I don’t think I realised quite how bad the Indy sleep situation had become until I’d written it down on paper. Reading back through the questionnaire I’d filled out for our first consultation with the Infant Sleep Consultants, I could have cried. Over the past 3 months I’ve made many a jovial/desperate status about how little sleep I’ve been on the receiving end of, but I’ve muddled my way through with the help of my friends: Tea and Cake. And one fabulous Husband, of course!
However, 12 weeks on and the need for more than three hours sleep in a row is taking its toll. As my Mum said the other day, after we’d stayed with her: “You seem very flat”. And I feel flat. I feel like a grumpy, miserable mummy, who spends the day downing tea and shovelling food in her mouth in an attempt to have enough energy to do something other than put CBeebies on the television and collapse on the sofa with a giant baby quite literally eating the life out of her…
To summarise where we’re at with Indy and sleep at the moment (if you don’t see me regularly moaning on social media):
- He barely sleeps during the day. Usually a 30-45 minute nap, maybe twice a day. Occasionally he goes for a 2-3 hour stint around lunchtime. These naps are generally in the sling. He hates the carseat/pushchair unless it’s moving, and as soon as it stops he wakes up.
- He usually has a nap on Nick when I go for my bath, and naps for 1-2 hours. Prior to this nap, Nick has walked around the house/garden for 10-20 minutes to get him to sleep.
- We now give him a “dream feed” before we go to bed (usually around 11pm) and I put him on the boob to fall asleep. He can then sleep for 3 hours, but wakes up almost every hour after that.
- Indy won’t sleep on his back, so he sleeps on his front in the crib. We are aware of the current guidelines, but they are just that – guidelines. We always ensure he’s not too hot, as temperature regulation is the reason why parents are advised to place baby on back.
- It is only in the past 3-4 weeks, that Indy has actually let me put him down in the crib. Prior to that he spent every single night asleep on me.
- And he still sleeps on me on at least one occasion in the night.
As you can imagine, when the Infant Sleep Consultants said they wanted to work with us I rejoiced and prayed that they will work miracles with a baby who hates sleep.
I’ve got to admit that I’ve never been one for parenting experts, and with Busby being (on the whole) a wonderful sleeper, I’ve never had a need to consult anyone other than family members, friends and Dr Google… but then Indy happened, and to be quite honest, I’m so desperate for sleep that I’m ready and willing to listen and learn.
After filling in a very comprehensive questionnaire, I had my first consultation with one of the sleep experts, Annie, on Thursday. We chatted on the phone for half an hour, whilst I walked repeatedly around the downstairs of our house with Indy in the sling as he’d woken up as soon as I answered the phone.
Annie was lovely; very friendly and understanding, and I’m so looking forward to working with her to, as she said, “unpick it all”.
Initially we are working on finding out whether Indy is sleeping so badly because he’s hungry, or because he’s uncomfortable. Annie and I discussed routine, and from Friday I have been implementing a feeding structure to our day which involves 5 day feeds every 3 hours, followed by a dream feed at night. The theory behind this is to cut out “snacking” so he’s hungry and eats everything when he feeds, instead of being semi-full all day. This should mean that he goes to bed at night content, with a full tummy, and therefore sleeps a longer stretch. We’re going to try this for 4 days, and see what happens. (N.B. I am now alternating the feeds between bottle and breast, as my milk supply is starting to suffer from the exhaustion.)
I am slightly concerned that his waking may be down to discomfort. A lot of Indy’s symptoms point towards silent reflux, but I’m really hoping he’s just a hungry chappy with a mummy obsession!
Follow our sleep journey over the next few weeks, while we work with the Infant Sleep Consultants and Bubbaroo!
Will Indy sleep through?!
Will I finally be restored as a semi-functioning human!?!
Or will we be taking out stocks and shares in Yorkshire Tea?!
You’ll just have to wait and see!