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Fed up of sleep guilt

(6 Posts)
HazyShadeOfWinter Sat 01-Nov-14 07:09:08

Not sure how to phrase this better, but I am so fed up of feeling responsibility and guilt for getting our DS (2.7) to sleep and sleep enough.

He has always been a below average sleeper (like me, I struggle to sleep and don't need much) but he recently regressed because we had another DC ( I assume). He's gone back to waking super early, taking ages to settle, and also waking in night (though usually just once).

I feel like I can cope with tiredness - after all have had practice - but am so fed up of worrying each day about when he naps, for how long; when to start bath and bed so that he's had enough sleep but isn't overtired; how to get him tired enough; how to get him back to sleep in the night or at 4.50 (which I failed this morning). If I fail in all this, like this morning when I did the wrong things and he wouldn't go back to sleep, and he ends up not getting enough sleep overall, I feel like the worst parent and want to cry with guilt.

I guess we should try to be strict about routine (he has different days depending on whether he's with me, in nursery, with Granny etc, ) but I don't really know what times to enforce because I don't know what would help him sleep.

Just wanted to moan really, if any one is about to hold hands or who feels similar that would be lovely. brew in advance for anyone also feeling the sleep guilt.

RedRose27 Sat 01-Nov-14 07:41:01

I will hold hands Hazy smile

DD is only 4 months and her daytime sleep is a nightmare. I spend all say every day clock watching, making sure if she's been awake longer than 90 mins whipping her away from what she's doing in an attempt to get her to sleep. Doing some made up calculation at night to figure out whether she needs to start bedtime routine wary because of lack of daytime sleep.

Yesterday she only managed 4 half hour sleeps, 2 of those we're in the car. I feel awful as she was red eyed, crying as if to say, please help me sleep mummy. DH doesn't seem to bother keeping track of her schedule, and my mm and gran both think I'm crazy and say, she'll fall asleep when she's tired... But she won't!!

I'm very new to being a mummy, but this us by far the most stressful and guilt inducing part. I never know what the right thing to do us, should I rock her back to sleep if she wakes after 30 mins? If I do, do I undermine her ability to get herself back to sleep? If she's tired, wouldn't she fall back to sleep? Whatever choice I make at the time, I feel like it's the wrong one and I've failed her.

I have to just remind myself that I can't MAKE her sleep, I can only help her. Doesn't help the guilt at the end of the day though.

HazyShadeOfWinter Sat 01-Nov-14 08:09:56

Wish I has some words of advice or comfort red but as you can imagine my DS wasn't brill at daytime sleep. I just did what we had to to get through - rock to sleep; sleep in buggy etc. But maybe that's why we are where we are now...

And remember your DD might be going through sleep regression so in a few weeks it will probably be must better.

I do think that at that age they are pretty much good sleepers or bad sleepers and, like you say, all you can do is help, keep as much of a routine as you can and hope it passes. I know what you mean though about making the wrong choice every time.

One thing I try to hold on to is that in a few years this will be a memory - eventually they'll sleep better and/or be old enough for us to help in other ways like teaching them relaxation (tried this with DS today - not a success; he waved his legs about and laughed) or whatever. So I try to focus on the things that will matter, like remembering fun times together and how sweet they are.

RedRose27 Sat 01-Nov-14 09:00:38

Thanks Hazy.
Just back from a 40 minute attempt at getting DD to sleep!!

I don't think it's the regression as she's been like this since about 9 weeks but I can live in hope smile

She's such a happy little girl that I feel EXTRA guilt as me attempting to get her to sleep makes her cry when she was otherwise happy and playing! I did try a couple of weeks of going with the glow for daytime sleep, but she got so overtired that it started affecting her nighttime sleep too.

I know, at some point she will learn to sleep better (I'm hoping as soon as she starts to crawl as she might knacker herself out!)

You made me laugh with your comment about relaxation!!! It's just an adjustment as I think the guilt is there forever now as I'm a mum!!

HazyShadeOfWinter Sat 01-Nov-14 10:09:11

Yup the guilt is hard to shift... just when you get over one thing another crops up.

One other thought, though - since everything is phases and they change so quickly at that age you could try going with the flow again, see if she's a bit better at finding her own nap times now? We found that sometimes a technique or routine we'd tried one week would suddenly work when we tried again and he had grown up a bit.

DH has wrestled over tired DS out to football now, and I am meant to be catching up on sleep but DS2 is happily awake and gurgling so another day with no naps and lots of fighting back tears from me.

If I've been up since 4.50, is it too early for wine?

RedRose27 Sat 01-Nov-14 11:09:35

Stay strong smile I'm still breastfeeding so no wine for me! But lots of cake instead. You've been up over 6 hours which I think technically makes it afternoon already so I think you're fine smile

Thanks for the suggestion, maybe I will try it again. A stressed mum makes a stressed baby I think, so maybe if I was more relaxed it would help.

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