Ok so guys I’m going to write a book about the stuff that people don’t tell you about becoming a mum or dad or the parent combo.
Just a few tid bits that I would have been delighted if someone had told me. Everyone says, “I can’t remember…” and I know why. It’s so traumatising that you block it all from your memory. In hindsight it’s all good and each minor thing isn’t that big of a deal but when you combine a myriad of tiny things with lack of sleep it all adds up to a giant mountain of stuff you over analyse on the daily.
Anyway, todays topic is as the title would allude to “Sleep Training”. Now we’ve touched on sleep a lot and for good reason right? Every mum out there assesses their baby’s sleep patterns on the daily to try and work out the magic formula to getting them to just bloody well sleep. I have a mum friend that I meet most mornings for coffee and we literally spend the entire time giving blow by blow recounts of our nights with our wee babes before heading off for our days activities. It’s real people, so real. If your baby is a natural I am so gosh dang it happy for you but for the most part I feel like there are more mums in my camp than that one so I hope this comforts and encourages someone reading this.
We would love to have babies reasonably close together. If I had it my way we would have started trying after the 6 week check-up but Mylo was a little more hesitant (sensible). That’s a story for another time. In any case I’m currently breastfeeding Bam more than when he was a new born because he wakes up so many times a night as you would know if you’ve been following along. If you need to catch up have a read a few blogs earlier and you be right up to speed. Bam is nine and a half months old and waking on average I reckon, six times a night and I “comfort feed” him back to sleep every time. Now the topic of ideals and breastfeeding is yet again a whole other thing but let me try and stay on topic.
Mylo wakes every time I get up, Bam is waking up grumpy in the morning, I feel like I’m dying and “Cry It Out” is just not for us. Plus we live in a community of people so it’s not just our little pod being effected it’s the whole gang; all eight of us. We spoke to a Sleep Consultant and if anyone was going to use one we have heard excellent things about her from several different families so I’m happy to give her a shout out and she was so understanding on the phone when she talked to us about our issues and how she could help. Chantal is busy helping families all the time so call sooner rather than later. She wasn’t available for a few weeks for an in home visit so Mylo decided to give it a go himself in the meantime.
As it turns out Mylo can resettle Isaac in about thirty seconds on a good run and a few minutes on an average run. With me he simple escalates until he is about to be sick because I won’t feed him. I know, I know, he can smell me but I am trying to share the load with my hubby to has a full time job to maintain. We’ve seen little glimpses of success so far. Initially we said no feeding before midnight, then we pushed it back to three AM. Then I spoke to Denise (my home girl) on the Maternal Health Nurse 1800 number and she advised me to skip the feeding in the night altogether because my eleven kilo nine month old is pretty well fed and will be ok without food in the night. He also has no idea what time is and as far as he’s concerned every time he wakes it’s “Russian Roulette” as to whether he will get fed or not.
There have been a couple of nights where Mylo has called out to me over the ear piercing cries to “JUST FEED HIM!!!” because we are both so exhausted and it’s just too much on the seventh wake up. There have been several occasions where as Mylo comforts him in his room I sit weeping on the edge of the bed, milk spraying everywhere and it’s taken every ounce of my being to not barge in there and latch him on. There have been times where Mylo has said “don’t go in yet he, is just stirring” and I rush in on auto pilot and create a problem that didn’t yet exist. There has even been one time where Mylo settled him after quite a lengthy outburst and I opened the door to say “do you think he’s warm enough? Should we put another layer on him” to which the door was swiftly shut on my little nose and the crying began again with new gusto requiring a further twenty minutes of settling (that wasn’t my best move and nearly landed us in couple’s counselling).
We’ve been advised that this could go on for two weeks and since Denise has been speaking with me for nearly nine months now she believes based on the stubborn nature Bam has displayed thus far it may take us that long. We are tired, we (I) are (am) emotional, we are drained but we are going to give this everything we’ve got. It’s horses for courses and I’m sure there are more effective ways to get him to sleep but none that I personally feel comfortable with which is important for us all to realise what we can handle as individuals and as families. I hope to God that this works and in two weeks time I’m bright eyed and bushy tailed because at this rate Mylo will never want another child again haha.
But seriously, I say I wish someone could have told me but if someone actually had told me that this is where I would be with my precious babe at nine months in I don’t know that I would have even believed them nor would it have been helpful to me at the time but I would say if you’re relating to this, talk to someone or get some professional help/advice. It’s mentally, emotionally and physically wearing and sleep deprivation is no joke. It effects your mental game and psyche SOOOO much. I think I’m a pretty positive person and oh man have I had some shockers of late. My little bundle of chubby thighs is worth every ounce of it but this motherhood thing isn’t about who can endure the most. It’s to be enjoyed and if the resources exist why not use them. It’s not a reflection on you as a person and whether you can handle it or have done it wrong or brought this on yourself. I for sure brought heaps of this on myself but you do what you need to in order to survive each month, week, day, hour and minute in this game and there is nothing shameful about that. So chin up mumma you’ve got this and I really hope some of you share with me your journey’s to successful sleep.
***Now I’m not saying what I’ve done is right for everyone and I know there are probably several “right” ways we could be doing this but this is what we feel is best for our family right now and is what we are trying. If it doesn’t work we will try something different. I’m not saying other ways aren’t great and I certainly am not claiming to have the answers, I’m just sharing my experience.***