Let’s face it, when you have a baby your former way of life goes out the window and you have to adjust pretty quickly. Establishing a routine may not be everyone’s cup of tea but personally, since having Aria, I find it a necessity! My husband may say I need to loosen up a bit and go with the flow, and he may be right, but in terms of establishing a good sleep routine I think you need to be pretty firm.
A few weeks ago I was tearing my hair out as Aria, who was sleeping between 6-8 hours at night, suddenly started waking again – and not just once! The tiredness was unbearable and it felt like a huge step backwards to her newborn days. Of course, nothing in this mummy life stays the same for long, and Aria had just reached the 4 month mark so I assumed that this was the dreaded sleep regression everyone had told me about!
In desperation I contact The Blissful Baby Expert, Lisa Clegg. I’d been following Lisa on Twitter and seen the many mums who had thanked her for helping them get their little ones into a good sleep routine, and thought there had to be light at the end of this seemingly long tunnel that was my exhaustion. I popped Lisa an email explaining my situation and she promptly replied with some advice on a new routine of set day naps and a timed comforting method. She explained the so called “sleep regression” was simply something that happened due to babies not being taught to settle themselves, and this was a huge gift you could give your little one.
I was apprehensive at first as timed comforting involved letting Aria cry at set intervals, before we could go in to reassure her, leaving longer intervals between each “comfort”. The first time we tried it I have to say was a nightmare. I felt so guilty letting her cry and wanted to cry myself! However, after talking to fellow mummy and blogger Liz, from Everything Is Rosy, I felt hopeful. Liz had tried this technique with her son and, like me, had felt the mummy guilt. BUT she had persevered and both my husband and I decided we would too.
Well, thank goodness we did! Aria has napped in the day (in her cot and not on her playmat, me, her bouncer etc.) and for the first time in four months I have a little time to myself, meaning I can actually write a blog post!
I understand this type of routine might not be for every parent but I have to say Aria seems so much happier AND she’s sleeping at night again (for now at least!). Watching for her sleepy signs – rubbing her eyes, becoming irritable – and placing her in her cot with Ewan the sheep and her bunny for company, has meant she is getting used to when it’s nap time. My husband and I actually get to have a little “us” time in the evenings now, and after watching Hannah Maggs’ latest vlog I am definitely going to suggest a “blackout” night once a week!
So, a huge thank you to Lisa – The Blissful Baby Expert for her time and advice. It’s greatly appreciated!
Have any of you also used this routine with successful results? Or have any other tips? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading.