How on earth am I supposed to enjoy my children on so little sleep?(19 Posts)
As the subject says really. Just emerging from yet another trrrible night of sleep with DD2 who is just getting progressively worse at sleeping at 18 weeks. Last night she went to bed at 7 then woke at 9.30, then 12 then at 2 when she just wouldn't go back to sleep. I'm sitting here now with her finally asleep in my arms and can hear DD1 is now awake in the next room. I hate that I'm dreading the day ahead, all i want to do is sleep but I should be looking forward to spending a day playing with my lovely children. Anyone else feel this way?
Yes. It's improved a bit (DD is nearly 10 months). A lot, actually, we're mostly down to 2 wakings and some nights I get a 3 hour stretch and a 4 hour stretch, which is amazing. But I am still very tired. And it's so hard. But it gets better.
I do feel guilty sometimes for not enjoying them more. But Jesus, it's just really hard to enjoy people who are torturing you.
Oh god. You've just bought it all back. It's horrendous.
My youngest is 4, so I'm over all that now but he was the worst sleeper ever. The things that helped me were:
You or dp get up the other one lies in. When the other one is up, you go back to bed. If no partner/not possible, bring the duvet and a pillow down stairs. Get children set up, fed, safer and relax. And I mean just sit there. Leave the kitchen, the washing up, whatever. It's down to the basics. Nappies,sick and food.
Phone someone for some help. 4 hours should give you chance to get to sleep, have a sleep and shower. They can sit downstairs (earplugs) or whatever.
Go to bed early. Like 7 if it
Means you get some sleep.
Keep everything else easy. Online food shopping. Easy meals. Buy prepared carrot batons to make sure the toddler gets some goodness while this is going on type of thing iyswim?
Toast helps everything no matter the hour
And remember it will pass. It might feel like it won't and it might feel like it will break you before it passes, but it will pass.
I didn't I ended up unable to drive and with PND
I feel your pain! Sleep deprivation is awful. You get used to it to a degree but it feels like you live in a bit of a fog most of the time. I've no answers for you but 18 weeks is still early days in my experience sorry.
Sleep deprivation is awful, there's a reason it's used as a form of torture!
My DS was the same at that age, you're right in the middle of a sleep regression. He went from waking only once at night to waking every hour. I cried with tiredness at times and when it got really grim I often wondered if I'd made a terrible mistake having children
Saying that we are now coming out the other end at almost 6months. DS now goes down around 7.30pm, wakes around 3am for a feed and then we get up between 6am and 7am.
I survived by going to bed early, sometimes 7pm if it meant that I could catch up on sleep. I left the housework or DH did it in the evening when I was in bed. Shopping was ordered online and some days I just dozed on and off while he napped (much more difficult with another little one!)
It will pass and you will survive it. At the time though you just have to do whatever you can to get you through it.
What's her daytime sleep like? I've found a massive difference in nightime sleep now DS has regular naps.
Thanks for your messages. DD2 is a terrible napper as well, takes a lot of effort to get her to sleep in her cot. Some progress in recent days but still takes at least 30 mins of effort to get her to sleep in the day. I sometimes give up and get out in the buggy to get her to sleep but even then she's only doing little catnaps. I'm so tired today the thought of spending hours pushing the heavy double buggy to get her to nap more is v disheartening. I agree she needs more daytime naps, I've tried so hard to improve these but it's a battle every time. Maybe I just need to spend a few hours driving round today although that seems very unfair on DD1. I go to bed by 8 at the latest, even if I manage 3 hrs sleep I still feel rubbish the next day. Just feeling particularly grim today
I know what that feels like! DS is 20 weeks today and was a terrible sleeper from day 1. We worked on a routine at about 2 months and managed to get him to wake up only about twice between 7-7am, but by 4 months it all went downhill again. Sleep regression stage I imagine.
I was feeling really really low! He started waking up multiple times and earlier and earlier. His naps were never that good and became impossible. On top of this, he caught a virus and for three days I had very little sleep, while he was visibly miserable and it was quite stressful. Thankfully DH was hands on and i managed to remain (relatively) sane.
I just persevered with trying (while feeling a little like a mad person) and last night is the first time he woke up only twice again! I know it may not last but it gave me hope.
Things can and will improve!
Sending you sympathy. I had to stop driving too for several weeks as I kept falling asleep behind the wheel. It's a miracle I did t hurt one of us or someone else. It will pass but goodness it is hard. Lots of coffee?
I really hope I'm not teaching you to suck eggs but here's what worked for my DS:
He was chronically overtired as he was only having catnaps so I decided I would get him to sleep "any how, any where" This meant rocking him to sleep. I still rock him now but he goes to sleep within 5 mins and I will deal with cot naps once his naps increase in length. So maybe rock DD to sleep at first? Even if if means supervising your other DD while she plays/colours/reads and you bounce DD2 until she is asleep. Then let her sleep on you while DD1 has a cuddle or story. It won't last forever, she won't be napping on you at 35 years old
Naps will be short. 30-40mins is normal. I just made sure I reduced the awake time between naps. Sometimes DS would have 30mins sleep, be awake for 40 mins and then be ready for another nap. He would often have lots of 30-40min naps during the day but when added together he was getting a good 4hours daytime sleep in total, this had a massive impact on his nightime sleep.
My DS can now sometimes do 1.5hr naps but more often than not they are still around 45mins. He then has around 1.5hr awake time before I'm getting him back to sleep.
Another thing that helped was lots of feeding during the day so he was "tanked up" to last longer at night.
Again, apologies if you've tried all this. These are just things I found had a massive impact on his nightime sleep (and they are all things I learnt after coming on here in a sleep deprived funk )
takes a lot of effort to get her to sleep in her cot.
You are not benefiting in any way stressing about cot naps at this age. Have you got a bouncy chair?
Reduce awake time to about an hour, into the bouncy chair and relentlessly bounce (while simultaneously playing with toddler) until asleep. Don't worry about short naps, just have less of a gap until the next nap time.
I feel your pain. My first was awful at sleeping. One thing that really helped us (and still does) was white noise. Both of mine sleep to the sound of rain and it really helps them settle. Might be worth considering if you haven't tried that?
Bouncy chair doesn't work with toddler in the room. Have tried putting to bed after an hour or less and 90 mins, makes no difference. Buggy has squeezed 20 mins sleep out of her but she has woken up. My reasoning for trying cot naps is at least she is getting some quiet time away from toddler. The day naps are exhausting me too as I feel I'm constantly trying to get her to sleep with very little success.
We have a Ewan the dream sheep and it seems to help at times in the evening but not in the day
Did you realise that SIDS recommendations are that baby should sleep in the same room you are at all times until 6 months old.
It's to protect against Sudden Indant Death and includes daytime naps, evening sleep and night sleep.
Oh you have all my sympathy
DD2 is a few weeks older and we're just coming out of that sleep regression now. It's rough. We split the challenge - DH deals with toddler DD1 at night if she wakes up, I look after DD2.
I agree it's better to try cot naps from that age, DD2 stopped being able to nap with distractions recently as well. We found that putting her in a sleeping bag for all naps helped, she wakes up if she gets cold. She's also learned to suck her thumb so sometimes she will settle herself back when she stirs, but DD1 never managed that - we introduced a dummy for her at about this age to help her settle. Safe cosleeping (I bf lying down at night) has helped me get more sleep as well.
Good luck - cling to the the knowledge that this too shall pass and take care of yourself as much as you can!
Yes I know the sids recommendations. I check on her every 10 mins, she won't sleep in a room with our toddler in the day, the noise startles her awake. Older dd also napped in her own room and at night from 10 weeks and all is fine. I think it's a personal choice and as long as im following safe bedding, room temp advice etc then I'm not going to worry about it.
Thanks semaphorically, glad to hear you have come out of it!
You can't enjoy anything much when you're that sleep deprived. I remember similar; feeling like I was wasting my sons' babyhood just waiting for the fog of sleep deprivation to end. In the end we sleep trained at 10 months. That was 3 months ago; they've been sleeping through ever since, and I feel like I'm a whole new woman. It's such a relief to finally be able to enjoy myself and enjoy them. It doesn't last, but I remember the foggy headed exhaustion and feeling of being permanently exhausted all too well. Sorry, not much practical advice there, but all my sympathy
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