Sunday, September 12, 2010

I've come a loooong way

Yesterday afternoon I went to the afternoon session of the Baby Sense workshops, for older babies.

In South Africa, the Baby Sense range is like a parenting "bible" - they have Baby Sense, Sleep Sense, Toddler sense and Feeding Sense. And, of course, a whole range of lovely, but very expensive products.

"My" Dr S (the kids' paed) is a co-author of the Feeding Sense book which has just been released.

Of course I own the first two and will definitely be getting Toddler Sense and if the kids start messing about with eating again, probably the Feeding Sense one too.

They are all excellent. A tiny bit woo-woo, definitely no crying it out but on the whole, good common sense when you think about it.


It was almost exactly 6 months ago that I went to the Parenting Workshop where Sister Lillian spoke and set me free about the sleep thing.

Yesterday when I was listening to the sleep session, I honestly didn't learn anything knew but this is due to the fact that I own about 10 sleep books so I'm an unwilling sleep expert.

BUT... as she was talking I thought, "I can't believe we've come this far!"

They were 8 months then and I do believe they started sleeping through (by my high standards) at about 9 - 10 months.

If someone had told me when I was first pregnant or when I'd just had the babies that I'd go through 10 months of sleep deprivation, I'd probably want to shoot myself.


I honestly the bad part was from 6 - 12 weeks and then it was plain sailing after that.


I still think mostly everyone is lying about how great it all is because when I probe, I find out the truth.

Just the other day, I had a chat with a mother of a 4-year-old and an 11-month-old. She is new to our team. She said they STILL wake up at least twice a night, once with each child, on a good night. On a bad night, it's likely once every hour from 11 pm.

I actually shuddered.

BUT she said she does realise that even though they're so sleep deprived, this is the best time of their lives as the bigger the kids get, the bigger the problems get. Oy!

There was a time when I thought the babies would actually NEVER sleep properly. Kind of like that scary feeling us infertiles have when you think, "oh my WORD, I'm never going to have a baby. I can't believe this is my life"

I don't know quite what it was that switched the trigger to "good sleep" - the babies growing up, me relaxing, us being consistent with our routine or God finally deciding to smile down on us? Maybe a combination of all 4?

I'm just so glad that it has happened.

P.S. some trivia from the seminar -
35 000 babies were surveyed across South Africa and 41% of those have regular sleep problems - either going to sleep or staying asleep.


  1. Marc, I swear I'm not lying or exageratting when I say that Ava went to sleep at 7pm and slept right through till 6am when she was 6 weeks old and that from 12 weeks of age she did that consistently every single night... that is still she started cutting teeth a couple of weeks ago! I hope and pray that once she's done teething she will go back to her good sleep patterns!
    I'm the total opposite of you, I have not read one single parenting book! But I suspect that the sleep thing comes down to a simple matter of either you're a good sleeper or you're not, same with our babies. I'm a terrible sleeper while my husband is a good sleeper, I hope Ava takes after him!

  2. The sleep thing hasn't been so bad here. The beginning with twins was horrible. Especially the first 5 months until they slept through the night. Phoebe (our 9 year old) it took 7 months, so I think the boys were being easier on us because there were two of them. Sharon is probably right. Both my DH and I are good sleepers. But we've had lots of other fun to content with like Liam's need to gain weight and Tommy's reflux. Until Tommy started taking medicine for his reflux at 9 months, he would leave little spit up all over where he crawled. Ick!

  3. Okay, my turn to brag. David slept through (I mean right through not waking once) from very little, I think somewhere between 8 to 12 weeks, and we're still going down from 7pm to 7am AND HE WAS BREASTFED. (I have to mention that as so many mums incorrectly assume that formula keeps them going longer at night without hunger waking them). I place the success of it on following a regular sleep routine and making sure his tummy was full when I put him down. I also only responded to night-time crying if it went on for longer than 15min and then only to check on him, never to pick him up. My 2 resources which I refer to occassionaly are Gina Ford and ... see I've forgotten the name of the other one. The hardest times for me were the sleep deprivation of the first 2 months. And I'm going to be doing it again... :-)

  4. Sharon and Nat, you guys are the 30% of kids who are sleeping through at 12 weeks like the books say babies should :)

  5. Ai, ok so we are not alone. Honestly, for me the toughest about twins was the sleeping thing.

  6. How interesting! I heard this story the other day, about a connection between sleep deprivation and obesity in young children: I'm not sure that it relates directly, but I thought about your sleep concerns and thought you might have the right idea. My two, fortunately, now sleep quite well. Melly might wake to a nightmare every month or so, but that's it these days.


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