Holly with pumpkin around her face.

MONTH SEVEN:  Yes, you just read that headline right. Awake is no longer the new sleep in this house. Be gone, Ben Lee. After seven months of mostly one or two-hour stretches of night sleep after her initial four-hour sleep (I am so, so tired!), just prior to Mother’s Day Baby Holly delivered a  whole seven hours of sleep in one sitting (or laying, rather).

I would have benefited from the full seven hours, except for some rather explosive-sized milk tankers. Time to back myself into the dairy and whack on those suction cups, I think.

It happened the night before Mother’s Day and was by far the best present my daughter could have given me. We’re not in dreamland just yet, but there’s at least now light at the end of the tunnel.

SOLUTION: We’ve done so many things, I really can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that’s helped. However, here’s what we’ve done:

* Letting her cry a little longer before she drifts off to sleep seems to help wear her out and sleep more soundly.

* During the night feeds, pulling her off just as her sucking slows so she’s not falling asleep on the boob. She usually tries to latch straight back on. I let her, then as her sucking slows I pull her off again. You continue this pattern until she no longer wants to suck. Each night the sucking will get less.

* Getting her to sleep unwrapped. This is still a work in progress. We’ve achieved this by first unwrapping one arm, with her hand either holding a pacifier or her cuddly toy. Another dummy is in her mouth. Having her hands full stops her from pulling her dummy out.

* Cutting back to two day sleeps. We think this has been a major contributing factor. She now has a mid morning sleep and a mid afternoon sleep.

* I think the biggest help, and probably a tad controversial for some, has been fast-tracking her food. Our health nurse said, because Holly is such a big girl, she’s constantly hungry and needing more than just my boobie juice. Hence, she feeds all night. It also kind of explains why she was screaming and wouldn’t settle to sleep. Poor thing was starving! So we put her on a fast-tracked diet to red meat to increase her iron levels. Note: It’s since been mentioned to us that some babies struggle to digest meat at such an early age and is what could be contributing to her lapse in sleep this last week. We’re still experimenting with the whole meat and veggies situation and will keep you posted.

What tips do you have for getting your baby to sleep?

Read more from the Sleep Challenge.

Tagged with →  

14 Responses to SLEEP CHALLENGE: Awake no longer the new sleep

  1. rachel says:

    What a gorgeous little cherub princess holly is! and best of all what a great mother’s day present 🙂 hope it continues for you.
    my best tip for sleep is consistency…we always say and do the same things which creates security and predictabilty. he knows that we will always act and respond to him in the same way. so before bed he has the same routine every night (dinner, boob, shower, song and bed – we always say ‘it’s time for sleepies’ then put him down) then if he wakes in the night we always respond in exactly the same way (cuddle and soothe, then the same phrase as above before putting him back down) we have a set wait time of 10mins before going back in and doing the same thing again…
    whatever you decide to do with a baby its exhausting!!! i used to count how many days in a row we could get good sleeps lol!
    good luck to you all for peaceful nights in the palace x

    • Kel says:

      Thanks Rachel. The sleeps have been a bit hit and miss since! Just when you think things are going well, she’ll throw in a bad night!
      I totally agree with your consistency tip. We’ve always stuck by a routine for Ella and again now for Holly. Ours is the four Bs – bath, books (and songs), boob (or milk) and bed. I probably haven’t adhered to it as strictly with Holly, due to trying to juggle the two of them at once, but as she’s getting older it’s becoming a little easier. The “key words” are also a great tip!
      Thanks for sharing, Rachel. 🙂

  2. Elisha Squire says:

    I agree with Rachel – we did the same thing with the twinnies and now if you say “Its nigh nigh time” they wave to the big kids ( something we always did) and trot off to bed! Both day and night sleeps are like that!! Love it… I NEVER have trouble putting them down !

    Re- Solids, something else I have done with babies 1,2,3,4 and will do with 5… Rice ceral mixed in with whatever you give for dinner – I used to mix just a teaspoon or 2 with vegies, with fruit, yogurt, you name it, if it was the night time feed – i mixed it ! Just keeps them that little bit fuller longer, being a carb etc.

    At the moment Emily is proving to be a good night sleeper – so fingers crossed that stays! Im only feeding once at 3-4am – not bad for 5 weeks =)

    • Kel says:

      Yes, totally agree with Rachel too, Elisha. It definitely helps!
      That’s a great tip with the solids. I might look at introducing that and see if it has an effect. At the moment, she’s only getting rice cereal at brekkie time.
      Very envious of you getting good night sleeps with Emily too! Hope it continues for you. x

  3. Leanne says:

    Oh, first I have to comment on this adorable babe!!! Really . . . I think I would stay up with her and hold her all night (said a mother whose youngest is now 4 is and going through that “missing a baby in the house” feeling). Congrats on the first peaceful night, and best wishes on future nights. I don’t have much help to offer you, as my babies were bottle fed. Our pediatrician really encouraged 4 hour feedings, and if the babies fell asleep during the feeding, hold them off until 4 hours. It helped them learn that feeding time was feeing time. Listening to myself now, it sounds harsh. But it worked for us and my daughters each were sleeping around 6 hrs through the night at 3 months. Again – bottle feeding is different, I am sure. I wish you much luck – and know that she’ll be growing so quickly that you won’t have this to worry about very much longer! Best wishes, always!

    • Kel says:

      Oh, thanks Leanne! We think she’s a cutie too!
      You’re so right. It does go by so quickly. Having a three-year-old now who sleeps from 7pm to 7am, the sleepless nights we had with her are now but a distant memory. I’m at that stage where I want to savour every moment of her being a bub, but I would so love to fast forward to the bit where she sleeps seven-hour stretches regularly!! LOL!! 🙂

  4. Thanks, Kel for this post. Firsty – yay for Prines Holly sleeping better and secondly this reminds me of the things we did to get Ellie to sleep at 8 months. With Kahlei we had no issues at all (until now) and so now that Jasper is 6 months old and waking so much through the night I am bewildered and lost.
    You’ve pin pointed some easy fixes I can try!

    • Kel says:

      Oh, I’m so glad it’s been of help Becky. Would love to hear what you try and what works over the next week or so. I can often SEE what needs to be fixed, but can’t always seem to ACHIEVE it. Like tonight, she was so, so tired she fell asleep feeding. This is obviously a recipe for disaster for the rest of the night!

  5. And ARGH that’s meant to say FIRSTLY and PRINCESS!!

  6. Marthese says:

    She is so gorgeous…xxx

  7. Nicole says:

    So cute! I read Tizzie Halls Save Our Sleep and that really helped with a routine, and baby mostly sleeps right through now, he is 8 months. As far as food goes, I have been giving my boy pretty much the same as us just mashed up, meat and all.

    • Kel says:

      Thanks Nicole!
      I’ve heard lots of good things about Save Our Sleep. It’s probably one of the only books I don’t have!
      Good to hear about the food too. We’ve also gone straight to mashed (rather than pureed) and haven’t had any problems there. After a few days off the meat, I’m not sure that it’s actually the problem. I think I’ve resigned to the fact I’ve just scored a poor night sleeper!! LOL! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge