Georgy’s Motherhood Musings [5]: This too shall pass

II went through an interesting 2 weeks with Lara recently.

Nighttime just wasn’t fun. She would fall asleep, no problem, but then throughout the night she’d be unsettled, feeding almost every hour (sometimes every half hour) and fussing between feeds. She was also waking at around 1am to roll around, play with the blinds, bang her dummy against the wall and generally try and get the party started. It was exhausting. Out of 10, I would rate it about a 1 on the fun scale.

It was something of a comfort that at the same time a friend of mine was going through the exact same thing with her baby. We had joked that our babies were soul sisters because their sleep patterns have always seemed in sync. We came up with every possible theory for why this was happening. A developmental leap perhaps? My Wonder Week app had a match with Lara’s age but not for my friend’s baby… Teething? My friend’s baby was getting a tooth but Lara had just had 4 come through, none of which bothered her at all. Growth spurt? They’re always growing, right?

Wait… Full moon! Yep, blame the full moon!

Regardless of the reason, we were both confident of one thing – it would pass.

Mum would call me each morning and ask, “How was your night?”

“Same again. She fed a lot. And woke a lot in between.”

“Oh dear…”

“No, it’s fine” I insisted. “It will pass. It always does.”

And it did.

After almost 2 weeks of this Lara went back to her version of sleeping through the night. Just to clarify, technically Lara’s version of ‘sleeping through the night’ is going to bed and then feeding every 2-ish hours, (but not waking, fussing, rolling around, or playing in between) until she wakes up with the sun. As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, this doesn’t bother me. I actually enjoy the nighttime snuggles and feeds. And since Lara has become a master of feeding in her sleep, I have become a master of sleeping through said feeds.

I have no doubt that more fussy periods will follow, but I also have no doubt that they will also end. So I have written this blog, not only to reassure other mothers of this, but to remind myself of this too. When you’re in the thick of it and you find yourself worrying that you will have to rock this child to sleep forever, that you can’t manage another night of almost constant feeding and that you will lose your mind if you wake up one more time to a baby’s finger going up your nose and into your brain while she shrieks “babababababaaa!” into your ear at 2am (a common disadvantage to bed-sharing) – just remember the ancient Persian saying: “This too shall pass.”

And I promise you that it will.

 

[The attached picture was taken during one of Lara’s nap-times. As you can see, there’s not a whole lot of napping going on…]
By |September 25th, 2015|13 Comments

About the Author:

Georgy is an IBCLC and Midwife who lives in the Northern Rivers of NSW with her husband and two beautiful children.

13 Comments

  1. Codie September 25, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Ohhhh I needed this…. my little girl is 6.5wks and is playing up a treat! Refusing to sleep in the day for more than 40 mins here and there, cluster feeding allllll evening and has gone back to waking frequently through the night!
    My partner is currently doing 4 night shifts in a row, so its been a tough time without the extra set of hands (and reassurance!).
    Thanks for making me realise it is only temporary (hopefully!) 🙂

    • Georgy September 25, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Doesn’t sound like playing up at all Codie, sounds like very normal behaviour for a 6.5 week old! But it will get easier… And then harder and then easier again. Just keep up the feeding and cuddling, sounds like you’re doing an awesome job 🙂 Georgy

  2. Jacqui September 26, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Hi Georgy
    I also co sleep and BF like you do with my 11 month old son. I’m also a nurse and having to go back to work in January which will involve day and night shifts and wondering if you have a plan how to transition Lara once you return to work.
    Jacqui

    • Georgy September 26, 2015 at 4:35 am

      Hi Jacqui! Very good question. I have actually already returned to work, but only on a casual basis and it is my intention to remain casual for the time being. I plan to only really do morning shifts and perhaps some evenings, as I don’t think Lara is ready for me to be gone all night. If you’re back part-time though I understand you won’t have a choice of shifts, so perhaps as you get closer to January you will need to start getting your partner to help with settling him at night when he wakes up so that he gets used to being helped back to sleep without BF. I think Dad has a good section on how to do this in Cherished Baby 🙂

  3. Lee Mackenzie September 26, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Georgy I swear sometimes it’s like you are writing about my Rosie, and seem to always know what I need to hear and with a laugh as well!! Thankyou!! My mantra is this too shall pass but when you are up at 4am for 4th night in a row after feeding hourly all night, and finally give up and let her watch Thomas the tank engine just to get some quiet time it’s sometimes hard to remember and thoughts of well I think it’s time we look into sleep training emerge despite normally happily co sleeping and feeding every2-3hrs most nights. Not a wonder week, not teething, we put it down to baby weirdness!

    • Georgy October 4, 2015 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Lee, thanks for your comment! I think it’s normal to start to fantasize about sleep training when you’re in the thick of it. But just remember that even with most sleep training, regressions still occur. Sickness, growth spurt etc and then you need to start all over again. When using a method that isn’t “gentle”, such as controlled crying, that means going through the trauma all over again each time (trauma for baby and parent!) Why do you think so many “sleep consultants” get so much repeat business!
      Keep doing what you’re doing, it sounds like you are doing amazing! And hey, if you need to put Rosie down in front of Thomas the Tank Engine at 4am then that’s what you’ve gotta do!
      Lara has just hit another unsettled period in the past few days, so I now need to take my own advice… It will pass 🙂

  4. Martina October 7, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I love your blogs!!! Thank you!! From a fellow bedsharing, boobin’ thru the night mum. 🙂

  5. amanda November 20, 2015 at 9:48 am

    my 2 week old is doing this… really hope it passes.only just got her to sleep now @ 1730 after all day being awake. think she has been over stimulated… im just so tired…

    • Georgy November 20, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      Hi Amanda, 2 weeks is a hard time, I remember it well. Of course it will pass and you will realise that in hindsight the newborn stage flies by and before you know it they’re just not a small baby anymore. Just get through 2 weeks at a time. They change SO fast. In 2 weeks you will have a different baby (completely!) and another 2 weeks after that, another. Just remember that 6 weeks is the peak time for unsettledness and overstimulation. Little Lara used to get very, very overstimulated from the 2 week mark. It was hard. She would not nap easily and from 5.30pm-8pm would be a nightmare. She would scream. I would cry. It was hard, but we got through it with lots of cuddling, holding, rocking, singing and deep breathing (on my part!) IT DOES PASS 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Things I can suggest:
      – Wearing baby through the day in a sling (I loved my ring sling) or a soft wrap carrier. The movement of your body will help her to be able to drift off when she’s tired.
      – White noise, there’s some great apps you can get on your phone that you can play while baby is in the wrap or cuddled up beside you on the bed in a dark room.
      – We borrowed an Ambi Hammock from a friend. I will definitely buy one for our next baby! They love the motion and it may help her sleep if you can’t be carrying her all the time.
      – Feed to sleep if you can. Are you breastfeeding? Ignore any advice that tells you not to let baby fall asleep at the breast. Let her and let her do it as long as you want!! There will come a point where she won’t anymore and you will miss the days she does!
      – Have you read Dad’s Bore Your Baby To Sleep? This is super helpful. It is on his website 🙂

      Good luck. I’m sure you are doing amazing x

  6. Bron December 22, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Hi Georgy! Like Lee said in her comment, I to feel like I could be reading a recap of me and Maggie when I read about your journey with Lara!! Maggie’s a week away from 6mths and this week has been exhausting with her sleep routine in the midst of being reprogrammed!! It has been such a comfort reading your words through this time, thank you! My husband sometime chuckles as he says, “she’s thinking, there’s nothing wrong with my behaviour guys, it’s your expectations that need adjusting!” True, but hard to keep perspective some nights!!

  7. Saskia Zuman April 9, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Georgy,
    Your dad directed me to this particular post and I have to say, it’s exactly what I needed to read!
    I have a 6 month old who is particularly energetic at nap/ bedtimes at the moment and has now only wanted to fall asleep on the breast again, which I am totally fine with… However… As soon as I put her down (she sleeps next to me in a cot joining to the bed) her little eyes ping open and she thinks she’s has her sleep. She then proceeds to roll around/ singing in her cot, then gets upset and finally wants to be fed to sleep again. This can take more than an hour. Sometimes she will only sleep for 20 mins after all this! Monkey!
    Any tips?
    Thanks,
    Saskia

    P.S. I’ve read both of your dad’s books this week after randomly discovering this website and loved them. I’ll now be following your adventures with lovely Lara. What a fantastic blog and so nice that you both support the parents who visit the site! It is so appreciated

    • Georgy April 14, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Hi Saskia – sorry for the late reply. I am actually terrible with checking back to the website for responses until dad reminds me to. Life with a toddler!
      Lara went through this exact same thing when she was 9 months old, it drove me bananas! The only tips I can give you is that it WILL pass! It never feels like it will when you are in the thick of it (you can’t help but think – omg, is this my new baby?! Will she be like this forever?!), but rest assured that it does.
      The way I dealt with it was we went back to rocking to sleep.
      From 5 months – 9 months all I had to do was lie down and cuddle with her and she fell asleep, so it felt like a huge step backwards but hey, it worked and sometimes you just have to do what works!
      So I would rock her to sleep. Sometimes she would squirm and fight in my arms, but I would just talk to her gently “it’s nap time Lara, you’re tired” and eventually she would fall asleep. Then, if I felt I could put her down I would but often the naps would just end up happening in my arms. I just resigned myself to this and started to read books again and play a huge amount of Candy Crush on my phone 😀

      Just do what works, but try not to get stuck in the mindset of what baby “should” be doing. A lot of the time you’ve just got to roll with it and maintain your sense of humour. Don’t leave her to cry if she wakes, you already know it doesn’t work so don’t torture yourself.

      I actually continued to rock Lara to sleep from 9 months until her first birthday just because she would fall asleep faster.
      I’m happy to report that now, at 16 months I don’t need to do that anymore. I just lie down and cuddle her so don’t feel that changing what you do or “going backwards” is going to make a rod for your back or ruin your progress. Dad always told me that babies don’t develop in a straight line, they zig-zag and go backwards, then forwards, then sideways… You get the gist!

      Hang in there and just try to enjoy your baby. My gosh I miss 6 month old Lara. They’re so sweet and squishy at that age. It’s so cliche but it goes so fast and in a few weeks she will be a totally different baby doing totally different things.

      Hope this helps 🙂

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