Little Bun has been a fabulous sleeper from early on. She napped like a champion from week one, and I entered her second month with hours (literally) of downtime every day under my belt. She’d crank out two naps of at least two hours every day, with a few shorter ones thrown in for good measure.
Nightime was also smug-worthy. While yes – granted – she wasn’t sleeping until 10 or 11pm, by six weeks she was going from then until 6 or 7am. I threw my daytime naps away and started to see the under-eye bags disappear.
So, when things started to go sour a fortnight ago, I wasn’t too sure how to handle it. The infamous 45 minute sleep cycles that Little Bun used to snooze happily through, with just a peep and a snuffle, were suddenly waking her up. Loudly. And she wasn’t going back to sleep.
And as we head towards the big 12 weeks, I began to wonder just how long we could manage evening after evening with her on our laps. Not conducive to adult things like dinner and conversation. And not really fair on a little bebe who needs a proper bedtime.
And finally, I would really like a routine. I’d like to know in advance when she would probably be napping, and probably we awake – so I could plan things like doctor’s appointments, or a visit from a tradie, or even – gasp – going out for a coffee with more than 30 minutes notice.
You know where I’m getting to, right? We’re doing some sleep training.
She’s still young, so the approach I’m taking is very gentle on her (and me!) It’s really just about teaching her to self-settle through one sleep cycle to another. I’m shushing and patting and notching up future chiropractor bills like no tomorrow. It’s only Day 3, so a set schedule is a while off. At the moment it’s about getting her used to the rhythm of the day; to going down to sleep, and to staying that way for longer than 45 minutes.
Part of me is frustrated as I thought we had this sorted a few weeks back. But since I’ve started (and she’s been getting more sleep) I’ve been seeing a huge difference in her. She is so much more smiley, ‘talkative’ and engaged. I think maybe what I thought was a good pattern, wasn’t so much after all.
The first three days are (apparently) the hardest … and I can attest to that. I’m starting to climb the walls, as I’ve been staying home to really lock in a routine. Yet for the past few nights she’s been asleep by 7 or 8pm, and has gone through until 5 or 6am.
I am ready for two steps backwards for every forward. But I think the small wins I’ve had since beginning are enough to keep me going. I’ll be interested to see how I feel in a week or two.
Have you done anything like this before? What did you find difficult? Did it help you in the long run?