back to sleep) multiple times per night (he's now 15 months) ~ he actually wakes more now during the night than he did as a newborn!
I hope things improve for you, its so so hard when they don't sleep, as you never get a break, and they are often so unsettled during the day without that proper sleep.
I see that you said you had some success with guided meditation ~ my little nephew used to stay/live with us for a period of time and he had a great deal of difficulty falling asleep, he also talked continuously in his sleep, would sleep walk and had nightmares - he seemed to often have difficulty processing his experiences of the day... so I got him some guided meditation cd's from a company called 'Indigo Dreams' - they tell stories etc with meditation within them, and they produce cd's for all different ages ~ he would fall asleep to the cd playing quietly in the background, it seemed to help him relax and 'switch-off' his brain - if he woke up during the night I would resettle him and he asked to have the cd back on... I was happy to do it, as it seemed to really soothe him... I upgraded the cd's as he got older, and he is 12 now, and has gradually used it less and less as he's gotten older...

little earth stories said...

Oh Lucy - please, please, please don't think you have done/not done something to create your Pixie's sleep style ... as I said, I really do think it is hardwired. And I suspect it is also down to the individual babe when and how they grow out of it - so (although this is a bit depressing) I have come to believe there's not much you can do but go with it and tweak it so you can live with it. I forgot to add in my whine that I had a very, very long stretch where Ellery would only sleep on me and woke if I tried to move away. I spent days/weeks/months on the couch - but used that time to read (mostly on my phone). It was my way of dealing with it. Anyway, a thousand thank yous for your always kind words. It is great to know the sleep department gets easier as they get older. Hang in there! Many sleepy vibes back your way Lucy. xxxx

Anonymous said...

It does get easier! And yes like you I believe it is hard wired into them. Some kids are sleepers, my second is, thankfully. But not my first, he cat napped, slept on me, refused to sleep, refused to go to sleep,slept many many nights in his bouncer, he gave up his day sleep entirely just after he was two...but he is nearly 5 and now while he still has great difficulty switching off for a night of rest he will sleep through 30% of the time, other nights he wanders into me to co sleep....it's what he needs. We both get rest, he gets security and comfort to relax and switch off. I also believe if sleep books were truly the amazing answers some proclaim they would be issued to new parents and their wouldn't be so many of them out the making empty promises to very tired desperate parents.....you're doing great!