That is the latest question I have been asking myself whilst trying to navigate my way through this thing called motherhood.
Actually, it’s not so much of a question at this point, it’s something I think I have to try. Let me give you some background.
Tayo was a pretty good sleeper for the first eight weeks of his life… as good as a new born can be anyway; sleeping a few hours at a time before needing feeding. But then things got bad. And they’re still bad. Tayo’s usual bedtime pattern goes something like this:
Bedtime: between 6 and 7pm.
First wake up call: 12-1
Cue further wake up calls every hour, on the hour until about 5 am.
Sleep for another hour.
He sometimes takes a feed around 2/3 am as well but not always.
So yeah, I’m pretty much awake every night from around 1am. It’s a real struggle to get back to sleep and when I do I get on average between half an hour and an hour at a time, unless I go to bed at 7pm when I could probably get a decent five hours but who wants to go to bed then?! I have stuff to do like sit and watch a box set with my neglected husband.
I took him to see an Osteopath (you can read about Lottie’s experience with an Osteopath here) in the hopes of seeing if he had any lingering ailments from birth, wether his cranium needed adjusting and to make sure his body was properly balanced to try and help him find some space to settle. After a few sessions we came to the conclusion that actually within his body he’s very balanced and nothing was present that would appear to be disrupting his sleep… Apart from, you may have guessed it, his teeth. She confirmed at all sessions that there was a very prominent pain running through his jaw and actually he was presenting with head pain probably as a result of this. My poor poor baby.
I’ll be honest. I was hoping she could ‘fix’ him. And I was a bit distraught that she couldn’t but moreover I was so sad for him. I hate to think of him being so uncomfortable that he just can’t settle. We did all the ‘right’ things… Putting him to bed when he was awake etc to encourage self soothing and he was great at it so I knew that wasn’t the issue. The issue has to be that he is feeling uncomfortable and so when during his sleep cycle he stirs and wakes he just can’t get back off again.
I am like a zombie. Thank god for concealer and Bobbi Brown colour correct because without it I would also look like a zombie. We’re five months into this horrendous sleeping pattern now and it’s really starting to take its toll. I am miserable, I am snappy and short tempered and quite frankly, I’m not sure how I can cope with all the broken sleep for much longer without falling apart at the seams. Sleep deprivation is very hard to manage in my experience. I had similar issues with Leo only in his case he would sleep until about 3am and then that was it, he was awake. I got to a point a week ago where I had to question myself. What was I doing wrong? Why will neither of my babies sleep when I feel like I’ve followed all the rules, done everything I should to encourage them to sleep? It must be something I’m blind to that I’m doing wrong. I am a bad mother; the one thing that all humans should be able to do and my two little ones just couldn’t and can’t?! I had a cry (one of many truth be told), had a word with myself and realised that this self pity is no good for anyone but you know, sometimes out is better than in. And I know I’m not alone because some of you have been with me on my Instastories at 3am some mornings and you are a massive source of comfort to me and a reminder that I am not on my own in this battle with sleep.
So I had a great chat with the Osteopath and she really made me feel better that at some point it would pass… It might not be in the immediate future but it will and I just have to remember that. In the meantime I have to do something to try and help myself get some more sleep. We ruled out a few methods of sleep training such as controlled crying because actually, he is uncomfortable so he needs some comfort in order to feel better, it’s highly unlikely he’s just crying for the sake of it at this point.
So this is where the co-sleeping comes in. I’m going to try it. I’m going to see if me being there by his side provides some comfort for him and ultimately allows me to get some much needed rest, even if it’s only an extra two hours or so a night.
After my last appointment with the Osteopath (which was Wednesday) I decided to give it a shot. Tayo can still just about fit in his Sleepyhead and so I felt ok about having him next to me in bed. But very very soon he is going to be too big for it and it may start causing him more discomfort so the questions I have are not around the whole ‘Am I making a rod for my own back, will I ever be able to get him out of my bed once he’s in’ etc, it’s more about ways in which I can sleep with him and it can be safe? I know of the increased risk of SIDs and such and so I just feel quite fearful about the whole thing? There’s no way he can sleep between Anthony and I, no way. Anthony is just too big and he’s a ‘mover’ so I just feel that whole set up is too unsafe, then I don’t feel safe having him to the outside of me… What if he rolls off the bed or I push him out?!
The only conclusion I can come to is to ship Anthony off to the spare room and give Tayo an entire side? In a sleeping bag?
Any suggestions are so so welcome. Have you co slept? Were you concerned about the safety of it? Did you find it bought comfort to your baby during teething? Did you try anything else to help settle your baby through this horrid teething period?
Just as a side note, I bought an excellent mascara a couple of weeks ago that I think is helping in making my eyes actually look open when they’re half closed! It also dyes you lashes in the process so on those days when you can’t quite muster up the arm action required to put a slick of mascara on you have slightly more noticeable lashes as by product of using it the day before. YAS!