A BREAKTHROUGH

I almost don’t want to write this post. For fear of it breaking this thing I’ve got going on. This thing that has lasted 24 hours so far: the Pixie can go to sleep… BY HERSELF… WITHOUT CRYING… Do I dare press post and see those words illuminated [semi-] permanently on my screen?!

I’ve thought many times over the past couple of months that I was just about hitting breaking point – whether it be dramas with breastfeeding or dramas with sleeping. Either way, no sleep plus a fussy baby plus a long period of time with seemingly no end in sight has made it hard for me to focus on the [many] positives.

I had an appointment with the maternal child health nurse two days ago. The dear lady keeps booking me in for extra appointments with somewhat transparent excuses as I think she is trying to keep an eye on me and the bags under my eyes. “Oh goodness, well her head measured 5 millimetres below the average, best get you in for an extra appointment hmm?”

She is a really lovely and sensible lady, and as much as she is trying to support me it has got to the point where the only support she is able to give is a pat on the back and a sleep school brochure. She really, really wants me to go. I feel a very strong reluctance within myself, and I had to come home on Tuesday after the third time she tried to convince me, to ask myself why. I’ve decided it’s a couple of things. One because I have friends who have gone, whose opinions I trust and who have similar parenting styles to me, who have not had great experiences. Two because to be really honest I’m scared that a home-birthing, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, semi-stubborn lass like myself would find it difficult to be open to advice from someone whose methods might be a bit too strong (?) for my liking.

Nevertheless, two days ago I was seriously considering going. I felt like I had reached a point where I had no options left.

I just HAD to get some sleep! But not just me – it was really looking at my little baby’s face while she played on her mat that made me realise something had to change. Her little smiling face, with eyes hanging out of her head. You know that look your baby has when you are know they are just beyond tired? When people say, “Gee they are so awake” and as the mother, you know it’s actually hysteria brought on by complete and utter exhaustion? Well, that had become little Pixie’s regular face. Pale, yawning, face rubbing tired – all. the. time.

Tuesday night at yoga I lay there in meditation, and instead of thinking of popcorn like I usually do, I devised a plan.

I just had to pick one thing, one settling method, be consistent and give it at least four days.

I texted a good friend who has both been to sleep school and had a sleep consultant visit her at home. She suggested this website. So when I got home from yoga to a baby who had had five x five minute sleeps while I was gone (GAH!) I jumped online.

Lo and behold, there was an app. It was 11pm and the Pixie was still awake. I bought it. When she finally went to sleep in my arms I briefly read it through my stinging squinty eyes. I decided then and there that safe sleep space was going to be my “method”, and I was going to stick at it for four days. It doesn’t advocate controlled crying which was very important to me. It advocates responding to your baby but in a consistent and I guess quite a structured manner. It made me feel comfortable because as soon as you reach a point that does not feel comfortable for you or your baby you just go back to whatever works or whatever you have been doing (in my case, rocking). It sounded like something I could cope with and be consistent with.

Yesterday was day one.

First sleep of the day – 25 minutes including me resettling her twice. Not off to a great start.

Second sleep – 35 minutes and I had to rock her to sleep.

Third sleep – SHE FELL ASLEEP ON HER OWN WHILE I WAS IN THE HALLWAY. It only lasted 45 minutes but I didn’t care. For me, this was THE biggest breakthrough I could ever imagine. She has NEVER done that before (aside from when she was a newborn and would fall asleep anywhere). This was on the THIRD sleep on the FIRST day of this new method. I am very aware this is starting to sound like an advertisement on pay tv and I’m sorry, I’m just in absolute shock.

Last night at bed time, again, she fell asleep on her own. She woke four times over the evening but after her feed at 10.45pm she slept… UNTIL 5AM!!!!!!!!

This morning she has gone to sleep on her own – TWICE!

Can you believe this?

And now, the most exciting thing of all – I have literally just had my very first successful resettle at the 45 minute mark. I have never been able to do this.

So I’m sitting here with two sleeping children, because Birdie is sickie and having a once-in-a-blue-moon-day-sleep and I just had to get on here and share this. Because I know there are other mums out there who are struggling like I am was. Because I know there is a point where you feel like nothing and no one can help you. Because I know what it is like to be so absurdly tired that nothing seems good. Before downloading this app I read the testimonials and quite literally thought: this will never work for me. And so far, so far, so far, it is working absolute wonders in a ridiculously short period of time.

I have to go and collect my jaw from the floor now, and maybe have a cup of tea? I don’t know? What do other mothers do when their children are asleep, I have entirely forgotten… And I’m certainly not about to start washing the dishes or anything silly like that!

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “A BREAKTHROUGH

  1. Your Pixie reminds me so much of little eco. She didn’t sleep well either – but almost overnight when she turned 8 months she started sleeping for more than an hour at a time. Fingers crossed your breakthrough continues. Sleep well tonight 🙂

  2. I am so pleased to read this post. I was going to suggest Safe Sleeping Space as it is the method that I also follow. But I thought you might have been overloaded with advice. I think love it because its such a gentle approach. I’m so glad you have had success. There is also a book and DVD which go into a little more detail than the app and website. Your MCHN should have a copy for loan. The author runs a sleep program through the city of Banyule once a month and is $40 for people out of the council area. I am tempted to go, I have heard good things about the session.
    Once again I am so so happy you have found success 🙂

  3. Oh that is the best news ever!! I am so happy for you both!! I have had a few fire d story to sleep school places and they seem to be at odds with a more attachment -esque parenting style. I am so happy for you! Xxxx

    • Thanks Cath! Yes I was thinking I would give it a go and try to be open minded but very happy that we seem to be having a bit of success and I might get to dodge that bullet. xxx

  4. Wow, well done! I may have to check out that app (although we both have colds at the moment so I don’t want to start anything just now).
    A couple of questions if you have a minute – you said you co-sleep, are you settling Pixie in bed or in a cot? Also, how do you go settling her when Birdie is around?

    • Hi Miranda, I always wonder this about other people!! Pixie has a cot in our bedroom, we always put her to bed in that at around 7pm with limited amounts of success, usually ending up rocking her to sleep, even with this new breakthrough 😉 I usually give her a dream feed around 10.30pm and then put her back in her cot. The next time she wakes she comes into our bed. That is usually some time between midnight and 3am… closer to 3am if I am lucky!!! She is still waking about 70 million times a night so I’m hoping that once she is sleeping longer and more regularly during the day it will help her to sleep better at night. Here’s hoping!!! Re Birdie, in the day time it has been really difficult settling her while she is around as she always wants to come with me to the bedroom or bangs around near the door and generally makes a bit of a fuss and lots of noise. Now that the Pixie is down to 2 sleeps a day (usually) for the first sleep Birdie watches play school, in the afternoons she has quiet time in her bedroom for 20-30min where she sits on her bed and reads some books (I have varying amounts of success with this but do it every day and every now and then she surprises me and falls asleep ;)) I try to time that with the Pixie’s second nap so she is doing that while I’m settling her. This was all a bit problematic when it was taking me up to an hour to put Pixie to bed, but now it’s is SO much quicker and is usually only taking 5-10 minutes if that. What do you do with your little one?

      • Playschool (on iView) is my fallback position if Sofia needs distracting while I put Otto down. Sometimes I don’t need it and I have become more relaxed about her being around and making a bit of noise as I don’t think it annoys the baby as much as me 🙂 Having said that, if I want to try a new settling regime I think I will want her out of our hair so I can stay focused.
        Otto usually has his day sleeps in the pram (with a bit of rocking of the pram to settle him) and night sleeps in a queen bed (and I join him when I go to bed). This started when I hurt my back a few months back and I was on the path to least resistance, but I would like to move him to the cot. Plus I am hoping to lessen the night wake-ups if I can get him to settle independently (I usually cuddle him to sleep in the evening).

  5. Oh, that’s so great. Yay for breakthroughs. My three have all been so different when it comes to sleep and I don’t have any specific advice, except for go with your heart – which it sounds like you’re doing. A consistent approach sounds like a great plan. Hope that little Pixie continues on a good run for you so you can catch up on some zzz’s x

    • Thanks so much! It’s a work in progress and I feel like we are finally getting somewhere… so strange how they are each SO different!!! I never expected it…

  6. oh good luck, they do get there eventually, I had three bad sleepers – they still crawl into my bed sometimes but its not disturbing just lovely to have a cuddle. I know all about that sleep crazed feeling, its not good, not good at all.

    • Thanks Kirsty, it is exhausting! I guess on the flip side it’s lucky it’s my second baby and I know all too well how quickly this time passes… zzzzzzzz

  7. Woohoo! We struggled with sleep for the first weeks and I know just how much it wears you down. Fingers crossed that this is the start of a healthy sleep routine for you all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s