I google defined the word Sleep, this is what it came back with:
“A condition of body and mind such as that which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is relatively inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended”
This time last week I would have started ranting about how Spike doesn’t seem to comprehend the “several hours every night” part but for the past 4 nights we have actually been getting some!! I was a runner up in a competition to win a consultation with a ‘Sleep Expert’ and on Sunday received the phone call. She was evil. She told me that I had to take Spike’s dummy away, limit his naps and totally and utterly ignore his cries. I don’t disagree with ‘controlled crying’ or letting a child ‘cry it out’ but that was a little too extreme for me. She did make me realise that Spike didn’t need the 8-16oz milk that he drank overnight and that he was waking out of habit. I took a stand and decided to start some controlled crying on my own terms.
After ten minutes of sleep in his cot on Sunday afternoon I left him to cry for a few minutes and guess what?! He went back to sleep and slept for 2 hours! Having proved to me that if I left him for more than 30 seconds that he would be fine I felt a lot more comfortable about the task at hand. Sunday night he woke at 3am and I left him. After 40 minutes of just chatting and shouting to himself he started to cry. After a few minutes I went and gave him his dummy, which I had strategically placed on the changing unit so I didn’t have to rummage around his cot. He instantly went quiet. We continued this for about 20 minutes until he gave in and went to sleep. I practically danced around our bedroom! He woke at 5am for 20 minutes but then I had to wake BOTH boys up at 7.30am (Spud has been waking at 6am since Spike was born) so that we weren’t late starting our day. Every night since Spike has slept through until at least 5.15am, I am very very proud of him! (And myself for being strong enough to not run in and let him have what he wants straight away!)
During all of this I discovered that “Childcare is fun” who we follow on Twitter offered free advice on many issues including sleep so I emailed Fi. What a lovely lovely lady! I have been highly recommending this site to my friends as the emails that I received were extremely helpful in reassuring me that I was doing the right thing. She checked through our routine to see if there was anything that we could change to help him sleep and we soon came to a conclusion. I would recommend this site to anybody, that’s how pleased I was with the service!
So here’s to sleep! One of my favourite pastimes and what I miss the most since having babies!