Presenter, blogger, vlogger, media contributor, Mum (not in any order!) Trying to work out this parenting thing & documenting it in my own unique and real way x

Why I Don't Sleep Mum

Hi Mum

I just wanted to tell you that you’re doing ok.

I know I don’t really sleep, and if I do it tends to be on your chest.

I know I cry and scream the minute my head touches my cot/basket/pram, and I’m sorry for that.

I know that the past three nights at 3am you’ve googled ‘why won’t my baby sleep in the night’ so I just wanted to explain some things to you.

I like to cuddle you in the night, Mum, because you are warm, you smell lovely and I can feel your heart beat. This reminds me of my favourite time ever, when I was in your tummy.

I loved being in your tummy for all those months. It was warm and safe and snuggly. I felt cosy and I used to drop off to sleep when you walked around and did busy grown up things.

I then used to wake up at night and kick you really hard when you laid down to sleep. Do you remember that? Sometimes you would stroke your belly and say ‘go to sleep baby’ …. See? Nothing has changed Mum.  This is called the 4th Trimester.

I don’t really like my cot. No offence.  I am grateful that you spent loads of money on it and have tried to make it look all pretty and cosy, and when I am bigger I promise I will sleep in it.

But for now, I don’t really feel very happy or safe in there. I’m still really tiny you see. It’s not warm like your arms or chest, not even when you try to cheat me with a hot water bottle (I saw you get that one off google too).

I also know that you would like me to sleep for a bit longer in the night. I’m trying. But the thing is, I get hungry really quickly. My tummy is only the size of a marble so it needs filling up all the time. And I love my milk so so much.

I know sometimes you get fed up because I’m hurting your nipples, but you see Mum, our milk times are my absolute favourite times. I need to keep asking for more milk in the night because not only am I really hungry again, but I am actually helping to keep our milk supply going. Even if it just seems like I’m being a mini beast again. I promise you, I don’t keep asking for food to pee you off, it’s because I actually need it. You want me to be a big strong boy don’t you?

I am only 4 weeks old Mum. That’s not old at all is it? You’ve had more than 30 years to learn to like sleep Mum (and you’re still a bit scared of the dark).  I’m still new to all this.

The last thing I want to say Mum, is that you’re not ‘building a rod for your own back’. (Grown ups say that a lot don’t they?) Just because I like to get into bed for a cuddle at 4am it doesn’t mean I’ll still be doing it when I’m 18 years old. Trust me Mum, I’ll have better places to be.

Oh and I know it’s frustrating that out of all the fancy expensive gadgets you’ve bought to get me off to sleep, the one thing that really works is the hoover going on. I can’t explain it. Just do what works Mum.

You’re doing ok

x

 

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I don't love my playmat yet, but I will
I don’t love my playmat yet, but I will

 

Sleeping on you Mum is the best, sorry
Sleeping on you Mum is the best, sorry

 

Sorry I know it's annoying I sleep in the cot at Nanny's
Sorry I know it’s annoying I sleep in the cot at Nanny’s

 

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I’ll stop crying if you just push me faster

 

See, I'm not always being a beast
See, I’m not always being a beast

 

 

 

64 Responses to Why I Don't Sleep Mum

    • i agree. The most useful piece of reading I’ve done is about the 4th trimester. Why we expect them to be born and suddenly fit with our bizarre westernised routines and schedules I’ll never know! xx

  1. Have you tried sleeping with an extra t-shirt that can turn into a sheet for his crib so it will smell of you? Or maybe a Baby sleeping bag so he doesn’t feel quite so “exposed”?? If it helps, I co-slept with all 3 of mine at varying stages – in the middle of our bed, happily snoring away, warm and comforted because Mummy was right there! It was easy to transfer them to their own beds once they were bigger and more adjusted to being in the world so needed to be glued to me less too! You need to do whatever works for YOU because sleep deprivation is no fun!

    • yeah, doing all the tricks Kate. tried a t shirt of mine, he’s on a special cosy mat, in the crib. We do swaddling. To be honest, I’m fine with it all. I’m still getting sleep, he just wants regular feeding which is fine by me. I accept that nothing is forever 🙂 x

      • It’s a survival thing. Predators tended to be around during the day, which is why babies sleep during the day and come out at night, cos the coast is clear. We are programmed to survive. Simple as. Being left exposed in an open cot is lifethreatening to a baby cos it knows that it cannot defend itself. Being close to you means that if you are under threat you take baby with you. Simple as. Blessings

  2. What a gorgeous post!! I even had a little lump in my throat as I thought back to my newborn days with my little guy. Your little baba is so right though, do what works for you both for now. For 10 months L would wake around 5am and come into bed with us where he would sleep on until 7am, my mother and everyone else would always say that’s a bad habit, you’ll never get him out but of course this isn’t true! As soon as he started walking at 10.5 months, he started staying in his own until 7am, probably tired from all the exercise! He’s 20 months now and the last couple of months he’ started doing it again but that’s ok, I know it won’t last forever and honestly, I love those snuggles. 🙂 Keep up the good work Mama xo

    • ah thanks so much. It’s lovely to hear things like that rather than just ‘you’re making a rod for your own back’, or ‘you need to get them in a routine from day one!’ arrggh. thanks so much Louise x

  3. He is still so tiny. You are his everything, his protector, his provider, his cook, his comforter and it’s hard,especially on only a few hours sleep
    but my dear Charlie, you are getting there and soon it will all fall into place.

  4. Love love love this!!! I’m currently baking my third a little boy I can’t wait to meet him in June but will admit the 4th trimester as you call it is filling me with dread lol! My youngest “baby” is 6 and is a real Pitt monster!! All I’m going to keep in my head is that is does get better and they will sleep! And in the the teenage years I will have the sweetest revenge with a pan and wooden spoon! when the teenage slugs wanna sleep I will be there making sweet music!
    P.s my little boy really misses you on Heart! And he loves looking at your baby pics xxx

    • ah what a lovely message! I love that you call them Pitt Monster and Slugs! ha. All so true. Good luck with your third – wow, I actually don’t understand how anyone copes with more than one!? I miss being on Heart too, maybe one day 🙂 xx

  5. beautiful blog today! Proving that even the tough moments have beautiful Rays of sunshine! I still enjoy a cuddle with my baby at night, knowing I’m making him so happy (and he’s making me so happy too) just by our cuddle! It goes to quickly to not enjoy it!
    Keep doing what ur doing xxxxx

  6. I absolutely loved reading that and it bought back so many memories of when I first had Nate. 😉

    I remember him finally falling asleep at 3am on my front and the second I moved, he’d wake up….and so it would start again…!

    I also had a horrendous labour (63 hours ending in forceps and episiotomy) so understand how you feel!!

    You are doing great and please enjoy these next few months as you never get this precious time back….
    Xx

  7. What a lovely blog! Go with your instinct Charlie, babies are not pre programmed creatures and only need 2 things, milk & love…. You are giving both in abundance, be proud when you look at little Noah that you grew him inside & are continuing to grow him, enjoy this time, babies grow too quickly x

  8. Charlie this is lovely and made me cry! One of my twins is really struggling at night and once he wakes, he will only go back to sleep in our bed! No matter if I cuddle him asleep, the second I put him in the cot, his eyes shoot open:twisted:! In my desperate attempt to get some rest, as I’m back at work (and working different shifts so that my husband and I can balance childcare between both our jobs), I am allowing him on our bed and feeling so guilty as I am probably ‘making a rod for my own back’ but this has made me feel less guilty so thank you! The other twin is thankfully sleeping through at the mo but that’s not always the case…oh for a full nights rest! Xx

  9. thank you thank you thank you for this. I have a 4 1/2 week old and this hits home for us. It is so reassuring to know that everything he’s doing is normal, even when it’s challenging. As hard as it is for us, it’s at least equally hard for him. You brought a tear to my eye, very well said.
    Also your baby is aaahhhh-dorable!

  10. Thank you so much for this lovely post! My LG is 5 weeks old so I’m totally with you & am in a similar place, reading this was just what I needed! Wishing you all the best, thank you again xxx

  11. Beautiful post!!!really need that even tough my lo is 14 months!!!he still feeding a few times a night and for this reason we co-sleeping!and we have done this since he was 1month old!!at times i need my space and really wants him in his cot but mosy just love to snuggle with him!!! He is a lovely little “creature”. Enjoy every moment with ur little baba!!! He is gorgeous 😘😘😘😘😘

  12. I have so much understanding for this post right now it brought me to tears. It just makes me think about how connected we are to our babies and how it’s a bit sad we try to train them to be away from us at such a young age. My little girl is 4 months old and sleeps better in my arms or in our bed than anywhere else and I’ve been so preoccupied trying to get her to sleep better at night it’s easy to lose sight of how wonderful it can be to just hold her close and enjoy cuddling her as often as she wants… Even though it’s exhausting!! Thanks for a very understanding and emotional post x

  13. This made me cry, I was thinking about my twin boys saying this to me (even though they are 11weeks old). I sometimes wish they would hurry and sleep the whole night through, but I never want them to grow up!

  14. I love this…. My baby ( third daughter) is 4 weeks old and I feel we expect way too much of these tiny people so soon. I co-sleep with my little one and baby wear too. I dont even have a cot yet… such a beautiful piece of writing, thank you.

  15. I’m not a mum, not even close but hearing the things you have to say about your newborn just makes me want to be one even more. Being a midwife is my dream job! I love reading your blog! You might not realise when your awake all night but you really seem like your doing a good job and it must be nice for all the mums that read these to be all be to relate to what your experiencing. I’m sorry for your loses in the past, I hope Noah brings you all the joy you could wish for! Hopefully we’ll be hearing all about him on the radio soon!

  16. Hi Charlie,

    I love your blog, always makes me smile.
    I can sooo relate to this post, everything in it is very true.
    I’d just like to reassure you that soon those days will be distant memories even if at times you may feel baby will never sleep properly.
    I have a 4 month old little boy, he is my third and this time I am even enjoying being up in the middle of the night because I know that even his sister who was the worst sleeper ever has grown out of the routine of waking up in the night.
    Many congratulations on your little boy
    Xx

  17. Just a lovely post! Feeling a lil less guilty about popping my little girlie in next to me at 3am. Even though she is in a co sleeper. She may only be 5 months tomorrow but she knows when she’s in mammy and daddy’s bed ;0) x

  18. This is lovely and so true. My youngest is 2 years old and is waking up for hours through the night again, cold? Hungry? Wet? Take your pick so I can sympathise with the newborn situation. But cuddles with your babies at 2 week, 2 months or even 2 years are awesome any time of day or night they are worth all those lost hours of sleep. Before you know it they are 12 years old (my eldest) and I often think back to those sleepless nights and how much I would love to rewind the years back to those special cuddles and press pause for a while. It goes way to fast.

  19. My son who will be 3 in July still sleeps with us and I still feed him at night – He is also the most independent bright litle man. Dont ever worry about everyone says. If it feels right and its not harming you or the baby sleep and eat together.

  20. My adopted 2 year old is currently going through a phase of needing “mama bed” in the night. He clearly needs that security at the moment as he negotiates his big terrible twos. At first I was worried that I should be forcing him to stay in his bed (and have spent hours sitting by him in the middle of the night trying to get him to go back to sleep). Bottom line is he needs that co-sleeping for some reason currently. It won’t be forever. This way we all get more sleep (I was getting very sleep deprived and not coping during the day). What’s more important I asked myself? I decided a happy toddler and a mum who’s slept were better for the bigger picture. Do what feels right for you. We rely too much on parenting manuals and Google for the “right” way to do things and we judge others for making different choices but we are all individuals and can do things in a way that works for us. Enjoy those cuddles while you can. They grow up so quickly. As an adoptive mum I don’t experience the 4th trimester in the same way or at the same time as birth mums but I can definitely see my adopted children have both needed to revisit those early months with me, despite being older, to really embed the bonds and attachment. Reading this has made that clearer for me so thanks for posting. Xxx

    • aww what a lovely comment to read. I whole heartedly agree with everything you say. I think i am actually going against all my natural instincts to put Noah in a cot (albeit next to me) and I totally believe in co-sleeping. I just find it logistically and physically tricky and i can’t quite relax ever incase i suffocate him. He does come in our bed in the early hours though. Good luck with all the sleeping with your two x

  21. This is such a lovely piece reminds me of when I had my boy last June. I think we’re always in a hurry to get them to learn all these new things so we dnt look like we’re failing at being a new mum an we forget that their just tiny babies an there only tiny for a short space of time my son is 13months and he still occasionally wakes in the night for a bottle an I remind myself it’s not forever so sit back and enjoy the extra cuddle

  22. Awe this is super cute!! It’s nice to know that ur baby is normal (esp when she barely sleeps and I was v worried as a new mum wondering why she keeps waking up)
    And I admit it’s wonderful to know that u can give so much comfort to my baby. I had a tear in my eye!!

  23. I was just grumbling to myself because my 5 month old son is firmly latched on and nibbling away in his sleep. My back hurts, I’m tired and would really like a pee. But your article had me sniffling and kissing his downy little head. I loved it.

    • oh bless you! I’d love to say it gets easier – but at 7 and a half months i still feed Noah lying down in the early hours of the morning and when I get up but back feels broken! All worth it when you see their gorgeous faces though 🙂 thanks so much for reading x

  24. I first read this article back in March when my little boy was a tummy hugging sleeper and (although we didn’t know at the time) very poorly with pyloric stenosis. A friend from school has just had a baby at the weekend and I have just sent her this just to help understand that baby won’t want to be put down- and reading the article made me cry and brought it all back. Lovely words! X

    • He’s prone to tummy upsets but 8 1/2 months and thriving. I love this blog post as so many people said I was making a rod for my own back by not putting him down!

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Why I Don't Sleep Mum

by RealGirlRamblings time to read: 3 min