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Listen up tired mama!!

(40 Posts)
Purpleboa Mon 14-Mar-16 09:48:14

I'm talking to you. Yes, you. The mum whose baby has somehow failed to go the f**k to sleep, for the umpteenth night running. You're a hot mess held together purely by caffeine, sugar and adrenaline. You're starting to resent/hate your previously adored other half, with whom you're in locked in constant dreary competition over 'who's more tired' (answer: YOU). Pyjamas are now your working uniform, and your baby is in her jumperoo so often, you're beginning to mistake her for Davros.

If you ever do make it out the house, you're surrounded by beautifully made up yummy mummies pushing their angelically sleeping babies. Your mummy friends ALL have little darlings who have been sleeping through pretty much since they left the hospital. You're always the reluctant recipient of unwanted, well meaning but patronising advice. 'Would you not consider just giving her some formula?' 'Won't she nap in her cot? You're making a rod for your own back with those pram naps'. 'He just needs a full belly and he'll sleep all night!'

You've read all the books, watched the podcasts and learnt from the experts. You could get your PhD on the subject of infant sleep, you know so much about it. Despite this, your little one suddenly decides to up their game by waking up every hour. That previous 3 hour stretch now seems like a golden memory. You find yourself googling 'can I die from lack of sleep?' and the knowledge that you're a heightened stroke/obesity/diabetes risk does nothing for your anxiety induced insomnia.

With all this going on, how can you not feel like a failure? You MUST be doing it wrong! Everyone else's babies sleep! You've made so many rods for your own back, it's a wonder you can still fit into your dressing gown.

Well, I'm here to tell you, lovely mummy, you are NOT a failure. Or a loser. Or a bad mum. On the contrary, to function on so little sleep whilst looking after a tiny human being, well, that makes you SUPER MUM!

Every baby is different.

Your baby WILL get the hang of sleep, but it will be in his/her own time.

There is no right/wrong way of doing things. Ultimately, you know your baba best. Tune out the chattering 'experts' and listen to your gut.

Do what you need to do to get through. Whether that's co sleeping, or naps on you. Your child will not still be sharing your bed when they're 18.

Ask for help and don't try to cope when you can't. Remember how hard it was getting through the day on little sleepwithout children? You shouldn't have to do this on your own.

You are amazing and you're doing a wonderful job.

When all else fails, chant the following: This too shall pass...this too shall pass...

And keep posting on here! We're all in this together, so pull up a comfy chair, and we'll take your coffee order and pass the biscuits grin

HollyC255552 Mon 14-Mar-16 09:54:28

I love this Purple. I'm in!!!

TangerineTrees Mon 14-Mar-16 19:11:27

Excellent post. It really is such a huge help/relief to just know you aren't alone with this, as it certainly feels like you're the only one in the world awake at 2am. I think Exhaustion likes company as much as Misery! smile

HumanSlowCooker Mon 14-Mar-16 20:08:20

Yes!! I have my second crap sleeper with reflux and I'm so bloody shattered! Last night, at 3am, after trying to settle him after a feed for 2.5 hours I stuck him in the bjorn and walked the streets until he slept. He was so wired and is looking that way now so it looks like he's going to be spending the evening in the sling whilst I sit up watching TV dreaming of my bed! I just want an early night!!!

blamethecat Mon 14-Mar-16 20:22:55

I bloody hope he does soon. Ds is 3 in June and still doesn't sleep through . Trying dropping his nap, didn't help last night, still woke 3 times. Today he has walked 7k according to my phone ! And no nap. Fingers crossed.

maskapony Mon 14-Mar-16 20:27:49

Brilliantly put purple! It really helps to know that you're not the only one slowly losing their sanity to lack of sleep and a wakeful baby. Oh how I look forward to getting more than 90 minutes of consecutive sleep! All in good time I suppose.

Purpleboa Mon 14-Mar-16 21:28:36

Thanks all! I've read so many posts which end in 'it must be my fault, I am a failure, I am doing something wrong!' or words to that effect. Having experienced these feelings myself, I wanted to reassure us all that it isn't our fault. I hate the way the term 'good babies' has become synonymous with 'good sleeper' and the implication that it's solely down to you as their mum to make sure they are sleeping. I've tried every trick in the book (bar controlled crying), I've fed, rocked, snuggled and sang my baby to sleep...with zero results sometimes! I am working harder to resolve my baby's sleep pattern than I've ever done on anything else in my life. I haven't had a night off in nine months!! So how does that make me a failure? It doesn't!

I hope it does help those of you going through a wobbly stage. I'd love it if Mumsnet could pin this post so it's the first thing new people see when they find this forum. Not because I think my words are particularly wise, but just to welcome and reassure them that they've come to a good and understanding place. That they have found 'their people'!

CoffeeAndOranges Tue 15-Mar-16 08:24:22

Thank you, this just made me cry! Yet another crap night with my 3.5 month old, looking in the face another day of Trying To Get Him To Nap. And I just looked at another 'average infant sleep' chart buried in another thread on here that says my baby should be sleeping for 15-18 HOURS per day!!! He can be awake nearly that much sometimes! So of course I felt like crap and that it was my sole fault he isn't sleeping well (never mind the reflux/trapped wind that plagues him at night) and that I am doing him irreparable damage by him not sleeping. And he's currently in my arms, hiccuping, squirming and whimpering with tiredness after his awful night and yet still not sleeping. It's going to be a long day!

Thanks again for posting, purple, makes me feel slightly less mad!

tiredybear Tue 15-Mar-16 10:57:42

YES! Well done for finding the energy to post these words. SO SO true. We've been on many the same thread and I thought things would NEVER get better. DS is now almost a year and he now most often (not always) sleeps from 6.30-7 - 4/5am, quick feed then back to sleep for another hour (2 if I'm really lucky).

They do it all in their own time. AND...there will always be a major step backwards just when you think things are getting better. When he was about 10 months, he had a phase of screaming for 1 - 3 hours in the middle of the night, for about 5 weeks!!! BUT..this too did pass. Hang on in there ladies.

Coffeeandoranges - those bloody sleep charts! My DS has never slept anywhere near as much as he is supposed to - yet he is a real live wire, full of energy and smiles now. Let's celebrate not having an average baby!

Supposedly, babies who don't need lots of sleep are smarter!

Skiptonlass Tue 15-Mar-16 12:53:57

Mother to non sleeping infant here...

Won't nap. Wakes ravenously hungry every 90 mins. Laughs in the face of sleep charts. Full of energy (direct transfer of life force it feels like.)


CoffeeAndOranges Tue 15-Mar-16 13:23:54

Hi Skipton I think I remember you from the pregnancy boards - oh the things we could go back and tell ourselves!! Those bloody sleep charts. I wasn't stressed about how much sleep he was getting until I saw those - only how much I was (or wasn't) getting!!

I'll just tell myself he is going to be a genius...grin

SliceOfLime Tue 15-Mar-16 13:30:37

Standing ovation for the OP! I'm on my second 'difficult sleeper' and "this too shall pass eventually but it may take years not weeks or months " is the best I can offer too... If the trying to get them to nap / self settle / sleep X number of hours a day is driving you nuts, Just Don't Do It! I'm allergic to sitting in the dark trying to get a baby to sleep, I start to go nuts, so I'm just not bloody well doing that either! If DD2 (18mo) isn't ready to sleep after a feed and cuddle I take her downstairs, make a cup of tea and watch tv / read to her til she's ready to drop... She likes Call the Midwife and Dickensian grin She still wakes umpteen times a night so no point ruining my evening too!

cranberryx Tue 15-Mar-16 16:13:59


Pickle has decided since hitting 3 months that he will wake up ever hour, at the exact same time. DP has most noticeably decided to start sleeping in the living room, I am considering putting a screaming baby on his face to wake him up if this carries on. grin

Purpleboa Tue 15-Mar-16 16:53:19

You are all bloody amazing!! I'm so happy this post has helped, as that was my intention. I needed it last night when DD decided 4am was a really good time to pull my hair, chatter and cry for no reason. And again this afternoon, when she's finally asleep (on me) whilst my parents, whom I'm staying with, mutter about trying to get her to nap in her cot.

Onwards and...onwards! We CAN do it!

SnowWhite26 Tue 15-Mar-16 21:26:14

Wow amazing words! I tell you what one major thing I have learnt in my 5 months of being a mummy is that I didnt realise how much I would question myself. Should I have a dummy, should I dream feed, should i stop night feeds, should she be breathing like that when asleep, Is she waking coz shes hot/cold/hungry/wants a cuddle/ teething/wet/wants to play/ wants to drive me insane haha. So great to knlw its not just me! xx

trebleclef101 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:31:40

your baby is in her jumperoo so often, you're beginning to mistake her for Davros

This single sentence has just made my day gringringrin

Thank you purple for this post, knowing I'm not alone does soooo much in helping me keep going without going mad.

My 7.5 mo has recently dropped to two naps and now goes down at bedtime so much easier, but is still feeding twice a night and waking another 2-4 times on top of that needing settling back to sleep. Some people yearn for 8 hours sleep, I'd sell body parts for 4 hours at the moment!

And I'm back to work in 2 weeks . . . .

PersisFord Wed 16-Mar-16 15:40:37

Oh god, I've just cried a bit reading that!! I have twins who aren't great sleepers and a baby who has put me through the mill. My kids are funny and cool and bright and beautiful....but none of them really sleep. I too hate the "good baby = good sleeper" thing. My kids are great. Sleep....not so much!!

Touch wood I am coming out the other side now (prob jinxed it!!) but here to offer brew and support if I can. And to bitch and moan of course!! grin

EsmesBees Wed 16-Mar-16 16:21:23

Amen to this! When you are in the thick of it sleep deprivation is truly horrible. I remember that hopeful
feeling 'maybe tonight will be the night we'll get some sleep' and the crushing realisation when it so isn't.

Minirocky Thu 17-Mar-16 07:34:59

Wise words op. My second is a terrible sleeper, with reflux and cmpa to top it all off. DD is now 15 months and we sometimes get a good night so hoping we are starting to turn a corner and may escape the sleep deprived induced fog we live in. Good luck to all, sleep deprivation is terrible brew

PersisFord Thu 17-Mar-16 10:53:13

2 things that really helped me when the refluxy twins were babies were firstly lying to people - not people I liked obvs but when randoms asked me I jut said they were good sleepers. The second thing was asking my real friends what exactly they meant when they said their baby was sleeping through the night. I assumed that meant 12 hours in their own cots with no attention, but lots of people meant no wakes between midnight and 6, or waking but not needing feeding, or cosleeping and feeding in the night but without waking mum. made me feel much better!

PersisFord Thu 17-Mar-16 10:53:34

The other thing was obviously coffee!!

Dot33 Thu 17-Mar-16 16:57:34

Thanks Purple I was just looking for the sleep deprived, and here you are.

I'm sooo tired!!! Baby wakes every 2 hours or less throughout the night, and has now decided that day naps are for losers. We're coming up for four months of broken sleep.

SliceOfLime thats such a good idea.

Wineandpopcorn Sat 19-Mar-16 08:37:16

So glad I have found this thread! M 16 week old wakes every hour for feeds at night, and I am really struggling sad. It does heap to know others are going through similar!

PersisFord Sat 19-Mar-16 08:45:23

I was just listening to a thing on baby sleep on Woman's hour on radio 4....and it said all those sleep charts are rubbish. And, like slice said, babies do better if you don't try and force them into a routine but just go with them.

MercuryRising Wed 23-Mar-16 04:41:06

I have come to wave at my fellow sleep deprived mummys. Ds3 is almost 3 weeks and I have to admit I had completely forgotten how hard sleep deprivation is (dd is 7) I feel I may push snoring dp out of the bed soon. Especially when he moans about how tired he is in the mornings despite not doing any feeds because ds is bf! I am desparately clinging to the idea that it will get better and trying to have at least one nap during the day.

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