Bea: “I’m back to work this week part-time. My little one is nearly 10 months and a horrendous sleeper. Usually he wakes up every 45-60 minutes throughout the night and will only settle with feeding. I have no idea how I’m going to be able to cope. He doesn’t actually feed, but will cry and pull at my top. Once latched on he falls asleep. We already bed share once I’m in bed. I don’t know what to do.”
Some other working mums replied to share their experiences:
Amber: No advice but I went back at 7 months 3 days a week. My little one (now 16 months) woke every 60-90 minutes until about 8 weeks ago. You just manage! I actually had more rest being at work!
Helen: My son was like this. 10 months is a particularly tricky age, sleep wise. You will survive because you have to. It does eventually get better. It must do, or I wouldn’t have had a second child! She thankfully wakes me only once or twice.
Kim: No advice really. But it does get easier . My little one is 20m, I went back to work when he was 9m. I think I’ve had 2 nights where he has slept ‘almost’ through. I tend to get through the day fine as I’m kept busy but come the evening I’m fit for nothing except my bed. In other words, you just cope, you don’t have a choice, but it is so worth going to work just so you can see their little faces light up when you get home (if you can get over the heart wrenching tears of dropping them off). Honestly it will be ok .
Bea: Thank you everyone. I know ‘this too shall pass’ but the more time that passes, the more I wonder how much longer until it does.
Natasha: Try not to count the hrs and mins at night and don’t rush him! It s like watching paint dry?!?? Hang it there it will get better, mine would be awake for hours *ping*! But I think he’s just seeking the bond and checking you are still there, he’ll get the jist of it all and just don’t feel bad, it’s all good just hang in there, my advice would be to try to get him to bed and awake at same time (ours is 7-7…) babies like routine apparently so I just get her up at same time and put her to bed at same time-I need to boob her to sleep so I also go to bed at 7!
Amber: Its so lovely to see nobody suggesting sleep training!
Helen: That would be the last thing to do when you’ve just gone back to work. Lots of cuddling and reassurance and all night boob needed. My nearly 10 month old is asleep on me now, after a day apart.
Amber: I’m actually a little teary eyed at all the love for the non sleeping babies!
Kim: Wow, sleep training is for the heartless . Besides I like my cuddles
Dianne: It’s almost easier being back at work tired as you don’t have to keep an eye on baby heading off in random directions! We don’t co sleep but she was waking up once a night (for about 90 mins before she’d accept boobing back to sleep!). She’s now generally sleeping through although days start early at 5.30/6. But she got there by herself. Some nights we are up. Good luck with the return.
Rachel: Get your rest when you can. I work full time and feed my little girl through the night. It’s hard but it’s do-able. I sometimes have to go to bed at 8 pm just to have enough energy to get up for work at 6 am. Hubby will take her downstairs at weekends so I can catch up on zzzz for an hour or two.
Jeanette: 9/10mo was the worst for us sleep wise too. Waking up every 45 mins and crawling around the bed going ‘waa’. It somehow got better. I called in sick a few times as I ended up getting ill, but sent him to nursery anyway and had a rest. (Hope that doesn’t make me sound heartless!) Now I find myself thinking “how can I get most rest” as my kind of default (rather than “how can I modify his sleep”).
Emily: When I told my health visitor there was no way I would do controlled crying, she suggested gradual retreat instead. We are working on it, and it is helping gradually.
Bea: Thank you everyone for your continued support and input. We’ve just finished week 2 of me being back at work. It’s been okay, although not helped with my little one being ill, therefore ‘sleeping’ on me for a few days now. We’ll get there.