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.