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 Replies to “The Boy That Never Slept Through”

  • 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

    • 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!!

  • 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 🙂

    • 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!!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

    • 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!!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

    • 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!!

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