Sleep school graduates.

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Man, I remember being discharged from hospital after birthing Max.  Y’know, as in actually walking out of the hospital with my brand new real life baby?!

I can only imagine the midwives would have thought I looked completely & utterly shellshocked, with my shellshocked face all like … what?! You actually trust me to take this brand new human life out of your hospital, put it into a car seat, drive it home safely, & then go on to attempt pulling off caring for said human life until it’s eighteen years old (& beyond)?!

I remember wheeling Max out of the hospital in his little hospicrib, & I was just staring down at him thinking, oh my God, I made this little life & now they’re trusting me to wheel it right on out of their hospital?!

Suffice to say we did just that.  And we’ve been doing a reasonably good job at raising that little life for the 3.3 years that have passed since that very first day way back when we strapped him into his car seat, & drove him home.

~

The day I discharged from sleep school with Frankie last week took me right back to that shellshocked ‘brand new parent’ feeling. Truly, seriously.  I mean as much as I obviously missed Max, … I didn’t entirely want to go home & return to the crime scene.  The place where all of the sleep was stolen.  The place where I felt like I lost my parenting confidence at the hands of a baby who seemed to be able to defy sleep, no matter what interventions we put in place.

Y’know, I almost think if someone had (in that very moment where I actually had to walk out of sleep school) instead offered me a permanent residence for myself, Dave, Max & Frankie? Well, I’d have said, sure, we’ll move in tomorrow!

I mean, I’m obviously joking, but also kinda … not.

I just feel like those nurses know everything about getting a baby to sleep that I don’t, just like I felt like all of the midwives knew everything about newborn care that I didn’t when I was discharging from hospital after the birth of baby Max.

But just like we had to strap Max into his car seat, & get on with the business of raising our brand new baby.  So too did we have to discharge from sleep school, & get on with the business of getting Frankie to sleep, … & keeping her asleep!

And that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.

~

Sleep school was our last resort.

Now that I have actually been to sleep school with Frankie, I can still say that I do truly believe sleep school should remain a last resort for parents.  You just really should try every other way to get a baby to sleep before you try sleep school, but if every other way doesn’t work, then by all means, … consider sleep school.

When we were admitted to Masada, we were at our parenting rock bottom.  And when I looked around at some of the other Mothers, I got the sense that they were all at their own versions of parenting rock bottom too.  I mean let’s face it, parenting shouldn’t have to feel like a torture camp, but for the last seven’ish months or so, that’s exactly what our nights with Frankie had begun to feel like.

Torture camp. 

I mean, of course I knew the newborn days would be exhausting.  They are, they’re exhausting.  But y’see that’s why those happy hormones kick in, & that’s why the adrenalin kicks in, & it seemingly doesn’t wear off until three’ish months or so when you’ve usually found some kind of rhythm with breastfeeding, & the accompanying occasional bursts of growth spurt-y cluster feeding, & sleeping.  And so then that newborn bubble goes & bursts, & your baby is that little bit less newborn-like, & so she’s feeding that little bit less, & sleeping that little bit more.

Unless she’s Frankie, of course.  Frankie just seemed to kinda stay in newborn land with her sleeping & feeding schedules, whilst all of my friends babes seemingly went on to start stretching their feeds out, & stretching their sleeps out.  Christ, some even started sleeping through?!

My happy hormones were no more.  And the adrenalin? Ha!

Fast forward to 7.5 months, & despite the introduction of solids, & an incredibly healthy appetite & eager acceptance of all things solid, Frankie still actually breastfed like a newborn.  So … every 2.5-3’ish hours during the day, & then every 2 hours overnight.  Seven and a half months of this newborn-like feeding schedule, & I remember one night despairing over the fact that the newborn-ness might never actually end.

I snapped.  Really snapped.  I guess it had everything to do with the ongoing newborn-ness, & the no more happy hormones/adrenalin that usually accompanies life with a newborn & helps to make it feel somewhat achievable.  I realised then that perhaps we’d been doing the newborn thing for a little bit too long, or I should say I had been doing the newborn thing for a little bit too long.  After all, it was I who was waking to feed her like you would a newborn all night, every night. 

We tried everything to get this kid to sleep.  And when that didn’t work? We put ourselves on the waitlist for sleep school.  And when that waitlist was something like ten weeks long? Well, … I had a bit of a meltdown really.

And so we were fast tracked.  And thank God, really.

~

Prior to sleep school, Frankie woke every forty-five minutes overnight, required multiple attempts at resettling, & then two hourly breastfeeds.  Even then, she just didn’t seem … happy?!

After one week at Masada, we’d got rid of her dummy, dropped the dreamfeed, & still had her sleeping from 7pm – 7am every night?!

Better than all of that sleeping though? She was, & is, … happy.

How? Well, it was almost too simple actually.  We stopped swaddling her, we put her into a grobag, we learnt that she was a tummy sleeper, we took away the dummy & replaced it with a comforter that had spent a week down my top prior to our admission, we stretched her milk feeds out, which meant less snacking & more actual filling up on said milk, & when she grizzled? We learnt to pat her back to sleep, as opposed to chucking a breast into her mouth.

She responded beautifully.  She has continued to respond beautifully.  And as for me, … well, I’m feeling a little more human, & a lot more joyful as each day passes.

And if it continues to be this good? Well, it’ll be one of the best parenting decisions we’ve ever made.

~

N.B // This was our experience at sleep school.  Please don’t be influenced by what is essentially our own experience with our own baby.  I would hate for anyone to read this post, be influenced to admit themselves & their babies to Masada as a direct result of this post, have an entirely different experience, & then blame me. 

For us, it was like Frankie wanted to sleep, but just didn’t have the right tools in place to go about the business of sleeping.  We were still swaddling her at 7.5 months old, because we were stupid & lacked the common sense courtesy of our sleep deprivation to recognise that she was too old to still be swaddled.  Believe me, we did try to discontinue swaddling, but she responded horribly, & I … lost my confidence entirely.

We were one of the lucky ones.  Frankie didn’t cry.  In fact, she cried more at home prior to our admission to sleep school.  But we were one of the lucky ones, & so we were thankfully spared from using any real element of controlled crying with Frankie.

In all honesty, I could have discharged on day two, … I stayed for the free food & good company in some of the Masada Mums I ended up becoming friends with.

Don’t judge me, ha!

Comments

  1. Just simply love it..

  2. So, so glad it worked for you and Frankie. I bet you feel like a fog has been lifted off you and you’re no longer a zombie! I went to sleep school with my son (now 3.5) but I still feel like I’m a bit lost when it comes to sleep. My daughter is 4.5 months and for the last month has been waking more at night and is harder to settle and I feel myself falling down the trap of just feeding her every time she wakes (which is what I did with my son and the exact reason we ended up at sleep school!).

    When you say you stretched out Frankie’s feeds is that during the day or at night or both? I demand feed Eloise so she feeds anywhere from 1-3 hourly during the day and about 3-5 hourly over night. And the dummy is there a reason you dropped that? Gosh baby sleep is such a complex puzzle. But so glad you figured it out!

    Enjoy that sleep AND the happy baby!
    x Laura

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Laura,

      We had the same issues with Max. We trooped through, knowing none the wiser. Now? I wish I’d perhaps considered that sleep deprivation at the hands of your children doesn’t exactly have to be 3 years long.

      Similarly with Frankie, we demand fed. And she wasn’t starving, in fact … she’s off the charts in the chub department according to my MCHN, ha! (delicious chubby little minx that she is) Still, I worried that she was hungry. I’ve since learnt that I was just popping a boob into her mouth, & she was all like, well ok … sure, why not?! ha!

      I’ve learnt a lot, & I feel like the Mother Baby unit that we were at empowered me as a woman, & Mother.

      So, we stretched her day feeds out to 4 hourly (I feed her at 7am, 11am, 3pm, & just before bed at 7pm).

      We went from … my gosh, I don’t even know HOW many feeds within 24 hours to … FOUR?!?!

      Of course when Frankie gets sick/growth spurts/teeths/whatever, I will have to review that schedule, but it’s nice to have great foundations to fall back on to :)

      I hope things turn around for you soon. I think I can cope with anything Motherhood throws at me, but an unhappy, overtired baby? My gosh, no. Just … no.

      x

  3. You made the best decision for your family. The fact the Frankie is so much happier is all the proof you need ♥

  4. Eleanor says:

    So happy for you! I think our issues with Rhiannon stem from the whole shoving a breast in her mouth to settle her which has led to the issues she now has at 2 where she wants a bottle to resettle at night so I know where you’re coming from. I raise a glass to you in celebration of the many sleep filled nights to come!

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Oh, thank you!

      And I hope I get to raise a glass to your sleep filled nights very soon!

      Believe me, I KNOW what you’re going through.

      x

  5. Soooo glad to hear you’re both happy!! I breed non sleepers in fact I believe I was also a non sleeper…karma is a bitch right! I’ve just stopped swaddling oscar at 7 mths too although still do occasionally. I thought oscar was bad with 5-6 feeds overnight but Frankie you take the cake my girl! So happy for you xxx

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Oh Kate,

      We breed non sleepers too, ha!

      And this my friend, is why we’re stopping at two! That & my pregnancy complication, & financial implications. But the breeding of non sleepers is the no brainer for us!

      My hat off to you, my sleep deprived solider!

      x

  6. Cherie that is amazing to hear! No judgement whatsoever, as a mum you do what you have to do and it sounds like you tried toughing it out over and above what is expected. I have gone from having 1 non sleeper, to then having 2 sleepers and now they have morphed into 2 non sleepers! I totally get the loss of confidence and forgetting the simple stuff. Now you fill up that sleep bank, you deserve it!!

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Heidi,

      Oh! The roller coaster of sleep, huh?

      Max shifts between good & then ATROCIOUS sleep!

      In the end, we co-slept because it just WORKED. With Frankie, she hated sleeping with us, ha! That’s when we knew we were sh*t out of luck ;)

      x

  7. I’m crying reading this, I am just so beyond happy for you xx

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Believe me, we’ve been crying happy tears at the QUALITY of sleep our entire family has been having since discharging from sleep school.

      The best decision made for this little family :)

      x

  8. Rachel English says:

    Awesome! So glad you got the help you obviously needed. That’s what it’s there for… so no guilt should go with that. It’s the same as accessing a lactation consultant for breastfeeding or a GP for a sick baby. No different and should carry no judgement. Not doing anything and just tolerating the situation is no longer necessary in this modern world… And let’s face it, they provide these services for everyone who needs it.
    Well done Frankie! Keep up the awesome sleeps!! :)

  9. The dreaded anon says:

    Cherie, I regularly read your blog.

    I’m a lot older than you and enjoy reading about the sometimes rather self absorbed manner in which women within your generation go about raising their babies.

    We didn’t have “sleep schools”. And thank God, because I struggle to believe your baby wasn’t subjected to crying it out. In my day, women just waited patiently for babies to find their own sleeping rhythm. Granted, I had all good sleepers. That said, I still waited for them to find ther own rhythm.

    I’m sorry that I can’t go all “fan girl” on this post, but my stomach just sunk thinking about what Frankie might have gone through at sleep school, which typical to your generational type, you didn’t mention.

    My advice? Do some lengthy research on the psychological impact of babies being subjected to crying it out before you pop a post like this out in the worldwide web. I fear you don’t recognise how influential the above words may be to a sleep deprived Mum looking for a “quick fix”.

    And yes, I come from a professional background that allows me to take this stand. And it’s something I feel incredibly strongly about.

    I doubt you’ll even publish this, but if you do, people PLEASE weigh up all options.

    • Raising Master Max says:

      You struggle to understand my generation?

      I struggle to understand people like you who lurk around the net, & then kick a woman while she’s already admitted to being somewhat down?!

      I hope you & I can one day find a place of understanding.

      Until then, … go & suck a fat one, really.

      ***

      For the record, yes, you’re right, I don’t normally publish comments like these. I have today for the sole purpose of highlighting to others that bloggers are subjected to a-holes such as yourself from time to time.

      • Great response Cherie.

        Anon, really? I don’t even think you took the time to read the post. Clearly if you are a reader of the blog you would know the background on this long term non sleeping situation. Cherie clearly said this is her experience, some changes were implemented and Frankie responded to those changes and slept without the need for controlled crying. To be honest, if you can’t relate to this blogger than why in earth would you read her blog?

        Cherie, I have never commented before on your posts but I love your blog and keep up the awesome work! Xo

        • Raising Master Max says:

          Thank you so much Lauren,

          I was hoping I’d be more articulate & classy with my response, but sometimes you’re right in the thick of a nearly 8 month old wonder weekin’, & so I just don’t have time for nasty crap like that :)

          Sure, a difference of opinion is welcome, but do so diplomatically.

          Thank YOU for your kind words :)

          x

      • Donna Roberts says:

        Hi Cherie, I havent commented before and I am a lot older than you, but i just wanted to say I am so glad sleep school worked. I had a Frankie 22 years ago and wish there had a been a sleep school then. Just ignore Anon she clearly has no experience of this as all her children slept. Which gives her no right to judge.

        • Raising Master Max says:

          Must be something about those pesky Frankie’s, huh?

          Dave & I are convinced if we called her Mary, or Audrey, things would have been entirely different ;)

          Here’s to our glorious, sleep thieving Frankie’s :)

          And I agree Donna, nobody has the right to question your decision making when they’ve never experienced any form of sleep deprivation themselves. It’s just not even a fair position to stand in, & then subsequently judge from.

          My humble opinion :)

          x

    • Serentha says:

      How is this comment helpful at all? Women need to support each other through motherhood so much more than we do. And I often find women of ‘your’ generation are very quick to tell everyone how well they parented without remembering how hard and exhausting it is. My husband and I used controlled crying with our 16 month old boy when all three of us were at our wits end and desperately in need of sleep. It took two nights of going in to him at 5 minute intervals. There was never any leaving him to cry it out. I doubt any parent undertaking this in the proper way ever does that. Eleven years later we have a sweet, happy and extremely bright son who has never had a broken night of sleep since. So how was the two nights of crying all those years ago harmful in any way? I’m sure Cherie would answer far more eloquently than this and I’m not even sure it’s my place to reply to you but I wanted to show my support.

      • Raising Master Max says:

        It’s not helpful, but I’m 31 now, & I’m coming to learn that not all women WANT to be helpful.

        Which is weird. And sad really.

        I’m so glad your two nights of toughing it out meant 11 years of wonderful sleep for you (& hopefully many more, ha!)

        Here’s to us, & our good heads (& hearts).

        x

    • I’ve had a few friends go to sleep school and they said they don’t do the cry it out method at all.

      Not sure how old you are but my mother in law is 63 years of age and there was sleep school back in her day cause she went to one with my sister in law (who is now 26 years old). My mother in law told me back then she was embarrassed to to go at first because there was a stigma associated with asking for “help” with your baby’s sleeping needs. Which is what’s the main difference with our generation and your’s.

      Less support each other aye, Anon.

  10. I am SO SO HAPPY that Masada helped you and Frankie so much. Three cheers to Frankie sleeping!!! Hip hip hurray!! So excited for you to be functioning on much more sleep now! xo

  11. Ah, the post that everyone has been waiting for! I am so so happy that sleep school worked out for you all- keep up the good sleeping Frankie!!

    • Raising Master Max says:

      ha!

      I was just so apprehensive to put it on the web, because I know people have their views on sleeps schools (as anon has rather rudely pointed out above – but hey, each to their own).

      It worked for us, & that’s all that matters :)

      x

  12. I’m so glad there’s a happy ending for your story… x

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Happiest ending.

      I am back to me again, & that’s a really flipping good thing for my children!

      x

  13. You know what. I’m with you on all of this. Sleep school really does seem like the last resort and I think it’s awesome you tried everything first!

    But you know what. I am so darn happy for you that it not only worked but it worked so well.

    We (by we I mean I, I am the only one who gets up to the children) are still 2-3 hourly with a feed each time he wakes. His brother was worse. But still, it’s a heck of a lot harder to function with 2 babes in little sleep then it was just 1. But some how I manage.

    Although I don’t think I am there yet I definitely keeping SS at the front of my mind.

    Thank you for writing this.

    Big hugs and yay for sleep.

    Much love x

    • Raising Master Max says:

      You are so well balanced Tara, I completely admire you for that.

      I’d heard horror stories about particular sleep schools, but we did our research, found a place that was baby first (rather than Mother first), & … Frankie responded beautifully.

      I’m so glad that we did it.

      It all comes down to what you can cope with! :)

      x

  14. Theresa says:

    Anon- she said Frankie didn’t cry. What exactly are you suggesting she was subjected to??

    Cherie- best. Post. Ever. So so happy you guys are all getting some sleep.
    Xxx

  15. Oh SHUT UP dreaded anon. Go back to your generation. It sounds like you have it all figured out. I have been a parent for seven years and I know two things for sure – I don’t have all the answers and I try really hard not to judge other parents. We are all (mostly) doing our best. So how about you try this: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.
    Cherie – I am SO SO happy for you that things are on the up. The best thing for Frankie is a happy, well rested mum. Good on you for fighting for that.

    • Raising Master Max says:

      We live in a sad world sometimes Gail, eh?

      I made a pact 3 years ago to never judge another Mother (apart from any of the obvious things, like abuse/neglect).

      You just truly don’t know what someone else’s Mothering experience might be like, until you’ve walked a mile in her shoes.

      So far, the only criticism we’ve experienced from our decision to take Frankie to sleep school has been from people who self admittedly say they’ve not truly experienced any form of sleep deprivation.

      You just can’t know, until you know.

      It’s torture. And I am so glad our torturous first 7′ish months seem to have come to an end! :)

      x

  16. Anon- well back in my mothers generation which maybe where you are from my mother let me and my sisters cry it out and she bottle fed us (god forbid) and I tell you what we have no psychological issues at all we have been happy and healthy all our lives (now all in our 30′s) and we all have the BEST relationship with our mother more than anyone I know!!
    So really you should think about what you post….perhaps

    Love this post good on you for doing the best for you family xo

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Given that I’ve met you, I can vouch for the fact that you didn’t grow up to be the serial killer as a result of any of your controlled crying/formula feeding, ha!

      My Mother used to put red cordial in our bottles (?!?!?!).

      Granted, that ain’t healthy, but now I’m a vegetarian, & bloody LOVE vegetables, ha!

      I don’t even know what my point is here, but … less judgement of Mothers, y’know? :)

      x

  17. I cried reading this. So happy for you xxx

  18. I have a friend who is child health nurse at a sleeping clinic and she hates that parents think that all they do is controlled crying! Sleep school involves so much more than that!
    My little guy feed every two hours until at about nine months I said enough and switched him to formula. That worked for us…it got him down to waking only once or twice a night which was a lot better than every two hours! In retrospect I can’t believe I let us go for nine months without sleeping! But when you are in the thick of it, you can’t think clearly.
    I am so glad that sleep school worked for you and Frankie! Sweet dreams!

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Caitlin,

      I had very SIMILAR concerns about our pending sleep school admission too.

      I worried it would be concentration camp-like.

      It WASN’T!

      The nurses nurtured the crap out of Frankie, & the living bejeebus out of me! I’m still on a post Mother Baby Unit high! Frankie & I were lovebombed to within an inch of our life, & I feel EMPOWERED & more confident for even having been there.

      Can’t be a bad thing, eh?

      I’m so glad you cracked your own Da Vinci code too! :)

      x

  19. Thank you for the post! It gives a bit of hope that I won’t always be sleep deprived and on the verge of crazy! 3 weeks till our stay now!
    I’m so angry that there are people like the dreaded anon out there. I’m always amazed at how carelessly and deliberately people throw out their opinions in a manner aimed to destruct only protected by anonymity. I think the only thing that our generation has possibly done wrong in this manner is to have the internet as a medium for these trolls to throw their vile filth about.
    Good work! You’ve done the right thing for your family, and that is what we all should focus on rather than what everyone else is doing – right trolls???

    • Raising Master Max says:

      Oh, I wish I could fast forward the next 3 weeks for you!

      You will LOVE the nurses there!

      I didn’t want to LEAVE, ha!

      Trolls huh? I’ve given up trying to understand them ;)

      x

  20. Suck a fat one – God I love you!!!
    So glad that your family is on the road of sleep and happiness.
    Well done you!
    xxxxx

  21. Caroline Bond says:

    I have never before commented on a blog post, but this one brought back such strong emotions. Six years ago, I too went to Masada sleep school with my seven month old daughter (our third child), whose sleep patterns were very similar to Frankie’s. Each day, my anxiety levels would increase as night drew closer, wondering how bad each night would be. She pushed me to the brink, and I was so close to toppling over into a dark, dark place. Like you, I tried everything I knew, but in the end I needed help. Masada was a god-sent, and worked wonders for us. Fingers crossed it continues to work for you too.

  22. Beautiful post and well done you. Sleep school is damn hard, I went with my first when he was 4.5 mths old and was waking every 45mins. Anyone that says there is any form of psychological damage from controlled crying or sleep school needs to find something else to worry their (obviously bored) head about. My toddler doesn’t remember what he did last week let alone over 18 months ago! When your child goes from crying for weeks, and months, and then within 3 days their whole world, and yours, takes a dramatically better turn for the best, then the results are proven. Months of no sleep, constant crying and unhappiness is far worse than 3 nights of crying at sleep school. Everyone has the right to do what’s best for their child, particularly when it comes from such a place of love. And because there is not one right way to raise a child, uninformed ‘advice’ from others about what is right or wrong is rubbish. Welcome back to the land of the living Cherie, Frankie and family!

  23. Hooray!! So pleased for you Cherie :) I have to say anon, its not about being a fan girl, but I suspect I know EXACTLY how Cherie was feeling and if its self absorbed to go seek help before you actually hit such a low you are zero use to your children, then so be it. At a guess I bet its far more detrimental to a baby to not be sleeping than crying for what most people say is a short period (sorry to digress I realise that in Frankies case there was no crying).

  24. This is brilliant!!! Going to sleep school is NOTHING to be ashamed of. You’ve GOT to have your sanity! So glad Frankie didn’t have to cry forever or anything either!

    Can I just ask (if you have time to reply), how Frankie responded to her transition to the Gro-bag? I still (tightly!) swaddle my 12 month old, and if he ever gets out, he stands up. Can Frankie stand up in her Gro-bag?

    Oh, and any tips for getting rid of the dummy?!

    Thank you so much and HOORAH!!!

  25. I am so utterly thrilled that this worked out for you and your family. What an amazing outcome! Don’t beat yourself up about all the could haves, we do some truly weird things when we are sleep deprived. Just amazing Cherie xxxx

  26. I’m so glad to hear things are on track and you are feeling more human.
    I’ve been there and I know it can break your spirit so I’m glad your’s now has the chance to heal.
    x

  27. What an awesome post. Go you, go Frankie! Cheers to happiness! xx

  28. How flipping fantastic! I bet you just wake up each morning feeling so good?!

    I will admit I am a teeny bit jealous of the all night sleeping but I can also see my situation with Blake isn’t as bad your’s was with Frankie so I’m greateful for that.

    It all just sounds so easy Cherie! And I don’t mean that to sound horrible or that I’m lessening ( is that a word) the work you put in with Frankie & the Mesada team ( honestly I’m not so please don’t think I am)but I’ve tried those things with Blake & nothing changes. Is there something magic in the air at Masada? lol I have come to the realisation that Blake is the way he is at night because I’ve allowed it to happen but now I’m juat at a loss as to wheat to do. I truly think we ( I) will just have to do the whole ” controlled crying” thing but its something I have to work myslef up to. Maybe I will call our Masada equivilant & see what they can help me with over the phone.

    Thanks for sharing your experiance Cherie. And as for the anon commenter- you handled it perfectly! xx

  29. Thank you for sharing your story Cherie. I am so happy for your family, what an amazing result. I agree girls, us Mum’s need to support each other, every one’s experience and child is different, it is ok to ask for help. We went to a sleep Doctor with my son when he was 2 and a half, after trying everything, I had lost confidence and was just defeated and so tired! He told us what to do, how to do it and most importantly he told me that my son would be 100% ok, and that was what I needed to hear, we did it and after one hard night it worked! Now 6 years later he is still a great sleeper.
    You made a wonderful decision for your family, and that is all that matters.
    Much love x

  30. Oh gosh this is such great news!! Yay!! I know it sounds weird to be happy for someone you don’t know but as a sleep deprived mum I feel so happy you got this outcome!!

  31. Flipping anon’s – always judging someone else’s … it was just a deliberate intent of provoking you into an emotional response.

    I am a 33 year old mum of three girls – 4, 2 and 4.5 months. I demand feed and have done so with the older two… Each baby is different and what works for one may not work for the next. I’ve been there before with the lack of sleep, the snacking, the catnaps, the swaddling and then not being able to sleep without it, the loss of confidence and completely forgetting the simple stuff. I understand that you will do anything just to get a little more sleep – I have always quickly fed bub in the night when she wakes, as your sleep is just important. The older two started sleeping through the night by about 8 months – but it took some work to get them to that point. They are both happy healthy girls, they can’t bl**dy remember where they took their shoes of 10 minutes ago, let alone when they were crying non sleeping 8 months olds!

    A little quote that I recently found lurking around facebook -
    ‘Motherhood is a choice you make everyday to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own. To teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is… and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong.

    You made the best decision for your family. Beautiful post.

  32. So glad all went well at sleep school. I’ve read your blogs in regards to sleep school and always wondered why there was an undertone of guilt in your decision to go but after seeing the post by anon (and I’m sure you’ve had others) I can understand that in a sleep deprived state these comments might get to you. You have nothing to be guilty for, something was broken and you seeked help to fix it. Now you can be with your family in a much happier non sleep deprived state. Anon obviously didn’t consider how the attachment between mother and child can be impacted upon when experiencing such extreme sleep deprivation. It makes it a lot harder to be in tune with your child and can create stress which bub picks up on.

  33. Well done. So happy for you and Frankie and your family. The mother really sets the tone for the home and if she’s not 100% it impacts everyone else. I know you know this and this is why you did whatever you needed to do to get Frankie’s sleep manageable.

    Haters will see you walk on water and say its because you can’t swim ..

    Go Cherie!

  34. Quote of the CENTURY: “Until then, … go & suck a fat one, really.”….made my day. That a-hole is a gutless, faceless prick who clearly has no life if they find pleasure in following blogs that have jack to do with them. YOU sound like the MOST amazing mum to your beautiful kids. I am totally going all “fan girl” over you xxxx

  35. Thank you for sharing this story. I was hoping you’d keep us in the loop on how it all went. I can hear the difference in your ‘voice’ and I couldn’t be happier for you now having the solution you all so desperately needed. Well done Frankie J!

  36. Anon is a total idiot!
    I’m a older mama my eldest 31 my youngest 18, five amazing children in total who all slept beautifully most of the time EXCEPT for no 2 My Sweet Beautiful Kate. That child screamed for 7.5 months we went to Tresillian, before I hurt her & myself. Kate didn’t respond so well BUT that’s ok we survived. My point is 28 yrs ago I went somewhere with a crying baby for help, they let her cry & she didn’t suffer from it.
    Why comment or even follow this blog if your going to be negative
    Good on Cherie I’m glad the sweet Frankie is sleeping & you too

  37. I’m so glad you published the comments from the dreaded Anon, it gave the other readers a chance to show their support and to stand up for you and the choices you made. Anon says some very odd things (don’t believe you that they didn’t use cry it out?). Does that mean she has first hand experience? And that’s just one. So glad you are all getting some rest.

  38. Cherie, I wish you did take a more dignified approach with ‘anon’. Your response just made me cringe, sorry!
    I just think that as mothers we get criticism and judgement from everywhere. We are told my the media, other mothers, our mothers, friends, family that we should do things differently. Everyone has an opinion and theirs are not always going to be the same as ours. What I don’t understand is that you know this, your a mum, so you know this, and then you also choose to share your parenting experience with a very big audience but then don’t respond well when you get presented with a difference of opinion.
    I know that you have probably been subjected to worse than this one message you have shared, but anon’s comments I thought where fairly tame to be honest. They clearly share a different view and admittedly they could have gone about it a little “nicer”, I can see why you are offended but there was no inappropriate name calling or suggestions. I just think in my opinion you came off looking immature.

    Your way is the right way for you that is all that matters. You don’t need to justify it. Just be confident in your decisions. Agree to disagree with the “anons” out there. Don’t be drawn in and bring your self down.

    • Raising Master Max says:

      I agree. Believe me. I actually 100% agree with you.

      I’m not immature though, she just really did catch me on one of ‘those’ days.

      I’m human. I don’t like to think that I set an example via my blog of how to be the perfect human. And honestly? When I screw up, I’m the first one to admit it. My response wasn’t articulate, or classy, but honestly? I get sh*tty comments like that ALL the time. And it’s frustrating.

      Thanks though, for articulating your thoughts with respect.

      I do appreciate that :)

      x

  39. Yay for you! She looks so much more relaxed and happy. Im sure you are enjoying catching up on some missed sleep and enjoying a well rested little girl!
    Good on you for taking the positive step to try an improve your situation.
    Much love xxxx

  40. Ok, so I think ‘dreaded anon’ might have ‘sleep school’ confused with a ‘crack house’. Last time I checked I’m pretty sure sleep school was where loving parents sought advice and support for sleep issues with their beloved bubbas. I’m pretty sure it’s not about leaving kids to cry their lungs out while you go shoot up on crack. But please do tell me if I’ve got it wrong? And if I do, then my goodness I have a lot of friends on crack!

    So glad your feeling more confident about Frankie’s sleep issues Cherie! I would much rather hear about someone who seeks help and support for an issue that’s weighing them down, rather than listen to moaning from people who never take any positive action. Well done and thanks for sharing your experience x

  41. Veggie Mama says:

    Both my kids were tummy sleepers. It changed. my. life.

  42. Jessica says:

    Cherie you are beyond … I’m not even a parent yet but read your posts and feel like WOW!! You are a beautiful soul … Inside & out! And I enjoy reading the “real-ness” and seeing you become even a stronger woman than you already are, one that we can all learn something from whether we are a parent, single .. Whatever!

    A question for anon …

    How would you feel if someone you bullied actually had enough, was extremely vulnerable and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and your coward act (from behind a screen, in your so called “perfect world”) was the last straw ? .. How would you feel if you knew somebody harmed themselves because of your disgusting judgemental filth?

    Every action has a reaction … Perhaps you should think about this before you deliberately set out to upset/ condemn and apparently “get off” on your vileness!

    There is simply no need for bullshit like this to exist in the world, you should be ashamed of yourself … Perhaps you should spend the energy you use to “hate” on others, to work towards something more productive ??

    People like you disgust me … And we ALL NEED TO STAND UP for those that are having a hard time, and show encouragement! Think about the effect you have on others?

    ENOUGH is ENOUGH

  43. So glad it has worked out for you! It’s finding those little keys that is so important, and make all the difference!

  44. Nanonatter says:

    Oh me too. I begged them to let me stay. It was a like a little cocoon of safety surrounded by a community of nurturing, caring women. And they feed you!

    My daughter never cried, slept beautifully from day one. It was then I realised it’s so much more than the child not sleeping. Exhaustion strips you of confidence, a functioning brain and time. Time stands still. And the fog and haze settle in.

    Hooray for graduating.

    Happy sleeping.xx

  45. Love this! We had the exact same outcome from Masada a year ago :)

  46. Benedicta says:

    Hi Cherie Anne,
    I came for your muffin recipe then remembered the ums and ahs about the sleep school post – I’m glad you went ahead with it, and Anon is a coward and a bully. You made a decision to take action on your problems and you were lucky enough/sensible enough to have the insurance to be able to get into Masada too – oh, one day I will tell you of the true horrors of the food at Tweedle – think your worst airplane meal crossed with your worst hospital meal, frozen and then reheated in a microwave! People follow different paths and we often have a few doubts as to whether it’s the right thing, but not worth, heaven forbid, losing sleep over… Anyway, bad puns aside, the only teeny thing I wanted to say was, please don’t denigrate the work you did on feeding her, comforting her etc for all those months! Such a lot of time and effort and nurture went into your relationship and I was a bit sad to hear you talk about “chucking a breast in her mouth” (followed up by Eleanor with “shoving a breast in…”). We know how much work BFing is, and, again, some people make different decisions about sleeping/feeding, so can we not use language that denigrates or trivialises that? (I don’t think that was your intention but, you know, language has power…) Now, back to that muffin recipe… :)

    • Raising Master Max says:

      You are so bloody right.

      Language DOES have power, & y’know what? Sometimes, I forget the power of my own words.

      My sense of humour also gets lost in translation sometimes, but I agree, I didn’t “shove a breast in her mouth”. For 7.5 months, I provided the greatest sense of security she knew. And I worked so incredibly hard to initiate & maintain, (& still maintain to this present day) our BF’ing relationship.

      So, … kudos to ME.

      Thanks for pointing that out. I love a fresh set of eyes on tired words for this exact reason.

      x

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