03 Mar Sleep – I LOVE YOU
After 1 glorious year of maternity leave I will be heading back to the ‘mothership’ (Facebook) and back into full time work. I feel sort of excited, incredibly sad about leaving my babies, and overwhelmingly concerned about if I can remember to do my job! But on top of this – I am still sleep deprived.
I first started sleep training baby Joseph before Christmas. He was 9 months old. I threw out his dummy, stopped giving him milk when he woke up in the night and implemented a sleep training plan created by expert Heidi Skudder. See HERE.
The goal? To get Joseph sleeping from 7pm-7am allowing me to see him when I got home from work but also allow the household a good night’s sleep!
Initially it worked (please see my way too hasty smug success story here) but now I am stuck in a 5am wake up rut. Despite a few nights (which I can count on one hand) of 7-7, Joe will wake up anytime between 2.30am and 5.30am. He chats to his teddies, giggles, grumbles and descends into standing up in his cot and full-blown yelling. Diverted by a social Christmas (desperately trying to quieten him down with milk at other people’s houses), teething and a bout of Scarlet Fever I have unwittingly slipped into some old habits.
“Sleep boot-camp starts tonight and this time I’m going to GO FOR IT!”
What am I changing since sleep boot-camp round 1?
Shh/Pat Method – Short and sweet
My bad habit? Giving in to milk before 6.30 am.
I am going back to basics with the shh/pat method and continuing my intervals.
3 minutes – go in and settle
4 minutes – go in and settle
5 minutes – go in and settle
6 minutes – go in and settle
But this time – I am going to be strict on myself! I realized that I was not really following the intervals and grabbing for the milk/water/Calpol to ease the pain.
Also when I go into the room if he is at the full-blown standing up shaking the cot stage, I am going to lay him back down, say ‘sleep time Joe’, give him his snuggly dog (Rudolph), no shhh or pats (sorry!) and then just walk out. Short and sweet – 20 secs max! EEK!
My bad habit? Recently I have started stumbling into his room and thrusting a sippy cup of water into his cot.
It seems to solve the problem for about a minute but if I am honest this has replaced any kind of shh/patting. Joe is not self settling. He is now into a habit. It sounds harsh that I am denying my child fundamental fluids BUT he is well, drinking tons in the day – he does not need it.
Night time just got 50:50
My bad habit? I attend to 99.5% of the wake ups in the night from BOTH children.
Until now I have taken the bulk of the responsibility when either of the children have woken up. Now my husband needs to step up. As of tonight we will agree who is ‘on’ and who is ‘off’. My tip to you is ensure your partner memorizes the strategy. It does not help your sleep training or anxiety for that matter if your partner’s methods involve giving into the bottle of milk and at worst bringing him into bed.
Nursery and Childminder prepped
My bad habit? During Joe’s settling in at nursery he is currently being rocked to sleep for his lunchtime nap.
I guess I felt so guilty about leaving him with other people, I just said they could use any amount of cuddles and soothing methods to get him to sleep in the day. Thankfully Iona and Bonnie called this into question when I spoke of this ‘rocking chair’ at Joe’s nursery where they rock the children to sleep and transfer them to a cot. They pointed out that this will undo any self settling Joe has learned at home. As of now I’m going to remind the nursery of his routine, and ask them to try to stick to it as much as possible. He is also fairly adaptable and will hopefully sleep better at night with the extra stimulation.
Overall I am hoping that things have just gone a bit sleepless because I’ve been concerned about colds, illnesses, teeth etc but Joseph is healthy and well (for now!) and ready for a reminder that waking up frequently in the night and starting the day at 5am is NOT acceptable.
If you have any questions or tips on sleep training/going back to work then I would love to hear from you! I have only 14 days left until I hit that work place so would love any tips or shared stories.
If you need a sleep professional our good friend Parent and baby coach Heidi Skudder is also on hand to answer questions.
Sleep Training Q&A: http://www.mumstheworduk.com/special-qa-with-sleep-guru-heidi-skudder-with-tips-on-how-to-maintain-a-good-nights-sleep/
Parent and Baby Coach: http://theparentandbabycoach.com/
Scarlet Fever Facts: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Scarlet-fever/Pages/Introduction.aspx