Get_your_baby_to_sleepAfter getting a tad frazzled with my baby not sleeping much in the day time, waking up lots in the night and having a failed attempt at Gina Ford I decided to get some proper help and call on the help of a magic worker and baby whisperer.  A fabulous friend gave me a contact of a nurse she used with her little baby boy so in the name of word of mouth recommendation I called and booked in Jackie to do two nights with us.  To say I was excited was an understated and I had rather big expectations on how all my problems would be solved in two days!
So Jackie arrived at 9.00pm on Sunday night and true to form my little monkey was still awake and we were rocking him in his pram trying to get him to sleep – as we had been for the past hour!  She sat down with us and went through all his ins and outs – what he liked to do, what his birth was like (it was very good and no issues) and what his day consisted of.  Straight away she thought I was doing too much with him.  You see each day I tried to pack in as much activity with him as possible when he was awake – so when he was awake I would sing, dance, play, read and generally be silly with him and she thought that as we were doing so much he was always so wound up that winding down to sleep was tough.  Ooops – mistake number 1.  So first thing I learnt was to have wind down with him and not be such a crazy person all the time!  Then she sent us to bed and said she would observe him all night and would be able to give a good indication of how to get him sleeping better in the morning.  Sounded fabulous – so we went off to bed with the knowledge that our little bundle of joy was well cared for by the wonderful Jackie and was being ‘observed” – couldn’t wait for morning!
So morning came (and although it was a better night sleep I still woke up for a couple of hours from habit – typical!) and this was the verdict:

  • Kai was waking in the night as he was hungry so I should give up thinking he was going to ‘sleep through’ for a while
  • Some babies sleep through but others just don’t and Kai was a hungry boy who woke every 4 hours ravenous
  • Kai had reflux and that would be making sleeping difficult – she recommended I get some thickener to mix in his milk and for the formula feeds to use a lactose free one
  • Kai needed to get used to sleeping in his cot in the day time – if I didn’t do this now I would be setting myself up for pain later
  • When Kai wakes up I need to go “SSSHHHH SSHHHHHH” very loud and pat him on his bum and pop him on his side until he goes back to sleep then slide him back onto his back
  • I needed to get some good sleep associations like white noise baby music
  • In the Day time I needed the cot to be in a pitch black room
  • I needed to get him sleeping for 1 and 1/2 sleep blocks in the day otherwise the night would always be hard
  • I needed to get a Happy Baby dummy

Jackie also wrote out a little routine for me to follow that was:

  • 7.00am – wake Kai and have a feed, play, cuddles then have a wind down time at the end before bed
  • 8.30-9.00am – sleep in cot and get to sleep through patting, body rocking and music.
  • 10.00 – 11.00am – awake, feed, play, cuddles and wind down time
  • 12.30 -1 .00 – sleep in cot for 1 and 1/2 hours
  • 2.00 – 3.00pm – awake, feed, play and cuddles
  • 4.30pm – sleep which could be in the pram/car if I was going out and must be a shorter sleep of 45 mins
  • 5.30-6.00pm – bath, story, quiet time in dim room with mum and dad
  • 6.30 – 7.00pm – last feed then bed at 7.00/7.30

So that day I did my best of following that kind of routine and got him into the cot for some sleep and nearly drove myself MAD with ‘SSSSHHing” but I kept telling myself “consistency consistency consistency”.  I got some thickner too which helped his reflux and stopped him sicking up but he wasn’t too keen on the Happy Baby dummy!  Jackie came the next night too and it was sooo good to have her there and get some sleep!  It has now been 4 days and I can say that I have definitely made good progress.  The music (which I bought from I Tunes) is a God send and I put the cot in the second bathroom in the day time which is pitch black and that helps.  He is not doing 1 and a half hour stints in the cot yet but he is definitely getting better in there and staying for longer and last night he even self settled after some babbling which was good!
So it was well worth spending the money on Jackie and it was good to have some advice from a baby expert and to know that I can now stop obsessing with ‘sleeping through’ and instead just focus on him sleeping in his cot and getting more sleep in the day – the rest will come in time when he is ready.