Diaries Magazine

Falling asleep...Or Not.

By Sjay235 @naturalmommainm
Sleep is a hot topic of conversation when it comes to babies. It's right up there with poo, but strangers don't usually ask about that! Luckily for us, Isabelle is a pretty great sleeper and has been since day one. She doesn't sleep through the night yet, but to be honest I don't think she is physically capable of going that long yet without food, so it doesn't worry me. She generally naps well during the day...although its sometimes a fight to get her there- watch her fight her morning nap below!
(Or Here if the video doesn't load!)

As I said, we are lucky as Isabelle sleeps. If she didn't, we would be two of millions of parents across the world who tear their hair out each night trying to get little one to sleep, and to stay asleep. There is a multi-million pound industry in 'helping' these parents, with books, sleep aids and even DVDs and courses to help people train their children to sleep better.
But some kids just don't sleep. My glorious nephew just turned 2. And my brother and sister in law are only now beginning to enjoy an almost full night of sleep. Jacob didn't sleep. And no amount of 'training' could help him. He comes from two parents who didn't sleep (karma?!) and is simply a little boy who does not require much sleep - why waste time sleeping when there are worms to dig for? My sister in law dealt with this lack of sleep admirably. I'm sure she wanted to murder us every time we asked how he was sleeping. She tried everything she could - implementing bedtime routine, using a dummy, using white noise and even dabbled in controlled crying, all to no avail. But, eventually and in his own time, Jacob slept.
Jacob prepared Simon and I for the worst when Isabelle came along, but we had nothing to worry about. Since she came home from hospital she has slept well in her crib, and in the last 5 weeks has been known to do 5, 6, 7 or even 8 hour stretches of sleep. So why is she such a "good" sleeper? What's our secret? It's Isabelle. She is just a baby who sleeps, and that's that!
Of course, not every night is so wonderful, and at 9 weeks her sleep is still very changeable. She slept 8 hours last night, I doubt we'll get that tonight. We do do some things to help her get to sleep each night to try and get some consistency.
1. Bed time routine
This is simple. Izzy wakes from her pre-bedtime nap (the irony) anytime between 7 and 7.30pm. We take her upstairs and she plays with us on her playmat for as long as she wants. Depending on her mood that can be anywhere between 20minutes and an hour. Every second night, we cut that short and she has a bath. After playtime/bath time, Isabelle is fed in the rocking chair in her room, and I read her a story and sing her the same 5 songs (Twinkle Twinkle, You Are My Sunshine, My Bonnie, This Little Light of Mine and Edelweiss in case you're interested!) then she is put into her bed.
2. Her bed
Isabelle goes into her Mothercare swinging crib after the above, no matter what. If she is asleep, awake, half awake or screaming, she goes in. She is used to her crib, and she seems to like it (big hate for a Moses basket mind you), and she is obviously comfortable there.
3. Her sleep aids
We have a 'noise maker' for Isabelle which was actually bought by me for Jacob (it didn't work!) which is actually a Prince Lionheart Slumber Bear, although we took the noise maker out and have it in the cot separately. This plays a heartbeat and white noise, and I put it on every night, and then every time I put her back down after a night feed. She also has a Twilight Ladybird Nightlight which I also put on every time she is put into her crib. I've no idea if these help really...but I won't be taking them away anytime soon.
So, we try our best to keep bedtime the same every night - around the same time, the exact same routine and, for the most part, it seems to work. Of course we have our bad nights when it takes an hour and a half to get her to sleep, or when she wakes up every two hours to be fed, but these are the exception rather than the rule. Overall, we are very lucky.
And when strangers say "oh surviving without the sleep?" We can always look smug and reply that, actually, our baby sleeps very well. No doubt the next one will be Jacob 2....

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