A chat with my health visitor today gave me a couple of different techniques to try out - we are already big fans of Ewan the Dream Sheep, but unfortunately he has calmed her rather than made her sleep in the long run. We have had a routine in place since her birth as when we were in Oman and I was home alone most evenings, it helped keep me sane following a set pattern. The routine consists of quiet playtime, a story and cuddle, relaxing music (Bach or Mozart normally) playing in the background, bath, sleeping bag, breastfeed - here lies the issue - and then in her cot once she's asleep.
In the past 3 months or so she has got miles better in that she will actually be put down 8 out of 10 times without screaming the house down, but breastfeeding to sleep has meant that I'm forced to get up every time she wakes in the night as she relies on the boob to nod off. We've managed to reduce night feeds, but she often needs picking up or being cuddled to sleep. Given that I will need to start working in the very near future, I would be unable to function on such little sleep.
Tonight, as I write this, I'm sat outside my bedroom trying to man up a bit! Hearing your child cries breaks a parent's heart and I am really against crying it out. Instead the plan we devised meant I would follow the usual routine including the breastfeed and then just as she was starting to doze off, I would pop her in her cot, give her a kiss, turn the white noise maker on and leave the room.
At first she grumbled and then began to cry that kind of "I'm a bit annoyed, but can cope" cry she does when she's unimpressed. After 5 minutes, I went in, settled her by shushing and then left again. The grumbling started a couple of minutes later before the "I hate you" cry began. That lasted exactly eight minutes of the ten I was supposed to leave it before she grumbled and went quiet. I just popped my head in and she's fast asleep.
Do I feel evil for allowing her to cry? Yes. I feel like my chances of winning mum of the year have just been washed away, but she is asleep. I need to remind myself that I'm doing this to help her and it isn't like her first day with a childminder/nursery won't provoke such a horrid reaction either. No one likes doing something new and no normal parent likes hearing their child cry, but I really hope this helps her sleep. If she's well rested and so am I then I think we can have more fun together... Or at least that's the plan.
How did you tackle getting your little ones to sleep? Any advice or tips that worked for you?
The Egyptian Mummy x