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Talkback: New baby costs 6 months of sleep!


  • When my first baby was born, it was quite easy to sleep during the day if i needed to.  My husband NEVER did any night feeds as all my babies were breastfed.

    When I had subsequent babies, it just wasn't so easy to sleep during the day, and with my 4th baby (born last year) I found it very tiring. 

  • My husband never did night feeds either,even with the last who was bottle fed from the start.I did feel the need to have at least the bedside light and often something rubbish on the telly to keep me awake was a minor but only fair disruption to his sleep.

    I found it very tiring at first.We used to have a routine of taking all we needed  for however many feeds  I thought we needed overnight and having enough changing things,spare clothes and even a spare set of bedding all ready in our room,so there was as little disturbance as possible.With the breastfed babies it was just a case of take them out of the cot feed them in bed while I dozed then back to bed for them as soon as they settled,and back to bed for me.They did often choose that moment to fill their nappy  anad we'd have to start again.With my son who was bottle fed,I'd put the bottle warmer on as soon as he stirred,make his bottle and warm it,by the time I changed his nappy the bottle was warm enough and he'd drink it half asleep and be back to bed.He was on a four hourly shedule quite early on .The only trouble we had was getting the wind up and I 'd sit ages doing that cos if I put him in his cot without getting it all up he was sick everywhere,and we'd be up and down all night,but that sorted itse'f out as he got bigger,just a few weeks

    Mostly my babies have slept well.I wrap them in a sheet and they have a muslin as a sleep aid,right from the start and this helps them settle back in the cot,and stay asleep, rather than wake the minute they're put down.They've all been good sleepers early on.

    I think the hardest thing was having a broken night's sleep  and only just having got back to sleep,only to have to get up  to get older children to school and carry on with he day as normal.I often fell asleep feeding the baby,just ten minutes at most I'm sure but I think it was just enough to make it through the day  .It's suprising how little you can get by on.

  • My daughter (now 16 months) slept fine until she was about 10 months old and then she went through a phase, where she just would not settle at night. It only lasted for about a month but for me it felt more like a thousand years. It was night after night with my daughter waking up 3, 4, 5 times a night. Most nights I got between 1 & 2 hours sleep but some nights I got no sleep at all. I've never really needed much sleep (four hours usually does for me) but even this got me down after a few nights. My main concern was making sure that everybody else got enough sleep (my fiance works 12 hour shifts and he has to concentrate on things like driving and operating machinery. A close friend of his was killed recently while driving when he was too tired). My fiance did his best but our daughter just got hysterical whenever he saw to her. It was like she had got it into her head that I was going to disappear in the middle of the night!

    I ended up functioning on automatic all the time. I felt so exhausted. I had no energy to do anything or go anywhere. The more tired I got the more emotional and tearful I got. Our house started to resemble something from an episode of 'How Clean Is Your House'. I started making silly mistakes at work. I was terrified that I was going to do something really stupid like leaving the gas on and setting fire to the house or leaving the door open when I went out and the house being burgled. I went to see the doctor who couldn't have been less interested in what I had to say. I didn't tell anyone else because I didn't want people to think that I couldn't cope. I felt like a complete failure. It wasn't until one day I went to my mum's and she asked me how I was and i just broke down. she said she had gone through a similar experience when I was a baby. She suggested that I spoke to my health visitor which I did.

    She came to my house and she gave me loads of helpful advice. At first she suggested the controlled crying thing which we had already tried and I don't agree with it anyway. She then suggested that we put our daughter to bed while she's still awake and sit with her until she's gone to sleep but each night moving the chair further away towards the door so she gets used to going to sleep by herself with the knowledge that you're still there. It worked like a dream! She rarely wakes in the night now and if she does she often goes back to sleep by herself. She even asks to go to bed some nights! I also stopped using the baby monitor as it was making me too anxious and I was flying up the stairs at the slightest sound.

    If your baby's not sleeping at night it can be an awful time but you're not alone and most of us mums have been there and remember it won't be forever.
  • When my daughter's were babies my wife and I attended to our new baby in shifts, we all slept in the same room, armed with bottle warmers, wipes and nappies, off to bed fairly early, and I (daddy) did the early morning feed and change, this would be about 2-3am, mummy would be sound asleep, and I reckon she deserved a very welcomed rest,

    As for me, I had about 2hours sleep before baby woke and then 4hours sleep after baby was settled, all in all it was a tyring routine, but you become immune to it, and remember at other times if possible take a 'power-nap', they work wonders.
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