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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?!

duchesse Thu 27-Feb-14 18:52:44

Op, I can remember as a small child (say 4 or 5) also having a cast iron very traditional bedtime routine (and incidentally I was definitely left to "cry it out" as a very small baby --thanks to my father's warped notions of fostering independence in a newborn--) being awake until it got dark every single day. I used to read (I could read freakishly early) in the daylight while it was still there, and using the light from the crack under my bedroom door after the sun set, winter and summer alike (so very very late in summer). I had never been a good sleeper until my thyroid started packing in, so it's no surprise that some of my children aren't either.

Parliamo Thu 27-Feb-14 18:14:19

And so wrong about being helpful.

Parliamo Thu 27-Feb-14 18:09:41

Patronising and smug now, marvellous.

TheRaniOfYawn Thu 27-Feb-14 17:40:58

And we generally let our babies cluster feed and sleep in the same room as us because this is generally considered to be beneficial to the baby's health.

TheRaniOfYawn Thu 27-Feb-14 17:39:33

Mindosa and Ragwort - you are both doing the thing that made my sleepless years particularly miserable which is suggesting that if a child is not sleep trained, they will go on to have long term sleep problems.

The truth is that it is perfectly normal for a toddler to wake up several times a night and to need some help or comfort to go back to sleep. Quite possibly the majority of these children can be trained not to wake their parents but for some this doesn't work, for others there are underlying causes of night waking which sleep training doesn't address and for some families it is preferable to let their child reach their sleep
milestones in their own time, and for those families, sleep training is inappropriate.

It is also very annoying to see an assumption that responsive night time parenting is chaotic. Most of the families I know who co sleep, don't cry it out, start the baby's sleep routine off downstairs etc have a regular and predicable bedtime and sleep routine.

Ragwort Thu 27-Feb-14 17:19:57

I agree mindosa makes a good point and as I said ages ago (but no one picked up on) I don't understand why people don't start the sleep routines earlier - so many parents seem to keep their babies downstairs, let them fall asleep when they want, feed/rock etc them to sleep, cluster feed all evening etc etc and then seem surprised when at 6 months or whatever the baby finds it impossible to self settle.

I would like to know if those of you who have genuinely tried controlled crying or other sleep training programmes (and not given up after a couple of nights) still find that your babies can't sleep?

I don't want to be unkind, I am sure it is hell to have a poor sleeper but in the real life cases I have seen with friends whose children have sleep issues (some 10 years++) the parents are just not consistent enough with installing routines - which is fine, but then don't complain that your child won't sleep.

mindosa Thu 27-Feb-14 16:48:23

I think my point was helpful - get into a good sleep routine early and hopefully this will negate the need for sleep issues down the road.

I don't think its smug, its just advice. I had a bad sleeper but trained DD out of it so I know what its like.

drivenfromdistraction Thu 27-Feb-14 13:03:13


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.

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"

ZingSweetMango Thu 27-Feb-14 12:22:44


United we stand? more like United we wobble and walk in slow motion, quite zombie like!grin

I also sit down a lot.

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).

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.

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 10:22:06

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.

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...

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.

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...

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 26-Feb-14 22:13:17

I do believe she was calling someone else a twat mindosa.

ZingSweetMango Wed 26-Feb-14 21:52:32

(AIBU to want to post "Go to bed you two!")

mindosa Wed 26-Feb-14 21:44:32

And didn't state my opinion was shit - right?

Please, you typed it.

Parliamo Wed 26-Feb-14 21:39:18

Errr I didn't refer to you as a twat.

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!

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...

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

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!

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