to think very few people have YEARS of sleep-deprivation with kids?

(371 Posts)
drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 09:11:46

I have 3 kids, aged 6, 4 and 2. The middle one is a fantastic sleeper (since the age of two, was dreadful before that) - shuts his eyes at 6.30pm and opens them again at 6.30 am. If he was my only child, I would be very smug and think I'd done this with my fab routines.

The other two - different story. Youngest still wakes at night 4 or 5 nights a week and needs resettling, which takes an hour or more and leaves me wide awake. Eldest has always been an early waker (5am-ish) and now is struggling to get to sleep, and waking in the night with 'bad dreams' two or three nights a week and then taking hours to get back to sleep.

For seven years, I have almost never had an uninterrupted night. This is unusual, isn't it? Other people don't seem to be sleep-deprived like this. I have just taken the older two to school for the first day after half-term, all the other parents were making comments like 'Oh, it's hard to get up early again after the break, isn't it?' Wtf? I have been up before 6 every day of half-term as usual (either the eldest or the youngest awake and usually both) plus being woken in the night.

Are there other parents like me out there or am I alone?!

Greenkit Mon 24-Feb-14 09:14:48

About 4/5 years here

Had two 22 months apart, one never slept and then a baby, plus a 9yr old.

Not sure how I survived, but I did and now they are 24 / 17 and 15

Cat98 Mon 24-Feb-14 09:14:57

Kind of. We only have one child so life isn't as full on as yours. Plus my dh is good and does most of the early mornings. But ds still doesn't sleep, has never slept well at all. He's 5. I'm up most nights with him.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 24-Feb-14 09:15:28

You are not alone.

Apart from a very brief interlude of about 2 months when DS1 started sleeping through at 22 months, until I got pregnant with DS2 and was up to pee 3 times a night, I have never had more than the odd uninterrupted night since DS1 was born 5 and a half years ago.

It is hellish.

Normal for me. Mine are 6, 5, and 1.5 and EVERY night is like Piccadilly Circus in our house. I hate it, sleep deprivation is killing me and DH.

14 here - nearly 15.

Severely autistic son.

formerbabe Mon 24-Feb-14 09:16:31

I had six months of sleep deprivation. My kids are now 6/3. They sleep for 12 hours straight every night. I have great sleep. Smug much?!

LauraStora Mon 24-Feb-14 09:17:04

5.5 years here.

hiccupgirl Mon 24-Feb-14 09:17:09

We had 3 years with my DS 4 and that was more than enough. One of the very many reasons why he is an only child is I can't cope with the sleep deprivation again.

7 years is horrible.

cory Mon 24-Feb-14 09:17:54

Not alone. Dd suffers from extreme anxiety: she was well into her teens before she learnt to manage her night fears.

1stworldissue Mon 24-Feb-14 09:18:37

Well if I just had DD1 then I would say regular broken sleep ended at 2. But DD2 (20m) I think will proove me wrong on that as she only sleeps 2 hours without needing to be settled still.

I'm now expecting DC3. So I think while the bone weary deprivation of newborns is finite, broken sleep can continue down to individual children, gaps between children and also how many you have!

I would say at 6 though I wouldn't be waking with them. They would be reading/playing in their room until a clock told them it was 7.30!

pussycatdoll Mon 24-Feb-14 09:19:02

Oh I know how you feel

But what you heard at the school gate is just small talk
People aren't going to go in about how shite & tired they feel
Plus they probably mean that although they were woken up at 6am in half term they didn't need to get showered dressed & out the door before 8.30am

MistyB Mon 24-Feb-14 09:19:03

I opened this thread expecting to read someone saying that they did not believe parents had years of sleep deprivation. Of course they do, my nearly 5 year old still wakes in the night, not every night these days but seem nights. My eldest is 9.

canyourearme Mon 24-Feb-14 09:20:33

4 dcs here. I think its pretty normal? Well at least in chez rear. I dont really do early though except when working. My only child to sleep through is 12, my 9,4 and 1 year old often wake. I normally have at least one in mybed .

pussycatdoll Mon 24-Feb-14 09:21:23

If mine had been like your eldest though I'd never have gone on to have 2 more
My eldest was a perfect sleeper
Youngest different story hmm
should have stopped at one blush

drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 09:21:42

Thanks everyone for posting (except you, formerbabe grrr!)

Saintlyjimjams - you are a good reminder to me that other people have it tougher - we have no SN in the mix (as far as we know), I hope that you have some help and support.

cory - I think DS1's sleep problems are to do with anxiety. Any tips on managing that? He and DS2 want to share a bedroom, and I am considering it - I'm hoping it might help DS1 if he's not alone at night. My fear is that it will disrupt DS2's sleep, and he's the only good sleeper!

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:22:18

I and my children have been diagnosed with sleep apnoea, I don't know how we went on for all those years. You become conditioned to it, now I am on CPAP I have no idea how I carried on as I did before.

bigkidsdidit Mon 24-Feb-14 09:23:14

I think it's normal. And both my children normally sleep through. I had two bouts of pregnancy insomnia, six months each time of night waking, a year of waking when I had anxiety post ds1, bouts of teething and illness and nightmares. It all adds up. Mine aren't as bad as most on this thread but there is no way I sleep anything like I did pre dc.

MrsMook Mon 24-Feb-14 09:23:54

I've had a brief window of sleep in nearly 4 years between two bouts of pregnancy insomnia and DS 1 taking just over a year to sleep through. Still have a regular night feeder at 10m. He's the wake, feed, sleep type, so fairly manageable, but it doesn't take much to tip the balance.

It's a combination of how pregnancy affects sleep, and how long baby/child learns to sleep multiplied by how many times you go through it and the gap/overlap between them. The chances of being that disturbed by an only child are low. One of my reasons for aiming for a 2ish year age gap was not to get too used too sleep and realise what I'd missed!

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:23:57

I so wish people would stop blaming mental illness on everything, you do know that anxiety/depression are symptoms of not sleeping so are the secondary condition not the primary. If you take away what is causing the lack of sleep the anxiety/depression goes.

BakeOLiteGirl Mon 24-Feb-14 09:24:16

Seven years and counting. It's been an absolute test of character.

drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 09:24:20

1stworldissue, I know what you mean conceptually about having a 6year old play/read in their room. We have a Groclock and a reward chart for DS1 doing this. He really wants the rewards and it works some of the time. But often his anxiety and sleeplessness is too much for him to handle alone. I couldn't leave a terrified, crying child alone in their room for hours in the middle of the night (and he'd wake up the others)

Wisteria36 Mon 24-Feb-14 09:25:40

Yes we did. Ds1 didn't sleep through in his own bed till nearly 4.5, when ds2 (11weeks) arrived. He is possibly a marginally better sleeper but it's too early to tell atm. I found people just don't always admit that their kids wake up, it seems to be a bit of a taboo subject. We tried lots of techniques but it does seem to be down to luck in some cases.

BoffinMum Mon 24-Feb-14 09:26:04

It is not unheard of, but it is a bit unusual, I think - by two children ought to be able to settle themselves properly unless they have a disability or something. I think you could usefully retrain them a bit. When mine have been like this it is because I have got a bit soft with them and and several times in my parental career I have managed to get things back on track.

I would kick off with a family meeting about parental tiredness and then try bribery and relaxation CDs/headphones with your eldest. With the youngest I would do star charts and one of those pop up clock things that says when it is morning. I would give it 2-3 weeks of intensive attention and I bet you could get all three being quiet when you need to sleep, just like the middle one. Even if kids are awake, they can play quietly and entertain themselves until the household is ready to get up.

Have faith, you can sort this.

Ruebarb Mon 24-Feb-14 09:26:51

Am I allowed to be smug? 10 weeks with dc1- after that once when he was 15 months and 7 weeks with dc2 - after that just an odd night every 2 months or so until dc2 was 3 - after that nothing unless they were sick in the night once or twice a year. Looking back I was exceptionally lucky - would never put it down to parenting skills

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