Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Sleeping success

It's been a long and difficult journey but we have finally gained some sleeping success. Sticky has put herself to sleep the last 3 nights so I guess it shows that persistence pays off!

I'm cautious of getting too excited because I know that 3 nights does not constitute a habit, but, it's a good start. From our first day home from the hospital, I had been working towards this. 

I've been conscious of setting up good sleeping habits from the start. I've stayed mindful of the fact that I shouldn't do anything to put her to sleep I couldn't do when she's 1 year old. Of course, I've needed to be flexible with this. In her Wonder Weeks or unsettled times, she's needed extra help getting to sleep and I've had to pat her to sleep. We've had to do that the last few weeks but I realised quickly we were getting ourselves into a bad habit and needed to go back to the self settling routine.

It's been hard, really hard. But our success has made those moments when I sat and cried listening to her cry worthwhile. I've been as emotionally tough as I could possibly be. We started leaving her to cry for 3 minutes and slowly increased it to 4 minutes. We watched the clock and the second the time was up, went in, settled her, and started the time again. 

Some nights were more successful than others. Some were longer than others. Some were total failures. But, through it all, consistency has been the key. Now I'm starting to make some gains, I'm even more determined to continue.

Sleep, or lack there of, is one of the hardest things to achieve - both for the baby and the parents. It's not easy to get children into good habits because teaching habits is really hard and some children just need more help than others. I'm the first to admit that getting Sticky into these habits has been a joint effort between her and I and a mix of good luck and good management. Good luck because I've been blessed with such a happy and easy going baby and good management because I've had to work hard and at times, strap on my big girl pants. It gives me hope that I've laid a strong enough foundation so when things like Wonder Weeks, teething and illness strike, we'll survive the storm. Time will tell!

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