How is your day going? Mine has been a little rough since 2am. Cluster feeds until 4.30am. Then, in and out of sleep till about 8am when she relaxed and we both had a better rest. However, she has gone for a good sleep again now and I have washed my hair, eaten something decent (bruschetta – yum!) and am now sipping a tea. We usually do tummy time and mat time in the mornings. Today we had a small mat time session but she got upset after a few minutes and I didn’t push tummy time. Hopefully, after this sleep we can enjoy some time together and get those neck muscles working.
So, having a newborn is a whole new experience – especially at night. She got herself into a wonderful habit by about 5 weeks of only waking once during the at around 2am. Then quickly moved that feed 4am, again I had nothing to do with it, she asked and I fed and was thankful. But the past week she has moved back to a 2am feed and then is up and only taking short naps until about 8.30am – meaning I am awake from 2am.
My sister leant me Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall. She thought it helped get her girls into some routine, but did highlight that she didnt follow the routine to the exact minute, she used it as a guide. Feeling a little weary, I had a read and gave it a go.
For those that dont know, Tizzie Hall is known as a bit of a ‘baby whisperer’ around the globe and her book is quite popular through parenting searches. She has a different routine for the different stages of your baby. The ultimate goal is to get them into a sleeping pattern, hence the title. The book itself was clearly laid out and wasn’t confusing to follow at all. I read it a couple of times and copied the relevant pages to put on the fridge so I could easily glance at it through the day.
The first day, I followed it pretty much to the minute, as best as I could. I found she fell into line pretty quickly but at 2am she woke and this time was absolutely wide awake ready for mat time, tummy time and was all grins. I stayed calm and quiet and whispered but that little munchkin stayed awake until 4.30am when she consequently crashed out until about 6am.
The next day we had a doctors appointment and so the routine was a little skewed but I did start to pick up times that she had big sleeps. Reading Tizzie’s book I realised her short nap should be in the afternoon. This was something I hadn’t even thought of, but totally made sense! I made sure she was awake by 5.15pm as the book suggested and she hung out in her bouncer or with her daddy when he got home until it was time for the night sleep.
I can honestly admit I didn’t know when Bonnie slept or for how long for. The first six weeks looking back were a blur and when she was hungry, she fed and when she fell asleep, she slept.
After a few days following the routine I realised it wasn’t really for us. However, it really highlighted her sleeping patterns and I did use it as a loose guide for her during the day and it has helped. She now tends to have two big sleeps in the morning, generally going down at 8.30am and 1.30pm for about 2 1/2 hours at a time. I am not adament she goes down at that exact time, however, I know if she starts grizzling then, tiredness is the likely cause and a good hug and rock puts her out.
The book did help her (and me) to go down in her sleeper while awake and not once she has fallen asleep in my arms every time. I have learnt that I can lay her down and sit with her and she will happily lay down and nod off. I do still nurse her to sleep as well.
The bath time suggestion for her age was 5.40pm. For us this doesn’t work. My husband gets home around 6pm and I like to have dinner as ready as I can and have her changed into night clothes and ready for handover. Once hubby gets home those precious few hours together seem to fly by and we both want them as enjoyable as possible. Things got chaotic trying to finish and eat dinner and do bath and settle for the evening. In our house, baths work best in the morning. When she is older we hope to transition to a night routine.
We found that getting her to sleep for 7pm was a task and she was really ready by 8pm so we have allowed for that change as well. We do still ‘dreamfeed‘ at 10pm though to try and push her sleep out longer.
The book has definitely helped me as a new mumma pick up on her own routine and assist her with it. I have used the book in conjunction with my newly found mumma bear intuition that tells me what works best in our household. I believe we now have more time to have mat play, tummy time and stories. Before I was starting to feel like my days were a melting pot of chaos. Yep, she still loves that 2am wake up but I feel I have more knowledge of her daily routine and I know it will change with time. x
Have you followed a sleep routine? Did it help you?