Tigerlilly Quinn: A sleep update.. (oh gawd you say not another one)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A sleep update.. (oh gawd you say not another one)

As you may be able to gather from the tone of this blog over the past few weeks that things have been pretty tough round here. In fact I would be fairly happy to erase the last four weeks of my life altogether thankyouverymuch. Wilf sprouted three teeth in as many weeks, came down with the neuro virus and was poorly for 14 days. Slept in batches of twenty minutes or not at all until 10pm and up again (with waking every half an hour-45 mins) at 3.30am.
Tom and I have been bickering like mad. I resent him ever telling me he is tired as (and I think pretty much every mother in the world has said this at least once) 'you don't know the meaning of tired!!' Of course he is tired and in my calmer states I do try and remind myself its not about taking score and his tiredness is valid too...its just not as valid as mine right? ;)
My bones ache and feel like they will crumble and my eyes burn and feel like dead weights in my fuzzy head. I don't enjoy my days, I certainly don't enjoy my nights. Tom stepped up with helping overnight during the week and will get up for two out of the seven or so awakenings between 10ish and 6am. He also puts him to bed every night and will do predominately the larger share of the evening shift too. I know I should be appreciative of this but I needed to step out of my situation to see so as all my head said was 'its so much harder harder harder for me'.
My dad recently had an operation (which thankfully went well) and was having little over a week to recover so I thought I would go down to West Wales to visit him and my younger siblings for a break. Of course my dad was recovering and so was quite weak and unable to lift Wilf due to his stitches, (my mum is away at the moment). My family are absolutely fantastic and love Wilf to pieces, they amused him and let me go for long baths and (after a rather epic meltdown one night) my sister took it upon herself the next day to carry Wilf around for walks in his sling so I could catch a break. Still the nights were horrendous and Wilf refused to sleep until ten-ish most nights and then up again between 3.30am and 5am with about 100 get ups inbetween. I came down (and still have) some kind of cold that gave me hot sweats and then shivers through the night and a thick head during the day. I felt/feel so weak that I can barely lift him and the thought of breastfeeding has made me feel even more exausted. Basically I feel like I have nothing left.

Before I left (and Wilf had just got better from his illness) Tom and I argued about Wilf's sleep. My whole heart and being agree with gentle parenting. With him finding his own way to sleep longer stretches and us guiding him there with routines and stories and bath and cuddles. But hey the reality is? Its not working, and whilst a few months ago I was happy-ish with going with the flow, sleep deprived but positive I no longer feel that way. In fact each day I wake and feel frustrated and tired and long for the day to end, sure I still meet with friends and its not all miserable but its certainly not what I had envisioned when I day dreamed about becoming a mum. If I sound naive about how hard parenthood is then yep you got me, I never thought it would be this hard. And whilst I didn't assume my baby would sleep well from day one I didn't realise we would get to almost a year and still be surviving on less than an hour in a row. I also didn't realise the strain something like that can put on a relationship.

When i was pregnant and to this day I have read many a book on parenting, not on what stages they should be at or anything but on the science and understanding behind certain approaches. I feel most at home with books like 'The Attachment Parenting' book (although I had not heard of the style of parenting before I had Wilf) and also books like 'Three in a bed' on Co-sleeping, Gentle Birth/Gentle Mothering - on birth and raising your baby with a gentle approach and 'What Mothers Do' on giving yourself a break and understanding the small things you do with your child every day make them the people they are and is far more important than the housework. All these books find me nodding me head in agreement and ahh-ing in 'oh that makes sense!' and I felt happy with the way we were doing things as they fitted with my ethos and my gut instincts. Only what happens when the gentle way you want to parent is just not working??

And so I come to the topic of CIO (crying it out). I will admit that again in my naivety I used to think that people who did this were a) ill-informed or b) just plain mean. I used to think that parents who sleep trained this way did so so that they could get back to the routine of their pre-baby schedule as quickly as possible without any of the hard work. I thought they were ill informed about the dangers of cortisol levels and long term psychological damage. I'm embarrassed that I thought these things, please don't begrudge me for sharing that as I am stating I was wrong in my single minded point of view.
I now only have the upmost sympathy and understanding for parents who have reached this decision. I spoke to a few people about their experience of CIO, how they reached their decision ranged from near marital breakdowns, severe depression and one upon crashing and writing off her car in extreme sleep deprivation risking her and her child's life. My heart goes out to all those poor parents just struggling to do what is best for their families. I think you know when enough is enough and then what ever you choose to do to get by should be done with zero guilt. 

Whilst I am still not comfortable with leaving Wilf alone for any amount of time to cry I think our next plan of action will unfortunately involve some crying. This may be crying in our arms or being soothed in his bed but as he currently can only fall asleep with motion (and being a rather heavy little boy my arms just cannot take this 12 times a day anymore) we are going to have to try and help him fall asleep himself. Again we are looking into other treatment on top of this, I am taking him to our GP to hopefully be referred to the Homopathic Dr's here in Bristol (something I have been meaning to do for a while but not got round to yet) to see if they can help. It is a constant worry that the reason he does not sleep for very long is due to some kind of discomfort. I only hope it is just a bad cycle he has gotten into and we can try and ease him out of as gently as possible. 

NB: I wrote this in stages over the past four or five days, I am now back home in Bristol where I raged a fever all night long. Tom stepped in and took care of Wilf on his own throughout the night and although I was awake a fair bit (and hallucinating for some of it I think!) I think I may have slept better than I have in a year! 


Dizzy loves Icy said...

Firstly, ignore my email i sent you about 10 minutes ago as it is NOT IMPORTANT at the moment...
Secondly, have a huge hug from me as what you're going through right now is one of hardest things you come up against in the early years. It is impossible, you feel like you are broken & that your sanity can leave you at any moment. India is not as bad as Wilf - especially not anymore but the other morning at 4am as I went into her for the 5th time between 12 & 4 i burst into tears thinking "you are 19 months old, why won't you JUST SLEEP THROUGH"
I co-slept with Dex until i was too pregnant with Flo, Flo had no interest in being in our bed at all, and India has been a mixture of the two. The only thing I've learnt, is that parenting labels are irrelevant. The only way is the way that works at keeping you all happy and emotionally healthy, you just need to tailor it!
I hope that makes sense, i've got a 19 month old climbing up my back so i'd better run xx

Take care lovely & take a look at that weather out there, that's a PJ day for sure!

Lil said...

awwww sweetheart I really feel for you, it sounds like torture and you simply cant go on like this. the thing is all that lovely gentle parenting advice in the world is no good when you have a baby that just doesn't seem to need as much sleep as others and some just don't - I told you with Rach in the end I just left her doze on the sofa all evening till I went to bed and put in in with me and then tried to soothe her when she woke, Im not saying this was the reason my marriage broke down but I have to be honest it didn't help and was the beginning of problems that never resolved, so I know what a serious effect it can have on your whole life. I did try the sitting by the cot sort of thing patting her etc, going downstairs, going back up etc - its not really CIO but I'm sure if I had kept this up a bit longer ( I had Dave when Rach was 15 months old ) I would of got somewhere. as much as I scoffed at 'routine' and being a bit tougher it was the answer in the end, but even then she would play in her cot/gated room rather than sleep but she wasn't screaming at least :) you are a fab mum and you have coped amazingly well with a long period of broken/no sleep, but you must think about yourself too. a lil bit of grizzling and crying until he learns its not party time at 12 midnight :) wont hurt Wilf at all

apologies for somewhat rambly reply Ive had this stupid bug myself, I think its affected my brain ;) so I know how rubbish you feel xxxxxx take care of yourself darling.

The Mummy Diary said...

Oh honey, you really are having such a rough time.

Nothing I can say will give you back your sleep and as much as I HATE to hear a child crying it may be the only way.

Maybe he has become used to you going in as soon as he cries so cannot self settle.

But I know it is hard, as I have said before with my oldest he was a nightmare and I felt awful but letting him cry did work.

As the previous comment says you have to do what is right and you can only give it a try, if it doesn't work then nothing lost and nothing gained.

Just try and sleep as much as you can in the day! I never feel guilty for half an hours kip anymore, I have spent enough 'sleep' time awake this last 5 years xxx

Jen Walshaw said...

I have a feeling that this is going to be an essay. so I apologise in advance.

As I read your posts, it brings tears to my eyes and reminds me of such a terrible time in bring up my children. Neither of my boys slept for more than an hour at a time until they were 11 months old. It nearly finished me. It really did.

There are a couple of things that worked for me, although I am not saying they will be right for you, but sometimes you get so desperate.

Firstly we paid for one on one baby massage lessons by a retired midwife. More than the massage, she gave great, non emotional advise. She made Drew sleep in with Maxi on a Friday night, so that I went to bed in the knowledge that I would get a full night of sleep and a lie in. I used to look forward to these nights all week.

Drew also massaged him before bed and put him down in his cot at 7pm and then I went to bed and got some sleep until Drew came up to bed. again it meant going to bed early, but I got 4 hours uninterrupted sleep a night and the massage helped the two of them bond.

CC (CIO) wasn't for us, we would both sob as much as Maxi. So she advised us to put him in his own room not u and to ditch the monitor as we would hear him cry and I would stop going in at the slightest whimper and sleep a little sounder. This encouraged him to self sooth a little.

Now for the controversial bit, we gave the boys a dummy on a sooth strap and attached it to their grow bags.

The biggest thing I can say to you is you have to do what is best for you all as a family. plus you have my email if you want to chat.

Josie said...

You know sleep deprivation is a form of torture right? So if you ever find yourself in an episode of Homeland or 24 or something you'll be all set ;)

Jokes aside I'm sending you a crazy amount of sympathy and love. Even with support, mothering is a one parent deal and you're with Wilf all day too so it is MUCH harder for you. Not that it's a competition but still important to remember when you feel like you're not handling things as well as Tom.

You don't have to go the full CIO hog if it makes you feel sad because it does seem pretty hardcore for the mama as much as the baby. But you know we tried pick up/put down to get rid of the dummy and it is a godsend (one week on she sleeps 6 hours in a row which was unheard of before). I won't clog up your comment section but email me if you want the condensed version without having to read all the books on it. We never left Amelie's side when she cried and that's much easier to handle than leaving the room AND does no damage to bubba because they don't feel abandoned.

Whatever you decide to do though this hideous phase will pass. And don't forget how hard this is on you and that you won't be at your mothering or partner best. This shit is hard and you're doing a fabulous job! xx

Sasha said...

I've been following your Instagram and just came to your blog. My daughter has been an awful sleeper since day one. Colic, night terrors you name it.
I came across these homeopathic pills, same that make teething tablets, hylands. They're called clams forte for kids. It says 2 and il, but I started my daughter at 15 mths and it saved my life, got us back into a sleep routine!

Sarah said...

Nothing I say will really help you Fritha...but hey you can offer support right?
I hear your pain. It sounds so very similar - especially the who is more tired age old fight...
Anyway CIO isn't/wasn't for us either, but putting Stanley in his own room helped. I wouldn't stir at every snuffle and whimper which I think often broke my sleep more than I realised. If he got to a decent cry then I would obviously hear him and go in. On occasion he would cry, I would wake and hear him think "oh no oh no, I'm so tired" and before I knew it I hadn't got up, we both went back to sleep and hey presto sleep improved a bit and everyone was ok...

Not saying this is the way forward, but everything is worth a try? They say you can change a lot in just 3 days...but make sure you're feeling healthy before you attempt any new changes.
Good luck, and sorry we are not nearer to bring you much needed tea xxx

weekendreader said...

Oh, I totally know this.

We did controlled crying with my first daughter when she was 15 months old & still waking up every 2 hours at night. We were at breaking point - personally & in our relationship. CC worked quickly - within three nights she was only waking up once a night (well I call that working!). She carried on waking up once a night & I would feed her then until she was 22months - when we stayed with my mum for 3 weeks & she went in every time she woke & basically night weaned her for me!

Now my second daughter is 14 months & we are kind of at the same point again. Huge row yesterday with my partner. Lack of sleep does terrible things to us. I don't know if we will do CC again - I hope not - but I do think you have to look at the needs of the whole family, & sometimes it is the best of a bad lot.

Mum2BabyInsomniac said...

I pretty much could have written this post myself when Iyla was 7 months old. She was exactly the same and I reached breaking point. I knew I couldn't just leave her to cry so I spoke to a sleep expert who helped me come up with a plan. I put her in her cot and sat next to her stroking her back and shushing her. The sleep expert told me to put cotton wool in my ears which I would highly recommend as she did cry, a lot but because I was with her I didn't feel as bad about it. To be honest I didn't think it would even work but after about 1.5 hrs of crying she fell asleep, then the next night it took 1hr and continued to get quicker until I could just leave her by the end of the week, moaning to her self but not crying. She continued to wake up for 2 breastfeeds a night which I was fine with as she slept in-between the feeds. Then at 10 months of her own accord she started sleeping through. It was the best decision I've ever made and changed me life, my relationship and my state of mind. The way I see it, I didn't leave her to cry it out, I just left her to fall asleep in her cot, with me there and of course it involved some crying but you can't really stop that. At the end of the day when I tell her she can't have a biscuit she cries but I can't always say yes! It wasn't easy but the long-term benefits were so worth it, I feel human again and am a far happier, better parent which ultimately makes her a happier child. And soon I am going to be going through it all again! Yay!! Sorry for this essay but I totally understand where you are coming from and it is bloody hard! xx

Cathy said...

Aw Fritha I feel for you. Big hug. You must be cream crackered :(

I always found The Baby Whisperer books brilliant for tips on establishing good sleep. She doesn't advocate CIO either and I find her arguments against it compelling. Unlike a lot of parenting books though she really does recognise that all babies are different - some are harder work than others, and that one approach won't work for every single baby. The Baby Whisperer Solves Your Problems (or something like that, can't quite remember the exact title) has a massive section on sleep dealing with different ages and different types of sleep problems - it's very good.

It seems to me sometimes there's this polarised approach to sleep - you either completely go with the flow and let your baby dictate, or you do CIO. Actually there's a world of compromise and techniques in between.

Anyway I really hope you find something that works for you soon. Good luck! xx

Cara said...

Oh my goodness :(. it's really hard, don't let anyone trick you into thinking it's not! And the relationship takes a hit from time to time, especially with little sleep thrown in the mix...it's dare I say normal?

We tried co-sleeping but my son didn't put up with it for too long :(. He began to sleep better in his own room at 5 months which just terrified me but seemed to be the answer...meanwhile I was the one running into his room to check on him through the night like a crazy person. It's tough, though. I wish there was something more I could say than that but it's true.

I read your posts and think you're doing a really great job with Wilf. First time parenting is not something to be laughed at!

The Small Things said...

Fritha you should NEVER feel that you have to justify or apologise for your parenting decisions.

All babies are different and respond to different things. That's why there is no 'one size fits all' method of parenting. As for books, I read one and ditched that after a few days.
Since Pip was born we've ended up doing whatever we felt was right. Some of that is of the attachment parenting school of thought, some of it is more Super Nanny, some of it is pretty dated (from my mum's generation) and would make our HV's toes curl! >;)

My point is that the choices we've made weren't made to keep other people happy, but to keep our daughter happy and *touch wood* it seems to be working. :)

You're an EXCELLENT mama. Whatever choices you and T. make will be right for Wilf because you love him and know him better than anyone on this planet.

Big hugs hun. xxxx

Penny'sMamma said...

I think everyone else has pretty much said it all tbh hun! ((hugs)).. Sleep deprivation is awful, and it really does ruin people (and couples) Having a baby massively effects any relationship. Its a huge adjustment and a whole new role of responsibilities.. and when your body is used to proper sleep.. well, I think you've done amazing to get this far and from what I can tell, still have your sanity ;). Obviously I'm in the AP camp for the most part, I guess if not for the whole part.. and I'm aware of the issues surrounding CC and feel similar to how you did. However, i'm also (bloody thankful) aware that Penny, although not the best- does allow me some half decent sleep, most nights. Im not at this stage you are, and I'm still (kind of) functioning! Knowing you, your not about to leave Wilf to cry it out completely, but I understand your desperation and I totally sympathize and all you can do is try to be a bit firmer and test the waters with other methods. It can't possibly get worse so you have nothing to loose right? .. I just wanted to send you huge, massive, cakey squishy hugs and thank you for your honest blog posts, they clearly relate to many a reader and I think that's incredibly brave and wonderful for you- especially on topics that most mama's feel very strongly about one way or another. I'm always around if you need someone to vent your thoughts at. X

Katie Fisher said...

I apologise as this is an epic post- as you can see from the time,I'm not asleep :/
Firstly, I really feel for you re the sickness! Then the fact that Wilf is sick is horrible as I'm sure you're worrying but it's so hard to muster energy when you're tired. In terms of the sleep, I really wish I had an answer but as others have said, as each child is unique, there isn't a one size fits all answer.
(This bit is about my girls so feel free to skim if you really don't care what others do at the mo- perhaps it may help at a later date tho :s) Both of my girls only sleep if put down on their front and have always woken up in the night. The eldest is now 4 and youngest is 2- I'm also pregnant so not getting much sleep anyway :s I started off determined to do the controlled crying until my 1st daughter would be sick within a few minutes of screaming and me silently crying on the other side of the door. After bathing and changing her (and all the bedding) 3 nights in a row- I knew it wasn't for us. It did mean that every night for 9 months, i had to say goodbye to 7-9pm. I got a rocking chair in my daughter's room and would sit in it and sing/ lean over and stroke her hair through the cot bars. As a teacher, I needed my evenings to mark and plan so wouldn't get to sleep until gone 1am after working and then she'd be up at 3. She did co-sleep from that time on but then I'd be up at 6:30, full day of teaching too get in at 6pm to go through it all again between 7-9pm. Our 2nd now won't co-sleep! She can climb out of the cot and over the gate so I can't leave her as I'm terrified she'll fall down the stairs. When one child cries, they often wake the other so we then have 2 to sort- one who wants the lights off and door closed and the other with the lights on and door open so we can't settle them together. As if I don't feel like a failure enough, I have soooo many people saying- you should read this/ watch this/ try this and I've run out of hope/ energy. Now, I do what I can live with and what will allow me to be the mother I want to be with them in the day, when they are fully awake and understand whaat is going on. I can't rationalise with a sleepy baby, terrible two's toddler or frightened four year old (night terrors) I set the boundaries clearly during the daytime and do lots of varied activities /groups etc. They don't sleep in the day (not my choice but it works for us) so are quite tired by 7pm. This helps as they're pleased to have a story and songs and know that one way or another, they will be in bed until the next morning. It's slowly working.
I hope you get better very soon- Wilf too. Perhaps a mix of everything will help stretch those sleeps into longer stretches.

Astar said...

First off my sympathies and sending you lots of positive vibes to you and your family.

I'm 5 weeks down the line with my little one and so don't have any advice with your issues with Wilf. But I want to say thank you for writing this post and for your honesty. I've had moments where I've certainly felt the things you've described even if the problems I'm dealing with aren't the same as yours and it's been a big help for me to hear someone else say it too, even if I wish you weren't going through this!

I too have read some of the books you mentioned and the birth book by the Sears and the one thing I keep taking a moment to remember is that these "parenting" books all had a thread that what you do to parent your child is YOUR choice. And that just as doing all the "right" things according to your parental instincts, there is also the importance of taking a moment to remember your needs, your partners needs, your relationship needs, in order to provide the best for your child.

As has been said by others but that I want to reiterate here; no matter what you decide to do it matters not if others judge you, they have no right! and the fact that you are agonising over making these decisions shows the depth of your love and care for Wilf. He will pick up and remember that far more than the short time you might be CIO etc..

wishing you all the best! And thank you for keeping up the blog, I often read it during the 3 am feeds and really enjoy it! x

hetherington said...

Oh Fritha, my heart goes out to you. That sounds utterly miserable and it's a testament to your mothering skills that you've kept it together this long! Only sleeping in 45 minute stretches is straight-up torture. There must be a better way! I have a similar style of parenting to you, and haven't done cry it out, but sometimes I do feel like I've screwed up Shoshi's sleeping skills by being sooo gentle with her. She still cannot fall asleep on her own, and she's two and a half! So yeah, CIO, not the devil's sleep training system, that's for sure. A blog I read sometimes, Pistols and Popcorn, wrote several posts about sleep-training her twins awhile ago through CIO. She was attacked pretty harshly for it, but honestly she has always come across as super reasonable, loving, and gentle to me. I found a couple links for you about it - it might be worth emailing her to ask for tips, she's a pretty staunch supporter of the method she used (her twins are MIRACLE sleepers - totally jealous).

brief update to sleep situation: http://wp.pistolsandpopcorn.com/?p=2363
I feel like there are a lot more posts that talk about her twins' sleep situation, but can't find them right now. She seems like a really nice woman though, it might be worth an email sent her way- who knows? GOOD LUCK! I'll be thinking of you!

Sarah said...

I'm not surprised you're exhausted!

I think it's all about finding a balance between short term heartache and long term rewards. For example, I hated the fact that my Mum wouldn't let me quit playing the clarinet. We argued over it, and I thought she was mean for forcing me to do it. Now though, I'm so thankful that she didn't give in. I play in a local orchestra and love it. If she hadn't been such a toughie back then, I would have quit and regretted it.

Wilf might cry when you don't pick him up, but when he can happily stay over with friends for the night, both you and he will be grateful.

fritha strickland said...

@Lia you are right they are all different (i mean if we ever had another he/she couldn't have worse sleep right?right??)
And yes you are right we need to find what works for us, its just finding it. Thanks for the kind words and support. I hope India sleeps through soon! xxx

fritha strickland said...

@lil I cant imagine how hard it was to have a baby when your other baby was just 15 months..like literally cant imagine it! thats what we are going to try I think,the comforting through the cot thing..fingers crossed. And thank you again for all your support xxx

fritha strickland said...

@themummydiary very good advise! I am terrible at doing that, keep thinking of all the other things I *need* to be doing. I've always been awful at sleeping in the day! Thanks for your support xxx

fritha strickland said...

@jen! A fellow mum to one hour insomniac babies..and you survived! Thanks for your advise, we are going to ditch the monitor as our bedrooms are right next to each other and you are right. We have it set to full sensitivity and wake at the slightest whimper..actually dont know why I didnt think about this before! I've also attached his dummy to his rabbit toy tonight, hopefully that will help. He sleeps on his tummy so I worry he would lie on it if attached to his bag. Thanks so much for your help and support xxx

fritha strickland said...

@josie as a massive 24 fan your comment really put a smile on my face! I looked into the PIPD and I think we have left it too late now to start it :( (they say best for younger babies and at a year he will just stand up and it wont work?) but we do it a little in that when he is sleepy we try it, so maybe with perseverance!
Thanks so much for your amazing comment it really cheered me up (and also your blog which makes me feel better about it all and not alone in how hard this thing can be sometimes!) xx

fritha strickland said...

@sarah! Ooh thanks for this! I am going to check them out right now! xx

fritha strickland said...

@sarah aww sarah thanks for this. I wish we were closer also...wine ;)
Yes he lives in his own room now but there is a mattress in there so I am half half back in between for when I flop down and forget to get up in the right room! xxx

fritha strickland said...

@weekendreader oh I feel for you.I completely understand. I think we are pretty much in the same situ, its so so tough on a relationship. I hope you work this one out for the sake of your family. thanks for sharing, lots of love xxx

fritha strickland said...

@jess I remember you telling me about what you did with Lyla when we met and it stuck in my head as I felt that we were people with similar outlooks. And it did get me thinking. We are actually going to do this now come this weekend, wish us luck! xxx

fritha strickland said...

@cathy you are so right and honestly I've only just come to realise this. I was pretty black and white in my view points before. I've heard of that book but not anything about it, will seek it out, thanks! xx

fritha strickland said...

@cara thanks so much and yes you are right, they are all so different. Wilf is in his own room now and hopefully this will help him learn to sleep a bit better! And thanks for your support xx

fritha strickland said...

@kim thanks so much, really appreciate your kind words. You are right, no one knows your baby as well as its parents xx

fritha strickland said...

@fern thank you, I think we are going to work out how to do this is an attached way as possible. A friend of mine said that there is actually a AP about high needs babies and non sleepers that involves crying. I think if we are their to comfort him I wont worry about his cortisol levels but yep its going to hard and certainly not what I ever really wanted to do but here we are!
Thanks for your support, lets meet soon xx

fritha strickland said...

@katie omg gosh just reading that made me feel exhausted! you poor thing! I really hope things get better for you soon. You are clearly a very loving and committed mother xxx

fritha strickland said...

@astar Congrats! I actually found the first 12 weeks harder than this time now so well done for staying sane and congrats on 5 weeks :) I'm so glad you like my blog and its a help, thank you for reading! xxx

fritha strickland said...

@sarah thats true! Thanks for your lovely comment x

The Mother said...

I felt awful for you reading this.
There are already too many reasons to beat yourself up as mother, don't don't don't ever beat yourself up for wanting a decent night's sleep!
Many a baby has been raised using the cry it out method with no ill effects. Personally I can't let a baby cry on and on but I don't think a few minutes of crying does them any harm. And ultimately I think if you get a decent night of sleep you will be a better parent for it.
Add to that the benefits of sleep, especially to such a young child. Sleep is so so so important to their growth, health and development, including their immune systems so it will benefit Wilf in the long run if he learns to settle himself back to sleep. It may involve some heartache for you in the short term but just keep in mind the bigger picture. xx

Louise Ireland said...

I was so saddened yet also heartened to read your post. I know only too well how the sleep deprevation ends up tearing you to shreds and how it impacts your relationships particularly with the bubba's dad. You deserve a medal for putting Wilf first for so long. But I'm so glad you've decided to dabble with sleep training. It will benefit everyone in your family I'm sure. Since we sleep trained Dylan (I left a comment on your last sleepy post recommending 3 Day Nanny) we all suddenly feel that life with a baby is a doddle. Okay this may not strictly be true as the daily tantrums about getting dressed, the lobbing of food across the room each mealtime and the kerfuffle to get out of the house each day is certainly still testing to say the least, no matter how much sleep you've had! But we're all well rested and at bedtime we all look forward to going to bed and thinking about the adventures of tomorrow, which is s lovely feeling. I wish you luck with it. Never feel guilty, instead always feel proud that you're teaching your little boy how to be independent and I promise the day you see him grinning as you tuck him into bed because he's just so pleased to be about to go to sleep, you'll feel absolutely triumphant!! Xx (my blog's offline but I'm @LouLouOfficial)

Helen said...

I just wanted to say that I massively admire the way you've coped with so little sleep and still stayed positive. It's an inspiration to me when I feel tired and worn out!

fritha strickland said...

@the mother yes thats what I was thinking, he is so knackered in the day it cant be good for him as well! Thanks for your comment xx

fritha strickland said...

@louise aww thanks for this, really appreciate it. I know our boys are so close in age I always love getting comment from you :) yes you are right, never feel guilty. I think we all know in our gut what is best for our children and family as a whole xx

fritha strickland said...

@helen thank you! xx

Chrissy said...

I've only just seen this post, I've been busy with a bit of reading up on sleep issues ;-)... I'm embarrased to say that we have in no way had it as bad as you have with Wilf, but I uderstood every sentiment written. Esme & Wilf are just a day apart in age and I just wanted to let you know that we tried the pick up/put down method with her about a week ago to get her to settle into her own bed again. She got in bad habits due to getting back teeth and an illness and us being a little too relaxed regarding her usually 'routine'. We thought about letting her CIO and did that for one night and it didn't work for us, I posted about it on my blog so won't go into much detail. But she has settled back into her cot at night now having used the pick up/put down method... we are still battling at nap times as she stands constantly, and my husband and I have got grumpier at each other over every little thing we do. Today we sat and wrote out every step of a nap/bedtime routine so we know we are saying and doing exactly the same things in the same order. We had been letting Esme cry for a few minutes at a time at nap times if she kept standing but I didn't think it was working {and feeling more comfortable with gentle parenting myself} I asked my husband to imagine what he may feel like if I left him to sleep standing on top of a telegraph pole... silly I know but he wasn't quite getting my point that although Esme can stand she can't get back down so when we leave her what is she meant to do... anyway we've agreed to now just stay in the room with her and keep laying her back down without talking/looking at her no matter how many times that may be in the hope it will reduce each time and she will just lay down to take her naps like she generally does at night. I'm slightly confused if your meant to stay in the room with them if they are lay down and not crying with this method, we do stay with Esme until she falls to sleep, sitting in the chair next to her cot, we never had too we used to be able to just put her to bed and leave her to fall asleep alone, but that's changed and now she cries if we attempt to leave the room so we just stay. Once we get back to sleeping through the night properly and hopefully get a better naptime routine {I think she's struggling with just wanting one nap now but still seeming tired for two} we will tackle leaving the room but for now we are happy to have her settling at night and almost sleeping through again. Sorry for rambling! I hope you find a way through that's suits you all very soon. Big hugs xxx

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