Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

My life has become so much easier now that Mikayla is actually taking naps throughout the day. I feel better, she feels better, everyone is definitely better :)

Mikayla refused to nap during the day for a very long time. This was a big reason my blog went neglected. The only way I could get her to nap was in my arms, and boy would I cop it if I should try put her down.

Looking back I can see clearly how it was actually my actions enabling this behaviour. As soon as she started crying I would pick her back up and rock her back to sleep in my arms and then sit with her until she woke up on her own. How silly I was. Although I loved this time with her and the bond we were sharing, I became so exhausted and deflated. I knew I had to make some changes for her sake and mine. I wasn't teaching her any good habits and every mother needs some time to themselves.

My husband and I decided first of all to buy a better cot mattress. We originally bought just a standard hard foam mattress that was covered in PVC. Mikayla seemed to toss and turn a lot at night and would get sweaty from the plastic. I had a feeling this was another reason she was waking so frequently at night too. So after spending way more then you would think a decent cot mattress would cost, we noticed a huge difference in how Mikayla slept. With a few tips from the Baby Whisperers book Mikayla was having 1-2 hour naps in the morning and afternoon with out any trouble.

Off course a big part of this was having to drastically change my behaviour as well. I stopped picking her up if she cried when I lay her down. I am not a huge believer in the "crying it out" method, so I opted for a gentler approach. If she cried I would stand by her cot the whole time speaking soft words of comfort, and if need be, a hand on her belly or stroking her hair. Mikayla could stand up by the time I started trying this method so she would often just climb up the side of the cot and reach up for me. The baby whisperer suggests the "pick up, put down" method which I chose to use. Off course Mikayla was not too happy the first time I used this method, but eventually got the message and drifted off to sleep. Since that first time, she goes down for her naps without a fuss.

She still has good and bad nights (although a lot better since introducing the new method), but a lot of this is due to wind problems she has suffered since birth. I have been to the Doctors and have tried many medicines and advice but nothing helps. I am hoping she will grow out of it as her belly matures (fingers crossed).

Anyway, I just wanted to give my experience on sleep training and how I dealt with it. I hope this helps any other Mothers out there who are having a hard time getting their babies to sleep.


Rita said...

Oh! They look like angels when they sleep!! Glad things are better now that her first teeth have come in. :)

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Hi Michelle,

Mikayla looks like a little angel sleeping so soundly!
Happy to hear you have solved her sleeping problem. :)
Lots of hugs

Where the Heart is said...

Yes Rita they do. She looks so peaceful and angelic when she sleeps.

Norma, did you notice who she was sleeping with? It's the little bunny you sent over for her. She sleeps with it all the time. It is so sweet.

Serena said...

OMG....what a little angel she is!! I used to always love watching you kids sleep when you were little...perfect, little angels you were.

I'm so glad that you persevered and it paid off. Hopefully, she will start to sleep through the night again soon for you.

Mum xo

Bradley said...

Hi Michelle,

Great post! I love the pic of Mikayla sleeping, she looks SOOOO adorable! I'm so glad Mikayla is sleeping better for you now, at least you don't feel as exhausted anymore apart from the few bad nights! That's a great idea to share your experiences with other mums having the same hard time!

Love Brad!