Saturday, 15 December 2012

The 'No Cry Sleep Solution'

Sleep. Not getting enough of it? Getting loads? Baby never slept better since X,Y & Z has been added to your routine? When you have a baby all people seem to ask you about is sleep. Mums at baby groups, friends, relatives.... even random strangers in the street. At the moment I'm really NOT getting enough of it, but I'm hopeful things are starting to look up after 7 months in a coffee fueled, zombie like daze......

Small is a good sleeper, and at the same time she isn't. I know that's confusing. She's always been good in the sense that when she does go to sleep, she'll sleep for a good stretch - HOWEVER it's the getting her to sleep part that has always proved a challenge.

From birth until around 4 months she co-slept (in a sidecar arrangement) with us in our bedroom. She hated her crib and just refused to lie down in it. We'd have to 'trick' her to sleep in our arms and then pop her into it, but she'd awake a few hours later upset that she was lying down. Her reflux issues didn't help either. The first month, possibly more of her life myself and Mr B were on shifts with her and rarely slept in the same bed.

As the government guidelines advise your baby should be in your bedroom until 6 months I really wanted to make it to this milestone at least - but in the end I realised it was us disturbing her and causing more night wakings (Mr B snores like a horse!)

Moving her to her 'big girl's cot' in her own bedroom at first seemed to work, she was going to bed at a reasonable time and mostly sleeping through - until a bout of teething pain hit or she got a cold. Then it seemed like she went back to square one again.

I've never been a fan of the 'cry it out' method, but I'd read 'Nightime Parenting' by Dr Sears (I'm fond of much of the attachment parenting ethos) which I didn't find too useful as I wasn't breastfeeding and didn't think creating a family bed and letting her sleep with us was the answer.

This book is great as it's kind of a middle ground. It has lots of loving and responsible suggestions for those who wish to co sleep, and those who wish their children to sleep in a cot. I expect setbacks if she's ill or teething but so far so good. The tips I've put into action since reading have transformed our lives - I'm starting to catch up with some sleep AND get some time to myself back in the evenings. After 7 months it's welcome. You can find out more about this book HERE.

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