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

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

I worry about this when thinking of having another baby in a year or so, my 7 month ds has always been pretty good at sleeping, and generally an easy baby, I'm due a non sleeping puking one aren't I? wink

formerbabe Mon 24-Feb-14 09:27:40

Sorry for sounding like a smug cow but really from what I hear most parents are in your boat. I hear mums all the time moaning that their school age children still wake up at night...
Can you do reward charts...? I tell my son that if he can't sleep or does wake up, that its fine but he needs to stay in bed as his body still needs to rest...he seems to buy that!

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:27:55

I urge any of you with bendy children to go and ask for them to have a sleep study.

http://www.bioportfolio.com/search/ehlers-danlos-sleep-apnea.html

drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 09:28:12

Karen - not sure if you are talking to me or another post about 'people blaming mental illness on everything'

I don't think any of my DC have a mental illness. I am quite aware of it, since I have one close relative with serious, life-long depression, and another with long-term anxiety issues. Both suffer sleep problems, and would say the sleep problems are caused by the mental health issue, not the other way round.

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:28:30
drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 09:30:42

BoffinMum, we have reward charts and Groclocks. The middle child wins rewards very easily as he is just naturally a good sleeper. The youngest (2) is not motivated by them. The eldest is motivated, and is very cast down when he doesn't get rewards, but seems unable to help himself from getting up.

I think you are right though that we need a firm strategy to deal with it. I have to figure out what that can be, though.

duchesse Mon 24-Feb-14 09:30:54

Another sleep deprived person here, op. Dd3 is 4y6m and hasn't slept through the night since she was 5 months old. The first 5 months were a doddle- I felt so rested...hmm

kelda Mon 24-Feb-14 09:31:24

Yanbu. Years here too, the best part of ten years.

Ds age five still awakes at nighttime, but at least now he no longer cries at night time. He has a type of dyspraxia, which I suspect plays a part.

Bonsoir Mon 24-Feb-14 09:31:27

On the whole, you need to teach your DC to sleep through the night. A bit like needing to teach them to use the potty/loo.

Some lucky parents have DC who get it in one go or are highly self-motivated. Most don't!

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:31:53

I was told the same thing by my GP and community mental health, then I was treated for severe sleep apnoea, anxiety and panic attacks went the first night. Even when I put in a complaint to them and met with them they as non medically qualified professionals were resistant to it, complaint and treatment was given by psychologist. Go get yourselves a sleep study, HCP are not always right. I was waking every 1-2 minutes to breathe and my oxygen went down to 60% I am awaiting a brain scan for what headway think were mini strokes as a result of the situation. The difference it makes to a child's behaviour day and night too is amazing.

chickabilla Mon 24-Feb-14 09:34:13

Mine are awful sleepers. The 7 year old was fine after about 12 months, waking occasionally or when ill, so we had an interlude until DS2 (3.5) was born. He had a lot of health issues so night feeds, meds etc scuppered sleep and he still wakes every night for a drink usually. The 12 month old hasn't slept through yet and still has 2 night feeds. I'm hoping things will be different in about a year!!

Clutterbugsmum Mon 24-Feb-14 09:35:05

I've had about 11yrs, although I can't actually blame that all on the children. I stop sleeping alnight when pregnant with dd1. She still wakes ap 3am and is 10. I think I'm so used to waking at 3am I now just wake up.

DD2 slept through from 6 weeks. But she wakes at 5.30 am and has done from day one. At least now she 6 she stays in her own room until we get up at 7am.

DS slept through again from about 6weeks and like dd2 he wakes at 5.30am and stays in his room until I get at 7am.

MigGril Mon 24-Feb-14 09:36:52

We had 6 years hear, between 2 DCs. And since DS started sleeping through last year he decided 5am was a goods time to get up. Only just training him out of that now, he's slightly better at 5.30am. And we still get interrupted nights due to illness.

l don't think a lot of people admit to it either. it was easier to cop second time around as we decided to cosleep. so I wasnt as sleep deprived.

KungFuBustle Mon 24-Feb-14 09:38:32

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drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 09:40:40

Bonsoir, I don't always agree with your posts, but I think you may be right about having to teach a child to sleep.

I am not very well-qualified for this. I have a tendency to insomnia myself, and my entire family are incredibly dysfunctional when it comes to sleep (only when DH and I got together did I realise what 'normal' sleep is like)

Do you have any tips about how to 'teach' a child? I am now looking at the Millpond Clinic website.

kelper Mon 24-Feb-14 09:41:21

Ds is 6. Up until about 2 months ago we were getting woken at least twice a night. He's always been an early riser (between 5 and 6 most mornings)
It was worse when he was a baby. He hates napping in the day, even when he's ill, but you could get him to sleep in a car.
I tell myself I'll be waking him when he's a teen, but I'm not convinced.
I used to get insanely jealous of people who had babies who slept through, but over the past few years I've just got used to it. Fortunately dh and I are a good sleep tag team ;)

hazeyjane Mon 24-Feb-14 09:43:25

Dd1 is 7, she was an awful sleeper as a baby/toddler due to reflux and then being put on an asthma drug that caused her nightmares. Now that has settled, but she is a sleep walker/talker - and rarely has an unbroken nights sleep.

Dd2 is 6 and is the 'good sleeper' despite 2 years of 5 am wake up and regular night time nosebleeds!

Ds is 3.7 and disabled, he has been an awful sleeper since birth, due to a combination of reflux, getting stuck in certain positions, recurrent lung problems, seiizures and episodes of choking at night. He also seemed unable to turn off in order to sleep, often being awake until midnight, he now has melatonin, which helps with the 'turning off', but he still wakes in the night with the other problems, and wakes for the day between 4.30 and 5.

To be honest I don't tend to talk about it with friends in rl, apart from my friend who has a child with similar problems. It is what it is, and it probably won't change anytime soon. Dh and I just do what we can to maximise sleep for all of us.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 24-Feb-14 09:45:45

Only one child, but 4.5 years of waking before 6am between the ages of 3.5 and 7 years. Still now as a 10 year old she only sleeps past 7 on school days every Saturday, Sunday and holiday day she is up before 6.30am.
Prior to this she was an excellent sleeper so incredibly well trained. I have tried every trick in the book. It is not through lack of training she just rises early.
Add to that I am a lone parent, I work fulltime including night and weekend call outs. I go to conferences for a rest so looking forward to my four nights in April what bliss I only have to be in lectures at 8am.

hazeyjane Mon 24-Feb-14 09:48:00

KarenBrockman - I am really glad you have found a reason and help for your sleep problems, but you seem to be suggesting that sleep apnoea is at the root of everyone's sleep problems and anxieties - and I just don't think that is the case.

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

5.5 years and still counting grin sad

BikeRunSki Mon 24-Feb-14 09:49:08

Newbie at 2.5 years here. DS is a great sleeper. Dd had never slept for more than 4 hours I don't think. She is 2.5. I lie on Red Bull, carbs, tears and shouting.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Mon 24-Feb-14 09:49:19

You are not alone but I would reconcile !yself to the fact that most people won't understand. If you have a good sleeper,you will just never understand how life narrows so much due to lack of s!eep.sad

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:50:12

No you are suggesting that, I am suggesting that there may be many reasons that may be behind sleep disturbance and that some HCP's are not always up to date with training and research.

I am 7 years this weekend. DS2 has ASD and has never slept through the night, or managed a whole night without me getting into his bed.

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:53:26

KungFuBustle Maybe you should look at getting a sleep study done. Have you looked up psychological transference?

hazeyjane Mon 24-Feb-14 09:53:36

Sorry, I must have misunderstood your posts. I am not suggesting anything, I know the causes of my dc's sleep problems.

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:55:24

Great, I am pleased you know, lots of people have misunderstood our sleep disturbance and told us it was something it wasn't. I hate the idea of ignorant HCP's putting others at risk of brain damage and death. If people are told and they don't act on it, no skin off my nose.

KungFuBustle Mon 24-Feb-14 09:58:30

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Purplepoodle Mon 24-Feb-14 10:00:45

It's levels of sleep deprivation. I can cope with being woken a couple of times a night if they go straight back to sleep, I can cope with earlyish waking although with dc1 he is allowed to out his bedside light on and read if it's early (has a gro clock) so he isn't a problem now. What I can't deal with is hourly wakings and trying to get them back to sleep, yes I'm looking at you dc3.

TheSmallPrint Mon 24-Feb-14 10:02:00

Not unusual at all. Didn't sleep before they arrived due to horrendous sciatica and haven't had (save one or two nights here or there) a good nights sleep in 10 years.

drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 10:03:47

Purplepoodle - exactly! I can cope with one waking in the night of up to an hour plus 5.30 am start to the day. I cannot cope with multiple wakings, it takes me so long to get back to sleep that I get almost no sleep.

Bonsoir Mon 24-Feb-14 10:05:45

I'm a great believer in not-too-early bedtimes! It's much easier to get to sleep and stay asleep if you are tired. Some DC are expected to eat their last meal and go to bed so early that it is unsurprising that they don't last all night. And natural bedding (100% cotton sheets with no toxic prints, feather duvets and pillows, a good quality mattress, 100% cotton pyjamas or nightie with no buttons or zips) are much better for heat regulation. Being the wrong temperature is a frequent cause of insomnia.

But, aside from that general but not universal tip, I do think sleep is quite personal and that what makes for a long comfortable night varies from child to child.

drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 10:09:08

Yes, I think DS1 may need a later bedtime, which is a bit of a blow, as that 7.30pm - 9pm slot is the only 'off duty' time we get, so was hoping it would last a bit longer. I suppose, if their sleep improves, I will be able to stay up a bit later myself - at the moment I am usually snoring on the sofa by 8.30pm (wild child).

tutu100 Mon 24-Feb-14 10:12:15

I've had nearly 9 years of sleep deprivation. Ds1 has never slept through the night, he is nearly 9, Ds2 has had patches of sleeping well and patches of sleeping badly due to health problems he had. At one point I regularly survived on 2 hours broken sleep. I say survived, I got terrible post natal depression and eventually had a breakdown. It has taken me the best part of 5 years to recover from and I am still no where near back to normal. I rarely drive now as I never feel I am safe to do so.

Last night ds1 woke 3 times between 11pm and 2.30am with nightmares, needing the loo (ours is downstairs and he's too scared to go on his own even though we leave lights on), ds2 woke at 2am throwing a hissy fit for some unknown reason (thats unusual for him) then the little buggers were both up at 5.30am (they are always early risers). That is a fairly good night for me!

None of my friends really understand as now their kids are older they only have a very few occassional bad nights when their kids are ill. We have tried all kinds with our children over the years, but we have never found the answer to getting them to sleep through.

I am very lucky that my mum has ds1 one night most weekends, otherwise I think I may have died by now.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 24-Feb-14 10:14:47

DS1 is 16 - there has not been one solitary night in the last 16.5 years that he has not woken me up at some point or another.

He has ASD and has always slept poorly - but cannot go back to sleep until he has spoken to us to check everything is OK for him to go back to sleep IYSWIM!

OpalQuartz Mon 24-Feb-14 10:14:49

I had 2 years, but that was with only one child. The other slept well

OpalQuartz Mon 24-Feb-14 10:15:23

Over 2 years I mean

puffinnuffin Mon 24-Feb-14 10:19:11

DS is 4 1/2 and hasn't mastered sleeping through the night. We have tried everything and it is taking it's toll. Feel constantly exhausted. Every morning I wake up feeling shattered. I really feel for people who have had longer than 4 years!

LegoStillSavesMyLife Mon 24-Feb-14 10:21:11

Ours were horrific until dc2 was 2 ish. So four years of awful. But I have no reserves, say one has a night mare or wets the bed, I'm done for the next day or so.

So I guess it is four bad years followed by almost three years of running on empty.

#shouldhavehadacareerandcats

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 24-Feb-14 10:22:18

Another one here. Everyone said weaning would help, then it was walking, then when he started school...

In the end he slept through for the first time at 5.

Well nearly five years here, ds aged nearly five gets up once or twice every night and dd aged nearly 2 comes in with us around 1am every night
I'm so tired I dream of a full nights sleep and a lie in until midday like the pre dc days grin

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 10:28:43

Again, please stop transferring your behaviour on to me.

Are you aware of Bendy girl, the high profile blogger who has EDS? It is quite a common term used amongst the community.

LoveVintage Mon 24-Feb-14 10:29:08

We had about 5 years of it. It is gruelling and relentless and you are just too knackered to have the clarity of mind to think about ways of resolving it. Now we are in the teenage years and have the opposite problem!

coppertop Mon 24-Feb-14 10:29:28

13+ years here so far.

The main culprit is my 11yr-old who has ASD. On a good night his melatonin will work and he will fall asleep by 9pm and only wake up three times. On bad nights he's still awake until gone 2am, crying because he's so tired but unable to sleep.

Babyroobs Mon 24-Feb-14 10:31:11

We had years of it but then we did have 4 children an average of 2 years apart. None of them were good sleepers when they were babies & toddlers. I admit is was partly my own fault for breatfeeding them off to sleep and having them sleep in my bed just through exhaustion and doing what seemed easiest at the time. they are all great now though !

JammieCodger Mon 24-Feb-14 10:37:39

I've not had it nearly as bad as most of you on here. No1 has always been a fantastic sleeper; no2 didn't sleep through until she was three and we finally were prescribed strong enough steroids to deal with her eczema. We always took the lazy option and just brought her into bed with us though. It's helped (me, at least) that I'm a deep sleeper, so while her night time fidgeting almost always wakes MrJ it rarely wakes me. She's seven now and still has periods where she'll come into us most nights.

Tutu, for quite a while after she was out of nappies at night we kept a potty in her room, so she could use that rather than waking us to escort her to the loo at night. It didn't entirely work; she'd use the potty and then come up to get into our bed, but at least we didn't need to leave our sleep quite so far behind. Would something similar help your No1. A camping toilet or something similar in his room to use at night?

SaveTheMockingBird Mon 24-Feb-14 10:38:10

5.3yrs of it so far.
DS didn't sleep through till he was 3.5. But has been OKish since then, sleeping though most nights.
DD is 3.5 now. Has never slept through, OK maybe the once...when I was away, and also a couple of nights when the in-laws have had her. Even DS, who didn't sleep through till till 3.5, slept through when I was in hospital having DD, 2 days in hospital and both nights he slept through apparently.
It seems that if I am away from them, they sleep through hmm

The only nights I've had that I've slept 8hrs without interruption is the nights I've spend away from them...maybe 5 in total with both kids.

Lambsie Mon 24-Feb-14 10:39:32

7 year old with autism. Has never slept through and currently awake for about 4 hours in middle of night or wakes at 2am and doesn't go back to sleep (and loud with it). This is with sleep medication.

PollyPumpkins Mon 24-Feb-14 10:45:13

.... What about sleep deprivation without kids - I've none at home but since my physical health took a nose dive and bouts of stress & low mood I've not had a solid eight hours in 8 years. Some nights as little as 1 1/2 and best is 6 ish but will wake regularly.

Anyone who suffers has my sympathies - it sucks and affects your life in so many ways.

Owllady Mon 24-Feb-14 10:45:40

Nearly 15 yrs here too. Daughter severely disabled, though my 6 yr old can be dreadful too. It's only the middle one who has ever slept
I look 100

Indith Mon 24-Feb-14 11:08:06

5 and a half years and going here.

Eldest is 7. He was a decent sleeper, started sleeping though at 5-6 months and apart from a few wobbles kept sleeping until 18 months ish when he started with really, really, seriously bad night terrors. Those carried on and on and on. He would have a terror in every bloody sleep cycle all night long unless we somehow managed to wake him properly and interrupt it. It was hell. During all of that dd was born and she never bloody slept (she has issues, I know she has issues. Consultant won't believe she has issues). Dd still has disturbed sleep age 5 but at least now she jsut rolls over and goes back to sleep herself. Which is a very good thing because we now have ds2 who also never bloody sleeps. Don't know what I've done wrong! He will be 2 next month. By At least dd went to bed ok by this age. she woke 10 times a night or so (no exaggeration) but by 2 she went back off with a pat on the back. Ds2 wakes and screams blue murder, demands milk (still bf) and generally refuses to settle. He won't go to bed of an evening either. Of course the older ones wake up too for various reasons but that is jsut part of childhood and doens't happen every night. Jsut stuff like bad dreams, growing pains etc.

Am definitely at the point where I need to sort ds2 out. I can cope with him waking at night, I really can. I don't mind that. At age 2 if he needs comfort at night I will happily give it but I do, desperately need him to go to bed of an evening. I'm a student and I am really struggling with not being able to study in the evenings.

JammieCodger Mon 24-Feb-14 11:12:18

Sympathies, Owllady. My step mil has a 17 year old autistic daughter and has had 17 long sleepless years. I'm afraid I took advantage and my own two would have sleepovers there when I didn't dare inflict No2 on anyone else. She was the only relative who I knew would understand.

Annakin31 Mon 24-Feb-14 11:22:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoffinMum Mon 24-Feb-14 15:08:50

OP, if charts don't work then would just returning them to bed if they breach your parenting terms and conditions work?

What is your bedtime routine like for each child?

Focusingkingqueen Mon 24-Feb-14 15:18:50

Eldest is 12 and didn't sleep through till 3 and then up every morning by 5.45. Middle one arrived and lulled us into a flats sense of security by sleeping through till 5 months and never again until 2.5. Youngest sleeps ok but is up by 5am every morning and has to announce it. Eldest never stirs but middle comes into my room most nights to tell me fascinating things like: I've lost my favourite pencil, I need to blow my nose, I can't see, I want to sleep in your room. So, I would say we have never slept in past 6am and get disturbed at least 3 times a week during the night and have early noises very day - 12 years after starting.

ReadyToPopAndFresh Mon 24-Feb-14 15:33:59

Well dd is 3, ds is 2...and I haven't slept through since getting pregnant with dd. SO nearly 4 years here. Also have another on the way.. so expect a few years of that.

drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 15:59:15

Boffin, we have a very solid bedtime routine - upstairs for baths & teeth-brushing, into pyjamas, then hear each of the older 2 read, then DH reads a story to them both while I put DC3 to sleep in cot. Then DH goes downstairs, leaving the older 2 to look at books in their beds. Once DC3 asleep (anything from 5 -30 mins usually), I go through and say goodnight to DC1 and DC2, and they put their lights out (DC2 has often fallen asleep already).

It has worked very well until now, but now DC1 has started coming downstairs in the evening, complaining that he can't get to sleep. I think that perhaps he has reached a new stage where he needs a bit less sleep and we're putting him to bed too early. We're going to start letting him come downstairs for an extra 45 mins after the others have gone to bed to play board games or similar with us and then taking him up to bed.

Perhaps this will also improve his sleep quality during the night...

DamnBamboo Mon 24-Feb-14 16:26:17

This isn't about competitive tiredness but I haven't slept properly for nearly 9 years. My eldest is nearly 9 and my youngest has just turned 4 and he wakes me twice a night, every night.

I am done in.

Ds is 19, has autism and sleeps about 3 and a half hours a night apart from the one or two days a week when he doesn't bother to sleep at all. This is ongoing since birth.
I have chronic insomnia now because of years of sleep deprivation and don't actually feel sleep deprived any more I have just got used to not sleeping.

PicaK Mon 24-Feb-14 17:39:18

Gosh. I'm taken aback by just how angry I felt when I read your thread title.

Totally misunderstood and thought you meant people were making it up if they said they'd gone this long without proper sleep.

Overwhelmed by the need to shout about the years of sleep deprivation - even though now ds is nearly 5 and through the worst of it and I thought I was acting quite normally these days.

You're not alone but I think you're right - there's not that many of us.

starlight1234 Mon 24-Feb-14 17:47:10

My Ds was 4 before he slept through but it did get easier not a 50 minute breast feed merely deal with him and back to bed...

Just over a week ago ds( now 6) was up and down all night with a sickness bug while obviously I got up to be with son while he had his head down the loo...I was shattered next day...You do very quickly forget how absolutely exhausting it is.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Mon 24-Feb-14 18:08:46

PicaK I piled on here all ready to say the same!grin

BoffinMum Mon 24-Feb-14 18:24:50

You might be onto something with the bedtimes there.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 24-Feb-14 18:32:57

Early bedtime definitely doesn't help. Ours go to bed at 8pm, and DS2 still wakes at 5-5.30am. If we put him to bed earlier then he wakes at 3am and is awake for 2 hours before he will drop off again.

My short term memory is shot, I have depression, I eat too much because I'm so tired. It really does impact our lives.

All that aside we are pretty happy and in many ways life is very good grin

Rabbitcar Mon 24-Feb-14 18:37:21

My eldest didn't sleep properly till she was about seven...

motherinferior Mon 24-Feb-14 18:40:02

I too agree with Bonsoir - and we don't agree about everything grin - about the teaching, if there are no SN in the mix.

It's absolutely terrible for you to be going with so little sleep. It really does wreck the health (I write quite a bit about this stuff). Which reinforces the message that if you can do something about it, do. Please.

FariesDoExist Mon 24-Feb-14 21:02:58

6 yrs of sleep deprivation for us. We only had 5 full nights sleep during those 6 years. DD1 never slept as a baby and then had night terrors as a toddler, plus very early waking. DD2 always woke up through the night, every two hours, wanting her dummy or comfort.

I put on weight because tiredness makes me feel starving. The exhaustion got me down. Sometimes I was nauseous. I actually had days where I didn't feel 'real'. It's very very tough. We seem to be out of the worst of it now, thank god.

CouthyMow Mon 24-Feb-14 21:06:21

I had from 1998-2007 non stop, then I have had from 2011-now too.

<<passes matchsticks>>

fuckwittery Mon 24-Feb-14 21:07:21

16 months sleep deprivation with DD1 (awake 5 times a night attached to my boob). Then went cold turkey on bfing and she slept like a dream.

DD2 2 years sleep deprivation. Best at daytime napping but I had a toddler so never could take advantage of it. Not terrible at night initially but combined with a period of DD1 having nightmares, awful awful. Then between 1-2 years effing dreadful, wide awake for several hours each night, and I was back at work (and utterly useless when there!)

DD3 is 4 months and currently waking 6 times a night....I feel like I'm in it for the long haul again and expecting at best, 4-5 years total sleep deprivation (up several times a night). Fairly sure this will take years off my life!

TheGreatHunt Mon 24-Feb-14 21:11:07

Stuff like sleep apnoe, reflux, food intolerances, excema etc can all mess with sleep. I'm a firm believer of people checking and ruling these out as reasons for poor sleep.

I'm 4.5 years in of sleep deprivation but we get the odd good night so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. No way would I risk a third dc in case they also have tongue tie/dairy intolerance/silent reflux as mine have had.

SummerRain Mon 24-Feb-14 21:12:22

My kids are aged 5, 7 and 9 and I still have frequent broken nights sleep. Youngest has sn which doesn't help... He's mostly stopped coming into our room but still has bad patches, I was up from 2-3 with him last night for instance and then he was in my bed kicking me the rest of the night.

Eldest seems to survive on just a few hours a night and whilst she doesn't bother me directly she frequently wakes her brothers at the crack of dawn and they torment me.

She slso feels the need to crash around my room in the middle of the night to use my ensuite hmm

So 9 years and counting of interrupted nights here sad

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 24-Feb-14 21:15:27

Dd is 7. Almost every night she is awake continuously between 12 til 3 or 1 til 4.

Occasionally she is up 12 til 4. She often then gets up at 6am.

Fun times.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 24-Feb-14 21:16:15

We have to be up too or she bangs and neighbours complain.

FariesDoExist Mon 24-Feb-14 21:16:41

Gosh summerRain you're nearly at a decade

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 24-Feb-14 21:17:26

I really hate reading stuff about how it wrecks your health. Since we cant do anything to stop it.

Annunziata Mon 24-Feb-14 21:19:10

I have 7, it is the 1990s since I had a full night's sleep.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 24-Feb-14 21:19:26

Lambsie..I am literally feeling your pain.

SummerRain Mon 24-Feb-14 21:20:06

[shudder] so I am shock I hadn't looked at it like that before!

I do get envy when other parents talk about how hard they found the first few months before their kids started sleeping through and wonder how I manageable be so unlucky with 2 out of 3. Funnily enough my adhd and asd Ds1 has always been my best sleeper... Only a year of sleepless nights with him!

bigbluebus Mon 24-Feb-14 21:29:29

insanity I thought I was going to win with the longest number of years disturbed sleep, but I will have to say 'snap' to your 19 years grin. DD also severely disabled. I have slept next to a baby monitor for 19 years and been in and out of bed seeing to her needs. Even though we get 18 nights respite a year, I still wake up in the night when she is away - my body is now conditioned to it.

ItsNotUnusualToBe Mon 24-Feb-14 21:33:08

Including pregnancies, just past 6 years though the last few months are much improved and mostly good.

I know we could make minor changes which may or may not bring bedtime earlier but I don't have the strength to implement them. So worn out.

I particularly hate when people exclaim " oh, I could never cope". I reply "I'm not".

There's a bit of me that resents the lack of offers of help from grandparents who live very close by and have no reason to not offer help except they don't want to.

nova1111 Mon 24-Feb-14 21:35:01

Going on for 8 years now. My eldest wakes up twice a night. We don't have to get up, it's just that she wakes me up and then I need a wee. I feel about 20 years older since I had her. I always wash but I rarely looked kempt in the morning.

Cringechilli Mon 24-Feb-14 21:38:34

We had years! I know more people who've had years than those who've had only a few months with a baby. I still get up in the night 1/2 times a week to someone.

giggleshizz Mon 24-Feb-14 21:41:55

Gosh I needed to read this thread tonight. I am a LP and coming into month 17 of not having a full night sleep and no lie ins. I am so glad I'm not alone (misery loves company). Couple that with the stress of becoming a LP to a baby I'm surprised I'm still standing.

it is really starting to affect my ability to function though and today for the first time I forgot to strap dd in after putting her in her carseat !!! I have the brain of a 98 year old.

LynetteScavo Mon 24-Feb-14 21:42:57

Wow! I'm shocked by how many people are silently suffering because their DC are poor sleepers! sad

I have three DC, but only DS1 was a poor sleeper, and it only lasted a few years, but I remember the hell. I see I've been really lucky with my younger 2 DC. Or maybe I just learned to be totally unresponsive to anything at all once I'm asleep

Parliamo Mon 24-Feb-14 21:43:29

This thread is so soul destroying! I keep trying to convince myself that I just need to change my attitude. Maybe if I repeat often enough - sleep is for wimps, dontcha think I'm hard enough? No? Doesn't work, dammit...

Oh and to the very helpful - just teach them... Oh, why didn't I think of that?

[walks away muttering unreasonably, that's what five years of no kip does]

The worst thing is how grumpy it makes me with my children and husband. And shit at my job.

Badvoc Mon 24-Feb-14 21:43:36

Into my 10th year....

sixlive Mon 24-Feb-14 21:44:15

Definitely contributes to my depression. DS wakes 4.30 to 5.30am most days, especially at half term it seems. I'm trying to go to bed earlier but eldest child doesn't go to bed to 9pmish so I tend to join her. I do have early waking tendencies too but if I wake early and tip toe past DS's room to go downstairs he wakes so instead I lie angrily in my bed and DH telling me to get up as Im disturbing him.

TotallyFoxed Mon 24-Feb-14 21:45:06

5 years here and counting...

TalkinPeace Mon 24-Feb-14 21:45:23

when mine were little my HV told me that you do not catch up on your sleep till your youngest child is 5 years old.
She was right, both for me and for many friends.

BUT
One thing that parents nowadays have to cope with is the surfeit of electronics in bedrooms.

Personally we do not have ANY electronics in bedrooms.
No TVs or consoles or computers
all laptops are in the dining room over night.
if phones are in use too late I confiscate them (kids are teenagers)

it makes bedrooms places to read or sleep

Dawndonnaagain Mon 24-Feb-14 21:45:32

17 years. Disabled dd and two other children with ASDs.

I'm so sleep deprived it is contributing directly to depression and in the early hours of most mornings me considering quitting my phd in the final few months. I simply cannot work because I am so tired. Now into the fourth year of what I would consider true sleep deprivation with a window of about 2months when baby dd was a phenomenal sleeper.

I have two DC, older with a disability which makes her prone to waking at night. DH usually ends up cosleeping with her in our bed and I end up sleeping with baby in her room. I'm so exhausted I usually feel sick by 6pm and cry most days through exhaustion. I'm not a nice mum or a good mum most of the time and rely on caffeine and sugar which in turn are impacting on my health.

Baby dc throws up when she gets upset, hence why she cosleeps.

YouTheCat Mon 24-Feb-14 21:50:03

10 years until ds was medicated. Up until then, he slept really badly as a baby but if he was asleep you could guarantee his twin sister would be awake.

As he got older it could be 1/2am before he would drop off and his sister had night terrors between age 3/6 so that was fun too.

I love my sleep.

sixlive Mon 24-Feb-14 21:50:52

Yeh TalkinPeace my DS is five this month he will sleep beyond 5am, but my experience with HV makes me think she is talking rubbish

Badvoc Mon 24-Feb-14 21:54:13

My dc have never had electronics in bedrooms. We Used black out blinds. Nightlights etc.
Nothing worked.
Should say ds1 (10) is now fine but ds2(5) took up where he left off!
I am amazed I made it though ds1s babyhood tbh.
He woke - on average - at least 5 times a night. When ill or teething he could wake every 40 mins throughout the night and take 20 mins to settle again.
no more babies for me

There are threads I wrote when DD was much younger. I used to sob trying to get her to sleep, she was a nightmare. She was six when she started sleeping properly.

When she was six, my second child arrived. I thought... lets make this easier than last time.

My son is nearly three. He has slept through the night nine times. Not in a row. Just nine here-and-there nights in nearly three years. He regularly wakes at 12:00. some nights at he's awake at three, and then he is up. Sometimes, if I am lucky, its four/five in the morning.

He's better if he comes into our bed. We regularly wake up and just find him sitting in the middle of us in bed, wide awake. DH and I have forgotten what sleep is!

NightLark Mon 24-Feb-14 22:33:01

Nearly 8 years here and still ongoing.

Worst was DC1 - intractable. Up 8 times a night every night for years and years, and didn't sleep through until reception age. HVs, doctors, sleep clinic the works. Still highly strung, nervous, a huge worrier.

DC2 was not nearly as bad but still didn't sleep through the night for several years.

By the time DC3 arrived, we'd stopped thinking things should be any other way.

I am a shadow of the person I used to be. I have no idea how I hold down a job.

In terms of "child induced lack of sleep" the worst time I had was with no2 son, he was 2 years old before he slept for longer than two hours, and the first time he did, I woke up, realised it was actually 6am, and ran across the room to grab him from the cot, convinced something terrible had happened to him in the night [convinced]
That said, the last time I went to bed when I was tired, fell quietly to sleep, slept til I was done, undisturbed, and woke refreshed was sometime round about the summer of 1986, so really, children or not, various "stuff" has interfered with my sleep.
I think that I have just come to accept being either tired, very tired, or totally and utterly knackered as normal, and can actually go three days without sleep now confused - came in handy when I worked 17 hour double shifts including an overnight though! grin
If someone told you beforehand just how much sleep you would lose through your job/children/physical or mental health in your life, you would swear that a person just Could Not Cope, but when it does happen, you just get on with it and get through, and it's only afterwards, looking back, that you realise quite what it was you went through.
It will pass btw, 6, 4 and 2 are still pretty young. My three youngest have the same spacing, and now they are 11, 9, and 7, they are much more self sufficient and better behaved mostly so that they don't need me right there all the time and I can have a lie down, or a rest, or even a nap, if I must, without Armageddon breaking out. There is hope there, honestly, it might just seem a long, long way off right now confused Hang in there driven "This too shall pass" as they say.

Permanentlyexhausted Mon 24-Feb-14 23:10:53

DS is a fantastic sleeper. DD still gets up and gets into my bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT at about 2am. EVERY EFFING NIGHT she wakes me up. She can get herself off to sleep in seconds when she goes to bed in the evening, but stay there? Not a chance!

She's nearly 8 for god's sake, and there is no end in sight. So years of sleep deprivation is very much a reality for me (I make up for it at my desk after lunch when I can scarcely keep my eyes open, let alone my brain ticking round).

Jollyphonics Mon 24-Feb-14 23:22:33

8.5 years here. And the thing that drives me mad, more mad than loss of sleep, is people who say "oh I couldn't cope with that, I love my sleep, need my 8 hours". Whereas me, hey I love having no sleep, wouldn't want it any other way! And what do they mean by saying they couldn't cope? Would they actually have their child taken into care? Or would they simply not have the problem in the first place because they're a better parent than me?

WelshMaenad Mon 24-Feb-14 23:33:26

Dd slept 10pm to 7am from about twelve weeks. The large doses of phenobarbitone we were shovelling into her at 10pm probably helped.

DS was fucking hard work for the first year - I'd been nervous about a newborn I wasn't allowed to drug and I was right - but co sleeping and him being a pro at breastfeeding lying down helped.

He hit one, started sleeping through, and barring illness, he still does - he'll be 4 in April. He's recently gone from waking at 7 to 6.30 but we just let him come in with us and we doze for half an hour whilst he tells me which are his favourite engines that week.

I know we are really really lucky. It's why we daren't have any more children frankly. I need sleep and I would be crazed if I was regularly woken in the night.

WelshMaenad Mon 24-Feb-14 23:37:31

Ah, sorry Jolly, that was badly timed!

To clarify - I was quite ill last year and am still really tired pretty much constantly. It would wipe me out even more if I wasn't getting a solid block of sleep. Naturally if that was the wont of my small people, I would just get on and cope with it, and DH would step up too, he's great when they're ill and wake up. I'm just lucky, that I don't have to deal with it. And no, not a better parent, just how it's worked out. I didn't 'do' anything to make them sleepers, they just are.

Exactly, precisely echo what Jolly said "8.5 years here. And the thing that drives me mad, more mad than loss of sleep, is people who say "oh I couldn't cope with that, I love my sleep, need my 8 hours". Whereas me, hey I love having no sleep, wouldn't want it any other way! And what do they mean by saying they couldn't cope? Would they actually have their child taken into care? Or would they simply not have the problem in the first place because they're a better parent than me?"

Down to the 8.5 years and the thoughts, almost word for word! grin What on earth is going through the heads of the "I need my sleep" crowd in reply to hearing about somebody else's sleep deprivation! You deserve/ need your sleep more than I do, do you, you unbearably smug thoughtless being! How is it different from saying - I need my peace so my kids are well behaved unlike your horrible monsters, or I need my comforts so naturally I am rich, whilst you, less deserving of 3 holidays a year and a 5 bed detached house with pool, are not... .

I think (touch wood) I am finally coming out the other side now - there have been a couple of full nights sleep, and a normal night is down to an average of 2 wakings, usually both brief-ish, though you can bet when sleep is most needed there will be 4 or 5 wakings and a 5am start... all kids are up by 6am, but then on a week day they need to be...

In the absolute depths of the very worst sleep deprivation though, I could cheerfully have beaten anyone who said that to me to death with their own slipper (people who say that wear slippers, don't they?) and felt the better for it (at least until I woke up after a few good nights sleep in jail) grin

KaFayOLay Tue 25-Feb-14 02:59:12

5.5 years of my eldest waking 5/6 times per night. Dd2, who is 4 years younger slept through before she did confused
Sleep deprivation was my main topic of conversation for years!
On the plus side, I finally found medication that prevented my migraines. They were triggered by lack of sleep and I had an unbearable few years before the doctor finally cane up with something that works.

Bubblegoose Tue 25-Feb-14 03:15:46

"And the thing that drives me mad, more mad than loss of sleep, is people who say "oh I couldn't cope with that, I love my sleep, need my 8 hours"."

Jolly someone once said to me "Little Matthew sleeps all night, my husband and I both love our sleep so he must take after us." I had some very uncharitable thoughts.

drivenfromdistraction Tue 25-Feb-14 09:37:55

Saw a mum with her newborn on the school run this morning. She said she'd had a terrible night, and then said 'but you probably remember those'

I decided not to say that both my 6yo and my 2yo were up in the night last night and I hadn't been back to sleep since 3am...

Driven - my DS is 11 (yes 11) and he still gets me up in the night!! I havent had a full night sleep for yonks unless he is away or at a sleepover!!

I disagree about the whole 'teaching' aspect of sleeping through.

I think it is a developmental milestone like crawling or walking.

You can force the issue with sleep though through training, which really isn't my cup of tea. I don't want to teach my daughter that I don't come to reassure her when she needs me at night. I can see how many parents feel they need to do it though for their own sanity.

I am almost at two years of interrupted sleep with my daughter, I wouldn't say I was sleep deprived at all though. Tired? Yes some days I am, but I am lucky that when my daughter wakes in the night I take her to our bed and she falls asleep at the breast and we co sleep till morning.

My other half gets up with her on his days off and lets me lay in, i catch up then. I used to nap in the day with her in the early days but haven't done that for a long time, I need that time to do 'stuff' now she's more demanding and mobile!

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 09:55:49

It is incorrect to think that developmental milestones are met independent of culture (teaching).

I disagree but hey ho, the world and MN would be a boring place if we all agreed. grin

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 10:03:27

The free range school of child rearing is very popular in the Anglo-Saxon world - "leave them to their own devices and they will develop naturally without any horrible interference from busybody adults" - but it is very misguided grin.

The self satisfied people who like to share with the world their opinion that others have failed to "teach" their children to sleep and therefore essentially have "made a rod" and all that delightful sneery tripe are also highly infuriating to the sleep deprived - very many families contain both good and poor sleepers, rather indicating that there is a gigantic serving of luck involved angry

There are very extreme people and methods in lots of aspects of life I think, I like a happy medium.

There are some useful gentle methods in this book.

Of course these may work very well or not at all, depending on your wee one.

BoffinMum Tue 25-Feb-14 10:08:25

You can't change children's dispositions to sleep but you sure as hell can get them trained to play quietly in their rooms when others are asleep, or to settle themselves at night if they wake up. That's behavioural.

dustarr73 Tue 25-Feb-14 10:12:36

No all good sleepers apart ds2.He didnt sleep for about a year after he was born.Felt like he could get 5 minutes kip and be awake for weeks.
Ds5 goes to bed no bother but if he wakes up or anyone wakes him,thats it hes awake for teh night.Thankfully doesnt happen very often now.

Unless by teach you mean lock them in their room (literally) until, after hours, they pass out exhausted... I actually had a mum of 2 (who had both slept through from a few weeks old without any effort on her part aside from stuffing them with "hungry baby" formula on the grounds that if they woke when she wished to be asleep they were excessively, abnormally hungry, and therefore required that) that she would lock the door and ignore if her kids got up regularly at night! shock

Rapid return improves things for us, but it is not a matter of doing it for a week, or a month, and the sleep problem being "solved" - rather it is a technique that has probably reduced the number of get ups on an average night and persuaded the nearly 3 year old that he can go back to sleep in his bed without me sitting for literally hours beside him...

Co-sleeping is another one that doesn't work for everyone - they don't all snuggle in and go back to sleep, some of them sleep on your head whilst pulling on your ear grin but also in practical terms I would defy anyone to sleep with a 17kg toddler on their head, doing this, and then randomly yelling "Mummy, I've got a joke for you ..." in your ear... and no, "try explaining that you want to sleep-" doesn't work either... hmm "But I need you." is toddler logic...

ListenToTheLady Tue 25-Feb-14 10:17:52

Oh god jolly yes. I have a friend who "needs her sleep" and apparently just gets angry if she doesn't get it, so her DH deals with the kids now they are past baby age. I hate the way she says to me that she needs her sleep while I am thinking hmm <yaaaawwwwwnnn>

I have a 3yo who bothers us once or twice almost every night and needs resettling, and an anxious 8yo who struggles to fall asleep and often wakes up with nightmares. I'm just used to hardly ever getting a full night's sleep and tbh I think of what I have now as OK, because at least it's an improvement on being up all night with them as babies. But I am stressed and exhausted and very jealous of people who can just retire to bed knowing they are going to have a proper rest. We don't have family help so no child-free trips away - I could throttle certain friends when they say how much they are looking forward to a week of lie-ins in a hotel. (Though I know it's not their fault and they deserve a break.)

We're not "free range" type parents and I think it is OK to try to "train" DC to have a set bedtime and getting up time, stay in bed etc - and it's healthier for them to get a decent amount of sleep. But it's just an ongoing struggle with us. Sticker charts, reward schemes, special clocks etc etc have some effect. But once someone is ill, or has a run of nightmares, or there's any kind of upheaval or upset, it goes back to square 1.

sunshinemmum Tue 25-Feb-14 10:21:26

For the non believers we have a 12 year old DS who has autism. He was spooked by a horrible preschool experience and woke five to six times a night, seven days a week for about three years. We had to co sleep with him in separate beds as all else failed.

Basketofchocolate Tue 25-Feb-14 10:21:53

One child.

No sleep since a few weeks before he was born and for the whole of his 5 years of life.

I often wonder if it will ever stop....

GobbySadcase Tue 25-Feb-14 10:22:25

10 years here, 3 autistic kids who sadly can't entertain themselves til the household is ready to get up.

lynniep Tue 25-Feb-14 10:22:49

5 years for me. I have two children and they both started to sleep through at about 2 to 2.5 although I had about a 3 month break when I was pregnant with DS2.

After the night wakings stopped, we'd start the day v. early (from 5.30 onwards) but finally they have started regularly sleeping until 7am with the odd 6am start for the younger one (4).

They don't do that thing that other parents say their kids do though if they keep them up late - it doesn't matter what time mine go to bed - they still get up at 7am grrrr!

BeaWheesht Tue 25-Feb-14 10:26:38

Ds is 7 he didn't 'sleep through' until he was 3 and always gets up at 5/6am.

Dd was a fabulous sleeper until she was 2, she's now 3.5 and is often up at 5am and fairly regularly during the night too.

OpalQuartz Tue 25-Feb-14 10:27:55

"And the thing that drives me mad, more mad than loss of sleep, is people who say "oh I couldn't cope with that, I love my sleep, need my 8 hours"

I think it's annoying generally when people say that. I've heard people say "I couldn't cope if I had miscarriages." "I couldn't live without my tumble dryer." "I'd end up in a mental asylum if I didn't have a cleaner." It's just a stupid thing to say.

drivenfromdistraction Tue 25-Feb-14 10:39:27

MrTumbles - yes, I agree. My 3 DC have the same bedtime routine, and have had a very firm bedtime routine from the start. This has magically 'taught' DC2 to sleep 12 hours every night, and not DC1 or DC3. I think DC3 is just not physiologically there yet. DC1 has anxiety issues and also is the type of person who, when he wakes is immediately wide awake (like me) whereas DC2 remains drowsy (like DH) and just rolls over and goes back to sleep.

issimma Tue 25-Feb-14 10:40:38

Ds is 15months and generally sleeps through until 5am. That's his regular wake up time. Dd is 3 and also gets up at 5, but she also gets us up in the night once or twice. It's really getting to me.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 10:50:33

"Sticker charts, reward schemes, special clocks etc etc have some effect. But once someone is ill, or has a run of nightmares, or there's any kind of upheaval or upset, it goes back to square 1."

Sticker charts, reward schemes, special clocks etc are all ways of intellectualising why DC should stay asleep. Sleep doesn't require intellectualising - in fact, I believe that intellectualising the behavioural training is pointless.

I am always stunned at some parents who expect their small DC to sleep on their own, often many metres away from an adult. It's an unreasonable expectation.

drivenfromdistraction Tue 25-Feb-14 11:21:07

So, Bonsoir - what are your tips for 'teaching' DC to sleep? I asked you before, but the only thing you came up with was 100% cotton nightwear & bedding.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 11:23:36

I told you! I don't have "tips" - you have to listen to your own DC and work out what his/her sleep needs are, what his/her feeding needs are and put your DC to bed when they are ready.

Would you put yourself to bed when you weren't tired, not having had enough food to last the night and in a room alone miles from anyone? Probably not. Yet this is what huge numbers of parents do to their DC and then get frustrated when their DC don't sleep.

drivenfromdistraction Tue 25-Feb-14 11:28:45

But, Bonsoir, what if they are well-fed and fall asleep within minutes of being put to bed - but then wake several hours later? It's not that they're not sleepy, and they're not hungry either (they aren't even that hungry at breakfast time). DC2 stays asleep all night, the other two don't. I really would like to 'teach' them to do it but I'm not sure that it's as simple as that.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 11:34:13

They should be ravenous at breakfast time! Maybe there is a dietary link? Digestion takes place at night and digestive problems are a major cause of insomnia.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 25-Feb-14 11:36:36

Who should be ravenous at breakfast? I can't eat in the morning, and I'm normally not hungry until lunch, DS is the same (but he sleeps well so clearly not an issue). What an odd thing to say.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 11:38:10

If you aren't hungry or feel nauseous in the morning, that is because your digestion is overloaded. You need to make adjustments to your food intake.

drivenfromdistraction Tue 25-Feb-14 11:39:49

Well two of them have coeliac disease, but one of those is the good sleeper. Don't think any of them has indigestion. They tend to be hungry around 9am, rather than the 6.45/7am when they have breakfast, which they eat, but not ravenously.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 25-Feb-14 11:42:37

Could you provide some evidence or links to support that?

We eat a healthy diet, varied and not overly processed. I'm just not a fan of food int he morning, prefer hot water with lemon.

RedFocus Tue 25-Feb-14 11:48:52

I have been sleep deprived since 2002! My youngest is autistic and doesn't sleep so it's never ending but luckily my mum takes over when she can so we do get a break about every 4 months.

ListenToTheLady Tue 25-Feb-14 11:49:51

But DC don't always know when they are ready! If I asked DD if she was ready for bed, she would say no until the cows come home. But I can see she's exhausted. Routine, sanctions and being quite firm (not being mean, and not deserting her, just making crystal clear that it is bedtime and not standing for any messing about) are required to get her into bed and off to sleep.

Maybe some "intellectualising" does go on in that both my kids respond better if things are explained to them – DD understands that getting enough sleep is important as it helps your brain work better the next day, helps cuts heal and helps you grow big and strong (all true). I don't think learning about these things is bad.

GingerMaman Tue 25-Feb-14 11:55:22

A lot of people seem to be mentioning autism. Is there a link between lack of sleep in babies and autism?

ItIsAnIdeasGame Tue 25-Feb-14 11:56:04

5 years here. Now we just play musical beds at night as it fixed the problem. Our 8 year old has just left my bed to go into her own bed. My youngest sleeps by herself but the middle is put into our bed everynight, when we go up. He now sleeps in until about 8!

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 11:56:49

I know what I know about eating and sleeping etc from living in France for 22 years! All the paediatricians and GPs here are informed about this stuff, as is the population at large.

Driven mine are the same - set bedtime routine including all the standard elements, one goes to sleep within moments of his light going off and sleeps all night (although he is prone to nightmares which wake the whole house in phases) one (who used to be a poor sleeper but now sleeps through unless woken by growing pains) faffs a lot and tries it on, the littlest is getting better, will sometimes faff and fuss but generally goes to sleep now, finally, at nearly 3 (it took a lot of work) without needing me in the room. They then have around 10.5-11 hours (depending on child) of possible sleep time, during which the youngest will wake between 1 and 5 times (usually more like twice, not at the same times by the clock). This is far better than it used to be, far better... When the youngest wakes, I tell him it is sleep time and return him to his bed. I have been doing exactly this for about 6 months.

Bonsoir is presumably extrapolating from her own experience to misguidedly assume she has possession of a universal truth.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 11:59:43

Ideally DC need to be woken by their tummies rumbling for breakfast - you need to work out their sleep needs and food needs to coincide.

And, no, you cannot expect DC to self-analyse and tell you this. You have to work it out from observation.

FudgefaceMcZ Tue 25-Feb-14 12:00:54

Well, tbh, they are quite close together and youngest I suppose is not abnormal at 2 to be waking still, so it's not a 'normal' length of sleep deprivation but it wouldn't be abnormal if everyone had 3 kids 2 years apart iyswim? I hope you get some sleep soon!

ListenToTheLady Tue 25-Feb-14 12:01:43

Bonsoir it's well known that different cultures have vastly different "well-known truths" about health that don't necessarily have any basis in evidence.

My hungarian friends have an absolute fit if their DC paddle and swim in the sea because "everyone knows" they will be guaranteed to get ill from it. While surrounded by other kids splashing in the sea, non of whom get ill. Some cultures insist babies have to be boiling hot at all times. In other they insist babies will not thrive unless stuck out in the garden rain or shine.

A lot of these things are cultural and viewed from the UK, the French attitude to health is seen as a bit odd.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 25-Feb-14 12:02:10

Oh right, well perhaps my digestive system (not being french) is different.

FudgefaceMcZ Tue 25-Feb-14 12:03:01

I mean, I am still sleep deprived and youngest is 4 (does come into my bed sometimes), but the sleep deprivation is mainly because I canno get to sleep and wake up due to depression/health issues, and am working full time so can't nap in day (wondering though, if anyone would notice if I did at desk...). So not really because of kids, except in that they faff in morning and evening meaning I don't get to bed usually before midnight and then up again around 6 which is not really long enough.

TheArticFunky Tue 25-Feb-14 12:05:00

If they wake in the night I let them sleep in our bed, easiest way in my opinion.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 12:13:09

If the French attitude to eating/sleeping means long un disturbed nights and slim families, I think it just may have something going for it wink

ItIsAnIdeasGame Tue 25-Feb-14 12:15:19

Bonsoir, does it make them smug too?

drivenfromdistraction Tue 25-Feb-14 12:18:38

*Well, tbh, they are quite close together and youngest I suppose is not abnormal at 2 to be waking still, so it's not a 'normal' length of sleep deprivation but it wouldn't be abnormal if everyone had 3 kids 2 years apart iyswim?*

That is very true, Fudgeface. I think I would feel okay about it if my eldest wasn't an issue. We were doing quite well with him until a month or two ago (reward charts keeping him reading in his room until the Groclock came on for 'morning') Recently though, he's started coming downstairs in the evening saying he can't get to sleep. I am beginning to think that he has entered a new physiological phase that means he needs less sleep time. We are going to start putting him to bed a bit later than the others. Don't know if that will do anything about his nightmares/night-waking. It does mean that we will get almost no adult evening time (sleep-deprivation means I fall asleep before 9pm) but that may just be what comes of having 3 kids in 3.5 years...

ListenToTheLady Tue 25-Feb-14 12:20:04

I seriously doubt that no one in France suffers a prolonged kids' sleep problem. Or that no one in France is anything but slim hmm

They just get judged more harshly.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 12:24:55

Posters on this thread clearly revel in sleep deprivation and don't want to entertain any solutions grin

Owllady Tue 25-Feb-14 12:28:14

I think moving to France is a bit drastic

ItIsAnIdeasGame Tue 25-Feb-14 12:32:03

Owllady, I'm booking my ferry.

The French are alao famous for smacking, smoking heavily, driving insanely... do all those things cause their children to sleep too? I can't see any useful suggestions Bonsoir...

ItIsAnIdeasGame Tue 25-Feb-14 12:33:51

Maybe not.

sunshinemmum Tue 25-Feb-14 12:34:13

Ginger maman some children with autism or sensory difficulties, have trouble self regulating/calming for sleep and some need some deep pressure from weighted blankets to feel safe and secure. Generally, I can recommend a black out blind, subdued lighting such as a lava lamp, lavender oil on pillow and a relaxation CD, DS like dolphins and sea sounds.

Glass of red before bed maybe, and full day nursery from very early infancy - also the French model? Perhaps that would help?

Timetoask Tue 25-Feb-14 12:41:19

Here here.
9 years and counting....
My eldest has special needs, we have never had an uninterrupted night and if we get up at 5:30 then we've had a good night. When we were both working, we were both zombies.
Now that I am not working I get up during the week so that DH can sleep, DH gets up at the weekends so that I can sleep.
Its without a doubt the most difficult thing about having a child with special needs.

Owllady Tue 25-Feb-14 12:45:43

We do the same timetosleep. I gave up work last year as it was killing me tbqh. I often have a nap in the afternoon when they are all at school. That's after driving to France and sinking a glass of red with lavender rubbed on my forehead. Obviously

Owllady Tue 25-Feb-14 12:46:42

Timetoask!Not sleep blush

drivenfromdistraction Tue 25-Feb-14 12:46:44

Posters on this thread clearly revel in sleep deprivation and don't want to entertain any solutions

Bonsoir, your solution seems to be 'I know what I know about eating and sleeping, work it out for yourselves, fools'

Happy to entertain any solutions you are actually able to articulate, though grin

Timetoask Tue 25-Feb-14 12:51:32

Owllady hahaha, I might change my name to timetosleep actually, very apt indeed

hazeyjane Tue 25-Feb-14 12:57:36

Posters on this thread clearly revel in sleep deprivation and don't want to entertain any solutions grin

considering a large proportion of people on this thread have suffered years of sleep deprivation because their children are disabled, I am gritting my teeth at that comment.

TenThousandThings Tue 25-Feb-14 12:59:34

I have 3DC, 2 youngest share a bedroom. In my opinion, it's helped them settle, in fact they love it.

sunshinemmum Tue 25-Feb-14 13:02:11

I took it that Bonsoir was being ironic Hazey wink

cupcake78 Tue 25-Feb-14 13:02:20

Ds 6 always woken up at night and is an early riser. He is beginning to settle but dd is 8 months and up 4 times a night. We're shattered!

hazeyjane Tue 25-Feb-14 13:03:01

I am too fucking knackered for irony.

sunshinemmum Tue 25-Feb-14 13:05:05

I hear you on that Hazey it is totally exhausting! DS has reached puberty and now we can't wake him up!

drivenfromdistraction Tue 25-Feb-14 13:05:21

I am too fucking knackered for irony

If MN had tickers (which thank god it doesn't) that would be mine

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 25-Feb-14 13:24:21

Bonsoir my kids wake up when we are in France too, so that can't be the solution wink

Expecting knackered people talking about being sleep deprived to see the irony of being told by somebody who apparently feels she has all the answers that they must enjoy the lack of sleep if they don't implement vaguely hinted at suggestions is a bit of a stretch! I will freely admit lack of sleep dulls the mind, and the sense of irony...

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 25-Feb-14 13:36:23

BoffinMum Tue 25-Feb-14 10:08:25
You can't change children's dispositions to sleep but you sure as hell can get them trained to play quietly in their rooms when others are asleep, or to settle themselves at night if they wake up. That's behavioural.

Whilst it must be lovely to have such a simple solution, if you had to deal with a sleepwalking child you'd pretty soon find out that it is not as easy as all that. When she just appears and gets in my bed it's not too bad, although it disturbs my sleep and takes me a while to nod off again. It the once or twice a week when she's roaming round the house that is really a nuisance. Sadly I don't think there is a simple solution. She's nearly 8. She can open a door and undo a stairgate. And she can find the keys to the front door too.

If you know how to train someone to do something when they aren't actually aware of their actions, please fire away.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 25-Feb-14 13:43:20

Bonsoir, that is the most insensitive post I have read in a long time. DH and I are actually ill with sleep deprivation and are seeing professionals and paediatricians to try to solve it.

juule Tue 25-Feb-14 13:44:35

"but you sure as hell can get them trained to play quietly in their rooms when others are asleep, or to settle themselves at night if they wake up"

Nope. I don't think you can with all children.

drivenfromdistraction Tue 25-Feb-14 13:49:08

Permanentlyexhausted, sleepwalkers are hard work, I know. My DM caught my DSis as an 8 - 12 yo climbing out of her bedroom window / over the landing balcony / walking out the front door (having got a chair to get the key from its cupboard / over the side of the sailboat on a Greek holiday ...

DSis is now 40, living abroad and still alive. My DM however is a permanent insomniac who wakes at the sound of a pin dropping in the next county.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Tue 25-Feb-14 13:56:08

Similar age gap - and yes there were years of sleep deprivation.

It got better little by little and as they got to nursery/school.

My eldest is now 8 - we do try and do later bed times but I'm often by myself in week and I've often had enough by bedtime - but she has a light bright enough to read by and a kindle - so even though she shares a room with youngest she can read for a bit.

The 6 year old - middle DC has just gone though about 6 months of not frequent but not rare nightmares - doesn't seem to be any reason for it.

He's come into sleep with me or if I've not in bed - as I go late - I've made a bed up between his two sister beds and he beds down in their room - and that's work out well for that night. If he in with me - and DH when he back he often ends up going back to his own room to sleep before morning.

The eldest and youngest get up early - they learnt not to wake DS a night owl like me by going in his room - though since youngest started school DD1 has started taking them both downstairs to play - not before 6 we had to put a clock in her room to ensure that but it mean everyone else isn't woken.

If they get up in the evening - they get told to go back to bed - older two may be allowed to read for bit. Not sleeping is fine - though irritably mean early bed time next night - it's ensuring minimal fuss/ sleep missed for everyone else.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Tue 25-Feb-14 14:02:18

I do think sleep walking is very different - my DSis would occasionally roam the house and FIL would apparently feed the pets in back garden - no minor task apparently - no memory of it either.

Waves to hazey

I'm sitting here pondering why both my DC are taking extended naps. Its unheard of. Two hours ans counting for baby and over an hour for three year old. If only they'd have the courtesy to let me know so that I could have slept as well or done some of the enormous pile of work.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 25-Feb-14 14:13:55

Cant train my daughter to play quietly or settle unfortunately. Have tried for years.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 25-Feb-14 14:32:04

Theres a small matter of her autism and severe and complex.learning disability to contend with.

We are really close to not coping with the sleep problem. .your posts have really upset me Bonsoir.

And many of the posters on this thread are in same position as us.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 25-Feb-14 14:34:44

Even if ironic the whole tone of your posts is smug.

Timetoask Tue 25-Feb-14 14:40:34

Fanjo thanks
I really feel for you, severe sleep deprivation is so debilitating.
Do you have any help at home?
Could you talk to CAHMS about any medication? We were offered melatonine but it doesn't work for us as DS has no trouble falling asleep, the waking up is the problem.

I have given melatonin at 2.30am before timetoask. It did tend to get ds1 back to sleep - but could make him a bit groggy in the morning. But then if he wasn't given it, he would be up from 2.30 and absolutely hyper the next day at school. Swings and roundabouts....

I think we've finally - after 14 years - got ds1 to more or less stay in his room when he wakes so we can doze provinding he's happy. Still have to get up if he's cross and starts hitting things, but otherwise I just leave him singing.

DS2 and Ds3 sleep through anything - quite happy to hand out a nocturnal ds1 to sleep train your children to sleep through any racket.

ouryve Tue 25-Feb-14 14:45:34

Laughing at the idea of training DS2 to play quietly, when he wakes up. Thankfully, we have neighbours who get up early for work, as we've had comments about his 5am sing songs grin

Yep, for someone non-verbal ds1 has a very loud voice. Luckily his bedroom has no neighbours...

LimburgseVlaai Tue 25-Feb-14 14:50:19

Oh god it's so irritating when childless people say "I'm soooo tired, I'm working such long hours." [i.e. 9-6.30, then home to a meal, a glass of wine and some uninterrupted tv viewing, followed by a full night's sleep]

Try working fulltime with young children in the house. And stupid fucking dogs. Between them they manage to wake us up most nights. And yes, I really do need my sleep. [grumpy]

Nothing to do with special needs or eating patterns or not being French and therefore not being perfect. It just happens.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 25-Feb-14 14:53:01

Thanks..so far short acting melatonin doesn't work on DD she spits the long acting one out.

She is allowed phenergan 2 or 3 times a week which works but she sleeps worse in between

We have seen various professionals who havent been able to help.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Tue 25-Feb-14 15:00:01

I wouldn't expect the 4 or 2 year old to be quite in their rooms. Well - the 4 year old might depend on them as my youngest can sometimes do it. She get told off is she starts to scream or wakes her DB.

I would expect the 6 year old to do so some of the time though obviously not if distressed when I'd want to be with them. The OP does seem to be encouraging this anyway.

Just wondered if the 2 year old was in own room? Mine weren't at that age and while they'd get up it wasn't 4/5 time but mine shared a room with siblings.

Actually DD1 used to take youngest in with her when youngest was 2 - find them in same bed when we check on them - so I got more sleep and DD1 never complained in fact seem to encourage youngest.

I do remember reading young DC sleep better when they can hear others breathing they have more REm or light sleep I think - they stir but hearing others settle. I would have though it might be worth moving them round to experiment - maybe next holiday.

Actually ds3 started sleeping a lot better when he moved in with ds2.

It doesn't work for kids with SN but a worth trying for NT kids.

hazeyjane Tue 25-Feb-14 15:10:10

It's funny, if ds has melatonin in the middle of the night, it doesn't work at all. We have had a few all nighters, where he has woken at 10 and then not slept until the next night. (by which time dh and i can only communicate in grunts)

If we left ds to entertain himself in his room, the wailing would wake not just the whole house but the whole neighborhood!

IceBeing Tue 25-Feb-14 15:19:04

this thread really highlights the absolute stupidity of people regarding selection bias....

Many many people on here with only 1 or 2 kids out of several with sleep issues yet people are still banging on about it being the environment or 'training' at fault.

thanks to anyone and everyone suffering sleep issues.

sunshinemmum Tue 25-Feb-14 16:19:28

I have resolved to sit on my hands and not bite at the judgemental comments more this year. Whether you have a diagnosis for your child or not sleep difficulties, impact marriages and family life. DH and I were looking at some photos taken ten to fifteen years ago and we are almost unrecognisable. I have carpet bags under my eyes, even though thankfully the sleep issues now seem to be resolved. As for the wine o'clock consumption.... grin

mindosa Tue 25-Feb-14 16:24:36

They have to be exaggerating. Sure there are periods of sleep deprivation - newborn, teething, bed training, bed wetting. But its not an endless cycle.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 25-Feb-14 16:37:45

Yes it can be an endless cycle.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 25-Feb-14 16:43:04

mindosa Do come over love, it's an endless cycle. Try actually reading some of the posts here rather than just popping your thoughts down after a quick glance at the OP. hmm

younggrasshopper Tue 25-Feb-14 16:52:23

Some of you are just causing problems for yourselves (not including parents of disabled or Special needs obv).

How can it take an hour to settle a child that is older than a toddler?

It wouldn't happen in my house. I have 3 dc. Night time is for sleeping. Not for playing silly beggars. Or musical beds. Or waking other people up.

I have a friend who does this, moans about her nearly 4yo waking most nights for hours.

I feel like saying to her, its because you've never taught her that night time is bed time. She has an older son who is a dream at bedtimes so she thought it was easy to get kids to sleep. The truth is she just got lucky with her oldest and when her daughter turned out to be a non sleeper she handled it all wrong. At first she thought it was cute, called it 'party time' - oh x got up for 'party time' at 2am again last night, took pictures of her in the middle of the night to post on fb - no wonder the child continued to wake, with all that attention! That was when she was a baby, now she is nearly 4 and she has no one to blame but herself for the fact she never gets a full nights sleep.

Some kids are not built to sleep. So you train them.

Honestly what are you doing for an hour to resettle them? I suspect these are the same parents who can't bring themselves to enforce a rule or ever tell their child 'no.'

As soon as all my children have reached the age of sleeping through and not needing a feed at night, then I adopt the 'boring mum' rountine. If they wake, I go in to make sure they are ok, I don't speak and I don't make eye contact. They learnt very early on that night time is for sleeping.

They only get into my bed if they are ill. If they have had a nightmare, I'll will read a quick story to distract their mind from the dream, but they know its one story or chapter and lights out.

Yes yes, some of you will be pissed off and go all defensive. But honestly, ask yourself, did I cause these sleep problems? I bet the answer is yes.

Early wakers are a different story and not even a 'problem' as such. Some kids are built to rise early. You just have to deal with it. One day they will be teenagers and lie in their pits all day grin .

I repeat that I apply none of this to disabled, special needs or sleepwalkers.

Ragwort Tue 25-Feb-14 17:03:08

I agree to an extent with young - the people I know in RL (not mumsnetters grin) whose children would not sleep at night (SN excepted of course) were just not firm enough with the children.

I know that controlled crying is considered child abuse on mumsnet but my dearest friend was so soft with her two children - she didn't get a decent night's sleep for the first TEN years of their lives - yet she told me that the one night they did sleep through was the one and only night that she had to leave them with relatives. hmm Those children clearly knew that whatever time they wanted to wake up their mother would come running, they were bright, articulate children - they were completely pandered to.

My child always slept well, he went to bed (in his own room) at 7pm every night - there was a clear distinction between 'daytime' and 'night time' even as a tiny baby.

If you rock, feed, pat your baby to sleep no wonder the baby gets used to that and is completely unable to 'self settle' when they get older. Surely it is then much harder to break the habit? confused.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 25-Feb-14 17:52:02

Or perhaps when I they are older they have more capacity to understand sleeping at night time. There is a middle ground between rocking a baby to sleep for hours on end (and maybe I'm a freak but I enjoyed that) and leaving a child to scream itself to sleep.

duchesse Tue 25-Feb-14 18:04:46

thank you for your pearls of wisdom, grasshopper. hmm

I have four children (oldest one is 20) and this last one is the worst sleeper by far. She is also the one with the worst health, the worst allergies, and the only one of the four who a) nearly died at birth and spent a week in NICU, b) came out in a crash CS, c) has eczema and asthma. She is up between 1 and 5 times a night, wandering around the house looking for someone else's bed to climb into because she is scared.

She doesn't take an hour to settle, she takes about 30 seconds, but five times woken up is still five times.

Nothing more guaranteed to piss me off than insufferable smugness.

Fanjo I really feel for you. Medication hasn't worked for ds phenergan had him climbing the walls for 72 hours, melatonin had no effect. We had support from a psychologist who admitted that we had exhausted every option behaviourally and medication hadn't worked so we learned to live with it. There is chloral hydrate that a paed might be sympathetic to prescribing but with ds after the phenergan I didn't feel up to taking a chance as the phenergan reaction was torture.
Ds does mostly stay in his room now unless the lure of the bathroom is too much and so a listening ear is generally enough. My insomnia usually means I'm awake anyway.
Is there any chance of overnight respite? It's not something we have done but I do remember feeling desperate at times before I got used to not sleeping.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 25-Feb-14 20:32:28

We are on waiting list for family based overnight respite. We were reluctant as we wouldn't feel good about sending DD away from us as she is so young mentally..2 at most. but DD has really bonded with her respite carer who comes weekly so we thought it could work out. But there are no places.

There are respite units here with 8 children but we have turned down chance to go on waiting list for those as we feel DD is happier at home.

I think we will give in eventually though.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 25-Feb-14 20:37:03

Oh god it's so irritating when childless people say "I'm soooo tired, I'm working such long hours." [i.e. 9-6.30, then home to a meal, a glass of wine and some uninterrupted tv viewing, followed by a full night's sleep]

Yep, parents definitely have the monopoly on exhaustion. hmm

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 20:40:47

I was a hell of a lot more tired working FT and childless...

younggrasshopper Tue 25-Feb-14 20:52:01

Two of my births have been EMCS. Haven't never ever considered this am issue for sleep problems and still can't see the connection.

Two of my dc have asthma and ezcema - as do I.

It stops no one in this house sleeping.

Asthma is easily bought under control with a puffer, takes 2 mins for my two year to sit up and take her puffer using her mask. Anything that requires more than this would mean a trip to A&E and doesn't really come under the heading of a normal nightime.

Ezcema is obv worse at night and requires care and attention to make sure the dc can sleep through without ripping their skin to bits. Cool rooms, cotton bedding, cool nightwear (no onsies for eg), bath with medicated oil every night and nightly application of mosituriser and steriod cream means I am rarely woken with ezcema related problems. If I am then I cream with mosituriser (kept by my bed) and they lay down and go back to sleep.

None of these ailments require anyone to be wandering about in the middle of the night.

IceBeing Tue 25-Feb-14 20:55:17

young correction! IN YOUR EXPERIENCE "None of these ailments require anyone to be wandering about in the middle of the night."

How about you do us all a favour and accept that your own experience doesn't cover the whole of human experience and the other peoples experiences may also be valid?

IceBeing Tue 25-Feb-14 20:56:30

sorry but just have to also piss myself laughing at asthma being easily brought under control with a puffer...what are you fecking 12 that you can't imagine it might be different for others?

SERIOUSLY??

Don't bite IceBeing

Twatty McTwatterson threw a big line out to see if they could catch anything...

Don't bite. wink

younggrasshopper Tue 25-Feb-14 21:04:33

If your dc asthma isn't being controlled by their inhalers then I suggest you visit the GP's as you are putting your childs life in danger.

Sounds like they need a asthma review to me. When was their last one? Have you explained to the GP that the puffer doesn't stop your child wheezing?

Maybe less time on MN insulting people and more time talking to the GP?

younggrasshopper Tue 25-Feb-14 21:09:43

Do you know the procedure if your child has an asthma attack?

10 puffs and if the tightness isn't better within half hour then you need to visit A&E immediately.

I am told this every time I visit A&E with my dc so I'm not sure how you don't know this if you do really have a child with asthma?

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 25-Feb-14 21:14:45

Didn't realize you were an asthmt nurse grasshoper iy must be fun to know everything.

hazeyjane Tue 25-Feb-14 21:17:52

younggrasshopper, you are coming across in a very provocative way. You don't know the ins and out of everyone's live and health conditions! Dd2 and dd1 both have asthma, but they both present in very different ways have had different medications and that combined with the fact that they have very different personalities means that it has different affects on their sleep.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 25-Feb-14 21:23:49

grasshopper a child's sleep can be disrupted by fairly mild, but uncontrolled asthma. Wheeziness is often not apparent, but instead a kind of hyper-active state.

looselegs Tue 25-Feb-14 21:24:17

DS was 6 weeks,DD was 10 weeks and they've slept through ever since.The only time they got up in the night was if they were ill.They have never spent a night in our bed-we have our bed,they have their's.They were never rocked to sleep they were put to bed awake and happily nodded off by themselves.
To be honest,unless they're ill,or there is SN involved,I struggle to understand why children of school age and above need to get up in the night. It's a habit-their body clocks are waking them because that is what they have got into the habit of doing.I look after a boy who is nearly 7 and he gets into his parents bed at 2.00 every night,and they have no sleep for the rest of the night while he happily snores away.Not only that,but sometimes he even wakes his younger brother up to go with him.Meanwhile,the parents are absolutely knackered and it's making them ill.What???? Who is the adult here??Another mum I know was giving her daughter 4 bottles of milk a night up to the age of 5.????She actually asked me how to get her daughter out of the habit.
I'm not smug-we started as we meant to carry on.Bedtime is bedtime-their beds,not ours.Yes,we've had bedtime battles-the kids not wanting to go,dragging it out etc-but they stay in their own beds all night and we all benefit from a decent nights sleep.

imip Tue 25-Feb-14 21:26:23

4 dds here, aged between 7 and 2. I've had sleepless nights for 7.5 years.... Sadly, I've gotten use to it. I yearn for my kids to sleep through the night.

Dd4 has just turned 2, she is in the process of dropping her daytime nap. So, some days she falls asleep nicely. Some days she is a tyrant and just needs a nap - it's like she's in the process of recalebrating her body clock. She often also wakes up early, so 4am this morning... I do hope we can iron this out over the next few months...

Also, my dds seem to suffer lots of nightmares. I remember this also. We usually hop into their beds to stop encouraging them coming into ours. I couldn't imagine leaving them on their own in bed when they are scared.

I'm a bit of an insomniac, I see dd1 like this. She wakes up every morning at 6 am, she just doesn't need more sleep (unlike dh and dd2).

My sympathies to those with sn sleep problems. We suspect dd2 is on the spectrum and currently seeing a psychologist. I get about three hours of down time in the evening to recover from full-on days, I think that's how I get by....it must be hard without it....

More people throwing out big lines in the hope of catching a bite. biscuit

younggrasshopper Tue 25-Feb-14 21:33:54

I have had asthma for over 30 years so I have aquired a bit of knowledge but tbh anyone with a child with ashthma should know what I know. Its not rocket science. Its the very basics of keeping a child with ashtma safe and is told to every parent by every nurse, GP and A&E doctor they meet.

But, like I said, some of you will become irrationally defensive.

FushandChups Tue 25-Feb-14 21:36:57

Am loving all the 'in my house, they know it's bedtime' and 'my DC know that night time is for sleeping'... it's not permanently 3pm where I live with the sun shining and their friends outside. My DC know it is bedtime and that they should sleep at night but that doesn't mean they always do...

I have had a routine in place from day 1 with both mine - DD slept well to start and has got worse as she gets older and now wakes almost every night, DS has never slept well so am close to 5 years of disturbed sleep in one form or another.

Sleep deprivation is a killer in many ways and the smugness on display from some of these posters is pretty disheartening. The answers that some of you condescend to share will have been tried by EVERYONE who is struggling - and I mean EVERYONE... trust me, you will try anything!

Children are individuals and as much as it sucks, some of them are just shit at sleeping!

21 years here.....DD2 has autism, diabetes and epilepsy. every noise needs to be investigated. its not that i dont sleep....i just have my ears open! and i do get up to check a few times a night.....hmm....nope...i dont really sleep do i?

any way wasnt it Mrs Doyle who said staying awake was fine....only hallucinated for first five years...

younggrasshopper Tue 25-Feb-14 21:41:30

I agree, I even said as much in my first post .. some children are non sleepers.

Its how you handle a non sleeper that makes a difference.

Butgof forbid anyone on this thread looks at themselves. Its much easier to just shout the word 'smug'.

hazeyjane Tue 25-Feb-14 21:44:40

younggrasshopper, I don't think you're smug, you're just wrong.

jenniferalisonphillipasue Tue 25-Feb-14 21:46:20

10 years intermittent here. God I hate these smug people. My 4 dc have all slept differently: ds1 atrocious at night and an early riser (still is), dd1 slept through from 9 weeks, terrible day sleeper and now gets easily spooked in the night, ds2 generally all round decent sleeper, dd2 (15mths) is bloody awful both day and night. I have done nothing differently with them. It's just how they are.

AllergyMums Tue 25-Feb-14 21:51:26

Over 7 years of no sleep. DD up every night with reflux induced asthma, vomiting, chronic pain. GP thought it was all sorts of things. Took years...years to get to the bottom of it all as DD has delayed allergic reactions so she doesn't respond to traditional allergy testing. Took years' before GP decided to send us to a gastro clinic. Once we had a proper diagnosis, and then meds to deal with it she could sleep. Sometimes it's not easy to figure stuff out.
And don't start me on puffers - never got the coughing under control. Only diet did.

LaQueenOfHearts Tue 25-Feb-14 22:04:51

We had a few months of sleep deprivation with DD1. But we did CC at about 6 months, and ever since she has slept like a dream - and as toddler used to ask to go to bed. She still loves her sleep, and will catch an afternoon nap, given half the chance (she's 11 soon).

We never really had any sleep deprivation with DD2. From the day we brough her home from the hospital, she only ever woke once in the night for a feed, and went back to sleep immediately afterwards.

I do have a friend, whose 2 DCs are now 7 and 9, and they still wake 2-3 times every night, and she has to get up and re-settle them. I think it's just totally habitual now for them all, but my poor friend looks like a ghost, most days sad

FushandChups Tue 25-Feb-14 22:06:01

Young - I think that it is smug to come into a thread full of people genuinely struggling and pipe up with 'you just haven't tried x' and 'you're doing it wrong'... but maybe that's the sleep deprivation talking wink

Right off to bed - fingers crossed for good nights for us all!

LaQueenOfHearts Tue 25-Feb-14 22:11:06

Just to add, DH is shit at sleeping.

As a child he was a nightmare about bedtime/sleeping - to the point that his Mum used to drug him with Phenegan (this was back in the 70s, by the way).

Neither he, or his siblings had anything resembling a bedtime routine - they were allowed to fall asleep on sofas, chairs, the rug infront of the TV, whatever was easiest.

To this day, he only really cat-naps, and never has more than 6 hours sleep a night (typically with several wakings between).

He's really grateful that our DDs take after me for being good sleepers, and DH was always adamant that they had a strict bedtime routine, as he totally blames his poor sleeping habits on his childhood.

Although, one of his siblings sleeps fine now as an adult. But, the others are all still really poor sleepers.

foreverondiet Tue 25-Feb-14 22:13:19

Not here. Regularly waking in night before 6 months old - but at age 3, 7 and 10, I have to shake them to wake them at 7.20am each morning, and they sleep until 8/8.30am at weekends. All three have slept until 8am at weekends since I can remember. 3 year old knows if he wakes up - he should go and see if his brother and sister are awake before disturbing parents, older 2 have clocks and know not allowed out of bed until 8am at weekends.

Obviously every so often someone wakes up in the night, but its rare. DD age 10 was recently sick during night and managed to do this without waking us up. Also went through phase with DS1 waking age 2 demanding bottle in night, and DD having nightmares, but generally managed to nip these things in bud quite quickly.

However quite a few of my friends esp with young kids (ie under 4) do report sleep deprivation so I guess its not that rare.

I'd be pretty sad that my 10 year old was being sick in the night and felt they couldn't/shouldn't come and wake up mum or dad.

Is that the case or were they just quite happy being sick on their own and thought it was no big deal/weren't upset about it?

Four years here. Not long compared to so many of you flowers

I thought I understood sleep and could teach a child to sleep and then DC2 came along and disabused me of this attitude. DC1 was just a naturally settled sleeper - left to cry a bit but self settled quickly - though very early riser.

DC2 is now 3.5 and though isn't up every night is probably up about 3 or 4 times a week with nightmares and seeing strange things. DC3 is in with me as I wouldn't get any sleep otherwise. DC2 was a terrible sleeper as a baby and I thought I was going mad. I was so unhappy and angry and obsessed and anxious.

One of the many symptoms I suffered from was total despondency / depression. Whilst I wanted and needed sleep I felt completely at a loss as how I could get it. Every time we passed one hurdle we'd hit something else. Tantrums, nightmares, illness, sleep walking etc. I've never recovered really. I think it damaged my relationship with her.

GuineaPigGaiters Tue 25-Feb-14 22:30:58

Years of it here too. 3 years with dd and nearly 4 so far with ds. Never ever sleep all the way through the night....not sure I'd know how to any more! smile

Theironfistofarkus Tue 25-Feb-14 22:36:24

6 years so far. On the positive side I get a lot done on mumsnet in the small hours.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Tue 25-Feb-14 23:10:56

"A lot done on mumsnet." grin So many things to get done! So many things to achieve, on MN!

IceBeing Tue 25-Feb-14 23:12:32

you know what? I think some people are so stupid they mix up cause and effect.

Having poor sleepers may lead to not having stable bedtime routines...not the other way around...

I knew a smug GF mummy....until her baby hit 6 months...turns out the routine was convenient to the baby up until then...not so much afterwards. Oh how we all chuckled.

I am of course so mega defensive in account of my 2.5 year old who is currently sleeping 6:30 till 6:30 (with the occasional peep at around midnight - oh what a bad unsuccessful mummy I must be).

Now my sister with her toddler with his asthma and allergy issues...that is a whole other story. But yeah she probably shouldn't have rocked him to sleep (although of course she never did in fact) but it must be something...maybe all that pampering BFing or summat. obviously her fault though...thats the key thing....

smug mummies can't be proud of their 'achievements' if it isn't other mummies faults that their kids don't sleep well....

otherwise you have to accept it is luck of the draw...and how can you be smug about that?

terrible.

IceBeing Tue 25-Feb-14 23:13:18

MN definitely needs levels....you need to be able to level up for making 15 consecutive posts at 3 am.

HappySmileyFace Tue 25-Feb-14 23:16:11

I would like to add that I think some people on this thread have been quite insensitive and clearly missed some key points that have been pointed out. For some people 2 out of 3 children don't sleep well. So yes perhaps with the 3rd they just "got lucky" with a good sleeper but it suggests that routine and behaviours aren't everything in this situation.

Sometimes there are multiple factors that mean that children aren't sleeping well. If it was a simple solution do you not think that every child would sleep well? And do you not think that all parents would rather get some sleep and would do whatever it takes to make this happen?

Often parents have tried solutions a number of times with no success.

It also does not help that you need to have a lot of energy to be consistent and implement new changes and unfortunately years of sleepless nights does not give you this energy to function day to day let alone get to a better place with this.

So I ask that you be very understanding -try spending a night in one of these households and perhaps you would have a kinder word instead of talking down to people.

Exactly. I have one poor sleeper.

Two good sleepers - though the baby is still too young to be sure but he's nothing like DC2.

I had about three hours sleep last night, ans two or three for the paat week, I haven't managed more than five in almost five months.

I am suffering from severe depression. The baby is sitting growling at me while I try desperately to figure out how I am going to do my job tomorrow because I am so fucking tired. I have no energy. I genuinely feel ill most of the day and sick all evening. There is no help because this is apparently one of the things about having children - that some don't sleep.

ListenToTheLady Wed 26-Feb-14 00:00:35

Exactly happy - I would love to implement a completely consistent regime to try to teach dd to settle herself at night. But I'm knackered, so yes, at 3am sometimes I do what she wants and get in with her, so that I can have a few hours of sleep and get up to work, run house and care for family. At 3am when you desperately need sleep it's not always easy to make the "right" decision.

Parliamo Wed 26-Feb-14 07:58:59

It's a shame a thread that started off with lots of people sharing for solidarity turns into one where a couple of posters come on with their superior smuggery telling us all where we're going wrong.

But then of course I've been sending my children to bed in polyester nighties straight after pie and chips for bedtime snack with a bottle of coke on the bedside table in case they're thirsty in the night. Silly me, should have known I was going wrong somewhere.

And to bonsoir- my sister used to say when I was in objectionable francophile mode - just because it's the French way, doesn't mean it's the best way.

duchesse Wed 26-Feb-14 08:16:54

Quite Parliamo- my sister's (French reared) children are pretty sleep deprived most of the time as they rarely get to bed before 10 even on a school night. I think it shows in their behaviour as well.

younggrasshopper Wed 26-Feb-14 09:32:58

You are all admitting that you caused the problems and yet you can't see it.

When you say - 'I put them in my bed so I could sleep' - yeah well take a guess why five years later you are still not getting a full nights sleep. That was your first mistake. Try and justify it all you want, it doesn't change the facts.

AllThatGlistens Wed 26-Feb-14 09:51:52

Oh to be so expert about all things sleep related.

10 years sleep deprivation here. DS 1 has ASD. DD is a fairly good sleeper but suffers night terrors. Ds2 is severely autistic and has no mental capacity to understand 'scream quietly so you don't wake the others'. hmm

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 26-Feb-14 09:52:01

ODFO grasshopper, there's a love.

younggrasshopper Wed 26-Feb-14 09:59:40

I think everyone on this thread is excluding children with medical conditions.

I don't know how many times posters can say that before people with children with medical conditions stop taking offence.

If your child has a medical condition, a disability or special needs then there is no need to get on your high horse - we are not refering to your child.

Is that clear enough now?

ipswichwitch Wed 26-Feb-14 09:59:46

DS1 has always been a crappy sleeper. At 14mo we did cc out of desperation. It worked for about a week. He has always had a good bedtime routine ( bath, book and bed for half 7), we did try experimenting with bedtimes but found in bed for 7.30 the best for him. We frequently got grief from family for being so inflexible about bedtimes and not keeping him out at family dos later because e would be a nightmare (over tiredness). We are always "boring parents" when dealing with him waking up and just guide him back to bed with minimal interaction.

Then just after his 2nd birthday he started sleepwalking, having night terrors and it was then we discovered he has sleep apnoea. We'd been to the drs so often for his snoring and tonsillitis and it was never suggested he may also have SA until I witnessed his breathing stop. He wakes several times a night screaming and terrified so poor DH ends up camping on his bedroom floor, or if he works away I bring him to bed with me as we also have 10 week old DS2. Finally have an appointment with ENT end of March and I hope to god they decide to take his tonsils out sharpish and hopefully solve the problem.

Fwiw, I have always been a crap sleeper, since I was about 7/8 years old. I have bouts of severe insomnia which needs medication to tackle. I never expected to have good sleepers, and I really feel for those of you who have had years of this. I know you can try every trick in the book and it still won't work for some kids. Yes there are families out there who frankly bring crappy sleep habits on themselves, but an awful lot who do everything they should and still it doesn't work. Don't judge unless you have been there.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 26-Feb-14 10:07:51

we are not referring to your child is that the royal 'We'? Because you seem to be a lone voice...

drivenfromdistraction Wed 26-Feb-14 10:14:07

Well, grasshopper, if children with disabilities/medical conditions/special needs may have a reason for not sleeping well, is it so hard to imagine that some children without such diagnoses might also have valid reasons for their sleeping problems?

Is it at all conceivable that not every child in the world is exactly like yours, and that other children may not respond in the same way to the (hardly earth-shattering) techniques you describe.

And by the way, children with disabilities/medical conditions/special needs are not some utterly different category of being. Their parents should not have to automatically bow out of any conversation because 'of course we don't mean your kids, so go away and let us drivel on about our 'normal' kids who show their normalness by fitting into this narrow range of 'normal' behaviour we are now defining.'

Is there a Grrr! icon? Should be.

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 10:42:40

oh no...its not a spectrum...its a hard line in the sand....all kids are either a) other and are allowed to have sleep issues or
b) normal and can have no possible reason for not being identical in their responses to youngs kids.

here is the angry for you to use...

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 10:44:42

lots of people co-sleep and have children who sleep well and get lots of rest. Lots of people who have never ever co-slept even once have kids that don't sleep well.

So how exactly does one do the mental damage gymnastics required to believe that co-sleeping is responsible for bad sleeping in children?

drivenfromdistraction Wed 26-Feb-14 10:47:54

Thank you ice. angry angry angry angry

Phew. That's better.

off to search for cake

sunshinemmum Wed 26-Feb-14 11:08:30

Thank you for your post driven, very well put. Neuro typical kids, still suffer anxieties and/or have problems self calming. There are a whole host of reasons kids don't sleep and I think people should count themselves lucky if their children do.

I does amaze me that every issue around the welfare of children from their behaviour to their sleep, to their weight, always draws out the people who point the finger at parenting. This happened to us in RL, before DS's diagnosis when friends dropped like flies, because the going got too tough and it is also is evident on many threads on here. I do actually envy the self righteous sometimes wink

younggrasshopper Wed 26-Feb-14 11:11:46

Its just pointless to come on a thread and waste energy being offended when no one is referring to children who have SN for example.

But some people just love to be offended esp on MN these days.

Once upon a time, everyone became offended if you didn't put a disclaimer 'not referring to disbaled children obv', now people are becoming offended if you do put the disclaimer.

Only on MN grin

younggrasshopper Wed 26-Feb-14 11:14:13

And if you think I'm a lone voice then you clearly haven't read the thread.

Too busy being PO?

Megrim Wed 26-Feb-14 11:15:44

There is an interesting study on sleep patterns of children from birth to 12 months in New Zealand from 2010. It found that half of babies sleep through the night for 5 or 8 hours from the age of 2 or 3 months, and concluded that parents must focus on improving babies sleep patterns in the first 3 months of life.

Link for those that are interested.

So, in theory I guess that allows 50% of parents who followed the advice in the study to be "smug". Me included.

Indith Wed 26-Feb-14 11:16:46

I really don't see why it should be an issue that apparently NT children don't always sleep. Sure, sometimes it can be shit parenting but sometimes they don't sleep because they.......just don't sleep.

Plenty of adults don't sleep well either and they have various techniques to help them. Sometimes they get up and do the ironing, cleaning, watch TV, read a book, have a cup of herbal tea or a horlicks. That is all deemed absolutely fine. Funnily enough a 4/5/6/7 or even 10 year old is not mature enough to, at night, when it is dark and the house is quiet and everyone else is asleep, get up and make themselves a soothing drink/find another way to allow their brain to wind down. Why is that seen as a sign of bad parenting?

sunshinemmum Wed 26-Feb-14 11:19:36

Are you young Grasshopper? wink Sorry couldn't resist!

drivenfromdistraction Wed 26-Feb-14 11:19:55

Its just pointless to come on a thread and waste energy being offended when no one is referring to children who have SN

Have you read the thread grasshopper? Because lots of people on here are referring to children with SN. There are many parents of SN kids on here talking about their sleep issues.

I started this thread. It's about kids with sleep issues. Some of those kids have SN and some don't. My kids don't. Many the things that the parents of SN kids are saying are relevant and interesting. Unlike your posts, as it happens.

OpalQuartz Wed 26-Feb-14 11:23:14

Obviously every so often someone wakes up in the night, but its rare. DD age 10 was recently sick during night and managed to do this without waking us up. Also went through phase with DS1 waking age 2 demanding bottle in night, and DD having nightmares, but generally managed to nip these things in bud quite quickly.

Why didn't she wake you up when she was sick, and how do you nip nightmares in the bud?

Indith Wed 26-Feb-14 11:29:38

I'd hate to think that one of my children had got up and been sick and sorted themselves out without waking me. Helping them is what I am here for!

younggrasshopper Wed 26-Feb-14 11:30:23

I never once said don't post about SN.

I said whats the point of parents of children with SN offended by posts which are not referencing their children.

Can't you understand the difference?

drivenfromdistraction Wed 26-Feb-14 11:39:26

Because they don't think that their children should be a different category that is automatically excluded from discussion, grasshopper?

Children come in a range of varieties, with a range of behaviours. Some of those children have SN. It is a bit silly to say 'All non-SN children will sleep through the night from an early age if parented correctly. All SN children are entirely different and excluded from discussion.'

Can you understand that?

HappySmileyFace Wed 26-Feb-14 11:48:32

Here's an idea....how about anyone who needs support or a hand to hold in this tough situation, and anyone else who can put their smugness to one side band together to give one another hope through kind words and useful, non judgmental strategies.

I will start with some supportive words to those who are feeling truly exhausted today -I would like to acknowledge you all for being the best parent you could be today. Although you may be silently suffering through this perhaps reaching out to a RL friend for support (even just to have a chat today) could make a difference.

TheRaniOfYawn Wed 26-Feb-14 11:59:00

I had 7 years of horrible energy-sapping, nausea inducing sleep deprivation. DD Is now 7 and reads quietly in her room if she wakes up early, but generally wakes up after 7. DS is 4 and sleeps through until after 5.50 around 5 days a week and generally after 6.30 at least once a week. The test of the time he climbs into bed next to me and falls straight back to sleep.

It is bliss and before long you will have it too.

AllThatGlistens Wed 26-Feb-14 12:15:19

I actually just laughed out loud that apparently parents of SN kids need not post because this is for 'normal' children and anyone that posts otherwise is PO grin

Surely this highlights that you cannot categorise!

Some dc with SN sleep. Others don't. Same with neurotypical kids.

There should be no exclusions, because every child is different. They dont come with a standardised instruction manual.

ZingSweetMango Wed 26-Feb-14 12:29:07

my eldest is 13 in July - I'm due with our #7 just 2 weeks before.

so that's almost 13 years of sleep deprivation.
add a couple more after baby's born and I'm looking at 15+ years of no proper sleep at night!
at least.

but I don't think I will ever have a proper night's sleep - worrying about them or their problems will probably always interfere with my ability to fall asleep easily (I'm naturally an owl and probably have a touch of insomnia).

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 12:32:41

I have come to the following conclusion...people are in general dicks.

Bare with me...

Some people (like myself) are depressive dicks. I have a tendency to believe that everything that goes right with my parenting/DD is due to chance/genetics nature or luck. Like BF. DD was a fecking genius at that....had her first tummy full before I came around from the GA. In my head that's all her / luck.
But I think everything that goes wrong is my fault. If she is sick it is my fault, if she has a nightmare its my fault. Needing GA in labour - my fault.

Other people are smug dicks. They believe everything that goes right is down to their own personal excellence and everything that goes wrong is just bad luck/ genes. These are the kind of parents who after 3 years of telling you how you should just do what they do to get their kid to sleep through give birth to a non-sleeper and then declare it is all down to genetics/bad birth / anything that isn't their fault.

In reality I would guess that 95+ % of how your child is in the first few years is down to nature/genetics/environmental influences out of parental control. So anyone that either thinks what they did made things substantially better or that what they did made things substantially worse is being a dick.

Of course if you screw the 5% up badly enough you really can make a difference....but really not many people do that....

younggrasshopper Wed 26-Feb-14 13:03:02

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 26-Feb-14 13:16:21

people with kids with SN are not "the PO" because they want to join in discussions despite your thrown out disclaimer.

And I wasn't even offended by your posts but I am by that epithet.

Your posts were totally insensitive and could well have done with just being advice based rather than critical. even if you were addressing those with NT children only.

You have not shown yourself in a good light on this thread.

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 13:17:26

hmmm am I desperate to be offended? <ponders> nah. Just get offended the normal way when people spout shit.

Am I defensive? Not on the topic of sleep...my DD sleeps fine. So maybe there is a third option?

Some people think it is ridiculous to claim causality without proof. You did stuff and your kids sleep well? Okay, but you have ZERO evidence those two things are connected.

Some people are scientists and get that correlation isn't causality.

Some people get pissed off with people who don't understand that.

I am one of those people.

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 13:19:23

So actually I am "professionally pissed off with people who don't understand that correlation does not imply causality"

It isn't as neat as PO....PPCC maybe? <needs a better acronym>

Some people are outright insulting because they are pissed off with what someone has said.

Some people are passive aggressive arseholes who wind people up on purpose with wanky smiley faces when they are being knobheads.

drivenfromdistraction Wed 26-Feb-14 13:21:27

Some of you..hand out insults like sweets to make yourself feel better

And in the same post, Grasshopper, you call parents of children with SN the Professionally Offended.

So ironic. Catch on to yourself, eh? Deeply unpleasant.

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 13:21:53

fanjo do you think that parents of children with SN are simply more likely to understand that there is a spectrum of behaviour and that the two size model (SN or NT) doesn't fit all? I would imagine they are certainly better placed to understand that being a good parent and doing everything right is no guarantee of plain sailing....

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 13:23:32

high...oh..er...a wanky smilie face? That is one suggestion for an expanded glossary of MN emoticons that I do not actually support....

I completely support your sentiment though.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 26-Feb-14 13:25:14

Actually young most of us are not desperate to be offended, or defensive, or anything else. We are just tired, and were sharing a bit of sympathy until you decided to come into the thread and start preaching about how bloody marvellous you are.

And me, PO, are you actually joking? I think that boot needs to be on your foot, because you are clearly outraged that we haven't all fallen to our knees sobbing with gratitude at your wonderful advice. Because no-one here has tried doing anything to help their kids sleep hmm

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 26-Feb-14 13:27:05

Ice..yes. we go through the same issues as all parents just with different causes and different methods of dealing with them.

We aren't some "other" kind of parents that shouldn't post on a thread.

Often we are parents who have been through every issue known to man and tried everything to deal with them.

But people still think they can put a disclaimer and keep us off threads.

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 13:28:26

Also wtaf kind of person posts the equivalent of 'ha ha at least I will get sleep tonight' on a thread full of people saying they are varying (small) distances from total collapse?

<what rather be awake tonight than a total wankbadger>

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 13:32:07

fanjo yes it is doubly offensive isn't it. It simultaneously says the poster can't be arsed to consider the full range of issues by including those diagnosed with specific problems and that anyone without a specific diagnosis brought all their problems on themselves....

Oh well, it is a human trait to split things into nice simple boxes to help with dealing with the overwhelming complexity of the world...

Most people can manage slightly more than 2 though....

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 26-Feb-14 13:41:41

yes. And please noone be upset by a poster who would actually post "at least I will get a sleep tonight". That should invalidate anything upsetting they have said on this thread.

mindosa Wed 26-Feb-14 13:47:02

Some children have contributing factors that make a solid night sleep difficult.

However, for those with none, I think its is mostly habitual. I really think it would help parents if they were made aware that unless a child either naturally sleeps through or is trained to do so at a very young age, then there is a high possibility that you will have years of disrupted sleep.

I think the whole attitude around co sleeping and baby led sleeping has resulted in huge sleep issues that are clearly damaging for mothers (and fathers) in the long term.
Its almost like its seen as normal to be sleep deprived for years when it really shouldn't be.

Just sending understanding thanks to all those going through this now. I had 5 years without a full night's sleep. Ds was fairly straightforward - broken sleep for the first few months, then read up frantically, became expert in healthy sleep patterns, did controlled crying (well actually cry it out, eventually - in desperation! - but it worked really, really well) so at about 10/11 months he started to sleep through ... which was exactly when I fell pregnant again, with associated pg insomnia (which I had also had 1st time round).

When dd arrived, I was a bit smug about sleep to start off with and then - well, it turned out all my expertise in setting up healthy sleep routines a) didn't work so well with her, b) were impossible to implement with a slightly older child who was being woken up and unsettleable by the crying, and c) I didn't have the strength to stick with anyway because I was, by this point, so exhausted.

Eventually she just moved in with me, dp moved into the spare room, and so it stayed until 6 months into primary school when she finally started sleeping through.

I will never take sleep for granted again.

By the way my aunt has 5 kids and when I asked her how she coped, she said 'well, they were all good sleepers - I would have stopped at the first poor one'.

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 14:01:03

mindosa do you have a reference to a trial that shows that co-sleeping is correlated to poor sleep later on?

we will move onto causality once actually correlation is shown...which I am not aware it has been.

What even makes you think the two things would be connected?

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 14:02:25

or is it just a personal opinion hmm

mindosa Wed 26-Feb-14 14:03:12

Yes I do - look up BMJ online ...... fgs

You might refer to the 'I thinks' in my post.

mindosa Wed 26-Feb-14 14:05:58

Come on IceBeing. The thread is about whether its normal not to sleep for years.

Its not normal and as I said some children have contributing factors that make a solid night sleep difficult, but for those who don't I do think that a lack of sleep training at an early age has an impact.

the amount of posters who refer to taking children into their beds, settling them for an hour etc is phenomenal. Yet they don't seem to see how this might make the issue worse.

AllThatGlistens Wed 26-Feb-14 14:22:00

I'm not remotely offended by anything that Grasshopper has posted. I can smile at the irony and am happy that the posts will stand to let others read and draw their own conclusions.

I find it offensive that parents are expected to adopt a one size fits all approach to their children, SN or not. Surely that's one of the first things a parent learns - that what works for one child doesn't necessarily work for another confused

SomewhatSilly Wed 26-Feb-14 14:49:48

DS1 has been a terrible sleeper since birth, and has only moved properly into his own bed very recently at nearly 3.5.

If anyone has a middle-of-the-night waked and is interested, we are having excellent results by giving him a banana 30 mins before bedtime. Like, seriously good results - in the couple of weeks since we started doing it religiously he has gone from waking every night, often for hours at a time, to sleeping 7.30-6.30 without getting up at all.

Hope I've not jinxed it now...

(Baby still wakes up 4-5 times a night though, so I'm not getting any sleep yet)

drivenfromdistraction Wed 26-Feb-14 14:54:22

Now that's the kind of magic tip I like the sound of, Somewhat!

How long before the banana does your DS have his dinner? Mine have it at about 5pm, and bedtime is about 7pm. Maybe I will try DD on a banana at 6.30... Unfortunately, my DS1 loathes them.

drivenfromdistraction Wed 26-Feb-14 14:54:47

Bugger, no bananas in the house. I am going to ring DH and tell him to buy some on the way home. He will think I am bonkers...

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 26-Feb-14 15:00:20

I have a night waker who eats 2 bananas before bedtime. Maybe she needs 3...

HobbetInTheHeadlights Wed 26-Feb-14 15:02:24

I do think genetics play apart - DH is terrible sleeper and come from a family of sleep walkers - this is despite good bedtime routines his entire life - I'm not really surprised despite sleep training efforts our DC are similar and we had years of disrupted sleep.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Wed 26-Feb-14 15:06:14

Well - warm milk is supposed to help promote sleep - my parents did that bed time for us as does lettuce - wild related plant is what is used in natural sleeping pills.

Lavender spray in room or on pillows supposed to promote calm, reduce anxiety and help promote sleep - used it with nine no idea if if worked.

Light alarm clocks and black out blinds did help with DD1 as toddler in getting her to sleep in - they broke it and expensive so we didn't replace as didn't help with other two.

SomewhatSilly Wed 26-Feb-14 15:11:29

Fanjo grin

It's completely unscientific and I didn't read about it in the Daily Mail, oh no

younggrasshopper Wed 26-Feb-14 16:04:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

hazeyjane Wed 26-Feb-14 16:08:18

youngasshopper, you may be an unparalleled expert in child sleep problems, and I bow to your 30 years of experience in asthma studies, but you could really work on your 'people skills' - eg - the term 'professionally offended' is, on the whole, used by idiots.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 26-Feb-14 16:10:29

And some people are just crap at empathy and seeing things outside of their itty-bitty-teeny-weeny box.

TheRaniOfYawn Wed 26-Feb-14 16:12:48

Actually, grasshopper, my children are generally unproblematic. And although I was very tired when they didn't sleep, I didn't really see it as a problem, just as a fairly typical albeit annoying behaviour that they would grow out of, like not being able to sleep or lack of bladder control. And they did grow out of it.

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 26-Feb-14 16:18:14

and some like goading on a thread.

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 16:20:13

Aha!
Young grasshopper is, in fact, Katie Hopkins!
Now her posts make sense!
not

Parliamo Wed 26-Feb-14 16:35:36

Mindosa - Your 'I thinks' are then followed by statements that sound like such incontrovertible truths there is no wonder posters are asking for the evidence you have based your shit opinions on.

Fwiw - I think there is nothing else anybody (not even the French, not to mention sleep expert young) could tell me about promoting healthy sleep routines and there is nothing else I could try (apart from sleeping pills and earplugs for me).

I just happen to have spawned three non sleeping night devils in the space of four years.

Parliamo Wed 26-Feb-14 16:41:58

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

younggrasshopper has been dealt with by MNHQ. She was a previously banned poster.

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 26-Feb-14 17:13:40

Ah. I can see why.

ZingSweetMango Wed 26-Feb-14 17:29:38

Badvoc

[grin[

or are you not kidding? shock

btw there's a night owl thread, so if anyone is up and needs company tonight, see you there!

(but we only chat and stuff. no energy for fighting...)

ZingSweetMango Wed 26-Feb-14 17:33:35

ffs, I'm so tired I can't even do a proper grin

I guess it's my fault. I haven't trained my kids to not get ill or have bad dreams or wet the bed occasionally or whatever else that makes them wake up

oh well

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 17:40:52

Oh, I will be there if tonight is anything like the last 2! smile sad

ZingSweetMango Wed 26-Feb-14 17:43:52

grin

see you there!

SomewhatSilly Wed 26-Feb-14 17:58:43

Oh, didn't realise I'd waded into a no-comment-SN-parent debate hmm.

Well, as my DS is likely to have SN, but we don't know yet as he's waiting for assessment...am I 'allowed' to join in or not? Perhaps I should come back in six months time and share whether my posts are relevant (NT) or not (SN).

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 18:02:34

Well my dc are nt and both are bad sleepers.
What, exactly, is your point?

RosaParksIsBack Wed 26-Feb-14 18:02:51

Havent RTFT but I have had years of it. Have a 9 year old and a 4 year old. Probably had 2 ok years when 9 year old was 2 nearly 3 then 4 year old came along and haven't had a whole week of unbroken sleep since - reflux when a baby/toddler and now just wakes to be irritating hmm

Is it a competition though? confused

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 18:06:00

No it isn't rosa, deposited some posters best efforts smile
Reflux is grim...I have had it for 6 years now and I feel so much for little ones with it. At least I understand what the pain is.

Yes somewhat come and join. The poster who had tried to dictate who could post what and was shouting PO at everyone turned out to be have been previously banned. What a shock.

brew for you.

ZingSweetMango Wed 26-Feb-14 18:17:36

Rosa & Badvoc

yes, actually it is a competition and I think I'm winning! yay me, I knew I'd be good at something! grin grin

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 18:28:17

Pah!
Don't care if you're winning zing!
actually it's quite sad as I do a tiny bit...competitive, me?smile

SomewhatSilly Wed 26-Feb-14 18:31:42

Sorry badvoc I was responding to grasshopper's posts - I'm emphatically in agreement with you! (Need a sarcasm button)

Parliamo Wed 26-Feb-14 18:34:07

Grr I'm annoyed I took the bait. Still I wasn't wrong!

ZingSweetMango Wed 26-Feb-14 18:40:07

Badvoc

I know. I'm competitive too. normally at things that don't matter. like winning in Scrabble or how quickly I can change a nappy!grin

Anyway, all dumb joking aside, sleepless nights are shit and I sympathize with anyone who suffers from sleep deprivation, whatever the cause is.
And it's truly crap when there's nothing we can do about being woken up or unable to fall asleep.

so a big hug from me to all who needs it (hug)

IceBeing Wed 26-Feb-14 18:51:17

Okay well....on the one hand that was a waste of time engaging with a 'known to MNHQ individual' but on the other hand I needed to yell at someone and that worked for me....

grin any port in a storm IceBeing!

RosaParksIsBack Wed 26-Feb-14 19:09:46

Ah sorry! blush Have now read the thread, and see the title wasn't supposed to be taken the way I took it! Sorry smile

And as for smuggy twats they can fuck off.

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 19:17:41

Ah, it's ok.
Us sleep deprived zombies goddesses must stick together! smile

ZingSweetMango Wed 26-Feb-14 19:18:10

Ice

I hope you feel better now.

(and you know there is a sweary thread where all yelling and swearing is positively encouraged!
it's disguised though and called "Nice polite thread" wink)

Noggie Wed 26-Feb-14 19:22:08

Dd1 took 5.5 years to. 'Sleep through'. It was awful! Thankfully dd2 is better- not amazing, but better which is enough!

mindosa Wed 26-Feb-14 20:52:58

Parliamo. I have reported your posts. I don't see why you feel the need to refer to my fairly innocuous opinion as shit or indeed call me a twat.

Its shouting down someone who doesn't say exactly what you do and its a bit sad really

Liara Wed 26-Feb-14 20:56:15

2dc aged 7 and almost 4.

Have slept through once or twice, and it was so unusual I actually woke up in the middle of the night to go and check that they were OK!

Sleep deprivation is a bitch. I console myself with the thought that it can't be much longer...

youarewinning Wed 26-Feb-14 21:03:17

My sleep deprivation has increased as DS has got older! (Suspected ASD) he will generally drop off by 11 and be up 2/3 times a night. He sleep walks sometimes and has tried climb out of his bedroom window. So we sleep in Fort Knox grin

Altho we've cracked the staying asleep till 6.45/7am once we settle again finally!

Parliamo Wed 26-Feb-14 21:39:18

Errr I didn't refer to you as a twat.

mindosa Wed 26-Feb-14 21:44:32

And didn't state my opinion was shit - right?

Please, you typed it.

ZingSweetMango Wed 26-Feb-14 21:52:32

(AIBU to want to post "Go to bed you two!")

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 26-Feb-14 22:13:17

I do believe she was calling someone else a twat mindosa.

drivenfromdistraction Thu 27-Feb-14 09:47:40

Well, last night went very well in one way - put the 6yo to bed an hour later than usual (for the second night in a row) with a snack of rice cakes & cheese & drink of milk before bedtime. He slept until almost 7am, which has never happened in his entire life before.

DH did point out that he may just be catching up on the sleep from several disrupted nights, but we are going to stick to the new routine and see if it works better.

The 2yo, however, was not so good. She woke up at 10.30pm (by which time I'd already been asleep an hour...) and was pretty unsettled throughout the night, then up for the day before 5am.

Tonight we'll try her on the banana-before-bedtime trick. Here's hoping...

Parliamo Thu 27-Feb-14 10:05:39

Zing I was! My survival tactic is bed as early as possible once I've had an hour to myself.

Mindosa, honestly, I wasn't referring to you. My post was, admittedly, passive aggressive enough to be misconstrued as a personal attack, for which I am sorry. But I do think it was clear enough from the context (context now less clear after the poster I was aiming at has been deleted)

As for all that you were spouting (and I paraphrase because I can't be arsed to reread) about it being modern parenting styles being to blame for poor sleeping aka it's your fault, yes, I think you were talking out of your arse.

The thread started off as a - is it like this for anyone else? Yes! Me! bit of solidarity. United we stand and all that. As a sleep deprived parent it's nice to have some company and understanding without being judged as a shit parent, an attitude as prevalent in rl too.

Parliamo Thu 27-Feb-14 10:10:08

Driven, I've read about that approach of working out the ideal amount of sleep for the individual in question and then deliberately taking half an hour/ an hour off it to prevent waking. And night terrors interestingly. Can't remember where though!

And we've a couple of family members still scarred by years of no sleep who say the only thing that keeps you going is the hope that tomorrow night will be better...

drivenfromdistraction Thu 27-Feb-14 10:22:06

Parliamo, I sympathise with your family members, mine has some like that too, which is driving me to try and ensure that DC1 doesn't grow up with the same disruptive sleep patterns that have caused them such distress.

The change is quite rough on DH and I, as it means we have no evening - by the time DS1 goes to bed (only 8ish), we have less than an hour before I need to be asleep in order to cope with DD's night waking. But I am hoping that if we can also crack that, it will improve things long term.

justanuthermanicmumsday Thu 27-Feb-14 10:28:33

1stfirst year yes sleep deprived. Last baby was the worst id get 2 hrs shed always start crying. I got so angry with husband I took off to attic room with baby, scolded hand getting baby flask water entire hand burnt. Yes happy days.

But after reaching 1 years old uninterrupted sleep, unless they were I'll and barfing all over the bedding, lovely! Two go bed 6.30pm other two 7.30-8pm. They're 7,6,3,1.

I can't cope with the mental stress they're constant fighting, eldest two are always bickering, lack of sleep I can cope with. Even before kids 4 hrs sleep was a doodle for me.

I actually choose to go bed late which isn't good in the morning but at night I get to breathe a little relax.

drivenfromdistraction Thu 27-Feb-14 10:31:54

p.s Mimosa -

My DM had a very traditional approach to all aspects of parenting. There was never any co-sleeping, there was a clear routine to all aspects of life, all DC slept in their own cots/bed from day one etc. etc. I slept fine (though was an early waker) and as an older adult (mid-30s plus have mild insomniac tendencies). My DSis woke constantly during the night and has on and off very bad insomnia.

I have a more 'modern' (in your terminology, though actually it's incorrect, since the 'traditional' style you mean started in the 1940s-50s) style, where I co-slept with my babies, then gradually moved them into their cots and ultimately beds. From an early age there's been a strong bedtime routine though. Now, of the 3 DC, I have one excellent sleeper, one frequent waker and one early riser.

I don't think it's as simple as you make out. I do think that each of my DC are very different physiologically and emotionally, and need a different approach to help their sleep - which is difficult to work out and to implement. And even the best laid out routine is not necessarily going to produce 3 perfect sleepers.

The supportive posters on this thread are far more useful and helpful than the fewer angrily smug ones. It's possible to make helpful suggestions without being rude about it, you know! And you need to bear in mind that many of the posters on here have done ALL the things you mention, but still have DC with sleep problems.

HappySmileyFace Thu 27-Feb-14 12:21:23

driven that is great that your 6yo had a good night.

Is it helpful to suggest keeping a notebook of the strategy you used? That way if things don't go according to plan further down the track, you can look back and remember what worked on this occasion to give you a starting point again?

(I suggest this only as if I am sleep deprived, I can't seem to think clearly enough to come up with any ideas so writing it down gives me some clarity).

ZingSweetMango Thu 27-Feb-14 12:22:44

Parliamo

United we stand? more like United we wobble and walk in slow motion, quite zombie like!grin

I also sit down a lot.

ZingSweetMango Thu 27-Feb-14 12:28:47

and as I'm now self-appointed queen of the sleep deprived (yeah, take that Badvoc!grin ) you all need to listen and repeat after me:

"I am not a shit parent. I do my best. and if I'm not doing my best that is because I'm unable to due circumstances I can't change or have control over.
And sometimes I'm so tired my brain is fried and maybe I just can't make a good decision or start a positive change.
but I'm not shit or rubbish. I'm just human.
And I just want to survive hard times - so if you can't help me fuck off"

drivenfromdistraction Thu 27-Feb-14 13:03:13

HappySmiley,

Funnily enough I have just started filling in the Millpond Sleep Clinic sleep diary charts - and doing that made it really clear that DS1 was going to bed too early. (It used to be the right time for him, but in the last few months something has changed - just getting older, I guess). I feel I can do this without the clinic at the moment but am going to carry on filling in the diary.