So here we have it as Bean is just a couple of weeks past his second birthday, it seems most of the sleep- or lack of -is soon to be a distant memory. You can read more about our sleep or lack of it here. It crept up slowly without me really noticing, dare I say it makes me feel a little sad??? My baby is growing up. He still wakes without fail twice a night sometimes more but a cuddle and rub on the back has him back in the land of nod pretty instantaneously. There was no miraculous solution but below are the things that I did which may have helped:
1)Lots of special time particularly before bedtime to help boost connection and Beans confidence.
2) I always went to him without fail when he woke and did the usual checks, nappy, thirsty etc.
3) We went through a stage where he got much worse at night, he started to wake hourly and wanting breastfeeds and was just generally fussy. This was the point when I felt ‘staylistening’ would be useful. ‘ Staylistening‘ is one of the tools of Hand in Hand Parenting by Connection. It is where you support the child through a cry – this is different to crying it out where the child is left alone. It is useful if you are unsure about this to see if you can remember any times in your own life where you simply can’t hold back the tears and someone just sits with you offering close comfort whilst you let it all out. This is what ‘staylistening’ is – we assume that the child really just needs to let that cry out and we support them through it. Bean had a couple of big cries with me and then was much better so it was clear it was needed.
4) Hubby shifting to day work also helped lots. This meant Bean could have his daytime nap in our room and not being so tired myself since it wasn’t the end of the day, I felt better able to support him and ‘staylisten’. He very quickly managed to go off to sleep successfully if I lay him down awake and we could then work towards this at bedtime.
A huge achievement is that Bean will sign to me when he is ready to go to sleep now, I love that he has learnt to listen to his own body. We are at the point where I can lay him down and leave the room whilst he chats to himself and slowly settles himself to sleep. This is huge, there was a time when I would never have thought this would be a possibility!