Tag Archives: tresillian

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

Mum Mum

1 Mar

“Achoo!” Aaron called me from the bedroom “Boo, you have to come see this!” I went in and looked at Hannah. A giant snot bubble was coming out of her nose. Poor baby. At the same time though, I had a little laugh, and got out the camera. I had to document her first grossly hilarious snot bubble. Hannah has been a bit sick since last Saturday. She got a cold, probably from one of the kids in creche. I took her to the doctor last Saturday just to make sure it wasn’t an ear infection or anything (I can never be too careful with my little baby!), as she also had a fever. They said it was just a cold. She woke up numerous times every night since her poor little nose was blocked. Babies only breathe through their noses, so they get quite distressed when it’s blocked. Needless to say, I’m in a state of zombie-ness. I didn’t write last week, due to said zombie-ness, and well, I really couldn’t be bothered. Hannah gave me, Aaron, Grandma, and The Jess her cold, so when she was sleeping, I was sleeping. Blogging just seemed like entirely too much effort. She still has her cold. I think it’s getting better though. She doesn’t seem to be coughing as much, and I haven’t had to wipe her nose all the time. We borrowed a vapouriser from someone at Church (thank you Beth!!!!!!), which really really helped her night sleeping. The first night, she only woke to feed once, which was a vast improvement on the 5+ times she had been waking due to a blocked nose. I think I need to invest in one of those. So worth it!

I was supposed to take Hannah to Tresillian (place to get help with baby sleeping problems http://www.tresillian.net/) on my birthday (hey, I wasn’t about to turn down the earliest appointment they had, even if it was for my birthday), but they called one morning and asked if I could come in. Sure I had to hurry and shower, get Hannah ready, get our lunches ready, nappy bag, toys, sleeping stuff, etc., but I wanted to nip this non napping crisis in the bud asap, so I said yes. I won’t lie, it was really hard. The whole idea is controlled crying; teaching Hannah to put herself to bed. Sometimes she does the “I’m gonna die” cry (where it certainly sounds like if I don’t come in right then, she will die), which rips my heart out. They told me that if that is what gets me in there, then that is what she has learned gets me in there. She isn’t hungry, hot, cold, wet, etc when she does it, so it’s not anything to worry about. The plan consisted of first waiting 15-20 minutes after I put her down for her nap to let her try to put herself to sleep (even if she is crying, I don’t go in), then if she is crying, go in, lay her down (she is usually standing), pat her back (she sleeps on her tummy) and settle her down, and stay for a while, then go, and come back every 5 minutes or so. It took her 35 minutes to sleep the first time, and she slept for 1 hour. Much better then the 15 minutes she was doing before. Oh, and I can’t feed her to sleep anymore. Ok, this time, I really won’t give in, I will not feed her to sleep anymore. For her second nap of the day, she didn’t nap at all. We tried for an hour and a half, but got nothing except ear piercing cries. Poor Bubba.
I also had to make a bedtime routine, and stick to it every single time. Our new routine is: put sleeping bag on, give her a cuddle, sit her in her cot, read her a story, lay her down, put the blinds down and turn the sleepy music on, stroke her hair and say “sleepy time,” turn the light off and exit the room. The first couple of days were pretty hard, but they are supposed to be. Now for her naps, I’m happy to report that she goes to sleep within 5 minutes, but usually within 1, and if she cries, it’s only a weak little protest cry, then she is out. Sigh of relief. Nights aren’t going so well, but I’m pretty sure that is just because of her cold. It has been taking an hour or more to get her to sleep at night then she has been waking and waking (except for the last few nights when we borrowed the vapouriser). As I said though, I’m pretty sure that is just her nose giving her grief. Why is it that when you have a cold, the stuffy nose seems way worse at night??

Hannah would like everyone to know that she is a little Aussie (for those Americans reading this, that is pronounced Ozzy, like Ozzy Osbourne) girl. Aaron was eating vegemite toast one morning when, as usual, Hannah crawled over and looked at him with those “Daddy, you know you want to give me what ever it is that you are eating” eyes. I said she could try some vegemite toast. I thought for sure she’d absolutely hate it, but to my surprise (and bewilderment), she loved it. I think she would have eaten Daddy’s entire toast if he let her.

There is one thing that all moms can’t wait to hear – when your little one says Mum, Mama, Mum Mum, or the like, for the very first time. I was feeding Hannah her lunch when out of the blue, she said Mum. clear as day, not a “what did you just say” kind of thing, there was no question that she said Mum. I don’t know if she knows what it means (I would like to delude myself to say that she does), but she certainly knows it gets my attention. If I’m in the kitchen and she is in the living room, she will crawl over to the makeshift barricade I made (two blown up thermarest mattresses across the doorway, one side held in place by the couch, the other with a vacuum cleaner, reinforced with a chair in the middle of the door way to prevent the bust ins that were happening), stand up, look at me, and yell “Mum!” How can I not give her a cuddle or a smile or play with her when she does that? Every time she says Mum I’m pretty sure my smile gets a little wider. I better watch out or I will end up looking like a demented clown or something. She also said bum this morning. I suppose that was bound to happen when she says Bubba and Mum all the time. Put them together, and what do you get? Bum. Hahahaha, bum is so much funnier when it’s a baby saying it!

And yes, it is my birthday this week. Happy birthday to me. I’m getting old.

To finish off, here is a little rant, as it annoys me every time.
Dear newspaper publishers: Why must you put staples in your newspapers? Do you like to unnecessarily contribute to depleting the worlds steel supply? I can’t figure out the purpose to using staples to bind together your newspapers which already stay together as they have a nice fold right down the centre. Do you like to spend money unnecessarily on staples? Pay for unnecessary machines to put said useless staples in your newspapers? “Can I read the sports section?” someone asked me. “Sure,” I wasn’t reading it, and sharing is caring. “Oh wait, sorry, I can’t pull out the sports section because this silly newspaper is STAPLED TOGETHER.” Why don’t I just pull the section off? I would, but you use unnecessarily large staples which fail to free sections of paper when you pull at them. Instead, half of the page is torn away, the other half still sticking unnecessarily to the big stupid unnecessary staple. Why don’t I just pull the staple off? Sounds easy enough, but we’re not talking about normal easy to pull off normal sized staples, we are talking about unnecessarily large nail breaking, finger poking, don’t want to unbend staples. “Hey, want to put some newspaper through the shredder to make some guinea pig bedding?” “Great idea. Oh wait, we can’t, it will kill the shredder because it’s STAPLED TOGETHER!” What were you thinking newspaper publishers?

Communication station

9 Feb

Time since birth: 7 months

I think I should be grape scented. I wear purple all the time (my favourite!), my hair is purple, my earrings are often purple. Someone actually asked me why I have purple the other day why my hair is purple. I said because I like purple. I think it looks nice, but I’m sure a little purple haired Mommy looks a little funny (except that I don’t care, if other people want to judge me by my crazy hair then I don’t want to know them anyway). Apart from that one question though, no one has said anything about my hair at all.

Hannah crawled over and sat near my feet (I was on the couch). She looked at my yogurt. “Eh!!”
I looked at Grandma “I think she wants some yogurt.”
I got up to go get her a bubba spoon. “Eh!!!Eh!!” She didn’t like me going away. I suppose she thinks I carry spoons around in my pockets. Or maybe that they are just part of me and I can just whip them out whenever needed.
I sat on the floor and gave her some of the yogurt. She ate half and then crawled away quite happy and pleased with herself. Wow, she is learning to communicate better. She is amazing.

Last week I took Hannah to the Early Childhood Health Clinic to address her napping problem. They gave me a referral to Tresillian (a place that helps with sleeping problems with day stays, home visits, and if it’s really bad, week stays), and told me that I need to stop feeding her to sleep. Oh that will be hard. She has always REFUSED to have booby unless it’s right before nap/sleep time. I have tried and tried and tried, but she always refuses the booby until right before a sleep. They told me that at this point, her napping is more important then that milk as she is eating solids and has an over night feed. I took her home and put her to bed – without booby. To my amazement, she slept. And slept. She slept for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Turns out it was a fluke though. Sometimes she takes 1.5 hours to get herself to sleep (I’m also supposed to not go in there for a pat before 20 minutes), then she only sleeps for 15 to 30 min. Crazy baby, you’d think she’d be absolutely buggered from all that crawling, and then conk out for like 2 hours. She just seems to be a little bundle of infinite energy. She still won’t have any booby when she wakes up, except for in the afternoon, so I have been pumping and putting it in her breakfast and letting her drink it out of a sippy cup while she eats her solids. I’m still waiting for Tresillian to call me and let me know when I can come in for a day stay.

Since I had to change the nap time routine to not include booby, I now give her some quiet time (put her in her cot while I do my daily bible reading out loud to her), put her in her sleeping bag, give her a cuddle, tell her it’s nap time, turn on the sleepy music, then leave the room. The other day I was reading to her when I looked up and got a bit of a shock. Giving me a cheeky “look what I can do” grin, Hannah was standing there in her cot, holding on to the rail. Now every time I read to her, she immediately stands up, and remains standing the entire time, looking very pleased with herself, and giving me the biggest whole face grin whenever I look at her. She’s so cute!!!

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