Diary: Sleep Deprivation with a Toddler – 23rd April 2017

Jeez! I had forgotten how tough sleep deprivation is. How the hell did we manage to function during the ‘newborn days’? Last night Elliott had an unsettled nights sleep until around 11pm, when I went in to soothe him and he was wide awake, snuffly and handing me his cuddly toys. I knew there was no chance of him drifting back off to sleep so grabbed him out of his cot in the hope that he would take his bottle, which he had refused earlier. Elliott happily enjoyed some cuddles, but he wasn’t going anywhere near his bedtime bottle. He was also super-hot, so we de-robed, gave Calpol and waited for the drugs to kick in.

In the meantime I had the bright idea to bring Elliott into bed with us. I figured that propping him up, either on me or on the pillows, would help the snot to drain away so he would get a better night’s sleep. I also thought it was save us from spending half the night traipsing across the hallway to his room when he did inevitably wake.

The last time Elliott properly slept in bed with us was when he had a mild case of Croup ahead of his first birthday. I say mild, it still sounded atrocious enough to have us attend the walk-in clinic at the early hours of the morning. Back then he didn’t really wriggle and was quite compliant with the whole, I’m not well I’ll sleep with Mummy and Daddy thing. Nowadays Elliott has a more wriggly, let’s fling myself off the bed mentality. Oh the joys. I had legs in my face. He climbed on my head at one point. I had elbows thrust into my windpipe. What with that, the fact that no matter what Elliott did he couldn’t get comfortable (he kept grabbing my hand to stroke his feet but as soon as I started stroking he would push me away) and the fact that when I did manage a rare 15 minutes of sleep I had an awful dream about a ghost that pushed me onto the bed and held me so tight I couldn’t escape – can’t think why that came into my head?! – I didn’t have the greatest nights sleep. In the dream there was also a spooky abandoned town where it was always Christmas. I appreciate I’ve used ‘the fact’ twice – I’m sleep deprived, what you gonna do…

Elliott obviously also had a rubbish nights sleep. He was hot, snuffly, dribbly and just couldn’t get comfortable. Thankfully he had his morning bottle this morning. He was fully awake and raring to go at 6am this morning and then managed some breakfast, but he really hasn’t been himself for most of the day. Neither have we for that matter. The fact that it’s now 7:30pm and I’m still in my PJs is testament to that. We watched the Marathon and ate chocolate spread on toast, washed down with black coffee. We had McDonald’s for lunch and we’ve just eaten pie and waffles for tea. We’ve tried to find the simplest ways of keeping Elliott entertained. Ones that don’t take much moving. Things like playing shops. We’ve caught forty winks whenever we’ve been able to and I didn’t even care that Elliott had a danger nap at around 5pm, because he had it whilst laying on me and it gave me the perfect opportunity for a bit of shut-eye myself. Bliss.

I have also been pretty productive. I figured that come tonight I would be flagging, so tried to get as much ticked off the to do list during Elliott’s ridiculously early morning nap.

Of course we had plans today. Really nice plans to meet up with friends who have a little one a bit older than Elliott. I find your kids are never ill when you’ve nothing planned. They always seem to time it to coincide with a social occasion that you’re really looking forward to. Sometimes they do it a few times on the bounce with the same friend, just to make you seem really flaky. Perhaps we could have still gone, but Elliott wouldn’t be in a good mood and my friend has an almost newborn so I didn’t think it fair to spread both bad vibes and germs.

To all you parents of newborns I salute you! Sleep deprivation is tough!

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