The Boy That Never Slept Through

When you become a parent you inadvertently become obsessed with sleep patterns, food consumption and bowel movements.

Never in my life have hubbie and I interrogated each other so on the latest poop or poonami, what colour, size, texture and shape…?  How often?  Was it normal? Is he alright?  Does that mean he’s ill…?

Did he eat the green stuff?  How about the hidden veggies?  How much?  How often?  Is it normal?  Is he alright?  Does that mean he’s ill…?

I never needed to ask any questions about sleep though…because I knew.  I knew that sleep was the biggest obstacle for our youngest boy, Mayhem.  The most tiring, debilitating and zombie inducing nightmare experience.

I suppose sleep was also linked with food with Mayhem as he just couldn’t seem to sleep longer than his appetite allowed.  The Mombie newborn phase just never seemed to end.  The cluster feeding definitely slowed down but he literally could not sleep for longer than 2 hours at night without needing a feed!  Oh and two hours was on a good night.  Daytime naps were considerably worse and during the day he couldn’t sleep longer than his forty-five minute sleep cycle without waking up for a feed.  He was a ravenously hungry boy who just simply needed regular feeding and needed the boob to sleep.

We figured it out and came up with a new way of working; I learnt how to feed him whilst he was in a carrier during the day and we co-slept at night.  Life had to go on as there was also Mayhem’s older (by twenty months) brother to entertain and keep up with.  I put a lot of his constant feeding down to the fact that he struggled to breastfeed due to tongue-tie and because he was unwell with, what turned out to be a benign tumour (teratoma).

So we kind of got used to this broken sleep and constant need to feed and just got on with it.  Mayhem would go to bed at night and just wake up, a lot.  Luckily I didn’t have to work, otherwise I would have been a total wreck.  It’s been just over a year now since his surgery, and he’s completely healthy now so there’s no reason at all that he should keep waking up  at night…try telling him that!!

We recently moved from Portugal to Spain and Spain must agree with Mayhem because he’s finally sleeping for longer stretches.  Something’s changed.   Maybe he’s finally caught up after dropping so many percentiles when he was ill.  Maybe he’s realised he can get to sleep without the constant need for the boob.  Maybe just maybe he’s realised an emptyish tummy doesn’t always need filling, although when he’s awake he eats food like he’s starving and shovels it down by the fistful.  Or maybe he’s just growing up.  He’s just about to turn 23 months old, in a month he will be two years old!

But on Saturday night, for the first time ever, he did it.  He finally slept though the night.  After protesting at going to sleep and then eventually falling to sleep by 8.00pm he slept until 5.55am….WOW!!!

Unfortunately he’s not replicated this momentous feat since and the last few nights have been ‘busy’ to say the least but now there is consolation, now there is hope…if he’s done it once he can do it again…Yes!!!

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58 Comments Add yours

  1. I hope he sleeps through for you again. Lack of sleep is the worst form of torture! Our twins are four and although they sleep through the night, they do so in our bed! So glad we invested in a super king size! #bigpinklink

    1. Thanks for your comment Emily…double the trouble! I used to say that I’d never let the boys sleep in our bed, then Mayhem came along and I quickly realised that it was the only way I could get any sleep whatsoever so totally believe in doing whatever works. I am so jealous of your super king sized bed!!

  2. Tara says:

    We recently had our first through the night sleep in her own bed (at nearly three). I was worried she was poorly! I don’t think long-term sleep deprivation is taken seriously enough. I was so tired one day I collapsed and the doctor thought I’d had a stroke! (I hadn’t, thankfully). I hope you get some more good nights, it makes all the difference 🙂

    1. Oh no Tara, I can’t believe they thought you’d had a stroke!! Sleep deprivation should definitely be taken more seriously. It’s definitely the reason for my grumpiness some days. Although when he did sleep through I was of course awake checking he was still breathing! Glad you’ve had a good night too and many more for us both!!

  3. mackenzieglanville says:

    oh he is so beautiful! I know what you mean though, we need our sleep, so why can’t they just sleep? Don’t they know mummy could function better if we get sleep. My 6 year old still likes to wake me up at least once in the night because he feels scared. One day! Still I’m lucky he is so adorable! #bigpinklink

    1. Thank you…but oh no give me some hope…six years old and still waking up!!?! My 3.5 yo is a wonderful sleeper do we can but hope!

      1. mackenzieglanville says:

        And thank you for linking up with me at #mg lovely xx

  4. pinkpearbear says:

    Oh goodness, you must be exhausted! Almost two years of broken sleep would really take their toll. Fingers crossed he will start to sleep longer more regularly now. Thanks for sharing this with us on the #bigpinklink

    1. Thank you for hosting a great linky and for your lovely comment…he’s not woke up yet tonight so fingers crossed!!!

  5. tammymum says:

    Aargh babies and sleep it’s the never ending conundrum of why he two just do not go together! congrats on your nights sleep it must have been heavenly! I do hope it happens again soon for you xx #bigpinklink xx

    1. Thank you! The worst thing was I was awake worrying about him and checking his breathing! The joys of being a mother 🙂

  6. We all laugh about it but sleep deprivation is such a nasty thing. When I interviewed mothers for my book they spoke of it being the toughest thing. We cope but it is not fun. I found that when it was really bad I lost confidence in myself. I am so glad he slept through. You will be praying for another night soon. Things do change. One of my sons with health issues struggled for ages but with time it improved. Hang in there! #bigpinklink

    1. Thank you. Sleep deprivation really is the worst bit we just get in with it because we have to..
      Let’s hope there’s many more to come!

  7. winnettes says:

    If he has done it once he can absolutely do it again! Good luck in the mean while.
    #BigPinkLink

    1. Thank you for your comment…he hasn’t so far…he’s hoping!

  8. Sleep deprivation is solid, it is mentally and physically exhausting. It is one of the biggest challenges for parents and so pleased there is a change happening and let’s hope there more settled nights. I never forget the first night my eldest slept straight through, heavenly X #mg

    1. I guess we were lucky with our eldest who has been a great sleeper unless he was teething! Just wish that the youngest could catch up. It’s looking like a good night tonight as he’s 3 hours in and still in the land of nod!!

  9. It’s not an easy thing when your baby/toddler wakes up as often as every 2 hours. I know how you feel because our Nip#2 did exactly that. At one point it was every hour but on average, she’d wake about 6 times each night of the week with no break. Then one night, when we where weaning her off the boob, she slept the whole night thought and thankfully it has stayed that way (unless she’s sick). That happened when she was 10 1/2 months. When it happened, we were freaked out watching the baby monitor cause we were so use to being awake, we kept on saying, ‘Will I go in and check her?’ ‘Do yo think she’s OK, she’s very quiet?’ haha. Never happy! Hope he schedule settles down for you sooner rather than later. Great post. #mg

    1. Thanks for your comment! I know that sleep is very habitual we are moving soon do I think we’ll try him in his own room and hope this makes a difference! When he did sleep through I was the same as you, wide awake checking his breathing! Us poor parents!

      1. That’s it! His own room could do the trick, hopefully it will. Thanks for following me, really cool. Looking forward to reading your posts. #mg #bigpinklink

        1. We hope so! No worries looking forward to reading your posts too 😉

  10. I don’t have children, but I can only imagine how difficult it must be when your child doesn’t sleep through the night. Best wishes and good luck!

    1. Thank you for your comment Ericka, so thoughtful and lovely 🙂

  11. Oh he is gorgeous! But I can only imagine how shattered you must be!? I guess it’s like you say – you just do it and you adapt to the lack of sleep. Having done the “mombie” phase twice now (like you, but only we were lucky and haven’t had to do it for so shatteringly long) I am now traumatised by anything that disturbs my sleep. It’s like my brain is screaming “Noooooo! Don’t do that to me again!”

    I salute you brave (tired) Momma, and really hope you get to enjoy a good night’s sleep again very soon. Dawn x #dreamteam

    1. Thank you got such a lovely comment. Wine definitely helps. I know the brain screaming phase all too well. I know he can do it again and am crossing everything in anticipation. Glad your Mombie phase wasn’t too long. Let’s drink to sleeping more than 3 hours in a row!?

  12. Ah bless you, I have a terrible sleeper too! Here’s hoping the longer stretches of sleep are here to stay!

    #twinklytuesday

    1. I think I’ve jinxed the sleep thing by blogging about it…darn!! Please, please sleep through again…

  13. Kat says:

    I do hope he sleeps through again soon. My daughter is just never tired and struggles to switch off but when she does sleep she is impossible to wake and is usually in a bad mood when getting ready for school. Its a tiring battle too! #bigpinklink

    1. Thanks Kat. My eldest is the same as your daughter and sleeps wonderfully once he allows himself to relax. Just wish my youngest would follow suit. One wake up already tonight…yawn!

  14. Helena says:

    Oh sleep deprivation is the worse. Due to my Type 2 Diabetes I was told to feed my babies every 3 hours so I’ve been exhausted. Hopefully he will sleep through the night again and you’ll get into a new routine. #mg

    1. Oh no Helena, sorry to hear that, it really is exhausting! Sleep deprivation is not fun! We just have to keep on going and hope it passes soon!

  15. Soppymum says:

    I feel your pain on the sleep front. 14 months without sleeping through and I just accept it and know one day he will (I’m sure)! Co-sleeping has been the only way I’ve managed to function plus I won’t do sleep training. Hope you get another amazing night soon! If you find the magic ingredient for making it happen. Please let me know!!! #familyfun

    1. Well we’ve had one night…I’m holding onto that as his sleep has been terrible since! We have moved house thought and he’s now in his room room, don’t know how long that will last as I am not getting enough sleep…co-sleeping is much easier…I think that might be the magic ingredient…will keep you updated!!

      1. Soppymum says:

        Co-sleeping is the only way I get any sleep some nights!! Hope being in his room has helped x

  16. tammymum says:

    Just popping back from #familyfun to say hope the sleep streak is continuing and thanks for linking up with us. Hope you can come back next week xx

  17. crummymummy1 says:

    Little B is almost two and has never, ever slept through. Surely it must happen soon… #bigpinklink

    1. Thanks for your comment…and please accept my sympathies in bucketfulls!! Here’s hoping once they hit two it suddenly changes 🙂

  18. Your boys are beautifull. Thankfully my little man sleeps a little longer than 2 hour stretches but he does wake up once in the night most night. At 1 2 am it is alway boon that gets him back to sleep. I’ve learnt to survive on broken sleep! Great news on the one night full sleep, bet you felt like a new woman!? Thanks for linking up to #FamilyFun, Hope you can come back next week!

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. When he did sleep through on that magic night I was awake worrying about him not waking up…typical!! I can only be jealous that your little guy only wakes up once, I dream of that as it feels more achievable than him sleeping through. But any kind of broken sleep is a killer so you have my deepest sympathies. For my Mayhem the one night was definitely a on-off and he’s back to serial wake-ups…about 5 last night then up at 5am!! Oh the joys of motherhood!

  19. Oh! The first night of sleeping through is heaven, isn’t it? It surely won’t be long until he does it again?

    #FamilyFun

    1. Thanks for your comment…here’s hoping…pleeeaasseee sleep thorough again!!!

  20. themotherhub says:

    Woop woop – congrats ! Took my first till he was 5 to regularly sleep through. My two yr old still wake s. I’m totally lazy and just let them into my bed so that doesn’t help. Long may it continue for you ! #fortheloveofblog

    1. Sometimes being lazy is the best way forward, whatever works for you I say! I hope my youngest doesn’t take until he’s five I think I’ll shrivel up and loose it before then!

  21. Yaaay! So happy for you…we have had a few nights sleeping through but nothing that stuck for very long unfortunately. It’s always something isn’t it, teething or jabs! Hope it continues for you, I feel like a new woman when I’ve had a decent night’s rest. Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam Hope to see you next time x

    1. Thanks Bridie, It’s crazy how much broken sleep us Mombies have! Unfortunately he’s not managed it again since…boo! Here’s crossing everything and hoping!!

      1. Booo but you never know, it might change back again. They love to keep us on our toes!!

  22. Oh how I remember these days (and by remember, I think of PTSD!) and do not envy you. But they are so darned precious and adorable, thankfully. Our big, she never slept. We hired someone to come and teach us how to get her to sleep, and she had to consult with others. Proud to say, we were her toughest case. Still sleep deprived and finding ways to deposit to the sleep bank, but I may have to acknowledge its time gone by. Wishing you much luck and love with that beautiful bundle! Too cute! #mg #bigpinklink

    1. Oh no Lisa, her ‘toughest case’ I think we’d be up there at the top of the list too! It really is a hard deal going without sleep as an adult. He’s been in his own room now for a few nights but he’s still not sleeping…yawn…where’s the coffee??!!

      1. I say we get an IV drip! ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️😘✨

  23. Firstly “hurrah” on the first sleep through. I know it hasn’t been repeated but there is definitely a morale boost from knowing it is at least possible. One day maybe it will become a regular occurrence. My LO still wakes up quite regularly. Usually just once a night but she’s got a cold right now so it’s been a bit more disruptive. It knocks it out of you. I agree with some previous comments about how sleep deprivation isn’t given enough support. Modern society doesn’t accommodate parents (or carers for that matter) who sometimes just don’t get the rest. Have all fingers and toes crossed that you see a repeat sleep-through again soon! #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Thank you Angela for your lovely comment. It really is tough being so sleep deprived. I just thank goodness that I’m not working at the moment as I would fear for my sanity and I know for certain that I would not be cut any slack in the workplace for being ‘tired’. Just to know that he has slept through once is a fantastic comfort and I know that he will do it again…soon…please!! Hope it happens more regularly for you too!

  24. It is really hard when your child won’t sleep through! My 1 year old gets up about 4 times a night right now and I’m super fed up! But my eldest was that way too and eventually grew out of it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. #SundayBest

    1. You know my pain…we just have to survive and get on with it! Thank you for the hope…something to hang onto at stupid o’clock 😉

  25. I think sleep must be the number one thing that we parents talk about! My first was a terrible sleeper and my second is brilliant so I tend to think it’s just pot luck what they do! It’s easy to say that now as I’m lucky to have a baby who mostly sleeps through the night but I do remember the torture of sleep deprivation from my son. He didn’t sleep through the night ever until he went to school. Sheer torture. Thanks for sharing on #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Thanks for your comment. I agree it’s totally put luck. My first is a really great sleeper (apart from waking up way too early), thank goodness. Sleep deprevation really is torture…Yawn!

  26. I have two sleep evaders too and my goodness it’s a revelation on the rare occasions that they do sleep! Thanks for linking up to #SundayBest x

    1. Thanks for your comment Sian, oh now, having two is even worse, at least I only have one!!

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