Everyone Loves A Sleeping Baby!
If you’ve followed us for a while now you’d know that I’ve struggled with sleep deprivation in the earlier months of motherhood. And by the earlier months I mean the first 10 months of Alina’s life.
I’m talking 5-12 wake ups a night, it was complete and utter torture. Looking back on that time in my life I could cry and I get anxiety thinking about having another baby for the fact that I don’t think I could go through that again. Even knowing now that it won’t last forever and there is help out there, I still get scared at the thought of it.
Sleep deprivation, real sleep deprivation is torture. It slowly chips away at your psyche and you become a shell of a person. I don’t even know how I was functioning but I got to a point of despair like I’ve never experienced before and I didn’t know how to find help.
You are simply surviving, you’re just trying to get through every hour in the day and you’re not able to enjoy life. You are literally exhausted and an emotional mess. I thought I had PND because I was crying all the time, I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was empty and I felt so confused. I didn’t know what was wrong with Alina. Why wouldn’t she sleep? What was I doing wrong?
Alina wasn’t a ‘good sleeper’. You hear of those wonder babies, who since day one have slept through… ‘Oh, my baby has slept 12 hours since day one.’ To the mama’s out there who have those babies, you don’t realize how lucky you are!! That is AMAZING! To be honest I’d brag about it too but to the mama’s out there who have those friends and you’re silently experiencing your own hell through sleep deprivation, you are allowed to hate on them just a little. Reality is though, they’re few and far between, those good little sleepers!
I’ve heard comments from mothers saying, sleep deprivation isn’t that bad? Well then, you haven’t experienced it.
To the mothers who are finding themselves where I was and who are experiencing what I’ve just spoken about I can tell you that it does get better. It will get better and you will be ok.
This is not a sponsored blog post, this is purely my personal experience and I’m sharing what has helped me. I thought there was nothing in the world that could have worked for us, I thought I’d tried everything.
With all of the above said, we now experience sleep. We still have around 1-2 wake ups a night but it’s never more than two and life is different with a baby who sleeps. Life is full and I am a completely different person and a much better mother for it!
On the hard nights when A has been sick or is teething she can wake multiple times but these days there’s always a reason for it, it means somethings not right. It’s no longer the ‘norm’ that it used to be!
My saving grace…
I came across Kylie Camps, the Sleep Mama https://www.thesleepmama.com/ when Alina was around 8 months old. If you revert back to the links I included above you can see how sleep training through Kylie’s guide assisted us!
As time has gone on, I admit I haven’t stuck to the sleep training purely because I can’t stick to the routine. Our life style at the current time isn’t allowing for much routine BUT the earlier months of sleep training has assisted Alina to develop healthy sleep habits. She naps anywhere and has no trouble falling asleep. She still wakes once a night for a feed and sometimes once in the early hours of the morning but compared to what we used to go through this is no problem for me at all.
A normal night for us is Alina stays up until I see her tired signs, I used to try and put her to bed at a set time and if she wasn’t tired enough it’d be effort wasted and a lot of frustration so I don’t bother anymore. She finally caves around 8.30pm, she’ll go down and I won’t hear from her until around 12.30am/1am and she has a quick feed (sleeping) and goes back down usually until 6.am-7.30am. Sometimes we have the odd 3am wakeup but it’s the same as her midnight feed and she’ll go back down on those days until closer to 8.30am!!
I introduced a pillow around the 10 month mark, some of you have asked about the pillow and it’s just one of mine that I ended up giving to her. When we co-slept I noticed she would sleep easier on my pillow so I tried it in her cot and she slept much better.
We still co sleep sometimes when she’s restless, I’ll bring her into bed with me and if that means she sleeps better then that’s great, I have no problem with it and I no longer see it as I’m spoiling her or creating a bad habit. You simply do what works for you.
We use cot bumpers because she would somehow manage to stick her legs through the railing and wake herself up or she’d hit her head and wake up crying. They’ve helped tremendously in regard to unnecessary wakeups!
She transitioned from being swaddled at around 8/9 months old and she did it all on her own. That’s the thing with these little people, they will do things in their own time. Don’t feel bad if your baby is still swaddled past 6 months or if they need a dummy or whatever gets you some sleep. Eventually they will give things up when they’re ready and something that caused you so much anxiety will just seem so minute haha!
Her room is always 23 degrees and she sleeps in only a onsie.
So, there you have it. I hope I’ve covered enough for those who have wanted to know how we’re going these days! If anyone has any questions let me know.
The one piece of advice I wish I knew pre-baby was that most babies don’t sleep! To be prepared for the hard days and don’t put pressure on myself, that I may struggle and that’s ok. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
You may be so deep in despair that you feel helpless and you may question if you’re cut out for this but you are. You can find help and you will, you just have to ask for it and have a little faith.
Whether if be going to your doctor or finding a sleep school or consultant, reading a book or getting family to help and take Bub so you can get some sleep. You will find something that works for you.
Lots of love