Some of my New Year goals were to get the girls into a routine, ditch the dummy and have naptimes for P2 in the cot. I’ve recently signed up to the local library and took full advantage in borrowing two parenting books that focused on sleep, or parents with lack of sleep!I started to read the Dr Ferber book and just couldn’t get into it. I don’t know if it was the way it has been written or because I can’t quite relate to the things that have been said. I then read the Tizzie Hall book and I can finally say that I’ve found a book that totally relates to P2! It was easy to read and I actually finished the book in just one day. I’ve come to realise that how we’ve been with P2 is the reason why she’s like she is at night:
1) She settles with a dummy
2) She settles with her cot mobile
3) She settles with a milk feed
4) She takes naps in my arms during the day
5) Bedtime is never consistent
6) We always rush up after the first whimper
I won’t be ditching the dummy until she’s 12 months old – there’s significant research out there that suggests that having a dummy decreases the risk of SIDS. So she’ll have the dummy for another 2 weeks. But the rest I can change now!
Tizzie suggests different routines for different age groups. We’ve got two weeks until P2 turns one so I’m following the 9-12 month routine.Last night I started the routine. I cooked the girls dinner for 5pm. Usually P2 goes to bed quite soon after dinner so she became a little stroppy by 5:40. I ran her a sink bath (something she hates) and P1 jumped in the shower. They put PJs on and we sat in the low light of their bedroom, P1 read me her school book whilst I fed P2 her full milk feed and had to keep her awake.
Tizzie has a 7 o’clock bus rule. They have to be asleep at 7. P1 got into bed, P2 was placed in her sleeping bag and down in her cot with her dummy and cot mobile on. I want to change things gradually as she’s quite a stubborn and strong minded little lady. Tizzie says that when your baby stands up you have to put them back in the safe sleeping position – on their back. For 9-12 month olds you have to do it 15 times.
Luckily last night it only took three before she gave in and laid down. I then left her. She started to cry. Tizzie says to then leave a 9-12 month old for 20 minutes before returning and repeating the 15 lay-downs but this time you stay there until they fall asleep. Last night, I didn’t have to do this. But I think that process is so much kinder than confusing a child by going in and out or out permanently.
P2 stirred a couple of times. But I stayed downstairs. This is to help teach her to self-settle without my aid. I only went in to check on her at my bedtime. I then didn’t return to her until 4am. She was screaming very loud and I didn’t want to wake P1. I definitely need her to do this over a weekend. But we’re starting slowly and this was definitely progress.
I gave P2 a milk feed. Which sent her swiftly back to sleep. P1 then woke at 6am complaining of feeling sick which woke her sister up. They both went back to sleep for about 50 minutes. Perfect for the 7am wake up on the routine.
I’ve stuck to the routine with regards to breakfast but P2 refused her morning milk feed – I’ve put this down to her being ready to drop her morning feed. She had breakfast at 8 and has gone down for a nap at 9:20, a little early really, and with a great protest!!
I laid her down 15 times and left the room. She screamed. And screamed. And screamed some more. With pauses though so I knew this was just a “don’t leave me cry” rather than a “I have something wrong” cry. But hubby was on the phone so I soon went back after about 5 minutes and gave her an ounce of milk which sent her straight to sleep.
She’s so reliant on milk to send her to sleep and I think it’s going to be our biggest challenge. Switching them from before to after naps. But I’m writing this and it’s been over an hour since she went for a nap. She’s stirred once, where I went up to get her which was after her first 40 minute sleep cycle, but when I went into the room she was sound asleep. Clearly she was transitioning into a deeper sleep!!
I’ve warned hubby to allow me to let her cry a little bit. I honestly believe if we can master this sleep situation then we’ll feel loads better in ourselves and be able to enjoy life a little more than our exhausted bodies have been for the past 11 months!!
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