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Back to School

Back to School

Next week I’m going back to school. Whilst I’d love it to be the school that I work at, and be returning to the job that I love, unfortunately it is a different kind of school. I shouldn’t say unfortunately, as it is a positive thing. We are going to Masada Hospital to get some help for our little man. Namely to help him sleep and feed better. It’s been a long time coming and after nine months, we are pretty desperate for help. The road to this point has felt like and endless one, as we’ve hit so many cross roads and gone off the beaten track. It took me a while to actually bite the bullet and fill in the forms and apply to get some help. Probably too long in hindsight. unnamed Like all Mums, I just wanted to ‘fix’ him myself and after already having a child, I felt that I should be able to. I wanted to put into place all of things that I learned to do, and also what ‘not’ to do.  You see, we learnt our lesson with Ella. We rocked her to sleep, let her sleep in our bed. Did everything to create terrible sleep habits. However this hasn’t been the case with Hudson. They say that all children are different, and I can only say that our two are like chalk and cheese. We were determined to develop good habits from the start, and have always tried to put him down awake etc. etc. but sometimes, children just have a mind of their own. With prematurity and low birth weight naturally comes feeding issues, and in turn sleep problems. It’s been a vicious cycle with our little man, and as you know, we have tried everything to help him.

Nine months later, he is a mix of happy and angry. He is crawling, has four teeth, pulls himself up, smiles and laughs and has met all of his milestones with gusto. Days are, for the most part, really good and he sleeps and plays well. He has taken solids well and generally takes most foods. However when it comes to sleeping at night,  it is a different story. He still wakes through the night, and its a regular occurrence that this can be every hour. We’ve stopped feeding him at night (after a 10pm dream feed), and give him water to ensure he is hydrated. Some nights are better than others, but for the most part, it’s still a real struggle. We simply need sleep. We know we’ve tried everything and now we need to turn to the experts to help him get over this hurdle.

I’m open to anything and hope that I can work with the team next week as we spend five nights and six days, resetting his clock. Whilst Masada is not a ‘sleep school’ per se, they offer an individualised program to help parents with children who suffer from sleep and feeding issues, unsettledness, reflux and other problems that come with little ones. My hopes for the week are that we come home with a baby who sleeps through the night, and feeds a little better during the day. (When I say through the night, I’d be happy with 5+ hours). I’m hoping to share my experiences throughout the week, and with my ‘down time’ I’ll be blogging and writing about how we are going. Hopefully to help me look back and see how far we’ve come, and also to help other Mums who may be experiencing the same thing. The Countdown is on! kate

Deep Breaths…

Deep Breaths…


Deep Breaths. This is my first post for 2015, and I wish it was a little more up beat. I’ve been wanting to write a post for a couple of weeks, but simply haven’t had the time. This post is one of those that, in years to come, I’m sure I will look back and know that the way I feel right now won’t last for long. This is one of those posts that I’m sure every Mum can relate to. I’m writing this first and foremost as a positive way to get my feelings out, and to debrief with others who have gone through the same thing.

Right now, our son Hudson is eight months old, and we feel as though we are smack back in the middle of those early weeks with a newborn. We have no idea what has happened, but those weeks of progress have gone out the window. We are on no sleep. We are frustrated. We are simply out of ideas. Hudson is unsettled, and often in a complete rage during the night, and sometimes during the day. We have tried everything….reflux meds, varying formulas, other medications, osteo, settling techniques, xrays, doctors, paediatricians. It just seems as though are little man, who arrived a month early just wants to keep us guessing.

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I’m not ashamed to admit that in the last few weeks, I’ve been really struggling. As a Mum with a toddler and a baby who just does not sleep and feed well, it has stretched me to my limits. My feelings of happiness and accomplishment after finally toilet training Ella have given way to anger as we simply cannot work out what is wrong with our baby. We’ve decided to try and get into a Mother and Baby Hospital Clinic to get some professional help from Doctors, Nurses and Sleep Experts to see if we can work things out. People ask me…is it sleep problems or is it gut problems? My feeling is that his gut problems have adversely impacted on his sleep patterns and this has become a vicious cycle.

It’s so hard also, knowing that as a second time Mum, I simply can’t help my son. I thought I had all of the tricks, and tools of the trade after helping Ella through a really difficult sleep period when she was one year old. However this has trumped me. I’m out. All out of ideas, and all out of energy. We are trying to stay positive, and know that we are truly lucky to have tremendous support from family and friends. This week I stayed at my Mums for a day and night to get some rest.  I knew that things were bad when I couldn’t sleep at all, even after taking some medication to help me sleep. Sleep deprivation is a really dangerous thing. It plays with your mind in so many ways, and it really makes being a happy Mum, hard.

I just wish things were a little easier right now. Don’t get me wrong, I know that we are lucky. We are healthy and have so many things to be grateful for, and I know that there are so many things that could be worse. But right now, we just want our son to be a bit happier. Just even a little. And some sleep would be good too.

They say that girls mess with your head, and boys mess with your house. I beg to differ right now. This week I’ve tried to take some positive steps to deal with our current situation. I am meant to be going back to work in two weeks…something that I was greatly looking forward to. I knew however, that I cannot possibly give myself to other people if I cannot even give myself to my kids right now. So I’ve postponed returning to work for a term, in order to focus my entire attention on helping Hudson, and being there for Ella. Family first. It has to be. I’m just lucky to have an amazing boss who completely understands and supports me 100%. I only wish that everyone could be so lucky.

They say that times like this can put an incredible strain on your marriage. Whilst Dan and I are being tested to our limits, I cannot thank the world enough for bringing such a strong, kind and caring partner into my life. What I would do without him right now, I have no idea.

So with that, I’ve dropped off the forms to the hospital and simply hope that we can jump a few places in the waiting list. I’m praying to the sleep Gods to be kind and to just bring some slumber into our lives, and into my little man’s night routine.

Deep Breaths….it will get better. I know it will.

kate

We are getting there…

We are getting there…

So it’s been 13 weeks since our little man surprised us, and over this time it has been some of the most joyous and also challenging times of our lives. Obvious joy, love and immeasurable happiness in copius amounts. He has started smiling recently, and this sky rockets the love to a whole new level. Seeing him react to your interactions is the true definition of love, and makes being a parent the most rewarding thing in the world.

We have also experienced lots of challenges as we have navigated the world of colic, reflux and all things gassy. As readers would know, we have tried everything. I mean everything. To no avail, the medications and interventions have not helped ease Hudson’s discomfort, and we have resigned ourselves to the fact that time will simply be the factor. I have to say that whilst it’s been hard knowing that there isn’t a great deal we can do to both ease Hudson’s discomfort, and make time go faster, it has been overwhelming to receive so many messages of support from so many parents who have found themselves in similar situations. It’s hard to admit at times, that you not only want things to be better for your child, but also for yourself. I know that in order to be a good Mum, I need to feel good and rested, and that is very hard when you have a newborn with colic, and a toddler on the move.

That said, we are getting there. We have been giving Hudson bottles of expressed milk with a thickener at night and this seems to be helping. Whilst this means that it takes longer (after feeding and settling, I then need to express again), the time spent doing this means that we get more time to sleep afterwards. We’ve also been putting him to sleep on his tummy to settle, and then turning him over. This is very hard and stressful, as I’m always trying to ensure that his sleep space is SIDS safe. He is still pretty up and down, and with every few good nights, he also has his fair share of bad. It gives me hope however to know that he CAN do it, and like all things parenting, once you observe your child doing something, you know that inevitably, they will do it again.

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Many people have said that they feel it is harder having your second child suffer with colic, but in many ways, I’m thankful that it has been in this order. After already having a child, I”m not stressing about the things that seem overwhelming as a first time parent. I know how to be a Mum (well I try to be), and I’ve already been through the times when you doubt yourself and lose your confidence. This time around, I’m not upset, I’m just tired. A confident tired. Well, an experienced tired. It means that I have a bit of experience behind me, to help me through the tough times when I doubt myself. It means that I can draw on those times when I felt like what I was doing wasn’t working, and then, miraculously something clicks. Hopefully, what feels like a whole heap of hoop jumping will pay off soon, and he will have more better nights than bad.

In the mean time, we just keep plugging away. Thanks for the messages of support, and to all the parents who have dealt with colic and have given me advice and suggestions. You are not only helping Hudson, you are helping my whole family. It’s awesome to know that what ever you are going through, there is another Mum, somewhere who is feeling and experiencing the same thing.

kate

Friday Find: Love to Dream Swaddles

Friday Find: Love to Dream Swaddles

Sleep time with babies is hard. Some babies settle easily, whilst others require their parents to jump through a million hoops just to get them to shut their eyes. Swaddling is one of those techniques that seems to really help babies feel safe, comfortable and settled for sleep. Research says that swaddling helps babies sleep better, and soothe better. All new parents know that swaddling is an art form that some people find easy, whilst others never seem to be able to keep their little one’s hands inside, and wriggle out as they sleep. There are so many ways to wrap, it’s hard to know which one works. To make matters worse, some babies like to be swaddled, and some don’t. Some like their arms swaddled beside their bodies, and others like them to be up near their chest or around their face.

Hudson was both premature and suffered (suffers) from shocking colic. I’ve come to find out that babies like him, feel better when they have their arms across their chest to mimic nestling into their Mum or Dad’s chests. It makes sense, it brings them comfort from the pain that they are feeling. No one likes to have their arms by their side when they are in pain, and adults naturally curl into a ball on their side to find some relief.

Hudson in his Love to Swaddle Up sleep suit
Hudson in his Love to Swaddle Up sleep suit

So it came to great releif myself when I was reccomended to try the Love to Dream ‘Swaddle Up’ suit. Lucky for me, the company also sent me a sample to try, to see if my little man enjoyed it. There have been a number  of friends who have told me that their children loved sleeping in these suits and so I was excited to give them a test run and see how they would go.

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So after using the suit for approximately a month, I’m pleased to report that I think they are fantastic. The benefits include:

  • Hudson still has the wrapped, swaddled feeling whilst having a little more room to move his hands. He doesn’t need to fight the wrap as there is just enough give in the fabric to help them wriggle and squirm, whilst still feeling contained.
  • The zip. Oh the zip. Changing nappies in the middle of the night is a stressful process, especially if you have a toddler and you are trying to keep your baby quiet. Time is of the essence and the zip ensures that you get in and out quickly.
  • Furthermore, the double zip means that if you want to, you do not have to take the entire suit off. You can zip it from the bottom and change it quickly, whilst keeping the babies arms intact inside.
  • The zip has a cotton protector at the top ensuring that your baby is not irritated by the clip
  • They are easily washable
  • They are designed based on medical research, and the utmost care has been taken to ensure that there is sufficient room for your baby’s legs to move whilst they are sleeping. To read more about this, click here. 

ltd-web-banner-2-juneI also was given the chance to review their new Layer On Marino wool suit, designed to be worn over the ‘original’ suit. This woolen suit ensures that your baby remains warm all night without the need to use blankets to keep them warm. If you have your baby in a room that remains cold then this is a great option. The fabric is beautiful and feels lovely against your skin. It also has a diagonal zip across the body, meaning that your baby is not overwhelmed by multiple zips around their neck area.

The suits are available in a range of sizes and colours, so they can suit any one! There also a fabulous 50/50 range which allows your child to progressively transition out of the suit altogether by removing the arms one at a time.

Anything that helps your baby sleep (safely) is fantastic in my book. Anything that is reasonably priced and brings about some comfort for families, especially during the night, is wonderful. Whilst swaddling might not be for everyone, if it is for you and your baby, then this range is for you. It might not solve all of your sleep issues, but it may just help.

To find out more information about their range, you can visit their store online here.

*Stay tuned to Instagram on Monday for a fantastic giveaway. Thanks to Love to Dream, we are giving away an Original Love to Swaddle, in your choice of colour. Valued at $39.95! This giveaway will be run via Instagram, so follow @happyellaafter to make sure that you are in the running!

kate

 

There were three in the bed…

There were three in the bed…

co-sleeping-with-kids-300x200We’ve tried so hard to help Ella have good sleep habits over the last year. Routine, self settling, controlled crying…you name it, we’ve done it. Ella really is a great sleeper, and for the first year and a half we thanked our lucky stars. However, with the dreaded winter has come sickness, and with that…all bets are off. I’ve always sympathised with my friends whose children come home from day care with cough after cold after rash. The cycle is endless, as is the resultant sleep problems. Ella has not been in day care until now, and has been with her beautiful Grandmothers. Like all things however, this is no guarantee, and with play group, birthday parties and play dates, germs inevitably spread.

It’s all part and parcel of kids and winter, but for the past two months, Ella has seemed to catch everything. Cold, ear infections, hand, foot and mouth and now croup. The poor little pumpkin has battled with feeling unwell for a while now. She is however, pretty happy during the day and still loves playing and watching her beloved Peppa Pig. However, nights have become a different story in the Korber household, and the good routine, and sleep habits have become a far distant memory. Kids who are sick just want to be close to you, and that means sleeping in your bed. Night after night, its been the same new ‘routine’ for us. Midnight rolls around, she coughs and coughs, cries and cries and she comes in with us. Not to say that this means anyone sleeps. As any parent would know…more bodies in a bed = less sleep for all. It would be so nice if she ‘slept like a baby’ when she came in with us. Because we are both working, invariably, we try to do the ‘thing’ that works the quickest. Normally we have used controlled crying quite successfully, however with her being so sick, it’s not recommended. That leaves little option, and so, we have now succumbed to having Ella sleep with us most nights. As the nursery rhyme goes….there were three in the bed, and the little one said….

A dear friend of mine Kris sent this image to me a little while ago. It made me laugh…its so true..1344565649802_6832509

After another trip to the doctor today, Ella is now on antibiotics. Hopefully this will help get get well, and  we will be able to get back into a better sleep routine some time soon. Here’s hoping that spring comes early, so all babies can get well, and their Mums and Dads can enjoy a little bit of shut eye. One can always dream…..

kate

*Images courtesy of www.mamamia.com.au and www.someecards.com