Today’s Mantra: Seek help when needed
The world has finally turned the right way up.
The last five days have been a whirlwind of birthday excitement, serious sleep deprivation and tending to a sick child. Last Tuesday Leo’s fantastic self-settling went to pieces, and with it so did Mummy.
Enough was enough.
When he barely slept for an hour at a time overnight and then had two forty five minute day sleeps, I got straight on the phone to Ngala – our fantastic parenting helpline here in Perth.
They, as always, were brilliant at giving advice and strategies though deep down I knew they were only suggestions and by no means gospel. She suggested leaving the routine for the time being and concentrating on getting him sleeping during the day. That, she said, should lead to better night sleeps.
She also discussed different reasons for his night waking – separation anxiety, over-tiredness or just maybe a middle ear infection, considering he had just had an ear infection in Broome.
I couldn’t get into the Doctor for a day and a half so I tried to improve his day sleeps. I put him down at 8am, instead of 9am and the kid slept for an hour and a half – his longest stint in two days (and nights). He then had a short lunchtime nap and then I put him down at 3pm – I went and woke him up at 7:15pm – terrified of the night to come but so pleased for him that he got a long sleep.
It didn’t help.
Not only did he wake every 45 minutes, he also stayed up from 2am to 4:30am. My husband and I passed him like a football between us, each averaging about an hour of patience with the screaming, unsettled child.
The Doctor cleared things up for us on Thursday. Middle ear infection. He got straight on the anti-biotics and painkillers but the sleep wasn’t improving.
On Friday night, he woke every half hour from being put down at 8pm. When I went to bed at midnight (from preparing for Julian’s small birthday party the next day) he was up, awake and screamed every time you tried to put him down, even if he seemed sound asleep in my arms.
I rang Health Direct, another fantastic WA resource, which puts you on the phone with a registered nurse. I told her that there was something seriously wrong with my child. She explained that middle ear infections are incredibly painful and suggested giving him nurofen and panadol together to ease his pain. The antibiotics take 48 hours to work and we were nearly there.
My poor little angel slept till 7am once he was pain free.
He is still recovering but has been so much happier and is sleeping in longer stretches.
In other exciting news for him, he has discovered how to move forward (not quite calling it crawling yet) but he is getting around which is so much less frustrating for him.
Those gummy smiles he keeps giving me say it all : I feel better Mummy.