Tag Archives: sleep

4 nights at Tresillian

7 May

I’ve been feeling like a zombie. Minus the brain cravings. I’m kind of awake, but my mind is pretty much asleep. Wish my body was too. But it isn’t. Sigh.

Nope, instead I’ve been up half the night, night after night, for months with a screaming Daniel. I pat him in his cot while he protests and attempts to stand up. Eventually, he goes to sleep. A few minutes later, he cries again. Sometimes I’d be patting him off and on for an hour before giving up and giving him some boob. Then he’d sleep for an hour. Maybe 2. And the whole thing would start again. Sigh.

At first I thought it was teething. But then it went on for over a month. I went to my doctor to beg for a referral to Tresillian (Tresillian is a government run (I think it is government run anyway) organisation that helps families deal with baby/toddler sleep, feeding, behavioural, etc. issues).  My doctor was on vacation, so I begged his replacement instead.

The wait to get a day stay at Tresillian was long. I waited over a month. I thought maybe in that time Daniel would sleep better over night. He didn’t. Well, that’s not true, every so often, he would have a good night. But then it’d be back to 5-10 wake-ups per night. Not stirrings, proper, have-to-go-in-there-and-comfort-him wake-ups.

Being half asleep all the time takes it’s toll. I’ve been grumpy. Snappy. Impatient. Easily annoyed. Emotional. I was desperate for change. Desperate for a little help.

I pretty much feel like screaming this (Not that I swear. But if I did….):

I couldn’t wait for my day stay appointment. I knew they couldn’t physically help me with the night wakings since we were there for the day only. And he sleeps fine during the day. I just wanted to get some advice, strategies, etc. I had to complete a diary detailing when Daniel ate, slept, cried, and was being settled for 5 days and nights before coming in.

“So how often do you breastfeed him?” The lady asked me after looking the diary.

“Hmm….probably around 5-6 times per day. Plus the overnight feeds.”

Apparently, that’s too much. Oops. A baby of Daniel’s age should only be getting 3 a day. And maybe one over night. I didn’t really have that problem with Hannah. She was uninterested in the boob by Daniel’s age. Mostly. She still fed once over night. That was unfortunately the only time she ever wanted it. Too much other stuff to do during the day. Feeding was boring.

Daniel on the other hand…. He is constantly shoving his face in my chest while trying to pull my shirt down and making urgent whinge noises. So I’d feed him.

The nurse told me to cut down on his feeds. Starting then. He shoved his little baby face in my chest. I gave him some water. And a snack. A solid food snack. Not a boob snack.

She told me they had a residential program. A stay of 4 nights with nurses on duty 24/7 to help with settling, feeding, behaviour, anything baby/child related. “Is a residential stay something you’d like to do?” She asked me. Of course, I want to sleep. Proper sleep. None of this awake every hour stuff. Ick.

There was a spot open the very next day. And I could take both kids. Because you know, they share a room. Kind of pointless doing the whole thing with just Daniel when at home he’s not in the room by himself. I figured I might as well get it over with.  Hopefully sort out the sleeping. I had to be there the next day at 9am. Lucky it was close to my house. I could have walked there. If I didn’t have so much stuff to bring. You need a lot of stuff to be away 4 nights with a baby and a toddler.

Of course Daniel slept like a champion that first night at Tresillian. He only woke once. Then not at all the second night. The staff were probably wondering what the heck I was doing there. The kids were no trouble at all. Perfect sleepers. He woke once the third and forth nights, and stirred a couple of times. If you can call it that. More like half a cry in his sleep. For like 5 seconds.

I kind of wanted him to be his usual non-sleeping self so they could help me with settling. It’s one thing to tell me how to handle things. Quite another to actually do it.

Since I cut out half the breastfeeds, he was eating more solids.  Could the problem be that he was actually hungry and thirsty that whole time? Was it that simple. Given Daniel’s sleep performance at Tresillian, I thought so.

But then we came home. And again he was up about every hour. Sigh. And also, what the? I seriously don’t know what the problem is. I cut down the feeds, I always put him to bed awake (rather then letting him fall asleep on the boob and then doing the sneaky transfer like I used to a lot), I gave him plenty of food and water during the day, and did all the other things they told me to do. How could he be so good for 4 days and then suddenly sleep horribly again?

Last night he started his horrible sleeping again. I fed him. He started stirring again straight away. I turned on the vaporiser. And then he slept the entire rest of the night with not a single peep. Hmm…. I didn’t have a vaporiser whilst at Tresillian, so I’m still not sure why he slept there so good and not here. But whatever, I don’t care as long as he keeps doing it. I’ll crank up that vaporiser again tonight and hope for the best.

Otherwise, I can call Tresillian again, and they’ll give me another stay if I need it. Or I could use their facebook live chat, or their new smart phone app which was launched just last week.

Hannah enjoying one of the playgrounds

Despite being there because my child wasn’t sleeping, I actually had a great time. It was full of other moms (and some dads) and kids there for the very same reason as me (and some for other reasons). I made a few friends there. Hannah had a wonderful time with a little girl about her age. They would play together pretty much all day. They have a class every morning. One on stress relief, another about toddler behaviour, and then one about bonding with your baby. I didn’t have to cook, or clean, or anything like that. There were 2 outside playground, one inside playground and then lots of little living rooms to play in too.  If only they had the internet (hence my lack of posts).

As fun as it was though, I hope I never have to go back. Because that would mean that Daniel is screaming half the night again. And I certainly don’t want that. 

Fingers crossed for tonight. So far so good….


It’s been a week since I got back from Tresillian. The first few nights were hard. Lots of crying. Lots of patting. But I didn’t give in and give him the boob. It’s been getting better each night. Last night, and the night before, Daniel slept until 4. He woke for a feed and then slept until after 6. It’s such a relief!

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Getting your baby to sleep

16 Mar
Sleep.  Now that’s something I dream about.  Something I can’t wait to get 8 whole straight hours of.  Something that without much of, I go a little crazy.  Not just me, but most moms.  We hear that familiar mom-I-need-you-right-now-or-I’m-surely-going-to-die scream at 3am.  Sigh. 3am. And for a lot of us, that’s not even the first wake up of the night. Sigh.
So here is a guest post by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com.

Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

I’m not going to lie to you. There is no quick-fix, catch-all method of getting your infant to sleep through the night. Babies sleep around the clock at varying periods, usually for collectively 16 hours a day. Sometimes they’ll sleep a few hours; sometimes only minutes. However, there are a few tips you can keep in mind so that your child may sleep more at night than otherwise.

Be Patient, Be More Patient

Again, I’m going to stress the importance of understanding that you can’t expect your baby to sleep through the night. Particularly for the first few weeks of their life, there is no typical sleeping pattern. Much of this has to do with their immature brain that has not developed enough to maintain prolonged sleep. Until about 6 weeks old, a baby will wake up many times during the night. The best thing you can do is to simply not get frustrated when they wake up; creating a hostile environment around sleep may lead to bigger sleeping disorders once older.

Vary Sleep Associations

Many parents will stick to one effective sleep association to get their baby to sleep. While this association is usually strong, restricting your child to just one association often results in a baby stubbornly expecting this association every night. So, for example, don’t rock your child to sleep every night; you should sing to him or her some nights, feed other nights, and take turns as to which parent puts the child to bed. Otherwise you will have a child who refuses to sleep unless that one association is met. The more associations you can provide, the better.

Set Consistent Nap Times

Try to lay down with your baby a couple times during the day and let them nap. Eventually your child may be able to just nap at those times on their own. This will get your baby used to a daily naptime routine, and babies with consistent nap routines are more likely to sleep for longer periods of time at night.

Bedtime Rituals

While I said to vary sleep associations earlier, it is also still a good idea to be consistent with bedtimes and bedtime rituals. The difference being that a bedtime routine is a series of events beforesleep while a sleep association occurs as your child falls asleep; it is usually pretty easy to control a bedtime routine, but you can’t always meet the same conditions for a sleep association, particularly when your child wakes up in the middle of the night. Sometimes warm baths can soothe a baby, but this is not always the case. Reading to your child before bed is always a good idea and an important routine to instill at a young age.

Feed Your Baby Mostly During the Day

Infants need to feed at close intervals. If you feed your baby at least every three hours during the day, they will be less hungry at night. Sure, they will still wake up in the middle of the night needing to feed, but try to give them a full feeding when upon their first night waking. You don’t want your baby to get into the habit of nibbling throughout the night.

Provide Ideal Sleep Conditions

In early months, most babies prefer sleeping in a tightly swaddled blanket while older toddlers tend to prefer looser sheets and covers. Make sure the bed isn’t too cold when laying them down. Obviously, keep the bedroom quiet and dark, although subtle soft sounds such as white noise, running water, or air conditioning can also lull a baby to sleep.

Ok, back to me now: If you have trouble getting your child to sleep, during the day or at night, there is help out there.  Tresillian has an amazing amount of information available on their website. You can chat to them live on Facebook. And, if you live in the Sydney area, you can get a referral from your doctor or baby health nurse to go there for a day stay.  There they will help you tame those sleep demons.  If it still doesn’t improve, they offer residential stays as well.

When Hannah was 7 months old, she wouldn’t sleep during the day for more than 5 minutes.  SIGH. Then she’d do that I’m-going-to-die scream until I went back in the room.  No amount of rocking, patting, lulling, shhhhing, etc. would get her back to sleep again.  I was going half crazy with all the screaming, and no infant-free time to myself.

I’m pretty sure every parent goes through that at some stage or another.  The whole sleep issue is a big one.  But what did do?  I took her to Tresillian before I went stark raving mad.  I went there for an entire day.  After that, it took about 2 days of putting my new skills to work, and then she became a dream sleeper.  She still is.  Thank God for Tresillian.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it…

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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

The life of a zombie

16 Nov

Daniel has been waking once per night for a feed.  Once per night is pretty easy to cope with.  Get him up, feed him for a little bit while I check my emails and stuff on the iPad, put him back to bed.  But then it got hot.  From 30-36 celcius (86-96.8).  Ick.  Did I mention we don’t have an airconditioner?  So Danny boy wants more booby.  Fair enough, when it’s hot, you need more to drink.  He’s been waking at least twice per night for a feed, and then another time around 5 when it’s 15 degrees outside (59f) and starting to get a little cool in their room.  Whenever I put a blanket on Daniel, he kicks his legs about like he’s riding an invisible bicycle in the tour de France.  I end up taking him in the bed with Me and Aaron so he can cuddle me instead of having a little blanket, and so he can have free rein of my boob so we can both get some sleep.

Now I’m pretty much in a zombie state.  Minus the brain cravings of course.  Just walking around, going through the motions while half asleep.


Thank goodness it’s much cooler tonight.  Hopefully we’ll get some shut eye.  Sigh.


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The super-cheekiness has begun

1 Feb

I finally did it- I told the people next door to shut up. At 10pm someone was playing acoustic guitar and singing. That wasn’t a problem though, the songs were soft and actually lulled me to sleep. Then came the bongo (or similar) drums. They invaded my sleep and woke me from my wonderful slumber. Enough was enough. I pulled the blinds up and stuck my head as far out the window as I could, to see where the noise was coming from. On and on the badly played bongos went. Without thinking, I yelled. “SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Wow, I can’t believe I actually finally did it. To my surprise, they actually did. They shut up almost immediately. But then I felt bad. I should have been a little nicer about it. I should have maybe said “could you please quiet down, I’m trying to sleep.” Of course that might not have been so effective. Ahhh, I could go back to sleep. Or could I? Probable drunk and or high people had just been yelled at to shut up. Hmmm…would they try to do anything to me? I felt extremely glad at that moment that there are bars on all of our windows. I suppose they probably didn’t even know from which apartment complex, let alone unit, the shut up came from, but that is not what you think about at 11pm after being woken from your deep slumber to the sound of horribly played bongo drums, possibly by psychopaths. This time I really would have called the cops to make a noise complaint. loud tv and or music (the recorded kind, not badly played live kind) is one thing, but bongo drums?

How do you tell a 6 (almost 7) month old that they can’t sleep sitting up? Hannah will only breastfeed before she goes to sleep or has a nap. I know it’s not ideal, but she usually falls asleep while I feed her (I have tried many many times to feed her other times, but she is a stubborn determined little thing, and will ONLY breastfeed before bed no matter what I do), then I put her in the cot, she rolls over onto her tummy, and that is how she sleeps. Now though, after about 2 minutes, she wakes up. I’m sure she always has, but then she just repositions herself and goes back to sleep. But now she can get to the sitting position all by herself, so what does she do? She wakes after 2 minutes and then sits of course. The sitting then gets her all awake again, she gets over tired, she cries, I go in, lay her down, pat her back, she sits back up immediately, I lay her down, etc. I’ve tried staying in there while she plays around in her cot to get herself all tuckered out again. She will get tired again, but of course, the whole process repeats. I’ve tried letting her cry for 10 minutes initially, go in, pat for 1 minute, leave her for 3, pat for 1, etc. Nope, that doesn’t work either. As soon as I lay her down, pop! she’s back up. I don’t think she realises that she is only 6 months old. According to baby books, this whole sitting up from laying, crawling, etc. thing, is not supposed to happen until about 10 months. Needless to say, it’s been a long, tired few days, with mommy (sorry, I mean me. Once you have a baby, you start automatically referring to yourself as “Mommy” in the third person in hopes that sometime soon, baby will call you that too) going a little insane. She did get to 15 minutes this morning before she woke up. I guess we’re making some progress.

I’m glad Hannah doesn’t yet have top teeth, otherwise I would probably be missing a nipple right now. I tried to resettle her with booby (I know, bad habit, but I was desperate, the patting/sitting up cycle had been going on for an hour with no progress), but she wanted none of it. Instead of sucking, she decided to clamp down and not let go. Once I pried my nipple out of her cheeky little mouth, I could see teeth marks. That is something one never ever wants to see on their nipple. Ever. Lucky for her she hasn’t bitten me again. If she starts biting me regularly, or if she draws blood, I’m withdrawing booby from her permanently. I’m not totally cruel though, I’d still express and give it to her in a sippy cup. She would hate it though. She probably would refuse to drink it, and then after not eating anything for a while, I’d give in and she’d get booby again. Stubborn little thing (but oh so cute).

We have to find a new place asap. Hannah is getting into everything. She crawls all over the house, ripping everything off shelves, opening drawers and cupboards (and squishing her little fingers in drawers a few times. She is too fast, I’m right next to her, so I can see as soon as it’s going to happen, but by the time I get my hand between the drawer and it’s frame, she’s already shut her fingers in it), trying to climb the dishwasher when I’m unloading it, trying to open doors that I’ve shut so she can’t go in other rooms. The list is endless!! She much prefers random household things to her toys these days. At least she is easily entertained (even though it means I’m following her around the house, trying to make sure she doesn’t get into too much mischief!). Oh, and she is still being super cheeky at meal time too, giving me food showers and/or refusing to eat. Oh the cheekiness… (but we wouldn’t swap her for the world!).

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