You may remember from previous posts that Muski is not the best sleeper in the world. He could go 14 hours during the day with only a 15 minute power nap, and a good night was four hours of unbroken sleep, a normal night was one or two. He never seemed particularly bothered by any of this, he was happy enough without sleep it seemed, but I wasn’t.
For the past 11 months I’ve whinged about the lack of it, laughed about it, day dreamed about more of it, despaired over it, rejoiced when we got a little bit of it and for the most part just rolled with the punches so to speak. A few weeks ago though something shifted, and I suddenly decided it was time to do something about this whole sleep caper.
Now in case you haven’t already realised it, I fall a little on the ‘la-la’ side of ‘hippy’ when it comes to most parenting things, so ‘sleep school’ or ‘cry it out’ type options isn’t for us. Now I know sleep and how to get babies to do it can be a pretty contentious topic, and I am not writing this to try and convince anyone that I know better or that any one way is right or wrong. I am simply writing this because at the moment it is taking up a lot of my head space, and I think that one day, when I look back and read this, I will laugh at all the crazy things we’ve tried to get Muski to sleep!
So I needed a plan, a recipe if you will, a list of ingredients to help Muski sleep. Armed with a few gentle parenting books, a couple of web sites and a good friend or two to listen to me vent or rejoice I put together the following recipe.
2 decent day sleeps – one mid morning, one mid afternoon, slotted in nicely around kinder pick up and drop off
1 teddy bear
1 CD player with a dash of Mozart or a pinch of the Blue Danube (did you know that it is scientifically proven to nourish your central nervous system!!??) or a slurp of white noise.
4 drops of lavender oil
1 large warm wheat bag
1 pot of barrier cream for his bum
1 decent dinner with no bad foods
10 million pats
15 million back rubs
3 million foot massages
a LARGE dash of hand holding
25 thousand songs
70 million hours spent lying in bed.
Start with the day sleep – apply your carefully constructed routine (even if you hate routines and think they suck) with a liberal amount of hammock rocking and bouncing twice a day. Carefully add the CD player to drown out the noisy sisters. Tuck the teddy firmly under the arm, whether or not the recipe looks like it needs it. Pat, sing, bounce, rub until you have the desired consistency. Keep adding the CD until at least one hour has passed.
In the evening add the decent dinner, follow up with a large amount of breast milk about an hour later. At this point it is essential to add the bum cream, to heat the wheat pack to a moderate temperature adding a few drops of lavender oil. Combine all the ingredients in a comfy bed and begin the ‘laying down process’ – this may take up to an hour and require considerable effort. Rub, pat, massage, sing, until you get the required response. Then cook over night for approximately 8.5 hours. Repeat the following day.
Yes you read that last bit correctly… my non-sleeping baby is sleeping for eight and a half hours over night… almost every night. Not only that but he wakes at about 5:30 am, has a bit more milk then sleeps till 7:30!!!
Woohoo I am getting sleep!!! SLEEP!! Me! I am getting some!!!!!!
Now it may seem crazy to some of you to go through all that stuff just to get eight hours of sleep (and even crazier when I tell you that I usually only sleep for five of those hours anyway!) but I couldn’t be happier. Sure some of the ‘ingredients’ in this recipe may seem a little odd, but I am not game to change anything since I have no idea which ones are the magic ones that has suddenly changed things…. so for now I will happily jump through hoops to have a happily sleeping baby!