Thursday 24 May 2012

Mothering mums

I know I have harped on about my non-sleeping children, but please, let me write this one last post. Non-sleeping kids is the most boring topic on the planet but, it may just help you, or someone you know.

When Lil-lil was a wee babe she rarely slept, except for short bursts. I remember being in Adelaide hotel room when she was about 6 weeks old, standing an a weird angle in the middle of the room in the middle of the night. They only position Lil would sleep in. I would slowly go to sit down and her eyes would pop open and she'd start crying. How on earth can I stand here?? This is insane. But stand there I did.

That girl, god love her, almost broke me. In fact, sometimes I think she did break me. The severe sleep deprivation was beyond my belief. When she was 12 weeks old, I did a residential stay at Tresillian, a centre in NSW that provides mothers with support and settling techniques. I went there feeling like a total failure, but was the best thing I could ever have done. The nurses there gave me the most amazing support. Lil started sleeping better, not great but better. Even better was the rest that I caught up on, the support and the kindness I received. Those Tresillian nurses are angels.

Over the years and three kids later I have been back to Tresillian a few times, have called their hotline countless times and even tried out their online chat service. I can honestly say, I think that motherhood may have broken me if it wasn't for the support that Tresillian has given me over the years.

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Johnson's Baby to a talk by a leading sleep expert, Dr Alex Bartle, at a Tresillian centre.

As well as Dr Bartle, staff from Tresillian got up and spoke about their history and the services they offer. I burned bright red as little did they know they were preaching to their choir.

There was so much information at the event but the two big things I took away were:

  • In a recent international study, Chinese mums were found to have the most amount of sleep issues with their babies. Dr Bartle said he believed this was because Chinese families lived in close quarters and were more disturbed by their babies murmerings than in places where families lived in big(ger) homes. I now call our house the China Syndrome, as I think this has a lot to do with our situation. Five of us in a small 2-bedroom home....
  • While talking to one of the Tresillian staff, she said it's not just about helping babie but about supporting mums. Everyone needs a little mothering and a little taking care of,  even mums (ESPECIALLY mums), this is a big part of what Tresillian do. I certainly felt that when I've been at Tresillian. And by mothering I don't mean being told what to do, but being asked if you're ok and being encouraged to have a lie down or a cup of tea while they watch bub. Hell, I've even been literally tucked into bed by a Tresillian nurse.

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a Tresillian centre, but the Tresillian Live Advice instant messaging service can be accessed on your smart phone or laptop around the world. So, you can have access to a registered Tresillian nurse even if you're pushing your child on a swing at the park. No more having to listen to the Greensleeves hold music. Johnson's Baby have sponsored the Tresillian Live Advice service 100%, which I think is amazing, kudos to them for doing that. [The rest of the Tresillian services are funded by the NSW state government as well as other sponsorship and donations]

If you're a mum who has sleep or feeding issues or any baby issues (and who doesn't?!) visit for information about how you can access the mobile Tresillian Live Advice service.

This post was not sponsored. I wrote it purely because I believe in the Tresillian services and wanted to give back after they have given so much to me. 


  1. I would go and see them just so they could tuck me into bed !! Fingers are crossed bub number 2 adores sleep. x

  2. I love Tresillian. I went to the day centre at Wollstonecraft for both my girls. I also love the ladies at the occasional care there. It was great place to leave both my babies for a few hours to go to the hairdressers, bank, shopping, some me time.

  3. What a wonderful post Corrine. Great words of advice and encouragement. I have never personally had any experience with Tresillian, but have had SO MANY friends utilise their fantastic service... and experience. It's so comforting to know there is an organisation for Mama's when things become really tough. And you're so right, there is nothing quite like being 'cared for' or 'mothered' when you are a Mama yourself. I remember having that same feeling when I was hospitalised due to mastitis, when Angus was 3 weeks old. The care and support I received was tremendous. Experiences like those can completely turn a situation around.
    Oh and we must also have the 'Chine syndrome' here, because I'm forever thinking how much better it would be to have a little space to move in. We're a 2 bedroom terrace family also. Not easy.

  4. that would be 'china' syndrome. Sorry!

  5. I have called them lots of times when my kids were small, and they really helped. Have never had to stay, but if I have sleep issues with no. 3, I will seriously consider it.

    x Mrs P23

  6. Thanks for sharing this! I wish I'd used them when we had sleep horrors invading our world but will be sure to do so if there is a next time. So comforting to know they care so well for mums too x

    1. It really is a wonderful service. Hopefully you won't need them next time.

  7. Maxi and I went to Tresillion 3 times and it meant the absolute world at the time. If you're the parents of a non-sleeping baby, the subject is the most interesting of all. We can't wite enough of these posts, I reckon. They really help. x


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