Wow wow! I have just got home from a week’s holiday at the beach to discover all the wonderful comments for my last post! Thank you! Before we left I was planning to email everyone who wrote to say thank you but now as you can see that will be quite a task. I want to tell you that I read, considered, thought about and now treasure every piece of advice you sent me — so thank you. It has helped enormously. In a tired state yesterday afternoon it was all a little overwhelming and confusing but I have some how absorbed it all and feel incredibly lucky to have this community.
Our beach holiday was a little clouded over by the sleep problem which seemed to get a little better by the last night, but even co-sleeping become completely impossible as the bed was tiny, and Lily didn’t settle between us, instead kicking, wriggling, scratching us and crying in the wee hours. So last night in a kind of exhausted desperation we tried leaving her to cry for three minutes. We now limit naps to two one hour naps a day, and have a very strict bedtime routine – bath, story, feed, cuddle and then bed. After three minutes she was still grizzling (not howling hysterically, I wouldn’t have been able to handle that at all) so I went in and patted her and calmed her and then she grizzled for another 4 or five minutes and then after that she slept. And slept! At 2am we had a short repeat performance and then she woke again at 6.30 happy and hungry to a very happy smiley, well slept family.
I have just spoken to one of my best friends about our horror holiday, and she told me that she is amazed at how incredibly “relaxed” (read: slack) we have been with Lily’s routine compared to how rigid we were with Amelia. She rightly observed that it was different then because we probably felt so out of control and overwhelmed that we clung to our routine and in the short and long term it made for a very good sleeper. In Lily’s case we have been much more likely to go-with-the-flow which definitely has it’s benefits and I am pleased we have found a more relaxed approach but for some things in this family, like sleep, we need to find our routines again.
OH I know that there are controversies and conflicting feelings about doing the sleep thing this way, but because it was so quick and so successful and she didn’t seemed stressed in the least (just a little put out) we are going to try again tonight. I actually don’t think our success had much to do with the crying bit, which was minimal, but more to do with a gentle, loving, pre-bedtime routine which is relaxed her and left her far calmer than we have previously seen her. Perhaps it won’t go so well, but I am happy to have had a few hours of sleep overnight. It makes for a much happier, calmer us.
Thank you again for your comments. I am very grateful.