Baby Sleep- let’s try something different …

Baby Sleep- let’s try something different …

Please stay with me. Here’s your challenge.  
What if we stopped for even a day believing all the stuff we are told about Baby Sleep.

What if we accepted that our baby is normal and sleeping exactly as they should by going through cycles of waking frequently, nursing frequently, falling asleep on the boob, catnapping, only sleeping in close contact with a caregiver.

What if we accepted that not all babies need X amount of sleep in long chunks to be rested and healthy.

What if we accepted that the majority of babies need help to relax off to sleep and are incapable of ‘self soothing’.

What if we accepted that what our baby could do last week simply isn’t something they can this week.

What if we accepted that just because our friend’s baby happily drops off to sleep once placed in their cot it is not something our own baby can or should be doing.

What if we accepted that our high needs babies really do need us to help them back to sleep every 20-40 minutes at night.

What if we accepted that a teething baby, a sick baby, a baby going through a developmental leap, a baby learning to crawl or walk, a baby who has been away from their carer for a chunk of the day is likely going to want to sleep on the breast all night long.

What if we accepted that some babies don’t and won’t resettle from a day nap and catnapping is normal.

What if we simply accepted normal infant sleep behaviour and stopped questioning ourselves and our babies at every bump in the sleep road.

I challenge you to try this. Because I do believe there is method in my madness.

Once you have decided to accept (even experimentally) that this is normal infant sleep behaviour and your baby doesn’t have a ‘sleep problem’ as many in our society would have you believe you are now at the next very important point.


Where to now?

You are probably tired. Maybe even severely sleep deprived. You may have other children. You may have a partner or maybe you are doing this alone. You may be far from family. You may have barely heard from you friends since the baby arrived. You may be back at work or heading back soon. You may have your own health issues. You may have many other factors in your life that need to be considered right down to your own experience as a child.

There’s no one size fits all solution here. There is however a bit of a check you could run by to assess what changes, both physically and mentally, you ‘could’ make to help you through this season.

Firstly, set yourself a realistic goal. For me, this is to get the best quality rest and sleep I can and to feel well enough in myself to function, enjoy and appreciate my family. You’ll notice I said ‘best quality sleep’ not the elusive ‘quantity’ and I say ‘best’ meaning best in the current circumstances not best as in the amazing sleep I had before babies.

After that, give yourself some time to think and reflect on how you can achieve this goal in your unique setting.

If your baby sleeps best on you or feeds or wakes constantly, have you considered bedsharing, or sidecarring the cot or camping out in the nursery?

If your baby sleeps their longest stint first up, could you change things for this season so you too can go to sleep around this time?

Could a husband or partner take on a settle or dream feed first up to give you one longer stint (NOTE: this has never worked for me but does for others)

If you can’t sleep during the day, can you at least get a 15-30 minute ‘rest period’ even if it means sitting in the car at work in peace or putting the TV on for your toddler while you put your feet up with cuppa?

Is there any way you can farm out any other ‘jobs’ to create more rest time in your day? I hired a cleaner when I was diagnosed with PND and I can’t explain how much of a positive impact it had on me. This may not be within your budget but what else could you do?

Who can you call on when it’s all too much and you need more of a break? Could your husband take a half day or even full day of leave? Could grandma come and have bub while you have a rest or bath or a good long cuppa?

What exercise are you getting to keep you mentally and physically moving? I’m no gym junkie but an evening walk with our sleepy babes is a great way for my husband and I to stay connected. There are also many mums and bubs classes, crèches at gyms and other options if you need to bring babe along.

What are you doing socially to stay feeling connected and supported through this season? Finding your mummy tribe can be a very vital key to not only surviving this season but also enjoying it. Mothers groups, ABA or La Leche League meets, online forums and groups … Put out your feelers for likeminded supportive mamas who become your safe place for support, encouragement and genuine friendship.

Are you saying ‘yes’ or loading yourself up too much at this time? Could anything wait until this season ends?

How could your own health (physical or mental) be impacting on how you can manage this season and what could you do to alleviate any of this?

Do you think there are any other factors making it hard for you to accept your baby’s sleep pattern and if so, what could you do to deal with this?

Lastly, what expectations do you hold of yourself that may be making this weary season any harder than it needs to be?

The next step, try it out. Make the adjustments and changes (both physically and mentally) that you’ve identified and take it for a spin.

For me, stopping nighttime resettling and taking up bedsharing with my first was a complete game changer. I simply could not believe how much more rested I was when I stopped physically getting up and stopped having to wind back down to sleep. I wasn’t always comfy. He still slept like shite but hell I got more rest.

Give it a chance and tweak it where necessary.

You may have gone through this process and found you are unwilling to make the changes required to achieve your goal. Or maybe you feel there aren’t viable choices to be made. You may decide that for you and your family, sleep training is the right path. If this is you, I urge you to please, investigate gentler options that do not involve your baby crying. It may take longer but just as you’ve found it too difficult too make changes to your comfort zone, respect that your baby will also find these changes hard.

If however, you are still with me, I look forward to hearing how you go with your goal. I look forward to hearing how you work through your own adjustments to manage this season. Sometimes, simply knowing your baby IS normal is all that you need to make it through. It was a huge part of finding my surrender.

So here’s to accepting normal infant sleep behaviour and here’s to trying something different 💙😴

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Sometimes we all need to lose our shit to regain it. This includes toddlers.

Sometimes we all need to lose our shit to regain it. This includes toddlers.

You know that feeling, the one where the anger, the sadness, the tension, the stress, the noise, the irritation, the frustration, the tiredness, the overwhelming need to just burst takes you right to the edge and tips you over?

I do.

I also know that when this feeling builds and builds it ultimately ends up with me completely losing my shit.

I yell.

I cry.

I swear.

I stomp.

I punch a pillow.

I slam doors.

I hide.

I shake.

I rage.

I cry some more.

I can’t hold it in anymore.

I am just so done. So over it.

It bursts out of me.

Control is gone.

I rage.

I cry.

I then breathe.

I apologise.

I may cry some more.

I cuddle.

I apologise. I try not to make excuses but try to articulate the feelings that lead me to blow my top.

I hate losing my shit but for me, unless I get on top of it sooner rather than later, it is often inevitable.

When the overwhelming feelings win out … I have to lose my shit to regain it.


I am not proud of this fact but I also don’t think it’s entirely unhealthy. I am human after all.

Life can be tough sometimes and it can be hard to catch the break you need to regain composure. To let go of the feelings that are building.

I’m sure most adults reading this can relate to this. We all lose our shit sometimes. It’s not pretty but it’s real. I doubt many of you upon reading this would think I was being naughty or manipulative or that I needed a smack or some other form of discipline despite the fact that I was for all intents and purposes having a giant adult sized ‘tantrum’.

Most of you probably thought, ‘oh hell yeah, I’ve been there. Some days are so tough. You just can’t help but lose your shit sometimes.’

You can relate.

And yet, we seem to have so much trouble accepting that our toddler’s meltdowns are legitimate cries for help when completely overwhelmed by emotions. They have no choice but to let it out. To explode.

What may seem minor to us like my toddler losing his mind because the baby put his train track in his mouth, to them can simply be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Big feelings, small feelings, big upsets, small upsets, big frustrations, small frustrations … They can build and build and build until just like us, it’s simply all too much. The only way to disperse some of the stress and tension is to lose it.

So next time your wee one melts down, try to look at him with empathy. Let him rage without you adding fuel to the fire. Support him. Show him you know how hard it can be to keep it all together. Comfort him. Listen to him. Help him find his calm through the storm.

Our little ones have far less, if any, emotional regulation. It must be terrifying to lose the plot with no skills to regain it.

Let’s come at them from a point of empathy. After all, our perfectly imperfect little ones are human just like us. Let’s not hold them to a higher standard than we expect of ourselves. Sometimes, we simply have to lose out shit to regain it.


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GUEST BLOG: Every mother knows love, guilt, strength and vulnerability. Embrace it.

GUEST BLOG: Every mother knows love, guilt, strength and vulnerability. Embrace it.

By Courtney Jones

My baby is 4 months old already.

My eldest is almost 3. What? Where is time going? Why are my babies growing so quickly? I never understood just how quickly time will go.

Although, time doesn’t move much slower than at 2am when you’ve had very little or no sleep and you have no idea how to settle the baby that just won’t sleep, no matter what you do. But, then they do sleep. Eventually.

Some days fly by with ease and full of love and happiness. Then there are the slow days, the ones that feel like you need more coffee (even after 4 cups), the ones that feel like your husbands home time is not getting any closer, the ones that feel hard. Really, hard. I’ve felt all this and a whole lot more. But, what I’ve learnt is that it has to be this way. The days have to be long, challenging and full of love. Children have a lot to achieve in one day. Somehow we have to keep up, and adult. To be 100% honest, there days that I do not want to do that. But I do, because they are my babies and they’ll never need me more or probably love me more than they do in these moments. I just have to look for the magic. It’s always there. You’ll never hear a sound as perfectly euphoric as your child’s laughter. There is an adventure or lesson in everything babies and children do. I’m not the first to say that you only need to follow a small child around to find magic in the world. One of my son’s favourite things to do is collect the egg from his one laying chook on a daily basis. Each day he cradles that egg and brings it to me with such pride and amazement.

I look at him and his baby sister, and feel the same. Pride and amazement. I’m amazed at how much they can learn in any one given day. I’m amazed at what fulfils them. Love. Connection. A hug, a kiss, a tickle fight, a game of hide and seek or peek-a-boo, a conversation about an imaginary fox. I just jumped into the spaceship drawn on a chalkboard to fly to the moon. That 30 seconds of my time filled my son’s cup and I had the joy of feeling the love and connection between us grow.

I burst with pride as they show me what they know, as they grow their personalities. I love watching them interact with other children. I adore watching them with their dad, nothing fills my heart more.

I am so grateful for everything they teach me. I had no idea how much children teach adults. But we have to listen to them. Really listen to what they’re saying, what they’re doing and what they’re telling us. They have so much wisdom.

With learning comes growth and transformation. With growth and transformation comes questioning. Lots of it in my experience. After having each of my children, I have found myself in a state of confusion whilst I try to find myself in my new world. I completely underestimated the effect that would have. I didn’t think it would happen with such intensity after number two. Thought I had it sorted.

I was wrong. So wrong.

I feel like I’m being pulled in all sorts of directions. I don’t know which path to take. I am presenting with these choices daily and I don’t always make the right decision. I do choose housework over playing with my son. Enter mum guilt. I do play with my children instead of cleaning my house. Enter wife guilt. That’s what I’ve learnt. Doesn’t matter what you choose, you’ll feel guilt somewhere. But it’s ok to feel that because you can’t be your family’s everything all of the time.

Right now I feel I am being pulled in the direction of supporting other mums, growing the love amongst mums, kicking the judgement to the curb, and helping mums look after themselves. I have no doubt that if we want the best lives for our children, we MUST look after ourselves. In every sense. Judgement and comparisons can be a huge detriment to our health and our parenting. Part of looking after ourselves as mother’s is to ditch the judgement on other parents because it’s really none of our business how our friends parent their children and to stop comparing our children and the job we are doing raising them to others. Women are good at putting on a show. What you see may be a completely different story to what’s really going on. Supporting each other instead will make everyone feel better and that will only have a positive effect on our babies. That’s what we need for our babies – positive, happy and healthy mums.

My son is almost three and I can’t put into words how much he and his sister have taught me about life, and about myself.


Don’t underestimate the healing that can happen when you shower without an audience knowing your children are safe.

Don’t feel guilty for leaving your kids with a family member or friend whilst you do something for yourself. Even if that is mopping the floor because it’s making you twitch.

Don’t feel guilty for losing your shit and crying in your car because it’s too hard today. It may happen more often than you want to admit and that’s ok. Vulnerability is a very big part of motherhood. I’m learning to accept that.

Every mother knows love, guilt, strength and vulnerability. Embrace it. Look after yourself. Watch and listen to your babies – what are they trying to teach you in this moment? The way we act on what they are teaching and telling us can change their world.

Then chase them until they collapse in a laughing mess. Your only regret will be not wearing a sports bra.

NEWSFLASH- my second baby doesn’t ‘have’ to be easy

NEWSFLASH- my second baby doesn’t ‘have’ to be easy

There are so many things that people say to you when you become a first time mum. They are almost like catch phrases. They get thrown out there without a second thought about how they sound to this brand new mama and how they might make her feel or seeds of doubt they may plant. Top of the list would have to be, ‘Is baby sleeping through yet?’ Swiftly followed by, ‘Is he a good baby?’

When you have your second baby though (and I imagine it would be similar for each baby after that) the popular comments upon hearing my new guy is a relatively cruisey dude are, ‘well he HAS to be easier being second, you don’t have all that time you had with your first.’ And ‘he’s so much more relaxed because you are so relaxed.’

Excuse me if I call horseshit to both.


Yes, a baby does feed off maternal stress. Yes, the more you relax the more relaxed your baby will be.

This does not mean that my extraordinarily high needs baby was ever going to be anything like one of those ‘cool as a cucumber, I’ll just fall asleep on my play mat or just put me in my cot and walk away, I’ve got this shit sorted’ kind of kids.

He couldn’t be like that because HE himself (that’s right, he’s a whole unique human) is not like that.

He did relax a lot more and became the most chilled out version of himself when I switched off to all of noise about what I SHOULD be doing to manage my high needs man. He still woke a shitload, fussed when put down and startled ever so easily but when he knew that a boob would appear or warm arms would pick him up and a soothing voice would reassure him each and every time he needed (50 000 times a day and night) he was a calmer more serene version of himself.

If he’d been my second, third, fourth or eleventh child, his intense needs would have been the same and to find his calm, he would have needed all the hands on loving he needed as my first.

My second little dear is very different to his brother. He embraced the sleepy newborn stage (a stage we didn’t know existed with our first). He hardly ever startled. He was quite relaxed with lights and sounds, he gave me more than a two second warning when he was hungry, being overtired wasn’t greeted with hysteria. He didn’t cry and cry and cry for what seemed like no reason at all like our first baby did.

He is his own person. I did not do anything to make him more cruisey although following his cues has meant that he has never felt he hasn’t been heard. He is who he is.
Also, a large part of this ‘easier’ and ‘more relaxed’ in our case was actually bound to happen. Even if we’d had another high needs baby, we were better equipped with knowledge of normal infant behaviours particularly around sleep and sleep deprivation was no longer a great fear of mine as I knew it to the very deepest level of my core and whilst not my favourite place to be, I know I can survive it and it does pass. So in all honesty, in our case, any baby was probably going to be ‘easier’ and we had already become super relaxed with our first so naturally this would continue with our second. It all depends on perspective. What we call ‘easy’ may be another family’s ‘hard’. Our second babe while having nothing on number one, behaves and therefore sleeps like a baby. He goes through patches of frequent night waking, he nurses all night long some nights, he catnaps during the day and can be very hard to settle. He’s no unicorn but he is less stressed by life in general. He’s ‘easy’ in comparison.

It is so much easier to be that calm, relaxed, ‘I have this shit sorted’ kind of mother when you have a cruisey baby.

If you’ve only ever had a cruisey ‘easy’ babes and have happily been patting yourself on your back for everything you’ve done right and looked on smugly as other mothers stress and worry about their needy little people thinking the only true difference between yours and their experience is that you remained relaxed and your baby has some amazing routine then I ask you to keep these thoughts to yourself. You are entitled to your delusion but you can seriously back off those other mothers you look at and wonder why she can’t see the error in her ways. You don’t have a clue.
When I say this, please know I do appreciate the huge amount of hard work that goes into raising any child – be they on the easier or harder side and I also know first hand from my own attempts to establish and maintain a routine, it can be extraordinarily difficult. So if you are reading this thinking that I have no clue and that your baby really is only ‘easy’ due to your efforts I ask you, no beg you to imagine for just one moment all that hard work, heart ache and determination you put in with a ‘successful’ outcome happening all over again but instead of success your baby continues to wake every 20-40 mins. Continues to cry incessantly unless in your arms. Continues to need every last ounce of your energy  regardless of your commitment and hard work. That is what I’m talking about here. 
So, I think what gets on my goat most about these questions is that they once again imply that I was the cause of the problems we experienced first time around. Like if only I’d been more relaxed or less responsive (like apparently you are with your second or more) and not picked him up and carried him so much or answered his cries promptly or taken the time to cuddle him to sleep each time (which funnily enough I do actually do with my second) then somehow my first baby could have been different. This seriously gives me the shits, not because I give two hoots about what others think of me but because it highlights just how freaking clueless many people are to what many mothers are going through each and every day raising their high needs babies copping nothing but pity, crappy advice and lip service from many around them. These women are freaking amazing. They are working their backsides off on F#%^ sleep. They are keeping their shit together and often kicking arse at this mothering gig. They don’t need pity. They need hugs, kudos, offers of dinner drop offs, babysitting, cups of tea and the chance to vent without judgement.  

So, if you are someone who throws these lines out at either new mums or second/ more time mums, I ask you, to just not.

Stop yourself.

Your comment while maybe only asked conversationally, can be quite upsetting and unnecessarily so.

Simply asking a mother how her baby is going and how she’s travelling and listening to her genuinely is all you need to do. She doesn’t want or need your opinion or advice. She just wants to be heard.
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When the doubt creeps in again 

When the doubt creeps in again 

It truly only takes a particularly crappy patch of shocking nights where all your baby wants is the boob and even the closeness of bedsharing doesn’t seem close enough for any mother (read me) to start doubting her choices. To start feeling like she must be doing it all wrong.

To start thinking that maybe her baby only sleeps like shit because she hasn’t trained them how to sleep alone.

To feel like she can’t do this and her baby will never sleep for longer than an hour.

Ever. Forever.

If you dare voice these doubts and feelings to anyone, you will likely face a barrage of shitty advice on how to fix ‘bad habits’. They will let you know categorically that YOU have built a rod for your own back and unless you teach that baby to sleep without all the sleep associations (genuine responsive, human comfort) then you can expect your baby to remain a crappy sleeper.

No one in their right mind signs up for endless shitty nights of bugger all sleep if they think they don’t or shouldn’t need to.

So rightly or wrongly, mamas (particularly new mums) buy into the sleep training world.

I did.

It was my biggest regret to date.

I know better now so I do better.

And yet the doubts linger and sleep deprivation makes all of my knowledge of normal infant sleep hazy.

(Photo credit- Positive Parenting)

So I sit here and remind myself of the norm.

I remind myself that time is fleeting.

I remind myself that he only wakes and nurses this much because he NEEDS me so.

He is not manipulating me. He isn’t using me. He isn’t trying to wear me down.

He will learn to sleep more independently in time.

He needs me so intensely right now and I will continue to meet him at his point of need.

I will not let the shadow of doubts cloud my time with him.

I will not let sleep become my sole focus in life ever again.

I will not waste my precious little energy analysing the whats and whys and feeling frustrated, angry and uncertain.

The only thing that matters right now is that I accept he needs me and I treat us both with the gentleness and kindness we deserve to ride out this weary wave.

We’ll make it together. No training required. 💙😴😩
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Baby sleep

Baby sleep

Baby Sleep.

It’s a mind game.

You can control the way you think about it.

So many times I hear mamas venting about their baby’s sleep.

Saying things like, ‘But I know he can do it! He used to sleep 8 hours straight.’ ‘He used to be able to self settle.’ ‘He was down to only one feed at night. I know he doesn’t need more.’

What your baby could do yesterday doesn’t matter.

How long they slept straight last week doesn’t matter.

How many times your baby fed last month doesn’t matter.

Just because they ‘could’ do something doesn’t mean they CAN right now.

Just because they didn’t need that much help or nurse that many times previously doesn’t mean they don’t need it now.


Babies change, grow and quickly develop. Their bodies and minds are constantly busy with a huge amount of progress being made in a short space of time.

It is normal for babies to sleep poorly, wake frequently and nurse more often as they cycle through their first year and beyond.

Mentally, it’s so much kinder for both ourselves and our baby to focus on meeting them at their point of need. Sometimes they need us more intensely than at other times.

Sleep isn’t a milestone. They don’t just hit the magical ‘sleeping through’ mark and that’s it, done and dusted. Happily sleepy ever after.

It’s not reality. It’s not normal. (Unicorn babies excepted).

Let’s stop allowing ourselves to get so tied up in knots over frustrations WE decide are a problem.

Let’s acknowledge normal infant sleep behaviour.

Sleep deprivation sucks. I get it.

I am sleep deprived.

It doesn’t mean my baby has problem and it doesn’t mean he needs fixing.

He is simply sleeping like a baby. 💙😴😩

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They said I shouldn’t rock you

They said I shouldn’t rock you

They said I shouldn’t rock you 
Shouldn’t nurse to sleep
They said I shouldn’t hold you
Nor sing you off to sleep

They said I’d create a rod
That was so very hard to break
They said it might be alright now
But later the problems it would make

They said you needed to be left
To learn to sleep alone
They said I shouldn’t bring you to my bed
Instead just listen to you moan

They said it might be okay
To do this with just one babe
But what would I do when number two
Needed me more in some way

They said I shouldn’t wear you
They said you were too clingy
They said you needed space from me
To stop you being whingey

They said that you’d sleep better
If I stopped responding so
They said you were manipulating
And who was boss I had to show

They said I’d not be able to leave you
That my social life was dead
No semblance of a sex life
Is what they confidently said

They said you’re getting too old
And when was I going to teach
My small sweet man to fall asleep
Asleep out of my reach

But here we are today
And happily I can say
Your independence is growing
With every single day

You can fall asleep at day care
You can fall asleep with Nan
You can fall asleep in the car
Or dad, your favourite man

You love your baby brother
You’ve adjusted oh so well
Some days you need me more
But your gentle love still tells

The only habit that remains
Is one that I hold so dear
If your mama’s arms are free
Then you’ll snuggle in right here

So I am thankful to this day
For learning to follow you
You showed me just how to mother
And what I should and shouldn’t do

Grubby Mummy and the Grubby Bubbies


💙
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