Sleep Advice

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

My Personal Experience with our First Newborn

With baby number two only four weeks away I am beginning to give sleep a lot more thought than I think I did first time round.

Three and a bit years ago when wee Cadell was born, we just did what we thought was best to get him settled and sleeping and the long hot summer nights that he was born into to.  We also took a great deal of advice from Gina Ford's "Contented Little Baby" book.  Although very rigid, and at times she seems extremely structured and strict, her advice worked well for us and for Cadell.  By two weeks old he was sleeping 8 hours straight 10pm-6ish am.  Not long after that he was sleeping 12-13 hours straight.
Cadell went straight into a cot at 2 days old.  We wrapped him at night, but it was too hot for wraps during the day.

At 15 months we thought we would attempt the cot to bed transition.  It took him one night to start sleeping in his bed happily and at first he cut back a little to about 10 hours sleep, yelling out "Mum!" when he woke, but again settled in for the longer haul after about a week or so.
Our happy little man in our first attempt in his bed "toes in" as we used to say.
Just before Cadell turned two he went through a stage of "Night Terrors" waking at around 10pm screaming, looking fully awake but on another planet completely!  If we tried to comfort him, he would strike out at us as if we were trying to hurt him.  It was horrible.  Two things worked, one was going to see a homeopath who helped me gain a better insight to his personality, and secondly I would go and wake him or at least get him to stir about 15 minutes before he would normally wake screaming.  This disrupted his sleep cycle and allowed him to get through without the night terrors.

When he turned two or about that time he realised he could get out of bed all by himself!  So we would have a little early bird climb the stairs to our room often in the dark.  We solved this with an "Ok to Wake" clock that we set to glow green when its ok to get out of bed, which works the majority of the time!  He still on occasions gets out of bed just after midnight, and sometimes just needs a cuddle and to be put back in bed, other times he needs us to snuggle in and sleep with him.

Now he is three years old.  He still loves and needs his sleep (long may it last when a newborn is coming!) He has a lunchtime sleep for anywhere between 1-3 hours depending on the days activities and sickness.  And sleeps for 10-11 hours at night.
On overseas trip where we all generally slept in the same room, it was hard for Cadell when we got home for him to sleep in a room alone.  He's holding up an Eifel Tower key ring.

He is at a stage now where we have had the most difficulty with his sleep in all of his life.  We could probably remedy the situation better by keeping to a better night time routine, but perhaps we're too lazy!  He is often not a sleep until 8:30-9pm.  We eat together at about 7-7:30 so as I say this doesn't help our VERY slow eater.  Then it's shower time, brush his teeth and story in bed.  Even if we manage to get all of this done and he is in bed by 7:30 he will be up and down several times, insisting one of us lie down with him, and he won't stop talking or singing until close to 9pm.  Many people suggested to cut his day time sleep right back to an hour or less.  All this did was make him horribly grumpy all afternoon, and he still wouldn't go to sleep any earlier!  So I now just leave him to sleep during the day, and as it is getting darker at night much sooner he is returning to his better sleep habits.

Although last night after or usual routine, and telling him to try hard to get to sleep early because we had to get up early.  He yells out to me while I'm in the office "Mum I need some chocolate or else I'll be upset" I said "Well good luck cos there's no chocolate in the house!"  Cheeky Monkey.

So we have quite a text book child as I understand it, no wonder I am worrying what our second will be like!

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