Tag Archives: Sleep

It’s not him it’s me!!!

8 Feb

I’ve spoken extensively about the issues I’ve had with Samuel’s sleep patterns and how erratic they were. Sunny Bunny has his own bed but it used to be in our room, exactly where his cot was – right next to mamma! And that’s just the way I secretly liked it. There I said it! I liked having my son right next to me. In fact, a few nights prior to the “big” move I was sandwiched between my husband and my son and all I could think of was how much I loved it. I got that warm (not because it was a summer night) fuzzy, lovey-dovey feeling that made me feel all mushy and gooey inside. To be honest, I’m not that disturbed (yes, some people think I’m crazy) but I kind of liked the way things were. I used to be a breath away when he was sick. I could easily reach over and feel his body to tell if he’s had a temperature. I was there when he’s kicked the blanket off and I can cover him again (because I like to be covered).

The truth is that I don’t like sleeping alone! There I said that too!!! I hate sleeping alone!!! I’m so useless, I have the worst sleep when I sleep at my parents place because Sam sleeps with  my parents so I spend a good night tossing and turning. My parents had me in their room until I was three, that doesn’t sound long right?! Then they kicked me out to share a room with my baby brother. We shared a room until I was about ten or so (can’t really remember) but I do remember not liking being alone. Our little family moved to Durban when I started standard nine and my brother and I had to share a room again for a bit which was fine by me. The paranoid part of me even led me to sleep with a knife or scissors under my pillow until my parents got back from their night out. And this is while we stayed in Fort Knox!!!

There are so many articles out there saying that “allowing” our kids to share a bed with us leads to the kinds of problems I have. Sounds like separation anxiety that just never left. Then it got me thinking: what it was about the dark/night-time that made me anxious about sleeping alone. I did have a moderately active imagination and sometimes couldn’t tell between my dreams and reality, especially the scary ones. Point in case, at about eight or so, alone in my room, I clearly remember the light fitting being on fire and screaming for my dad. He comes storming in to see the commotion and the light fitting WAS NOT ON FIRE AT ALL!!! Even when I was older, I used to see figures in my room. Horror movies and the like were off-limits from when the movies “It” and “The Gremlins” were released, no lie! So if I stayed away from all that scary stuff, how was it that I still “saw” stuff??? What I found so comforting was that my parents never turned me away from getting into their bed when I had a bad dream. I doubt I stayed there for the night and I’m certain that my dad took me back to my bed as soon as I fell asleep again.

Do I feel safety in numbers by having my boys surround me? Or have I lost my marbles? Am I suffering from the after-effects of co-sleeping? I have no idea. What I do know is that some people prefer sleeping alone and some like being with someone….. (Another) truth be told is that I may not take Sam back to his bed if he comes to mine and I’m not really concerned that I might be subjecting him to the same drama I’m currently facing…

Sam is now finally in his own room (and I’ve had the crappiest sleep ever) but I know the problem is me… It’s definitely not with him…. so you think they offer sleep training for adults at all???!!! Maybe I should sign up.


Thank the Lord it’s getting easier

23 Nov

As a mother of a newborn babe, between the mounds of nappies, constant feeds, ridiculously little sleep and never knowing when its gonna end – thank the good Lord that it does get better.

One thing that I really do have a serious gripe with is the advice from well-meaning doctors and midwives that our kids need to be reaching certain “milestones” like sleeping through the night at six weeks, WHATEVER, and eating what ever you put in front of them. It’s what misery is made of! It’s really only been in the last two to three weeks that my baby boy is eating so well and sleeping even better and if someone had told me from day one to just chill, take things in your stride and give yourself ONE WHOLE YEAR before you write your child or yourself off as a parent – that kind of advice is not worth blood, sweat or tears.

Samuel, you make mummy so happy, apart from the fact that I’m somewhat rested and don’t worry half as much about how your eating habits affect your sleep, it’s only now that I enjoy taking care of you. The hard work never ends but moments of reprieve like this one are more than welcome. So while I pat myself on the back for a job well done, I’m bracing myself for days ahead with a toddler that’s started walking.

Just as we’ve conquered one hurdle, another has just come into view… it’s so true though, a mother’s work is never done!

Sleeping Like A Baby

14 Nov

Would you like to sleep like  a baby or sleep like the dead?????? I prefer the latter. For those who have slept near a new-born (or older child, like me) know that these little angels can make quite a bit of noise without actually being awake. They grunt, whimper, sigh and even cry all while far away in La-la Land unbeknownst to the parents mother. Believe it or not, you don’t really want to sleep like a baby. Why? Babies’ sleep, especially in the early months, is typically full of interruptions. Their sleep cycles are much shorter than an adult’s, and it takes time for those cycles to get longer and for your baby to learn how to fall back to sleep on his own if he wakes up in the middle of the night. So why would people associate sleeping soundly and peacefully with babies???

To this very day, I cannot fall asleep until Sam is lying next to me and that’s my fault because I know he’ll wake looking for me long before the clock strikes midnight!!! Once he’s in my bed, he’s lights out and only the good Lord knows what magic secret ingredient is in parents bed. I would happily head off to the land of nod if I could count on my husband to see to Samuel but my little munchkin won’t have any of that so its Mom-to-the-rescue.

In a desperate attempt to get some shut-eye, I took half a sleeping tablet a couple of nights in a row and guess what, Sam slept pretty well, a friend believes it’s because I was dead to the world and not faffing over him. Probably true but let me just add, in my defense, that I was still able to hear Sam AND get up to see to him, the difference was that I would fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow – like literally, I’ve never been able to say that before! Needless to say, I battled to be “fully” awake at five o’clock in the morning when my little Sunshine woke so that put a swift end to the tablets. My next bet was a homeopathic remedy called rescue, which helps provide a sense of calm and that’s helped me fall asleep pretty well.

There are many families in the world willing to sleep with their kids in very close proximity and I have to wonder how other parents manage to sleep. From the moms that I’ve spoken to, unbroken sleep seems to be a way of life until your kids decide when they want to sleep through the night.

At least I know I’m still not alone – Sleepless in South Africa…. (yawn). On second thought, maybe I need to be sleep-trained….


Fun in the sun

4 Nov

We have had such good weather in the last few weeks up here in the Highveld, there’s no way we could miss an opportunity to go to the park. Before Sam started to sleep through the night, trips to the park were all geared towards letting him run loose in fresh air, in the hopes that at the end of a wonderful outing, he would collapse into a little heap and sleep like the dead.

But just look at that face… we put him in one of the swings that look like a chastity belt so that he wouldn’t fall out and he’s having a blast. To be a child again, without a care in the world.

Hello Mr Sandman

1 Nov

I have spent many a sleep-LESS night thinking about and praying when the day would finally arrive that I would get more than three hours sleep at a time…. Samuel has never been a good sleeper from the day he was born. Let me just say that we never had to wake this sleeping baby for ANYTHING, EVER! Every three hours like clock-work, he would wake to feed and then there was  a time when it went down to two hours and then to every hour (and I nearly lost my marbles, actually, I think I did lose more than a few)! There were times when I wanted to be child-LESS and husband-LESS but I most certainly don’t feel that way anymore. My phone is filled with images of Sam fast asleep all because I wanted to hold onto that moment for a few more hours.

I must admit that I count myself very fortunate to be in such good company when it comes to the utterly ludicrous sleeping habits of my friends children. For those whose kids slept through from four weeks, out of a mixture of pure jealousy and rage, there might have been a time where I wanted to reconsider but I soon got over it.

Little Liam, is my friend Robyn’s son and he’s like the goal! Let me explain: it seems that while in heaven before they were born, Liam and Samuel came from the same corner of the Universe, cut from the same cloth! They have very similar temperaments and seem to react the same way, in this case, they gave their mothers endless stress by not sleeping through like all other good little boys, no matter what we did!!!! Full tummies; warm baths; lovely lullabies and good routines, you name it and we did it, still to no avail.

Then there’s Merese, mother to Cooper and Noah who were also notoriously bad sleepers until the age of three, Noah’s still getting there. When I heard that two to three years down the line, these boys finally started to come around to the fact that  night-time is actually for sleeping, I took heart that if I lost my mind (literally) from sheer and utter exhaustion, then I wouldn’t  be the only one walking around the make-up department looking for heavy-duty concealer to hide my racoon eyes!

There was even a stage where my out-of-town friend, Celeste and I would BBM each other every time we were up doing a feed or rocking our babies to sleep and it seriously felt like we lived in parallel universes because our boys would wake similar times if not as many times each night for at least weeks on end. It was insane!

I am now happy to announce that we’ve had our first few nights of 6 to 8 hours of sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I don’t care if I jinx it because hallelujah, this finally means that we’re on the home stretch and boy oh boy does it feel great to get a good nights rest. It makes me feel somewhat human, sad to say. Before you ask, yes I have given him something EVERY night for the last three weeks but its homeopathic which means you can’t overdose your kids, my kind of medication because I can give as I feel necessary, even if it means on an hourly basis – we haven’t got that far, yet. It’s Rescue Rest by Sister Lilian and its meant to calm him, that’s all. My Little Lamb still gets up now and again but there’s no bottle or boob to entertain him so he goes right back to bed and it’s all good for the family.

The down side is that I have had to get up to a smiling baby boy at FIVE AM, err that’s before dawn has even cracked, and we’re in summer, hello… and the worst part is that this little angel wants to play, read books, crawl around the bed and cover me with sloppy drool kisses! Cute yes but not so early. His father must have some secret super-human power that deters Samuel and I so wish I had it too.

The people to blame for the mayhem are not our babies but its the midwives and authors who’ve had kids that slept through the night from six weeks who (a) should be shot and (b) should not place such unnecessary demands on mothers to get their kids to do things they’re not ready for, I firmly believe that kids will do what they want to when they’re good and ready, just like every other milestone we stress about!

There are no rose-tinted shades here because there are still teeth to be cut, fevers to be had and the lot but so far, well done Samuel, keep up the good behavior and hello Mr Sandman, won’t you bring me a dream.

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