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Hitting the Wall (of sleep deprivation)

So it appears all my friends hit the wall around the same time. Did you?

First you get tripped by a hurdle around the 2 week mark (after baby is born) because all the adrenaline you were running on is out of your system and 14 nights of sleeping in 40 minute to 2 hour shifts (if you’re lucky) has suddenly taken its toll. Then you get tripped up by a lot more hurdles along the way such as nights of endless teething, illnesses, the 4 month sleep regression etc. But if you are one of the unlucky ones whose baby doesn’t sleep through the night in the first 6 months you will thereafter quickly start to lose your sense of humour. 7 months rolls around and you start to think ‘this is not a joke anymore’ and then we hit 8 months and that is where I was not just tripped up by the teething hurdle, I smacked head-first right into the wall! The wall of sleep deprivation. That was it, I had reached the end of my rope. I completely lost it one night after 4 nights of teething.

brick wall

I haven’t slept through the night for 8 god-damn months!! It’s in-humane it’s UNsafe it’s UNrealistic, it’s UNreal, it’s UNbelievable it’s… UNFAIR!!

I feel drugged, I feel like I am walking around in a haze, I don’t feel like myself, or that I am living my real life. I haven’t had an evening in over a year, because I have to go to bed early every single night! I am mum but I am not myself anymore, people have even said to me that it seems like I am not really there, I even got a comment that I am cold and less loving than I used to be – well you know what – that is not helpful coming from someone who gets to sleep. I am in survival mode right now. I have done this before, but last time round my son slept through at 5.5 months, so at this point, when I had an 8 month old baby I was actually enjoying my maternity leave, I could experience it clearly, I was sleeping and though still exhausted from taking care of a baby I was able to get bits of my life back. For now, I don’t have a life!

The worst part about it is that you just don’t know when or if it will get better. In theory you know that 99% of babies do eventually sleep through the night at some point in the first 2 years of life but there is that 1% those horror stories of babies/children that you hear about that never sleep (and we all have a friend or a friend of friend with that child) and in this dark hour you have convinced yourself that you have given birth to that!

Even if your baby is destined to sleep through at some point, you don’t actually know when that might be. It’s not like your due date where you know you will have a baby roughly 2 weeks either side of that date, with sleeping there is no date. It could be tomorrow it could be 5 months from tomorrow. The fact that you don’t know makes it harder to cope with because you don’t know if the end is in sight or not.

sleeping 7 month old baby girl

I think I would rather know that my child won’t sleep until she is 1 year old then have it happen by accident one day when she is c9 months because at least you won’t be lulled. At baby classes instead of asking ‘does she sleep through?’ You would ask ‘what date did you get? 6 months? Really? You lucky thing, I was given 9 months. Yeah I know, never mind, at least I know when it will be’!

Can you imagine that?

Anyway, so if you hit the wall at around this time, or maybe it was earlier or later, it will probably happen at some point, and when it does, like me, have a good cry, go speak to all your mum friends, compare notes, share…I promise you will feel better. And even better maybe bribe you partner to let you have one single solitary night of UNinterrupted sleep, go away, get a babysitter, ask a family member, do something if possible to break up the very long stint, because, we do not know when it will end! But I guess until then, we can take heart in the fact that it will happen at some point, and we just have to hang-on in there, be kind to ourselves, have treats, take breaks where we can, leave the house-work, and do whatever we can to just survive this period of limbo.

Baby Savannah – 3 Month Progress Update

3 month old baby girl in blanket

An interesting month with half-term in the middle, which made focussing on my little darling hard work. I think things are starting to get a little easier. I think/hope that she is crying less and hope that means her colic is reducing, though her sleep hasn’t improved much.

Sleeping

On average she wakes twice per night, though sometimes I get lucky and she only wakes once. The biggest change this month is that she is now going to bed earlier at around 7pm, which frees up the evenings. Last month it was 10:30pm so it’s a big change.

3 month old baby sleeping

Another milestone is that she has outgrown both the Moses basket and her crib. She is now sleeping in her cot (with rolled up towels to make her feel more enclosed). I was surprised how easily she transitioned into the cot with no fuss, perhaps because we used a crib (which is like a mini cot) instead of a moses basket.

Feeding

Savannah is bottle fed but surprisingly she is still eating the same amount as last month, per feed – 4-5 ounces. I got her weighed to check she is eating enough and the health visitor wasn’t concerned. She weighed 12lbs (2 weeks ago) and is at the top of the 25th percentile for weight.

The biggest change we have made this month is to stop feeding on demand as much. We are trying to get her into a routine, as suggested by the health visitor. We can’t quite get to every 4 hours yet but most days we are able to stretch out her feeds to every 3 hours, though she is currently going through the 3 month growth spurt so is feeding more regularly the last 2 days.

Development

We are definitely getting smiles on a regular basis. She seems to be recognising family members and smiles more easily at us and grand-parents. She definitely seeks me out when she is being held by others (which is nice), though she doesn’t have stranger fear yet, which is good.

We had sort of a half giggle the other day so I think she is close to her first laugh, very exciting!

3 month old baby smiling and laughing

When on her play mat she is able to hit the hanging toys more deliberately and she is obsessed with certain patterns, she particularly loves to stare at the butterfly patterns on the car seat hood, she is absolutely mesmerised by it and can stare at it for up to 10 minutes sometimes, it is super cute to watch her in awe.

wonder week patterns

She is becoming quite a chatter box and likes to babble away at us which we all get so much joy from. Nate particularly loves asking her questions and every time she responds with a noise/babble he squeals in delight – I love it!

We moved her into 3-6 month clothing 2 weeks ago so had to say a sad goodbye to all her newborn and 0-3 clothes, a lot of which never got worn! Especially the dresses. She does not enjoy getting dressed and cries a lot whenever I attempt it so I tend to keep her outfits simple where possible – i.e. just a baby-gro.

Out and About

This month we have had both Halloween and Guy Fawke’s Night, therefore Savannah (and Nate) enjoyed their first trick or treating experience as well as watching the fireworks. We also enjoyed a pumpkin hunt at Castle Ashby, it was a beautiful day and it was surprisingly a long trail, but long in a good way – it certainly kept Nate busy.

4 year old holding baby girl

We started baby massage last week and I am thoroughly enjoying the class. If you are based in or near Milton Keynes I highly suggest Mama Baby Bliss as we are having a great time. We meet in a small hall in Salford, it is a snug group of just six mums. We have lovely purple and pink yoga mats and comfy cushions, delicious sparkling drinks and more importantly – chocolate!

The other mums are lovely and we all have babies of a similar age so we often end up chatting endlessly and sometimes being gently chided for our chatter – oops!

I love that our teacher asks us all lots of questions about ourselves because I am nosey! She was good about encouraging us to set up a ‘what’s app’ group to chat in between classes and also encouraged us to arrange a meeting outside of the class. It’s nice when the teacher encourages this as sometimes it is awkward to ask for someone’s mobile number no matter how much you connect.

We are still attending the NCT Bumps and Babies class every week as the mums there are lovely and friendly (which is not always the case with these classes) and the lady who runs the class is so engaging and always chats to every person who comes along and interacts with the babies, again that does not often happen. Plus she makes us tea and biscuits!

Finally, we are continuing to attend my absolute favourite activity – Cinebabies! It’s funny because at both classes above the leaders said “Kat tell everyone about baby cinema!” I really should be paid commission by Cineworld because I tell everyone I know about it! But as I started writing it below it got so long I thought it really deserves its own post, so more info to follow next week on parent-baby cinema experiences. In the meantime, check out the review I wrote 4 years ago, when I took baby Nate to Cinebabies.

3 month old baby smiling

Check out last month’s 2 month update.

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First night away

My darling boy spent his very first night away from home last night. He stayed with Nana and Grandad in their new home! It was a huge mix of emotions for me; I was thrilled to be spending a whole night and day alone with hubby but I also missed him terribly.

The husband and I did make the most of it though. We had dinner and cocktails at Las Iguanas (yum) followed by a movie. We had a nice lie-in the next day, followed by brunch at Harvester and we saw “Fast Girls” at the cinema. We also got lots done round the house before we picked him up at 5pm.

When I arrived he greeted me with a big smile and lots of grabbing of my face, necklace and glasses, which I interpreted as he missed me too. Nana and Grandad said he was brilliant, he slept through the night, even though it was a new cot and house and he was well behaved and happy all day. I was so relieved to hear he slept well and coped well in a new setting, my good little boy.

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SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!

baby boy asleep in bumbo

Yes it’s true, I’ve been dreaming (pardon the pun) about this day for many months and now my darling boy has given me the most wonderful gift of sleep! I have to admit I never thought it would actually happen, I was losing hope, but it has just come right out of the blue. The night before he woke up at 2am, then last night he just didn’t wake up!! He slept from 9-9!! I am so happy, and am praying that it continues, please may it continue.

So now I have a question, when did all your little one’s sleep through the night? and how did you feel?

I feel amazing and so happy. I will be even happier if this becomes the norm and I can have evenings with my husband again. It’s not just the lack of sleep that sucks but also the lack of a life, going to bed early etc it kinda gets you down after a while. I might actually be able to go to the cinema midweek *gasp*

Related posts you may like:

1. Sleeping on tummy troubles

2. Arms and legs getting stuck inside the cot

3. When to transition from a cot to a bed

My #magicmoments is one from the past, I remember it like it was yesterday, how amazing I felt when Nate finally slept through the night!