I'm a stay-at-home mom of an almost 2 year old little girl. After the initial newborn up-all-hours stage, the baby slept in bed with me, and nursed throughout the night. I felt rested. Then, when she was 14 months old, we found out she had developed cavities due to the night nursing, and we had to night wean her immediately. It was a nightmare. I went many nights on 4-6 hours (or less!) of broken up sleep. This started in July. I was fine until around October, and then I got soooo tired. Terrible time getting out of bed, dragging my butt around the house all day, and I would have times throughout the day when I would just be hit by extreme exhaustion.
Now, the only way any of us is able to get any sleep is if I sleep beside the baby in her single bed. Since we managed to get her night weaned, she usually wakes up briefly at least once and sometimes many times every night - but I'm able to hush her to sleep quickly while lying in bed. But I'm still soooo exhausted. I can barely drag myself out of bed in the morning, and I get hit by extreme extreme sleepliness, sometimes after lunchtime, and almost every day after supper.
Sleeping in the single bed beside the baby isn't comfortable. I have to be faced towards her, otherwise she wakes up!
As I'm typing this, I'm realizing, of course I'm tired! But I've never felt exhausted like this before and keep wondering if it's something medical and not just sleep related? I mean, I AM sleeping...
I went to the dr and bloodwork was all normal. She thinks it's the sleep thing too. I've also recently discovered I have high blood pressure, which she thinks is related to poor sleep? I wonder if it could be the other way around too?
I started excercising in hopes that it improves my energy.
Does the way I'm feeling sound normal for what I've been going through sleep wise? I just need some reassurance. I didn't mention, since I started feeling tired, my anxiety levels have been through the roof too. Blah.
Ooooh dear - poor you Sleepymommy! You've had a hard time of it.
I have a horrible feeling that in sleeping with your little one for so long you've made a 'rod for your own back' and your baby has you right where she wants you! Bless her - one day she will have to sleep without you so it may as well be now.
If you've tried not sleeping with her I guess you've found it hard because she wakes and yells which is tough for you. But she needs to learn that she can happily and safely fall asleep without you being there so:
create a nice relaxing bedtime routine for her (you probably do this already)
put her into her bed while she's sleepy but not asleep.
And leave her to fall asleep by herself. Leave a night light on if that helps; go in and check her but don't pick her up or play or feed her on these visits - she will learn that you're there, she's safe, but it's time to sleep and yelling doesn't get any more attention than a look in at the door.
Most importantly, be strong, persistent and consistent in this. It will be hard but you've already learned that life without good quality sleep is harder. Make a 'pact' with your partner to be strong together and you will ALL be happier.
You might also want to look up 'Ferber method of baby sleep training' on Google.
Good luck and I really hope you feel the benefits of happily sleeping in your own bed very soon!
Since posting this topic I found a book on sleep disorders which turned out to be VERY helpful. Our problem was that we were rocking, singing, or walking baby around until she fell asleep, and then putting her in the bed. Then when she woke through the night, she wondered where we went! We have been following a bedtime routine, and having her fall asleep in the bed (while sitting next to the bed, have not progressed to leaving the room while she falls asleep yet!)... and within a week of doing this, she has slept through the night a couple of times! Without me being in the bed with her!! Some nights she is still waking once. But I can deal with that.
I'm feeling soooo much better. I can't say my energy levels are back to "normal", I suspect that may take some time as I've been running on poor sleep for many months. But there is definitely a difference in how rested I feel. I can actually drag my butt out of bed in the morning.
The negative effect of poor quality sleep is amazing to me. The waves of fatigue I was experiencing was scary.
Thanks again for your reply. It is so awesome trying something, and seeing positive results!
So glad life is improving and your little one is learning so fast that she can sleep without you. Well done Team SleepyMommy!
Sleep is an amazing thing, but we often don't realise this until we don't get enough of it!