No more dummy!

I think we have done it. I say I think because we are on night 7 and Joseph is sleeping 7am-7pm (approx.). Does that mean I can safely say he is ‘sleeping through’?

Now if you are a new to our little blog – I have been sleep training my 9mth old Joseph for 7 days now. You can see my plan here. After months and months of sleepless nights, the physical and emotional impact had crept up on me. I had to do something. I enlisted sleep guru Heidi Skudder from The parent and Baby coach and we came to the conclusion that Joseph needed a consistent routine and that the dummy (a la my crutch) HAD to go. There were many reasons Joseph was waking up (teething, poo, God knows..?) but the majority of the time it was because he could not find his soother (even if they were glow in the dark – bless him).

I am conscious that I may sound smug (sleeping through claim) and that I hate dummies (I don’t) but what I can say with confidence is that throwing away Joseph’s dummy and replacing it with a mildly forced snuggly best friend has without a doubt enabled him to self sooth (sucks on new snuggly’s foot) and ultimately sleep through (for now). It has NOT been easy but I am hoping, beyond hoping that we have cracked it.

Here is how project sleep boot-camp unfolded:

Pinch Punch first of the month – Thursday 1st December – A new blog, lots of champagne and my 9mth old’s dummy aka mummy’s crutch in the bin! #sleeptrainingday1

Many will assume that on night 1 of sleep training I would stay at home prepping for the event. No – I was out with Bonnie and Iona celebrating our blog launch. Fun! Despite leaving a list of instructions for my husband (with a follow up call) – I stumbled home at 12.30pm (no judgments) to find Joseph asleep in MY BED and husband fast asleep next to him. Urgh. In fairness to my husband – Joe had developed a hacking cough and was fretful. I decided the sleep training had to go on hold, and with that I put on all the lights, gave him milk, calpol and settled him back in his OWN cot. But note – I did not give him a dummy. He must have been feeling poorly as he went straight back to sleep.

5am wake up (the usual). As I crept in, his BIG smiling face beamed up at me. Despite the cough, I decided there and then I was not going to give in – he was fine. I didn’t pick up Joe, shushed, stroked his face and reminded him of his new best friend a snuggly dog. We played this merry dance (3 min intervals) for 30 mins. He then slept until 8am. The difficulty level was at a 6.

Fri-Yay!? – no – this was black Friday Whilst many of my fellow fun types were out celebrating the end of the week. – I geared up for day 2 of sleep training. #sleeptrainingday2

Two important things to note – I was nailing the daytime sleep routine. You can see this here. The GP had also confirmed that Joe had a virus but was well enough for a spot of sleep training. ‘Do him good!’ nodded the understanding doctor type. With my excuse abandoned I persevered with night 2 – it was horrendous. 10pm wake up (what? never happened before) however – I had forgotten that until recently I had been waking Joe up at around that time for a dream feed. It was in his routine. He messed around for about 30 minutes but never crying fully. I did not go to him, but stealthily watched him through a crack in the door. He found his forced best friend snuggly and went back to sleep.   ‘Da DAHH!’ I thought. ‘I am in control, I can baby whisper babies, and perhaps I should become a sleep trainer? ‘.  Then 3am happened. Joseph never made it to a 3-minute full-blown cry (remember in the plan – you need to start timing your 3 minutes when your baby gets to a proper cry). I think the most he did was 45 secs, but he grizzled, grumbled and fretted until 4.30am. I did go to him and satisfy myself that he was dry and well. EVENTUALLY he gave it up and fell asleep. Difficulty level 9 – I am regressing.

Saturday night and we in the spot – don’t believe me just watch! A long awaited night out with husband to ensure marital bliss #sleeptrainingday3.
I decided that I was regressing but Heidi (sleep guru) assured me this was normal and that we were fantastic. Feeling fantastic – I commanded that my husband and I have a night out (mmm…note the timing during sleep training week) but I needed some time out. Trusted baby sitter in place – we sped off into town and indulged in some Korean and Karaoke. 1am home time (eek) and our trusted baby sitter assured us that both children had slept like babies without a squeak. The next thing I know it is 7.30am. 7.30am??!! Difficulty level 1 (1 point for feeling guilty when out).

The rest of the nights have been roughly the same so I won’t go into too much detail. Joe has continued with his random 10pm wake up but it is taking him little to no time now to settle. We are now in a 5.30am holding pattern of a minor grumble with a full-blown wake up anytime between 6.45am and 7.30am (the dream). I do not go to him at 5.30am. It is hard but try not to. I should also mention that on Sunday night he woke up at 12pm with a hacking cough. I turned on all the lights, cuddled him and gave him a sip of water. He then went back down wonderfully (a few minutes of grumble but that was that).

Overall – I have ZERO judgments about dummies. I have grappled with my inner turmoil (guilt) over both my children being given them but have always found them a great way to soothe. Plus they can be taken away – thumbs cannot. I also do not blame Joe’s bad sleeping entirely on the dummy. I was also very quick to go to him and ply him with milk etc but I think taking it away has stopped him hunting around for it and then crying.  I also by no means imagine that Joseph is officially sleeping through – watch this space on that one! I just hope that if you have done this routine, or are planning on starting it that some of it works for you. Please send through any questions and comments. We love hearing from you!

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