Both my children are sleeping right now, yep simultaneously it's bloody bliss and I'm lying in bed getting my blog on. I try to blog when Rocky's at pre school which he goes to three days a week and when I am only in charge of one small child, but sometimes watching Geordie shore wins sorry team. Today however the box is off and I'm blogging until they wake then I'll probably be interrupted and this will be saved into the drafts and I'll forget and it'll be posted mid Jan 15. (It was saved in to drafts but I've come back to it aprox six hours later haha)(third time lucky it's now 24 hours later and published)(ok jokes it's 48 hours I'm literally pushing publish lol)
Any who here's the thing I have great sleepers like they're bloody rad and you know what I'm not ashamed of it, I refuse to keep quiet so that I don't offend or upset someone out there who's child doesn't sleep great. Hey I'm not going to be rude to you about your child not sleeping so you can pipe down over there and let me have my moment, whatever your thinking keep it to yourself all I'll hear is blah blah blah.
Ive had a lot of people message me and comment asking about my ways, now I'm not claiming to be some sleep god or a witch doctor who has a magic potion. If this was 20 years ago I might have suggested some phenagan for a few nights to knock your kid out and then they are tricked into sleeping through but alas turns out that's frowned apon these days so I'll share with you my other methods. I love information like if another mother has advice don't poo hoo them and act like your too good to listen or need their advice, yes some people are annoying as shit and come across quite know it all (cue the haters on this post) but seriously we can all learn something new from someone else's perspective. Be polite listen attentively and you might benefit from what they have to say, take what you want and discard the rest it's that simple! Our parenting style is influenced by our fellow parents. As you roll your eyes at old Betty Jo who is in her 70s yarning about back in my day I'm right there pouring another cup of tea because Betty Jo knows a thing or two about gardening and saving money and I could do with some of that knowledge or there's Louise now she's got some great advice on child rearing in the 80s ohh the four hourly routine god I love a good routine I'll go for another glass of wine with her but wait now your mate the same age as you is all oh I'm baby lead weaning it's so much better well maybe I could use what she has to say to form my own opinion and figure out the best way to introduce solids to my baby. See where I'm going with this you don't have to agree on every single thing that fellow mother is saying but hell if you write them off before hearing them out you might actually miss out on a piece of advice that could really help in your situation, keep an open mind and you might have a light bulb moment don't be so stubborn.
Ok rant over I have some sleeping tips remember I'm totally ok with being that mum all listen to me! I have taken on board any advice given to me over the last two years and have put it all together into my own parenting style so I hope you can take something that will slot into your style. There is no doubt about it I'm born in the wrong era I'm a hard ass mother and will quite happily let me babe have a wee cry or give them a bottle of boiled water to give my boobs a break or help them bring up wind.
I don't demand feed like I despise demand feeding and think it contributes to a lot of infant sleep problems. I'm well aware people won't agree with this but this is my blog and I can pretty much say what I want this is what has worked for my family. Don't get me wrong I totally understand demand feeding has its place I fed Ruby when ever she wanted where ever she wanted for the first week but I was also aware that I wanted to have her in a routine so at two weeks I was already gently getting her into some sort of rhythm, demand feeding helps establish a good milk supply, allows you to bond with your baby and also gives your new baby the goodness they need but I've gotten results by stopping earlier rather than later.
Rocky was what I thought a perfectly content baby looked like he slept and fed and was stupidly cute he could do no wrong in my eyes, but then came three weeks and I was like hold on this kid needs a nipple in his mouth to sleep, he needs to be in a total deep sleep to be put in his bassinet, he is only sleeping for 20-40 mins at a time and he's not really awake unless he's crying! Like he doesn't no how to be awake and be happy. I pretty much realised all of this the day my mum left after spending the first three weeks with us.
My mum is an absolute mum guru she has the answer to everything and is totally my mum idol so naturally I call her and am like "yo this baby is not so cool after all, I want a routine and I want it now" she's honestly the best person you will ever meet she stayed at our house for three weeks watching these bad habits form knowing how hard it would be to break them but she said nothing because as young new parents we didn't need someone second guessing our decisions or telling us to do it her way and we are so thankful for that, as I listed all the things I realised were problems she said "I could have told you that three weeks ago but it wasn't my place" I'm all like "ok great so how do I fix it?" My mum is the ultimate bad ass mum she's an ex karatane nurse who keeps it real so whatever she had to say we listened. On so many occasions in that first year of parenting we would be at my wits end and Jared would say what would your mum do in this situation! I also read the book On becoming baby wise and totally recommend it to any parents struggling with sleep, it's not as strict as the Gina ford one (which I hated) but is somewhere in the middle of attachment parenting and strict hyper scheduling it's a flexible routine and it worked wonders for us.
So we have a three week old baby whom most will say oh that's far to young to put into a routine but honestly all I could think about was having a three year old I had to rock to sleep or lie with for hours and if that's your jam and your good with that then that's cool but oh shit no am I prepared to do that plus I enjoy my sleep to much. We started by sorting his feeding and by we I mean me because Jared doesn't have the goods to feed Rocky, it's shit this will be the shittest time ever like ever ever ever but so worth it. At this point he was snacking every 20mins then 5 mins later then 30mins later then 15mins after that it was a nightmare, oh and in between that he was cat napping. I started recording every thing feed, sleep awake time I recorded it all this helps to have visual of your baby's sleep/ feeding pattern and also see the results when things start improving.
My first step was to make it consistent (consistency is key) so getting it to say 1 hourly feeding for a day then pushing it out by 15-30 mins then doing that until that was established then another 15-30mins until I got to 2-3 hourly. I wasn't watching the clock as such there's wasn't a feeding schedule yet just a solid about of time in between feeds once that was fixed we were able to work on his sleep which had already improved due to getting a full feed. TIPS - push out the feeds by distracting baby, go for a walk, wear them in a carrier, head out for a drive, just do something you both enjoy. Here's my problem with snacking baby eats, baby falls asleep on boobs, baby is put down carefully to ensure you don't wake baby, baby wakes because baby has a sore tummy after not being burped then baby cries because baby thinks it's hungry but really it's tummy is so tight because it's constantly eating and it's uncomfortable then we feed baby because our first reaction is to stop the crying assuming it's from hunger and then the cycle repeats. Sound familiar? Because I fed Rocky literally every 20mins he wouldn't nap longer than that why? Because his little mind would say oh feed time I must be hungry it's been 20mins so he would wake and cry for food, he shouldn't have been hungry but because he was snacking he wasn't getting all the stages of the milk just the watery stuff and hello awake and hungry.
By feeding 3 hourly he was getting a big full feed of all the different stages of milk which keeps him full for longer and allowing him to sleep for longer. Are you following me? We don't eat 20 times in a 24 hour period so why do we make babies? It's because they haven't established eating patterns yet and by feeding constantly we create snack eating patterns. Well basically I believe snacking promotes cat napping (come at me haters).
However there is always a time when you say fuck it and throw everything you know out the window and feed the little bugger to sleep because there is always a day you just need to do what you need to just to get through. And then there's legitimate reasons to demand feed, you know your child more than anyone and you know when they just need a comfort boob or they are having a growth spurt. That is why I loved the baby wise method it's a relaxed routine it's flexible and it's what you make it.
So sleeping once you've corrected the feeding it's sleeping turn (you can totally tackle both at the same time if your game) we based our sleep training on Rocky's cry. I have absolutely no problem letting either of my children have a wee cry to sleep, but there are two cries and learning the difference helps. There's the I'm grizzling my self to sleep where they may have their eyes closed but are crying and you can tell they are able to knock off on their own but then there's the I'm too tired or upset to help myself and I need you, this is when you might need to rock them or pat them on the bum until they are relaxed and sleepy enough they can then be put back down to self settle. But remember shit happens and you can always resort back to feeding to sleep before you go crazy and start again tomorrow, personally I always try to hold Ruby tight and pat her bum until she starts flickering her eyelids then I pop her down still half awake for her to self settle before offering the boob.
Any way Rocky was a fed to sleeper every single sleep time so we started putting him to bed and leaving him to cry for 15 minutes now it's hard it feels like 15 hours but it's not and I knew he was safe and crying wasn't hurting him but it's still hard so if I got anxious Jared would go in because he would sense my stress. Every 15 minutes we would take turns going in calming him down completely then popping him back down for another 15 again we were always listening to his cry if he got too worked up I fed him or rocked him then we would start again. It's so important to stay calm babies pick up on stress and anxiety so try and relax, just breathe. I can remember when he stopped it was amazing and it only took another few times before he was self settling with ease, he always grizzled to sleep and Ruby also does this now don't run in their with every noise they make chances are they are just winding down. Babies cry we talk they cry it's not a bad thing, yes it's a cue but not always a feeding cue like we assume check for other things like a wet nappy or they might be hot or they might just want a cuddle. If you are wanting a more gentle approach I would recommend feeding again right before sleep time but still put baby down awake then when they are self settling well drop that extra feed.
Ive had to re sleep train Rocky a lot teething and sickness means I'm his slave I fed him when he wanted I let him sleep on me I threw the rule book away because he needed me but then as soon as he was better we got back into routine, it never ever took more than three nights if I was consistent. Consistentsy is everything and planing, have a plan then you won't throw in the towel cause it's to hard remember failing to plan is planning to fail lol.
My other top tips are Swaddling really tight like a mega burrito baby, wrap that kid up so it can't Houdini it's little mitts out. Rain or white noise we use rain here an app called rain rain and rain down pour is our weapon of choice both kids use it and it's amazing, we could be anywhere when Rocky was a baby and turn the rain on he would drop like a fly. Try it seriously.
Last but not least is the actual routine I 100000000% recommend the FEED-PLAY-SLEEP method. This is in the book you know the one I keep banging on about its called baby wise, this routine is life. Don't forget to look for tired cues Rocky's were super easy to read once I had learnt about them, he would grizzle and clench his fists almost punching himself in the face as soon as those signs showed he was packed off to bed. Don't miss them it's so important an over tired baby is a devil baby there's no helping that child straight boob to sleep that one.
Second babies are easy you have learnt and grown from first time around and your not scared to burp the sleeping baby because you know the babe will wake up a screaming mess in 5 mins when they're uncomfortable and you will no not to keep your new born awake for an hour or two just so visitors can see it (or whip them out of bed willy nilly to have cuddles with great aunt Caroline) I did both of those with Rocky. Relax take a breath chilled parents help babies be chill, don't be uptight and take a step back it's all ok.
Be confident you've got this your a bloody amazing bad ass mama who brought this baby into this world! Don't second guess yourself be positive and back your self because your a fantastic mum and your doing what you think is best like I said if that's co sleeping great, if it's having your baby in their own room from day one perfect, if it's feeding on demand go you, if it's hyper scheduling you rock, if it's what you chose for your family then you've already won at parenting. In no way shape or form is this post to poo hoo any one its just my opinion and what I chose and what worked with my children, I'm well aware people will disagree and probably let me know but hey that's what I signed up for I guess so bring it.
Please let me know if you have any questions or want to know more 😉
Good luck xx