Sleep must the number one most talked about issue when it comes to parenting! And I think it’s certainly one of the things I have personally struggled with the most, been the most unprepared for, and agonised over! Before you have a baby you know you aren’t going to get much sleep for awhile, but I don’t think anything can prepare you for how little you get, and how long the “awhile” is!
When I had my first baby, I was under the illusion that by around 3 months old he would be sleeping through the night and everything would be hunky dory. What a fantasy! He didn’t sleep through the night till he was about a year old. We were up multiple times a night to him, often he would be awake for up to 2 hours in the night before we could get him back to sleep. It was a killer! So I was sure/hoping madly that the second baby would be better. Surely I wouldn’t be so unlucky to get 2 bad sleepers in a row? How wrong was I! And in some ways its actually worse second time around, as you also have a toddler to deal with.
More often than not I average around 3-5 hours sleep a night, broken up into 3 segments. I very rarely get more than 2 hours at a time, and often its only 1-1.5 hours. And baby is 7 months old! Going that long with no sleep really does funny things to your body, as I’ve learned this time around. The brain does not perform well under those conditions!
So you might be thinking, OK, a year of broken sleep, that’s not too bad. HA! Wishful thinking. After our oldest started sleeping through at a year old it was bliss. We had maybe 6-9 months of great sleep. Then the eye teeth started coming through. Sleep went right out the window. And it never came back. Now he is over 3 years old and his sleeping is terrible. Once they get past 2 their brains start to process the world around them differently, and this causes night wakings, dreams they can’t understand, and nightmares. Becoming a big brother really set him back as well, and he started needing a lot of comfort and reassurance at night. And because I have to feed the baby and deal with him at night, its now my hubby’s job to take care of our oldest at night. Since baby 2 has been born I could probably count on one hand the number of times we’ve been in our bed together for the whole night, hubby usually ends up sleeping with master 3 for some or all of the night. And while this is not a long term solution, for now its the best one to ensure we all get the most sleep we can.
So now we’re faced with the unwelcome reality that sleep issues can go on for years. And while this too shall pass, I suspect the time frame for getting some decent sleep back might be a whole lot longer than we expected! So for now even getting 3-4 hours sleep at a time seems like a luxury, and I’m madly hoping that once the current sickness plaguing our house has gone, and the teeth that have just come through settle down, maybe, just maybe, I might get a few blissful hours in a row!