Sunday, May 31, 2015

My experience with Sleep School and Sleeping Through the Night!

Sleep is something I obsessed about when Chloe was born. I hadn’t done much reading on how many hours a newborn should be sleeping so I sort of felt out of my depth and shocked when Chloe woke up multiple times a night.

Lucky for us, Chloe settled into night sleeps quite nicely and woke up every 3 hours as a new born and extended to 4-5 hours as she got older. At 4 months, she had slept through the night (7.30pm to 6.30am) a few times now and generally only wakes up once during the night for a feed anytime between 4.30am to 6am.

Her daytime naps on the otherhand were crazy. Between 1 month to 3 months old, she would only nap for 30-40mins in her cot (after being rocked to sleep) – she was a serial catnapper! It was really hard to manage especially if you spend the day at home as you feel like you don’t get anything done. That’s when I sought help from my local early childhood nurse who recommended Possum Cottage. I also had done a ton of research on sleeping, and have read a couple books – Gina Ford’s Content Little Baby and also The Happy Sleeper by Julie Wright and Heather Turgeon. I felt that the Happy Sleeper resonated more with me, I was happy to implement the “sleep wave method” once Chloe reached 5 months. In the mean time though, we just had to deal with her catnapping.

Possum Cottage is where parents can go for additional help on sleeping matters – learning hands on settling techniques. To me, it was more about a learning session for the parents rather than teaching the child!

As there was a waiting list for Possum Cottage of about 3 weeks, I found that Chloe’s naps became longer! She would start sleeping for about 50mins-1hr in her cot in the mornings, and her afternoon naps would be taken either in the pram at home or on the pram when I went out for a walk so I was able to extend her naps to at least the recommended 1hr.

Even though her naps improved, we still attended our appointment at Possum Cottage and Chloe was just shy of turning 4 months. The nurse could not settle her (although it was a hard time of the day – the afternoon nap!). We left her in a cot AWAKE (which I had previously never done before) and waited outside the door to self settle. Chloe did not self settle lol. She cried for about 5 mins before the nurse went in to do some hands on settling and eventually rocked her. Chloe still did not settle! Poor bubba.

So what I learned from that day was leaving Chloe to cry for 5 mins is ok. I tried this the very next day and Chloe slept on her own within 12 mins of putting her down during which she did not cry, although she was whinging. I could not believe it! Yes, she did whinge but eventually she fell asleep! I do not like hearing her cry hysterically – whenever she does this, I go in to calm her. But I feel that she is at the age now (4.5 months) where she has started to sleep by herself instead of relying on us to rock her to sleep!

This was my own experience with Sleep School, let me know if you have any questions or let me know about your own experience with sleep!

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