I can happily report that at this moment, Roman is asleep in his cot, for the first time ever!
We just got home today from 4 nights at Sleep School. I suppose I should say Mother Baby Unit, as they do a lot more than just sleep issues, but we were there for sleep.
It was nothing short of amazing! The transformation is unbelievable! We arrived at North Park on Saturday morning after getting the call the day before. The nurses suggested that I get Roman down for a nap the way I usually do and then we’d start the revolution at his bedtime.
The nurses were fantastic and talked with me to come up with a strategy for getting him to bed and staying there. The big changes:
1. No more co-sleeping – This was fine with me as I was looking forward to having the bed back.
2. No more overnight feeding – Roman had been feeding every few hours all night every night, so again, I was quite happy to give this up.
3. No more feeding to sleep. I knew this was bad, but it had become the only way I could get him to sleep.
That’s all that had to change really, so far so good. With a combination of singing (twinkle twinkle is burnt into my brain) and patting his little bum, we got him off to sleep. The nurses have a great no nonsense attitude and didn’t put up with Roman’s crap the way I do, and he was asleep in about 15 minutes. The most amazing thing was that he didn’t wake up! I gave him a dream feed at 10:30 and he didn’t make a peep again until 6am! It was incredible! He self settled and didn’t get up for the day until 7:30. I was so proud of him!
The next night was a similar story. And the next night. The last night he got up 3 times, but in the morning we saw he had cut a tooth which explained it all. I’d been waiting for that tooth to come out for about a week.
You hear horror stories that the nurses make the babies cry it out and tell you it’s for the best, but it wasn’t like that at all. The nurses were just brilliant and would sing to him and pat him and reassure him until he was calm. Then we’d walk out and listen to him. Sometimes he’d go right off to sleep, sometimes he’d whinge a bit first and other times he’d start up again, so we’d just go back in and try again. I never felt pressured into letting him cry at any point.
I feel so relaxed and refreshed. I got a few nights sleep and the best bit is that all your meals and your babies meals are prepared, so there’s nothing to do but relax. No cooking, no cleaning, no washing. It was the closest thing I’ve had to a holiday in a long time! I didn’t realise how much Sleep School would help me too. Not just the relaxation, but talking with so many other mums in the same situation makes you realise it’s not just you and that babies really are all very different.
If you think this is something you need to do, book in now, because the waiting lists are long. We waited for almost 6 weeks. We put it off for a long time thinking that Roman would just get better, or grow out of it, but he didn’t.