When I was expecting Isabelle I already knew my battle plan for a sleeping baby, after all I had perfected it on Josh, who was an absolute superstar at the sleeping thing. I started a routine with him at two weeks and by six weeks old he was sleeping from 7pm to around 6:30am, and is still a solid sleeper(excluding being poorly which is fine).
So when Isabelle arrived the routine of bottle bath and bed started and I was very proud that at twelve weeks old she started skipping her 3am feed and sleeping through. Fantastic I thought now everyone can sleep and feel refreshed for the next day........sadly our peaceful nights were not to last and a few weeks later she started terrorising me and everyone else in the house several times a night. Now Isabelle is how should I put it........strong willed? she will not do something she doesn't want to, and will certainly let everyone within screaming distance know it!!! So I imediatley thought I had missed something vital in the routine and consulted my mummy bible Secrets of the baby whisperer, but I hadn't ? could it be that my mummy bible had
failed me? or even worse that my mummy skills were broken?
You see the problem with a nocturnal child is that no matter how hard you want to break them of the night time habit they have got themselves into, at 2am when you are awake for possibly the third time since getting in bed yourself, you simply have no energy to be tough mummy! or usually in my case I am so tired auto pilot kicks and in my semi-awake sleep deprived state I forget I'm not meant to be giving and .....well give in! Vicious circle much ?
So the things I have discovered about Isabelle's night time antics is that
- she doesn't care wether or not her bottle is full/empty/on the floor or in her mouth she will scream!
- night light on/off, bedroom door open/closed, fifteen assorted toy rabbits, cats or teddies or none she is going to wake up anyway.
- if she is able to escape from her bedroom she will firstly bring the contents of her bed with her and get into bed with us, then after realising Mummy and Daddy are actually asleep will then go off to find fun things to do........flooded bathroom and painting everything with Mummy's mascara are her two favourites.
I have tried pretty much every tip /bit of advice I have been given on getting her to sleep through and nothing is working so now I need to put mean mummy/controlled crying into action.
If you are not aware of controlled crying it is not as hideous as the name suggests and is in no way harmful to your baby! The idea is that when your baby wakes, you leave them for a controlled amount of time (from 3-5 mins) then go into them, settle them (without giving them milk or whatever it is they are demanding)and leave the room and with every subsequent waking you add a couple of extra minutes onto the time you leave them. So your child should eventually(I have been told that in about three nights) realise that waking up will not get them anything so sleep through.
So tonight I am going to do this, me my family and probably most of my neighbours need Isabelle to stay asleep at night and there is only one way....
Wish me luck