Why hello there loyal reader types! Flynn and I are finally back from Tresillian and, i got to admit, i'm feeling pretty good. I thought i might feel a little apprehensive coming home, away from the nurses and the encouraging words of other mums, but i'm feeling confident that we're going to have our whole new routine downpat in no time at all. Granted, Flynn didnt have an afternoon nap this afternoon but, after a 6 hour car trip home, you cant blame him for feeling a little muddled. So what did we learn at this "sleep school "?
* Nothing is miraculously fixed overnight - at Flynns age, it can take up to 6 weeks for a new routine to be learned and settled into comfortably ( not the usual 2 suggested by most literature i've read ).
* Consistency is key. This one i already knew but found hard to stick to, especially when i was trying to get him to sleep when i was home alone.
* Watch the clock. It may feel like they've been screaming " for ages " and that they've been in bed long enough. In reality, its probably only been about 10 minutes.
* Bub should be having, at the very least, a 1 hr nap. If he wakes before that ( say, after 45 minutes ) i need to leave him in his cot ( going back in to check and calm ) for another FULL SLEEP CYCLE. Which is another 45 minutes....sometimes it takes that long for a baby to fall back to sleep.
* Dont stand and pat your baby until he falls asleep - be hands on to calm him down, but once he's calm, leave the room. Patting til he's asleep might help him drift off, but it doesnt teach him to drift off ON HIS OWN.
* No matter how hard they cry and how much it hurts, they will stop sometimes. Eventually. Really, i promise.
* Also, the whole " baby cant self settle " thing is just bad habit, not bad mothering. Phew - so i can stop torturing myself over that one.
Honestly? I think it was a definate help going down there. Yes, they (generally ) use a controlled crying technique but i was ok with that because i'd tried everything else and nothing had worked. Plus, its not a horrible, parental abandonment type of controlled crying - its reading tired signs and listening to the cry and going back in at short intervals to calm bub down and reassure him he's tired and needs to go to sleep. Its the same kind of thing i was trying to do at home, i just needed a bit of guidance. I'm grateful to the nurses for sharing their knowledge with me, for answering my stupid questions, and for calming ME down when i cracked and burst into tears on the first day.
I'm actually looking forward to the challenge of implementing and sticking with the new routine ( which is only slightly tweaked from our old one ) and seeing how long it takes to be entirely successful. With no afternoon nap its only taken Flynn 10 minutes to fall asleep for the night so thats a good start!