The Holy Grail of Sleep

Sleep. I can never have too much of it. For as long as I can remember I have been able to nap simply because I am bored and have nothing to do and been able to lie in past midday given the chance. Clearly, once Harry arrived the amount of sleep I was able to have vastly reduced. I think I am one of very few people who actually did sleep when baby slept, although that didn't stop me feeling exhausted.

Image courtesy of Ambro  /
Image courtesy of Ambro /

During growth spurts, the husband would sleep on the sofa and I would bring Harry into our bed, following safe co-sleeping guidelines, it was the only way I would get the rest I so desperately needed.

Fast forward a few years and, for the most part, Harry goes to bed easily and sleeps 11-12 hours each night. Whilst we were living in the hostel he would wake up between 4-5 am until 6.30/7 am and come into my bed with me, before going back to sleep and I was fine with that and this carried on after we moved into the flat.

Around November, things changed. Suddenly Harry stopped going back to sleep and would demand one of us get up with him and do his breakfast. Any time between 4-5 am. I hoped it was a short stage. Except it continued all through December and January. Something simply had to change. Not just for me on a selfish level but for Harry too; he was starting to ask to go to bed at 5 pm and whilst that might sound great, in reality it is simply too early and we would have battles with dinner time due to his being tired.

So I sent Fi from Childcare is Fun an email. If you haven't seen Fi's blog, you really should; packed with tips and things to do with children. She also offers a free personalised advice service AND has The Baby Bedtime Book being released in May; she is one busy but lovely lady! Anyway, Fi then sent me a few basic questions about our routine etc and came back with a plan. I also bought a Gro Clock to use alongside the advice and created a star chart for Harry.

Harry used to go to sleep using an old smart phone to watch You Tube clips of Chuggington on. Yes I know; it's a habit that started in the hostel that we then became too scared to break. The first two nights of taking it away were pretty awful but I sat with him when he cried and followed Fi's gentle methods. By the third night he was quite happy to go to bed without it and stayed in his own room until the sun came up on the clock. Within a week we had managed to change the wake up time from 6 am to 7 am!

With Harry sleeping so much better, it's time to work on me. Despite often going to bed early (around 10 pm) my sleep is disturbed; I still wake up pretty tired. I know I have a lot on my mind with worrying about what the next steps are for me in terms of surgery. I will find out what my neurosurgeon has in mind on Monday, so not too long to wait really.

In the meantime, do you use any sleep aids? What do you find helps you get to sleep when you have stresses?

13 thoughts on “The Holy Grail of Sleep

  1. We haven't done too badly with sleep past the first few months and some dreaded teething moments! But I totally agree that visiting Fi's website is a fab idea for anyone on the eternal quest of some shut-eye! xx
    WallyMummy recently posted..Toddler Potty MouthMy Profile

  2. I've found someone who let her child watch @youtube to go to sleep, on a phone. That is what we do and I am so ashamed about it. I do the whole bath, story, bottle, bed but he still says "I want your phone". So so glad to hear of someone who got out of that cycle.

    Also I was well aware of your 6 a.m. wakeups. As you know we get up MUCH later, but I am thrilled for you that you have changed it to 7. Once you sleep more deeply you won't know yourself. Thinking of you.

    Liska x
    Liska @NewMumOnline recently posted..Spring Has Certainly Sprung - Picking Up the Daisies February 2014My Profile

  3. Fi is amazing isn't she! We have sorted Isaac and getting there with Eliza. Her problem is she still wakes early but clatters about noisily until her sun comes up - I'm being strict now and not letting her up even if I'm up with the baby!
    Just wish fi's tips worked on adults!
    Kara recently posted..The Big Holiday DebateMy Profile

  4. Luckily sleep issues for the kids are mainly behind us (at age 6 and nearly 9) - they do still get up waaay too early for me but unless it's a school day they can go and watch the telly. As for me I just go to bed far too late and survive on about 5 -6 hours a night and lie-ins at the weekend - not that healthy but it does mean I actually go to sleep 'cause I'm so exhausted!
    Rollercoaster Mum recently posted..How does Grandma's Garden grow? the Winter EditionMy Profile

  5. I can't help with any tips I'm afraid because I never get a proper sleep and I'm constantly tired. The kids sleep well now being 13, 8 and 6 but I wake 3-4 each night with back pain.
    I yearn for the days when I could sleep till lunch! I can't do it now because I can't lie down for longer than about 6 hours but I do find I can fall asleep in my chair at anytime during the day where as I never used to be able to sleep in the daytime.
    Well done on changing Harry's sleep pattern 🙂
    Shell Louise recently posted..Finally - 8 Stone Award Slimming WorldMy Profile

  6. Sleep... What is this sleep?!
    I am right there with you hun! Hayden constantly wakes during the night & its the only time I can get stuff done so sleep it out the window for me too ... for how long I don't know.
    Hayden will be two in April so I don't know what to do haha but well done on figuring it out 😀
    Maybe try herbal tea for yourself xxx

    Thanks for sharing hun
    Lotte xo
    Berice Baby London Parenting & Lifestyle Blog
    Lotte recently posted..Celebrity Secrets: Bounce Back From Pregnancy FastMy Profile

  7. I've heard some amazing things about Fi and her advice! You must feel loads better that Harry is sleeping until more sociable hours, It's good to know that these things aren't that hard to break in the end. As for sleep advice for you? I have none. I'm getting really bad at sleeping. I don't wake in the middle of the night, but I generally wake between 4.30 and 5.30 and can't get back to sleep. Even if I go to bed at midnight! I don't really feel tired, but I guess I must be really.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted..We need a holiday!My Profile


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