When I finally got Isobel out of 4.30 am wake up’s about a month ago, I thought a 7am start was not far away. How foolish I was! She tricked me for a while with a couple of 6am’s and 6.30am’s but soon enough we were back to 5/5.30am with no returning to sleep even with a feed. It was like she was laughing at me, staring up at me in the darkness blowing bubbles and giving me her cute little girly giggle. And I would tell her “Ok I give in we are up now” and start our day.
I started to increase her meals again during the day and adding extra protein but it didn’t seem to help, and then her day time naps started to unhinge. I quickly got onto my amazing NCT group to tell them of my despair! I thought with Isobel in her own room and black out blinds up, day time naps should have been easy. (Smacks head against wall for the 100th time!) I got loads of great advice, consistency during the day was the key to solving night time sleep. So I began in earnest leaving 2hrs between wake up and the next nap. The first two days of this was fairly horrendous and I now know why the sound of crying babies is used by the SAS as an interrogation tactic because it is horrifying! It took about an hour or so of crying and me going back and forth reassuring her before she would sleep, and this was for each nap. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted after it, and ended up with a bad cold, due to my own lack of sleep. But I am now finally coming through the upside. I also used sshing in her ear again and cuddling her for longer to get her to relax, which is what I started with when she was around 4 months old. I guess the best methods are the simplest!
I did a bit more research about length of time to leave between waking up and next nap and have now started following the 2/3/4 rule. This works as 2 hrs awake before 1st day nap, 3 hrs for the next nap (i.e. afternoon nap) and then 4 hours until bedtime. So if your baby wakes at 7am, they should be asleep by 9am. If they wake at 10am, then next nap at 1pm, and then ideally bedtime by 7pm. It is working well so far, and Isobel is a lot more relaxed going for her naps now. I have a few teddies in her bed and she is finally using these as a comforter. So every time she goes down now, she immediately turns on her side and cuddles her little teddy. She loves her teddy’s so much that when my hubby went to resettle her last night, he thought the teddy’s were a distraction, so he thought he should remove them from the cot. The poor little thing had the biggest meltdown, and it took about 20 minutes of mommy cuddles to assure her, the teddy’s were safe!
So my advice if you are trying to follow a sleeping plan, let your husband know what’s happening and try and be consistent!