Sleepless nights GO hand-in-hand with parenting, THIS i know now….. years ago was a slight different story.
I think i have mentioned before: I really didn't get passed the birth; i hadn’t thought about much else. Wait. I did enjoy some stuff like buying the pram, cot, CLOTHES, and rearranging the house. Even after the birth, the midwife asked me, “You are going to give breastfeeding a go, Holly?” I hadn’t thought about it. I was so in my moment living the dream. I also have to mention at 6 months pregnant we moved to Australia, into serviced apartments while looking for a house, doctor, hospital and waiting for our things to arrive...so i was maybe just a little distracted.
I did get the book “ What to expect in the 1st year” (which has been AMAZING), but i didn’t open it till he arrived (wrong move ). Even 6 weeks later when we started our Mothers Group and the subject came up of sleep, nothing went in. I probably was asleep at that point of the meeting.
Fast forward 6 Months: ON MY KNEES but so happy with Oliver, that i was just going with it. I mean, looking back, SLEEP DEPRIVATION had a lot to answer for….
1. Going into the supermarket and leaving my car door open.
2. I can't count how many times i walked out the house with my boobs out.
3. Putting cups in the fridge and milk in the dishwasher.
4. Forgetting to BRUSH my teeth…… the list could go on.
Then i went to the Drop in centre and the Midwife asked, “Holly are you sleeping ok?” I mean yes. Ehhh, i mean what is a good night sleep? “He should be now doing 7 til 7: going down at 7, having a dream feed or a bottle around 10ish, then pulling through to 7am.” Mmmmm. NO, that's not happening in my house. She gave me a number of a sleep nurse and she told me that i should call quickly, as she believes the greatest gift i could give my child is self soothing (not the 1000 toys i had bought him !!!!). Her words rang in my ears.
SLEEP NURSE TO THE RESCUE ?
APART from the cost, which wasn't cheap by any means. She came the day later, 7pm. She came asking immediately to go upstairs and started moving things around bed, lamp (not to be used) Dummy out ( as if that would change much i was his dummy). I was told to blackout windows in the day, and AT least for the next month, he had to do his day and night sleeps in his bed. THEY HAD TO BECOME FRIENDS. suggestions were as follows:
1. Feed, but by no means let him sleep
2. Place him in sleeping bag and tuck him in
3. Say “goodnight “ (while eyes welling up, NOT EASY )
4. Go to the kitchen and make a tea (Wine). Let it cool down (drink the wine)...all this while i listen to him crying.
5. Go back in. Tell him, “it's time to sleep”. Make no eye contact
6. Now focus on his cries: whaawhaaaaaaaaaaawhaaaaaaa
7. (he is upset ) BUT if you notice a whaa..whaa.whaa……….whaa he is trying to self sooth (all while you are rocking back and forth)
8. Her final rule was for this evening she was in charge and only if she called you during the evening could you go to him (yeah, sure i am going to sleep. Stranger in the house taken over, can’t go into my baby boy. Yeah, sleep tight)
HE SLEPT THE WHOLE NIGHT 1ST TIME EVER NOOOOOO…….. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?