Sunday, 24 June 2012

{Sleep Deprivation}

I used to have my children's sleep sussed. I was so chuffed with myself, especially after lunch-time when not one, but both my little ones took their afternoon snooze at the exact same time. I used to get two hours of blissful me-time!

Note the tense here... yes, I used to! Now, I'm faced with the situation where if my toddler sleeps (even for 10 minutes) he fails to go to his bed at a decent time (now by decent I mean 7-7.30pm). Instead, he's up running about, carrying on and being a general nuisance until 9.30-10pm. This I can't cope with. It would be different if he then had a long lie, but he still insists on 'it's morning time' at 6am! My daughter thankfully still has an afternoon nap, she's just turned 14 months, and I do get a little bit of time to myself as the toddler can generally play quite happily in my vicinity but it's not the same. I used to be able to do one hour of housework and then one hour of relaxing, or if I was being particularly selfish I would have two hours of relaxing! This means my days are full-on. By night-time I'm ready for my bed at the same time as the kids (I'm not joking either, I've seen myself in my pyjamas before them!).

More recently I've been faced with multiple wake-up calls during the night, from both the toddler and the baby, but mainly the toddler. He's in a big boy bed now which means he can get up and come through to my room to get me. Last night for example, he was up at 1am and woke his sister (who shares a room with him). I then struggled to get her settled, but eventually she did. He on the other hand was a different matter and I ended up having to give him a drink of milk at around 2am. Even then he was up a few more times because he needed a tissue for his nose, or needed snuggled into bed. And occasionally I end up with the toddler in my bed from 3, 4 or 5am, which I really cannot cope with!

I need some help... what do I need to be doing to get him to sleep through without waking up?? I can quite happily cope with a 6am wake-up call, but when I'm being woken multiple times throughout the night these early starts are killing me! I get frustrated with myself because I'm not on top of the laundry or the place is disorganised, but come 8pm when I've finally got them both asleep all I can muster is a quick clean of the kitchen and then I'm in bed myself too!

Their daddy takes them on a Sunday night and a Monday night, so I do get two nights of proper sleep each week thankfully. However, I tend to be so exhausted from the previous week that all I want to do is sleep!

The first thing I'm going to do to remedy this is to separate my son & daughter into separate bedrooms. I've got the space to do this, and I think this will help a lot because that removes the issue of them waking each other up. I put them into a shared room quite early on, I think my daughter was 6 months old. At the time they both slept from 7-7.30pm through to 7-7.30am and to me it made perfect sense to have them together.

I've got a Gro-Clock sleep trainer, but I've been lazy and haven't been persevering with the story each night. This is next on the list of things to do.

I've already got black out lining and black out blinds on the windows, so I don't think that's the problem.

I'm wondering if it's hunger... However, if the toddler refuses to eat his dinner then I point blank refuse to cook another meal for him. He does still get his bottle of milk before bed though. But then it's just a vicious circle if I then have to get up in the middle of the night and give him more milk.

If anyone has any suggestions then please do get in touch and leave a comment... I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. I feel you pain and tiredness, my eldest was a rubbish sleeper and we tried everything in the book. I am with you on the not eating their dinner rule but yes, you then have to deal with the hunger bit later at night. My biggest advice and it will probably sound like the crappest advice is consistency and perserverance. Cut the daytime sleep entirely, then when he does get up, take him back to bed with minimal fuss, dont chat and cuddle, just a simple 'its not time to get up' tuck him up, kiss and say you will check on him in 5 minutes but make sure you do check him incase he is still awake. I generally say 10 minnutes for checking as they are normally back asleep by then. Then you have to follow this routine each time he gets up and tiredness can make you give in and let them get into bed with you but if you dont want him sleeping with you, you will have to bite your tongue and keep up with it. Difficulty is you also need his Daddy doing the same thing and this could be why he is so restless, just the change in routine for those 2 days. We ended up keeping a sleep diary and I knew my son was a nightmre but when we were rcording putting him back to bed 26 times or more in a night, night in, night out we knew something was amiss. Turns out he is on the autsitc spectrum but even so, he does now stay in his bed, OK not asleep all the time but he evetually learnt not to keep coming to disturb us. Good luck, hope it is just a pahse and he soon goes back to sleeping through x

  2. For the first time in months and months, they both slept through the other night. Yes, I do believe consistency is important so I'm hoping daddy & I are doing the same thing. I think that's possibly the problem. I've not done the whole 'I'll check on you in 5/10 min' - I normally just tuck him back in and leave him to it, but that might be a reassurance to him that I will be back. Will give that a shot. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment & give some advice. It's much appreciated :-)


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