I’m not very original. The thing I miss most since becoming a mother is a good night’s sleep. In fact, for three months of this year, LB (Little Birdie) woke every hour and so did I. It was excruciating. As my doctor pointed out, they use sleep depravation as a form of torture and I know why. I was just about at my wit’s end when I was successful in gaining admission to a public hospital sleep school just over a month ago. LB was a star performer, but I was very nervous about returning home and particularly worried about making sure she kept having day sleeps.
So, you can imagine how fiercely I try to maintain our new sleeping regime. We’ve successfully negotiated our way through a family holiday and two new teeth, but in the last week or so, I’ve been increasingly struggling to get LB to sleep for longer than a sleep cycle.
The issue I have found is that I can only seem to get help with LB’s sleeping through the public health system and, while there are some baby sleep experts out there amongst the child health nurses, I can’t get access to them. Our four days in sleep school were such a relief, but I still feel lost and isolated now that I have returned home.
I decided to drop into the child health clinic last week to see if I could get some help. I was successful in getting an appointment last Monday, but what a waste of time! The health nurse fed me some platitudes and told me she thought I was a good mother and sent me off, none the wiser. She also told me I should ring the sleep school and I did. That was no help either. Once you are discharged, they don’t want to know you. I put the phone down and cried. They gave me a number to call, which led me to another child health clinic across town, which doesn’t service my area. By this stage, it was Wednesday and I was starting to feel dispirited. LB was still lying in her cot crying and not sleeping for three quarters of an hour and then sleeping for only half an hour or so.
However, there was some light on the horizon. I might have been given the wrong number but when I was finally able to speak an operator, they transferred me internally to a triage nurse who could help me. I left my number and was told to expect a call sometime in the next 48 hours. Today she called. And she had some ideas. Thank goodness!
So, I now have a plan. I will remove the mobile from LB’s cot. I will increase the amount of solids she eats in the day and add in some bread. I will turn up the radio a little louder while she’s sleeping. She even suggested putting a tiny little board book in the cot for bubby. Apparently, it will take a couple of weeks to see an improvement. I feel better. Tomorrow, I will act on the plan and hopefully my baby will hush-a-bye … please…
You poor thing.
I wish I had clever ideas, but my own – now very grown – baby slept pretty easily.
The only piece of “wisdom” that comes to mind is: in six months it will be something else.
Which is a dark kind of consolation, but true.
I know what you mean. Just as we start to conquer sleeping, the teething starts!
I’m sorry you’re going through this. The pediatrician said it’s the dues one pays as a new parent, though I doubt if he had to get up three times between midnight and six a.m. to check on an angrily wailing baby. I don’t think doctors realize how distraught a sleep-deprived mother can become when her child won’t stay asleep for a few hours.
My daughter read this book. Not sure it’s working, as she just brought her baby home from the hospital, and the first night he howled like a fire engine.
Anyway, I hope you’ll be able to get some rest soon. That first year is a tough one.
I used to count getting up three times a night as a good night! However, since we’ve been to sleep school there’s been some big improvements. Also, I followed what the child health nurse told me and her day sleep has recovered a bit. I hope it continues!