Finding a (new) groove

I’ve read that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do in life. After the last month, I must say I agree.

There’s something disorienting about having to find everything new places, learning all about a new suburb (we found a great coffee spot and a good park this morning!) and adjusting all your routines accordingly. Or maybe that’s just me.

That said, there are no complaints here – we are definitely loving the new house.

slide swingsOn top of the moving, we’ve had a rough month of Hugo not sleeping well and Elena being sick (17 days of gastro, two doctor’s appointments, a trip to the hospital and still counting). But we’re slowly recovering and finding a groove.

Ever since the beginning of the month Hugo has been waking pretty much every 1.5 hours over night, screaming before any sleep and only napping for 40 minutes a few times a day. It’s been really difficult, and I now understand why sleep deprivation is used as torture.

We had fallen into a pattern of me feeding Hugo to sleep which was just bad all around – it meant he needed me for sleep, that he would cry whenever he discovered my nipple was missing from the cot (all the time), and he was having problems with gas because I couldn’t burp him after feeding. We ended up co-sleeping in desperation – not my favoured option. I just can’t sleep well with a little person in the bed.

I have some dear friends with children who don’t sleep well. I had always been sympathetic, but I realise now I have no idea how soul destroying being exhausted all the time actually is.

At the complete end of my tether, I booked Hugo in to see our GP and osteopath and went to see our local maternal and child health nurses. The GP suspected silent reflux and gave us a script for some medication. Our wonderful osteopath worked his magic.

The MACH nurses recommend a program called Safe Sleep Space (they have an iPhone app and DVDs). Safe Sleep Space says part of their philosophy is

To empower parents with skills and knowledge to best suit their individual family, without the use of Controlled Crying, modified controlled comforting or any timed, non -response method.

I was skeptical. Skeptical but desperate.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I watched their DVD on Tuesday (helpfully lent to us by one of Alex’s aunts who happens to be a trained child health nurse interstate) and have followed the responsive techniques since.

To my complete relief, something seems to be working. I really thought we were on a path to having to let Hugo cry it out – an approach I was hoping to avoid, and one which I don’t think he would have handled well either. Instead, tonight I popped Hugo into his cot, gave him a kiss and left the room. He didn’t even squawk. What a relief.

I have no idea what it is that has made a difference, but I suspect all three aspects of our approach might be playing a part. It might just be a coincidence but I have my fingers crossed that it isn’t. I hope it lasts.

I think Hugo’s feeling a lot better now he’s getting some sleep. We’re getting many more smiles.

smilesHe’s even on his way to rolling over. This child loves lying on his side!

rollingIf you’re feeling desperate about a baby and their sleep, check out the advice over at Safe Sleep Space. It can’t hurt.

All I can say is that I was at my absolute wit’s end, and now I’m not. And hopefully I’ll get some sewing done soon!

This entry was posted in baby, breastfeeding, moving, raising children. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Finding a (new) groove

  1. I am so glad that your little one is finally sleeping for you. πŸ™‚

  2. Emgy says:

    Hugo sure has grown! I’m glad to hear your getting more sleep. I completely understand sleep deprivation, my daughter was a terrible sleeper and when she was 8 months old or so she was up 8 times a night. No joke. It was brutal. However, with sleep training she sleeps through the night now! So there is hope. =)

    • Ruth says:

      He has, hasn’t he? I don’t know if you find it with Olivia being so small too, but it seems like if it’s not one it’s the other at the moment 😦

      • Emgy says:

        Yea…I am finding that if its not one its the other. Mainly because of teething. Olivia is getting in her molars and wakes up once to twice a night. We just let her cry though and it doesn’t last long, maybe 5-10 min. I sleep with earplugs so I often sleep through her crying unless I’m up to pee. I hate to say this but you get used to it. You learn to function on sleep deprivation and when your not sleep deprived it feels weird! LOL. I promise though, things will look up and you will get sleep! It just might take a bit of time. =)

  3. Laura says:

    Been there…glad something is working for you!

  4. Cassy says:

    My daughter did this around the 4 month time too. She went from taking great naps to little 20 minute naps several times a day. We read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby, and that helped. We did have to do a little CIO, which I wasn’t really fond of. Now we just have to work on getting her to sleep through the night as we move her to her own room. I think I’m going to check out the technique you’re talking about.

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