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I think I hate my children

(6 Posts)
TooTiredForAGoodUserName Fri 20-Jan-17 05:49:53

Not sure what anyone can do really. But I feel like I have to get this out.

My children won't let me sleep. And I'm beginning to hate them for it. Obviously I love the bones of them. But I really fucking hate them at 5am.

Dc1 has been an early riser since he was about 2.4. Now 4.4. Prior to that was never great, didn't sleep through ever until 11months, but now 6am is a massive lie-in. He's usually awake at 5-5.30. When he's having a growth spurt (as now) he's usually up at 4.30. He's also got a cold, so wakes up coughing. Or he needs a poo. Or or or... Whatever.

Add dc2 into the mix and they are killing DH and me. He is now 1 and still feeds once overnight. Fair enough I guess. Except he also now wakes at 5-5.30 and usually is up for the day then. Occasionally he will feed back to sleep at 5 and I can snuggle down with him for another hour or so.

This morning dc2 was awake at 2.30 for a feed but also for a bit of a party so he didn't go back to sleep until 3.45. Then my subconscious is listening out for dc1. And sure enough awake at 4.30. I have to go to work at 8. I'm so tired. But I know I can cope. But mainly I'm so despondent. I can't see this ever getting better.

We've tried everything for dc1. Bribery, getting cross, earlier/later bedtimes. He must be exhausted because he doesn't get anywhere near enough sleep. Yesterday he slept for 40mins in the day because he was so tired. But then didn't go to sleep until 8. We let him read in his room but he struggles to be quiet until his groclock is on at 6.15.

DH is fab. He's in the spare room and gets up with dc1 whenever required. He also takes the baby in the morning so I can get a bit more sleep. But he's shattered as well. The house seemingly has no noise insulation so we all hear everything anyway. And I'm a poor sleeper by nature.

I know there's nothing to be done. I know that dc2 will just get better over time. And I know that dc1 will either get better or will at some stage leave home be able to get up and deal with himself on the morning. But I suppose I catastrophise because I see dc2 going the same way as dc1. I was so hopeful this time because he does seem to like his sleep. He even slept through 10-5 at 10wks! I thought I'd won the lottery! But now here we are nearly a year later and we're on our knees.

Sorry it's so long. And thank you for reading. I know I just have to wait it out. And I don't hate them really - they're gorgeous boys. Just sometimes I'd really like to not see them between 8pm and 7am!

Kariana Fri 20-Jan-17 09:15:33

That sounds so hard, you poor thing. I think most people would struggle on so little sleep.

The good news is you can change it though, you dont need to wait it out, you are the adult in charge! It will just take persistence and possibly several nights of even less sleep (sounds awful right now, I know!)

Your 4 year old is old enough to know better and can be taught to stay in his room till a reasonable hour with consistency and persistence on your part. His body clock just needs resetting. Start by setting the gro clock to 5.30 (or even 5am if he's going through a 4.30 phase) and make him stay in bed till then. Use rapid return (no talking, no books, no arguing or drinks of water, no going to the spare room etc) just march him back to bed, say "its night time, you need to be in bed" and leave him to it. You will have to ignore any tears or tantrums this causes. Every time he gets up repeat. If he stays in bed till the gro clock lights up give lots of praise. The idea of the very early time is to make it easy for him to achieve at first. Unfortunately you or dh will have to get up for the day and take him downstairs at that time. Every few days push the time forward by 15 minutes so his body clock can gradually reset. Consistency is key, he needs to know you mean business and won't tolerate him getting up too early. Hopefully you will be able to get to 6.30/7.

With the younger one if you want to you can night wean him, he doesn't really need a night feed at his age. Is he bottle or breast fed? Hopefully night weaning will stop the middle of the night wake up which will be a quick win on getting more sleep. You also need to train him on getting up later by resetting his body clock. This basically means doing everything you can to soothe him back to sleep in his cot at 5am which might involve a quick feed and then putting him back down, or any other method that works. If he wakes again keep repeatedly putting him back to sleep in his cot until 6.30/7.

It won't be easy but it is doable!

Scrumptiouscrumpets Fri 20-Jan-17 09:26:35

I agree with Kariana's helpful advice. Especially regarding the night feeding. You say fair enough, he needs a night feed, but at 1 year old he can really do without. I'd just go cold turkey. It's hard to do these kind of things when you're so exhausted because his sleep will get worse for a couple of nights, but then you have a good chance of it getting better!

TooTiredForAGoodUserName Fri 20-Jan-17 19:19:32

Thank you both so much for your replies. I haven't really thought about night weaning until recently. He's breastfed but hasn't fed at all during the day since about 7.5months. He likes his food but I felt he needed the milk. Also he's been teething (inc molars) and learning to walk so really I felt his feeding was fairly acceptable. Also he's my last baby and I know I'll be sad when he stops feeding. Even the end of night feeds is a milestone in its way. With ds1 he self-night-weaned at about 15months I think and we did just bedtime feeds 3-4x/wk (when I wasn't at work) until he was 2.4.

It's the tag-teaming that's killing us! I would love to believe that slowly moving the gro clock forward can work - does it really? He's generally so cheery and awake first thing - it's later in the day that we all suffer.

I will have a chat with DH and see what he thinks. You're right though - we're so tired I think we've lost the ability to be proactive. We're just grimly hoping that it will pass... And there seems to be so much to fix that we can hardly see the wood for the trees.

I think we are going to move ds2 into his own room soon. Haven't done it before because I didn't want to sit in the cold feeding him! But I think his luck has run out!

Metalhead Sat 21-Jan-17 08:18:05

Agree your DS1 is old enough to stay in his room until a reasonable time, even if he's awake. We started using the GroClock coupled with a sticker chart with DD1 when she was about 3 and it worked a trea! She still obeys it now at nearly 7. The rule is she can play/read in her room if she's not tired anymore but mustn't disturb us in the next room.

I'm not sure you can change a baby's body clock however. My DD2 also likes to wake at 5.30am some days, and I've yet to find a way to get her back to sleep that works reliably. Sometimes bringing her into bed with me works, others it doesn't, same with white noise. This might just be something to ride out until they're a bit older.

Metalhead Sat 21-Jan-17 08:19:00

worked a treat

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