The lazy co-sleeper: Week 8(!) update

So it’s now been 8 long weeks since I started to retrain Harper into sleeping in her own bed. All night long. You can read some of the previous updates here (week 1) and here (week 2).

So, how’s it all going?

Well, I’m still very, very tired. I’m not sore and stiff from sleeping next to a toddler all night long, but I am still very, very tired. By looking at things you will see we have had more success than failures, but for every one of those goddamn stickers, that usually means me getting up 2 to 3 times, putting her back  into her bed, again, and again. She has also been sick for about 5 of those 8 weeks (I wish I was kidding) which doesn’t help things. We’ve had trips away, Rob’s been away for 2 of those weeks, I’ve been away for a few days – it’s hardly been boring, everyday life.

So, what do I think has been a success? Well, she gets that she needs to be in her own bed. The message has been consistent and she understands it. Does that mean she does it? Shit no! She still attempts to get in and sometimes I’m so tired that I don’t even realise she has slipped in until hours later. There are less tantrums. There isn’t a made up bed next to our bed anymore. She understands what has to happen. And maybe, with a little good health and some normal routine, we just might get there. I freaking hope so anyway…I’ve put in enough hard yards already.

In other news – it’s charts a go-go here! Daisy’s home readers, and now? TOILET TRAINING. I am hopeless at toilet training, nor can I think of a less boring topic for readers, so that one will be out of the blogging equation. I decided that I had been lazy enough, so I am attempting to half-heartedly give it a red hot go. Well, I made a sticker chart at least and that’s always a start!

Also, if anyone has any tips for a persistent, cry, tickling cough that makes an almost 3 year old cough every 34 seconds I would be REALLY interested. I’m slowly losing my mind. Maybe I’ll make a sticker chart for my slow demise? 

Comments

  1. Oh how I love me a sticker chart ;-)

    As for that cough, I’ve found the culprit is often a post-nasal drip. It’s that very clear, runny snot that you don’t even notice is running down the back of your throat (especially if you’re lying down). When it hits your windpipe it forces a cough and often you don’t notice that you’ve coughed anything up because the mucus is like saliva. Charming, yes. So the solution to that particular scenario is antihistamines – I find a nasal spray is magic. Not suitable to use if your little one has gummy snot though. Yay for snot talk!

  2. Has she been coughing for 5 weeks?

  3. God you crack me up. I just love it.

  4. Full sympathy for you, I am up 2-3 times a night with my youngest, and we’ve had continuous colds, tonsillitis and coughs. If it’s not one it’s the other. I’m so over it. And tired! These last few months have clinched my decision not to have any more babies!
    Ps. Elevating her pillow might help the cough, when they’re flat on their back it’s worse.

  5. A teaspoon of honey. Sometimes with a panadol chaser.

  6. Oh and load her up on vitamin c

  7. Well done on conveying the message of sleeping in her own bed. But you’re right, just because they “get it” doesn’t mean they’re going to a) like it and b) do it.

    Ali is 4 and a bit and STILL sneaks into our bed or at least attempts to, once or twice a night. I’m successful every other night and that is a small victory for me, yet, I haven’t had a full nights sleep in over 6 years so boy, am I tired!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi – have you considered Asthma? That is how my son started (no wheeze which is what I though he ‘should’ have). Good Luck..
    Lisa

  9. Not sure about the cough but I usually just up everyone’s vitamin c + zinc intake and let our immune systems do the rest! Normally sorts itself out in a week or so. xx

  10. Oh the cough thing, I know it well. Sucking Vicks Vapodrops helped ALOT I think it just cut the habit off at the gate, but she is a bit too young to not choke on them, so maybe those honey/lemon lollipops from the health food shop? Also the post nasal drip is worth investigating, Nasonex nasal spray is very effective.

  11. Sounds like progress to me.

    My Baby sleeps in a cot that he is incapable of getting out of. I wonder if when he can crawl out of it whether he will want to sleep with us?

    Wouldn’t matter I ‘spose because I’d be awake anyway.

    Sorry to hear you are tired.

    Could you retrain yourself sticker wise/treat wise to get by on Margaret Thatcher sleep levels? Kidding.

    Good luck with the journey and good luck with the cough- coughs make me nervous because I immediately think Whooping cough or asthma x

  12. Just had little Ellie at the respiratory paediatrician for exactly that! All I hear all night long is cough, cough, cough.. drove in INSANE. It also wakes her up and keeps her awake for hours at a time in the middle of the night. He reckons it is allergy related and we are now trying a nose spray to see if it will help. While I’m obviously not a fan of giving my baby steroids, I am a huge fan of both of us getting some shut-eye so if that’s what it takes I’ll do it. Could be worth having Harper checked out – especially since she’s already had the eczema etc xx

  13. This will sound gross ( & it is) but Tim swears by a teaspoon of Vegemite in hot water. Every time he is sick he has it & every time we are sick he tried to make us drink it ( we never do). I was sick for the first time in years a few months back & honey, lemon in hot water worked for me with a humidifier going all the time.
    Good luck , I hope she’s better soon xx

  14. i like your sticker charts. I always forget to make them … have no idea how I’ve done anything, really.

    Hope she sleeps well, soon. Xxxx

  15. Hi Beth. When my son was under 2 years old, he too had a dry, persistent and frequent cough. After lots of doctors and tests, it was confirmed that it was definitely asthma and he is under the care of the respiratory team at Westmeads kids hospital.

    He is now almost 4, and has been taking Singulair (chewable strawberry flavoured tablet) every night for about a year and it has made a massive difference to his asthma. Alas, it has also caused sleep disturbances (I am loathe to tell you this in the context of this post, but feel full disclosure is always best!), which the doctor says is a very common side effect of Singulair.

    Good luck with the sleeping, cough and toilet training!

    • We have JUST come back home from the DR with some Singulair. SLEEP DISTURBANCES? Sweet baby CHEESES nooooooooooooooooooooo! What kind? I need details. All the sad, sorry details I have ahead of me. Go on….

    • Well it is apparently well documented that Singulair can cause nightmares. My son’s paediatric respiratory specialist told me last week that a lot of his patients patents report an increase of general sleep disturbances (difficulty getting them to go bed, increase nighttime waking etc) after commencing Singulair. It’s not clear to me whether this is because the kids are experiencing nightmares and therefore don’t want to go to sleep, wake up regularly etc, or whether the other sleep disturbances are unrelated to Singulair.

      But unfortunately my son went from being the easiest kid in the world to get to sleep, to becoming really difficult to get him to go to bed and fall asleep. He also started waking in the middle of the night and wanting to get into our bed, which he hadn’t done before. But he rarely says he had had a bad dream. Sorry, but you did ask for all of the sad and sorry details, lol.

      I’m seeing the westmead asthma specialists team next week for my 10 mth old who is far too young for Singulair unfortunately, but I will ask for more info on the sleep issue and report back.

      All in all though, the improvement in asthma symptoms (that freaking constant cough was driving us all batty!) far outweighs the annoyance of the sleep problems. At least I know a nightmare can’t endanger his life, whereas asthma scares me.

      Oh, and I was told that the Singulair is more of a preventer, so it takes awhile to have an effect in symptoms. Hang in there, asthma is a bitch!!!

  16. Sticker chart for toilet training will be up in my kitchen in approximately 7 mins.

  17. Probably isn’t it (and I hope it isn’t) but have you had her tested for whooping cough? There was a lot of it going around at our school before we left and I remember when a friend had it it sounded, she thought she kept on picking up new bugs. Lasted about 3 months.

    I hope your hard work pays off really soon. I need to follow your lead and do the same with Lucy. xx

  18. Do you have a vaporiser? That usually works for our little one when her asthma flairs up. And of course good old Vicks on her chest.
    Hope you get some uninterrupted sleep soon. I miss sleep. xx

  19. My son gets asthma and hayfever everytime spring comes around. Its so hard on you when your hubby is away and you are exhausted!!! Then there they are every morning with their little faces poking out at you!!!

    I used a vaporiser but my son just got wet. He also had very bad croup and at night when Chris would go to a gig I would usually end up rushing him to hospital because I was so frightened that he would stop breathing altogether. Usually by the time I got him to hospital (sometimes he got admitted) he had calmed down just a touch. I would have to throw lilybelle in the car and take off. There I would be, two children in pyjamas at the hospital. Nightmare.

    But as soon as I could not stand it anymore and was about to jump on a one way flight to FIJI, it just got that little bit easier and they got that little bit lovelier.

    Hang in there girl!!!

  20. What about getting a swab done of the inside of her nose? Sometimes streptococcus or staphylococcus can grown in the nasal passages and cause symptoms like running nose, cold like symptoms, cough. These germs are quite resistant to antibiotics but certainly can be treated with a particular antibiotic. My son has had this twice (he is an asthmatic).

  21. PS – Unfortunately the steroid is the only way to keep the airway open so they can breath and dont have to cough so much. I was initially against Redipred but ended up giving it to Jai because it was the only thing that would work….

  22. I would definitely explore the Asthma road further. She is asthmatic yes? Poor little poppet. Congrats on the sticker charts. Who doesn’t love a sticker chart? Sometimes I think I need one for the various things I need to get done and be consistent with!!

  23. Pineapple juice. I know it’s crazy but worth the few bucks to test it. Pharmacist told me about it and we got relief using same.

  24. I’m going to have this problem in a few weeks. My son keeps slipping into my bed, except my husband is away, so I don’t even notice he’s there until morning. My husband returns in a few weeks, and I’m pretty sure he’s expecting to sleep in his own bed. Crap.

  25. I am an asthmatic and I would be looking at a night puffer for her. Also agree with the comments about post nasal drip which flares up in spring. Either way very annoying for a tired little girl and her mumma.

  26. comment from a pedantic psych here – reward systems/behaviour charts/sticker charts really shouldnt have x’s on it when a child doesnt meet the goal/target behaviour- just leave it blank (ditto sad faces, removing stickers etc), they should also be used briefly and faded out and ideally meant to stick with only one issue at a time ie not sleep and toilet training at same time.

    Is there a child psych you can get in to see to help break the sleep patterns/fine tune what youve been trying? Can be v hard to crack especially with an illness component.

    Sounds like you are making headway – hang in there. Sleep dep is the pits

    • How on EARTH can I even be allowed to have kids? All the mistakes we make Michele! Duly noted AND appreciated…thank you. NO MORE X’S. Done!

    • was genuine feedback not a pisstake, trying to help/finetune the chart/offer something to help you get the sleep we all crave perhaps it came across wrong you seem to have taken offense or read it as a comment on your parenting? (not what was intended). Far from a perfect parent here.

      My message was that reward charts should be really simple but they can backfire or not be super effective and there are lots of little tips and tricks to make them more likely to work and traps and things that can make them less likely to work not all of them transparent

      Was really trying to offer some support as a parent and also some advice as a psych – apologies it seems to have came out wrong/unhelpful to you

    • Full disclosure here – psych degree and 20 years experience in uni clinics, private practice and child and youth health blah blah blah and yet my little guy has only just at 5 1/2 yo started sleeping through the night at long last so yep far from a “perfect parent” with “perfect kids” and all the answers not saying “how on EARTH can you be allowed to have kids”……far from it. More that first hand knowledge of the horror that is perpetual sleep dep (G has ASD and would take up to 3 hours to go to sleep only to be wide awake scripting and bouncing around the room from midnight to 5…every night….then fall asleep at dawn just as my little girl would then wake to start the day year in year out) has given me the desire to help any parent get a better nights sleep. Over and out. I am tired and hormonal and probably being a tad oversensitive and touchy so signing off – but seriously…all the best and hope the sleep improves STAT

    • ….AND…I’ll just pull my head in now LOL which is what I prob should have done in the first place!

    • Sorry Michele – I wasn’t taking the piss at all! Or offended – promise! Now I feel bad. I can see how you thought that now…I think I was trying to be funny or something! My tone came across all wrong…as it often does.

      I actually really DID appreciate the advice. It hasn’t even occurred to me and I suppose I was saying with all the wrongs we do for our kids…it’s a wonder we should be allowed to have them! I still can’t believe that they let me take both my kids home from the hospital in the first place. Parenting is so much about blundering and fumbling our way through. I truly appreciate the advice I get and the fact that people take time out of their day to help me – especially professionals like you.

      Sorry again for the mis understanding. I really did think I was being funny and never meant to take the piss (but having re-read that can understand how it came across). I really need to work on that sarcastic font…

      Thanks x

  27. and PS can you think of any reason(s) Week 4 was such a success if I am looking at it correctly you got 7/7 nights of sleeping in own bed. Know these things can sometimes be random but there can also be variables at play that lead to more likelihood of wins

    • Oh! And you know what else? Last night she slept through without waking ONE TIME. Today I will be solving the world’s issues as I can do ANYTHING!

  28. I love a good sticker chart. They work wonders in my house too. Whatever works Beth – whatever works! No rules I say!! We all parent how we seem fit…we’re all trying our tootin’ best! :)

    As for the cough – haven’t tried this with my own kids yet – but hey, anything is worth a try!!!??? When I was about 18 I had a bad cough that reared it’s head only at night – {probably smoker’s cough crossed with I’m-18-and-party-too-much cough} – but whenever I’d sleep over at my boyfriend’s house {on a mattress on the floor of course} I’d wake up in the morning to find a cut in half onion in a plate near me. His mum would sneak in and put it in there as she couldn’t stand my constant coughing!!! Apparently it worked!!! The onion-y smell/vapor fixes coughs…apparently!!
    I’ve also read that rubbing VIX on their feet before bed and then putting socks on works for coughs??

    Hey, as I said…anything is worth a try. Within safe limits :)

    x

  29. I am so with you on the cough thing. Im currently listening to my poor baby cough every 2.8 seconds. Im more annoyed for him having to do it every 2.8 seconds. Stupid teething!!!

  30. My daughter had whooping cough, otherwise known as the 100 day cough. Antibiotics don’t help with the cough, you just have to ride it out. (sorry…..avoid cold drinks, ice cream etc that helps)
    Move to a warmer climate….she will be prone to other things but usually ENT stuff clears up. As an asthmatic I know!
    sleeping stuff – what the psyc said was good.
    Plus don’t know if you are herbal or not but I was driven to desperation once and tried homeopathy and omg it worked. A good homeopath will also prescribe for you, because sometimes it can be your issues transposing on the child…. :-) I now use it for lots of things, unfortunately it did not stop the coughing though….
    Good luck, none of us are perfect at parenting, we are all winging it really…

  31. Hayfever? You are living in the right place for it!

  32. My son gets a dry, tickly cough from food intolerances. When he has dairy it makes his throat itch and he will clear his throat for 30 minutes after consuming dairy. Does it get worse after particular foods?

  33. I always do the Vicks on the feet thing ( then put socks on). I reckon it helps but it is a bit unscientific…

  34. I use a vaporiser for the girls and if they’re stuffy, an extra pillow. If it’s a dry persistent cough I use Ricodeine. It’s quite strong so you don’t need much of it, but it’s worked for Elly who has always suffered from colds, bronchitis and one year we even had pneumonia. Good luck with it, it is the pits when you have no sleep night after night. Am SO loving the charts. I used them all the time and they work – sometimes you take two steps back, but you’ll get there eventually xo

  35. I’m really prone to that damn dry irritating cough. My doctor gives me an inhaler called Tilade. Obviously it is for adults, I’m not sure about kids but it might be worth looking into. It is the only thing that works for me.

  36. Oh we are doing the toileting one now too… it never ends. xx jody

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