A new approach to baby sleep… and it seems to work :-)

Bub’s sleep has been an ongoing issue for us for many months and this blog has detailed quite a bit of it. But I’ve not written about sleep for a while and I wanted to share how things are going. When I last wrote we were struggling with crying methods and hating every minute of it.

But I’m writing this now whilst Bub naps peacefully upstairs having gone to sleep happily and calmly, on his own in his cot and without any fuss. Wow! This has been the case for a couple of weeks now at least so I feel that I’m hopefully not going to jinx things by writing about it.

I’m also really happy to say that we are no longer using a crying approach and that we’ve muddled through to find our own way forward that seems to be working for us.

I’d love to take credit but it was actually Bub’s daddy who came up with this. At the time Bub was crying for a long time at each sleep time and was getting very upset at being in his cot. We were staying with him through as I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him alone. However we were following the Baby Whisperer’s pick up – put down approach which minimises engagement with your child. Bub’s dad discovered that Bub would actually fall asleep much more quickly and happily in the cot if we DID engage with him. If we sing, talk and play silly games with him whilst he’s in the cot he doesn’t cry. And if he’s not crying then he will, at some point, roll over and shut his eyes and go to sleep. We’ve found that is doesn’t really matter how lively the games are he will still at some point yawn, roll over and doze off. Given that it could take up to two hours to get him to sleep on some nights when he was crying this is easy in comparison. There are still times when it takes a fair while but I’d rather hear my baby laughing at bedtime than crying his heart out.

What even better though is that Bub has now learnt that going to bed isn’t a horrible experience and that he is safe and happy there. Whilst we do have occasional times when he needs our help and a bit of ‘playtime’ prior to going to sleep this is now the exception. Most of the time right now he is very happy to have a story and a cuddle at nap time, then into the cot and I leave the room with him wide awake. He amuses himself for a little while then dozes off quite happily.

It feels like a miracle. His sleep was our nightmare and it was so awful to hear him cry and to feel that I had no choice. I’ve read so many baby sleep books and our approach seems to run counter to them all. But for Bub and for us it works. It’s also so reassuring because when I’m no longer second guessing myself about his tears. If he cries then I can follow my instincts and pick him up, cuddle him, give him teething gel or whatever. I love it 🙂

Just to show that things aren’t all totally hunky dory in our sleep deprived world though he is still waking twice a night and wanting some milk. I’ve always wanted to feed on demand but I’m pretty sure this is now just a habit and not something he really needs. He has gone from four feeds a night to two in about three months so I’m hoping he’ll continue to drop them. However I’m back at work in January so really need to have it licked by then. Any suggestions on how to approach this in a gentle way?

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4 Responses to “A new approach to baby sleep… and it seems to work :-)”

  1. A new approach to baby sleep… and it seems to work :-) « Jenmum's … | www.babiesgrow.co.uk Says:

    […] original post here: A new approach to baby sleep… and it seems to work « Jenmum's … […]

  2. Crying. Sleeping. Sadness. « Jenmum's adventures in parenting Says:

    […] [Note: This is one my most visited posts and so I wanted to let readers know that this approach didn't work out for us – find out how we managed to help Bub sleep, positively and lovingly and without tears.] […]

  3. Post natal sleep deprivation (or when will I get some sleep?) pt 2 « Don't wake the baby! Says:

    […] interesting ideas about how to get him to sleep in a caring but effective way. And you know what, they worked pretty well. I really wish I’d encouraged him to try these ideas at four months old not ten! All those […]

  4. Ten weeks old and feeding to sleep all the time | Don't wake the baby! Says:

    […] was a sleep deprived wreck and we had to undertake drastic measures. Fortunately we finally found a no-tears solution which eventually resolved these issues. But this time around I also have a toddler to contend with. […]

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