Experienced Chiltern Trained Nanny & Maternity Nurse
Covering Leicestershire & Northamptonshire
ZS Maternity & Childcare Services
Maternity Nurse, Nanny, Sleep Consultant.
Telephone: 07861 770644
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I was contacted by a mum who was in desperate need of a good night’s sleep after returning to work. Her second daughter of 6 months was napping in the day on car journeys and in her bouncer in the living room but at bedtime she would be asleep on the breast by 9pm and wake around 3 hours later and then again continuously from 2am. Mum would settle her after feeding her at the first waking but at any further waking would bring her into her bed and allow her to latch on and off the breast herself throughout the night. The baby was by mums own preference sleeping in a toddler bed at the side of her own bed when she was originally put to sleep. Due to the family’s daily activities baby’s bedtime was to be 9pm and her day would have to start at around 6:30am we had planned her daytime naps to work around this to work so as she did not get overtired.
As she was over 6 months, was eating well in the day and on 3 solid meals as well as being a perfectly healthy baby putting on weight well, we knew this was the perfect time to train her to sleep through the night by herself.
We had discussed all the methods I could use and as mum wanted minimal crying and was anxious about leaving her baby we opted for the controlled comforting method, which meant whenever baby cried I would be right by her side comforting her until she felt safe enough to fall back asleep, this then would be reduced when appropriate and we would let her try to get back to sleep by herself. Throughout the training I would sleep in the parents room with baby however we moved the cot to the far end of the room so that we would not disturb each other’s sleep and so that she was less likely to see me on waking – thus not disturbing her learning to sleep alone. I had anticipated that she would wake quite frequently on the first night and on settling knew it could take up to one whole sleep cycle for her to fall back to sleep (around 40-50 mins). I had agreed that if mum wants to at any point see what is happening, she is more than welcome to pop her head around the door.
SLEEP TRAINING DIARY:
Day 1 – I arrived before the bedtime routine kicked off and met the family and baby for the first time. I observed the routine and intervened when necessary. We had made a decision to change the bedtime feed to formula and mum was more than happy with this as she wanted to wean baby off her breast. At 8:45pm, after having her bath and massage we dimmed the lights, and tried to keep baby awake throughout her feed. Once the bottle was finished and baby had burped, mum gave baby a cuddle and we put her down in her own bed knowing she was full, clean, dry, warm and had had some lovely cuddles from her mum, now we were to allow her to fall asleep for the first time ever on her own. She did not cry she moaned after 5 minutes and sent herself to sleep by 9.25pm!
23:50 – She stirred, turned her head and went back to sleep.
00:20 – she cried out so I immediately went to soothe her with a reassuring hand, this wasn’t enough so I held her close until her breathing had calmed enough for me to put her back down and reduce the amount of intervention. ( 10-15 mins). She was then quiet for 10 minutes as I retreated.
00:50 – She cried out once more and I soothed her in her bed for 5 mins.
03:48 – She cried out and I spent 40 mins soothing and cuddled her twice when she got upset as she realised she wasn’t going to be brought into mums bed.
04:25 – Had settled herself back into her next sleep cycle.
06:20 – Awake and happy – looking for food, so we agreed to get her up and breast feed her downstairs in the light as this was her morning time.
Number of interventions: 4
Time spent soothing – 1 hour 7 minutes
Total Night Sleep 8 hours 3 mintues
Day 2 –At 8:30pm the bedtime routine started today, and we managed to get baby asleep in her bed by 9pm with a little patting reassurance on her back.
01:30 – baby grizzled, and self soothed back to sleep.
03:10 –03:25 - I could hear her trying to get back to sleep, and when needed helped for 7 minutes. There were moments when she quietly grizzled and then went quiet so I observed and if she didn’t need me I was going to use this opportunity for her to go back by herself.
04:05 – Fully asleep
05:45 – 06:00 – Helped her with 5 minutes of soothing.
06:20 – soothed her again for 5 minutes before she fell back to sleep.
07:15 – Naturally woke up ready for the day.
(no lifting out of cot all night!)
Number of interventions: 3
Time spent soothing – 30 minutes
Total Night Sleep – 9 hours
Day 3 – Bedtime routine started at 8.30pm and by 9pm she had fallen asleep by herself.
23:45- I heard her self soothing back to sleep
01:30 – Self Soothed
02:45 – 03:26 Self soothing by herself
05:23 – self soothed
06.15 - Awake
Number of interventions: 0 & no crying!
Time spent soothing – 0 minutes
Total Night Sleep – 8 hours 50 minutes
Day 4 – Bedtime routine started at 8:40pm and baby was asleep by herself by 9:15pm
03:30 – Stirred and self soothed
05:05 – Stirred and needed a little help settling for 5 minutes.
06:15 – Awake
Number of interventions: 1
Time spent soothing – 5 minutes
Total Night Sleep – 8 hours 55 minutes
Day 5 – Bedtime routine started at 8:30pm
21:00 – baby asleep
06:30 – Mum woke me up and Baby had slept through the night and was still asleep!
Number of interventions: 0
Time spent soothing – 0 minutes
Total Night Sleep – 9 hours 30 minutes !