We did it again! The last week I’ve swung between absolute adoration for my husband to downright hatred (well that’s what it felt like at 3am in the morning when the giant lump kept snoring through baby and toddler cries). That’s what sleep deprivation does. It makes you irrational, cranky and unfair. Because my husband is actually amazing, he will never complain if I send him off at 3 am to deal with a crying toddler, or if I ask him to take the baby out at 5am so I can get some sleep, and it sure isn’t his fault that he sleeps deep. What’s caused this sleep deprivation? My four month old’s dependance on her dummy to get herself back to sleep.
For a couple of months now Immy has been on consistent sleep times and relatively consistent feed times. I say it like that because the word ‘routine’ seems to alienate some mums. For the record, she determines how the routine works out, I won’t feed her until four hours has passed, as long as she is happy – if she wants food earlier, she gets it. And that’s about how most routines work. As far as sleep times go, sometimes she gets cranky and tired before her ‘scheduled’ sleep time, so I put her to sleep earlier – or carry her around for a while (she likes that). Pretty easy right? And the dummy was helping, she would settle in her cot almost immediately and sleep a good couple of hours (with maybe one dummy drop that I would attend to). We would still get out of the house, but it helped her to have one sleep in a cot or bed. As for routines keeping you stuck at home…that’s a myth. Babies will affect what you can do with your day regardless of whether you follow a routine or not!
But then things changed…
I knew they would, they did with Curly about the same time (here’s her story).
We essentially did the same thing with Immy, I threw all the dummies into the bin. It started with her afternoon nap, she cried for her dummy, I swaddled her, put nice shushing white noise on (phone app) and stroked her forehead. Occasionally I had to attend to Curly who was riding enthusiastically around our house on her little toddler bike. It took her about 45mins to drop off to sleep, she slept for one sleep cycle (again, I expected this and didn’t stress out about it, she’ll sleep longer in time).
7:00 At night it took 20mins for her to get to sleep, with me stroking her forehead and playing the white noise.
10:00 I gave her a feed, she settled back to sleep after a minute.
12:00 She woke up a bit snuffly and crying. I held her upright for a little while then put her back to bed, she needed to patted for about 10minutes then went back to sleep.
1:00 She got her hands out of the swaddle and was sucking on them talking (loudly) to herself.
1:30 “Stuff it, I’ll just feed her” I figure it had been 3.5 hours anyway, and she’s still getting used to no dummy. She feeds and settled back to sleep immediately!
5:30 She wakes again – I feed her. She settles immediately again.
7:00 She’s lying awake in her bed quietly looking at the roof. I feed her.
It might seem like I as awake a lot…but I felt like I had the best sleeps in between those feeds…because there was no dummy that needed to put back in every 30mins. And this morning she took just 10 minutes to settle down for her nap, I was a bit excited, I had to write this post!
If you’re thinking of giving this a go, just be aware that the day naps will take a little while to go from 45mins to 2 hours – and I suggest reading my previous post I linked to above, Curly’s story.