So I may have jumped the gun last post when I bragged about the baby putting herself to sleep. We had a good run of amazing nights but then she got hit with a really bad flu bug and everything fell apart (thanks winter!). We are slowly but surely picking up the pieces and getting back to the routine but it’s really frustrating that all the hard work was wasted. Another bump in the road – I’m back to work, not full-time, but I’m working more than I had planned at this point and it’s starting to mess up her schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be back to work, but it can be a bit much with a baby strapped to your chest most of the day.
As promised, here are the little solutions I tried to help Sadie drift off to dream land, the no-cry sleep solution is full of suggestions but I picked the ones I felt I could fully commit to with out compromising our style of parenting. Some worked, some were an epic fail:
1. Creating a Routine – Up until now I had been pretty spastic with naps, she usually has 2 a day but other than that I had been pretty frivolous when it come to time and place. Now my days are a little more scheduled and I book my meetings and playdates around her nap. Her 1st nap she is in the sling while I walk to some destination, and her second nap is in bed with me. Her afternoon naps went from 20-30 minutes to over an hour just by following this routine (I still have to sleep with her though).
2. Bedtime Routine – Creating this routine was a sheer testament to the fact that every baby is different. We tried all the routines suggested in the book, tried and tested by many of our friends, but nothing seemed to be working. Reading and bath made her way too excited (bath time is her favourite) and baby massage was not going to happen. We ended up putting her in her pyjamas long before bedtime (so she wouldn’t get riled up) and slowly turned down the lights until it was time for bed. In bed we played her lullabies while she stared at her mobile. For some reason this calmed her down enough to peacefully breastfeed and fall asleep much faster.
3. Introducing a ‘lovey’ – like a doll or blankie was a huge no no, all she did was chew on it until she was wide awake once again. A pacifier was also an option but she just plays with them, she prefers her 140 pound mama pacifier.
4. Diminish Sucking to Sleep – Humm, that was a good segway. This is by far the hardest suggestion in the book for us. Sadie loves to fall asleep nursing and loves to stay attached even after she’s asleep (just incase she wakes up). The book suggests I pop her off once she has stopped ‘drinking’ but 9 out of 10 times she fusses until she is back on for comfort sucking. You are supposed to repeat this over and over again until they fall asleep but sometimes I am just too tired for this and it can make her really upset. I will be working on this step for the next 10 days and get back to you. One trick the book suggests is to lightly press your finger under their chin once you pop them off, which worked a few times!
So its pretty much back to the drawing board for us, now that she is feeling better we are going to start all these steps over again. This time I will FULLY commit to diminishing her need to suck to sleep, if she will allow it. She runs the show after all!
Photo Credit – www.buzzfeed.com
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