Sleep, lovely sleep where have you gone from my life? I miss you. But who needs sleep anyway?
I decided to google how much sleep new parents lose and it is quite amazing how much it is! There is even a site where you can calculate how much sleep you have lost out on, but why would I want to know that?!
Google results varied with some stats saying parents lose as much as 970 hours (40 days) of sleep in the first year and others say 350 hours (14 days). Whatever it is, it is something we all have to deal with.
I remember when I was pregnant people would say “oh you better get some sleep now, as you won’t get any when the baby arrives”. If only I could have stored up sleep then! Wouldn’t it be great if I could just plug myself in to charge like I do my phone.
In the early days I would be up at 2am for a feed, then 4am and then 6am, usually being up for an hour each time. Sometimes I would just get to sleep and it would be time to get up again.
When daddy went back to work after paternity leave we got into the routine of mummy going to bed at 8/9pm in the spare room and sleeping until the 1am/2am feed was due. I remember when we first started this routine, it was a sunny summer Saturday evening and I was going to bed. I felt like a loser, wondering how my other friends would be spending the beautiful evening. But needs must. This worked for us as Robin is bottle fed and meant I would get some sleep. I would then be on duty the rest of the night grabbing sleep when I could. Luckily Robin was partial to a long nap after his 6am feed so I got even more sleep.
One day Robin dropped his 4am feed meaning in theory more sleep, but in reality it didn’t happen. He would be so restless after his 2am feed the only way I could settle him and get more sleep would be to take him into our bed. For weeks I went through this, it now turns out he is lactose intolerant. No wonder the poor boy was restless, he was in pain! Thanks to the health visitor he switched to a lactose free milk called Nutramigen. Hopefully this would result in Robin sleeping better at night, not to mention helping all his other symptoms.
Then one day it all changed, Robin was almost 3 months old and he slept through the night. I of course was still up at 2am ready for a feed, but he never woke up. This then started to be a regular thing and Robin would now sleep through the night!
Slowly we started to return to normality. No more eating dinner in the bedroom in the dark whilst Robin slept, we could actually eat together downstairs once he had gone to bed. No more 8pm bed times for me, I could actually have an evening on the sofa with daddy watching TV and doing crochet. Amazing! I would then go to bed and Robin would continue to sleep until the morning, occasionally stirring around 4am which was quickly rectified by taking him into our bed. I felt lucky, my baby book said at this age it was actually in the minority for babies to sleep through the night.
Then out of no where it all changed.
I can’t remember how long we had of our sleep filled nights for, maybe a couple of months or a month and a half? But once Robin started to roll over it all went downhill… fast.
Now he would wake himself up crying in the middle of the night when he had rolled onto his front and the only way to settle him would be to sleep next to mummy. Combine this new skill with teething and going through a mental development (ie. wonder week – leap 5) and we were rapidly losing sleep.
The awakenings in the middle of the night started to become more frequent and Robin found it harder to settle. 3 weeks ago it got worse and he would now start to wake every 1-2 hours not crying but just being restless. Now even taking him into the bed wasn’t helping as he would still continue to be restless. We were back to the early days. Apparently sleep regressions at 4 months and 6 months are common. We haven’t even reached 6 months, surely this can’t get any worse?!
Now each day is a wait and see game. I have started going back to my early bed routine to ensure I get some sleep and pretty much write off 2am – 6am as cat nap time only. I can’t even sleep when the baby sleeps during the day as he only naps for 30 mins at a time.
How lucky I feel for having that couple of months or so of sleep! I wish it would come back. I really hope that when this wonder week has passed (it is due to soon) and some of his top teeth pop through we may start to get more sleep. Thankfully despite his lack of sleep Robin is still in good spirits during the day….most of the time. This coupled with coffee is a major help!
If nothing else I just have to remember that poor Robin is going through a lot. Mental developments which shake his world every time he goes through them, learning new skills such as rolling over and crawling must be mentally draining not to mention the pain of teeth coming in! It is tough being a baby!
It’s only a phase… I hope! If nothing else please let this improve before I got back to work. But I still have 3 months until that happens.
Find out more about sleep deprivation in parenthood, as well as getting some tips from the following sites:
How do you cope with lack of sleep being a new parent?
Share your tips by commenting below 🙂
Until next time, sleep well
Camilla-Erika a.k.a Mombie (sleep deprived version of a zombie, a mom-bie)