How can babies change SO much in just a few weeks. I’m in awe of Ava-She is the most sweet-natured, smiley little girl. She loves to chat to anyone and especially loves other babies.She has done lots of rolls from her front to her back, is enjoying lots of different toys and is coming up with new sounds every day. She’s also VERY close to laughing…
The last week has been a little tough, though. Ava has had a dummy since about week six, really to help her settle away from my boob! I always said that I wouldn’t give my baby a dummy but that changed pretty quickly when she wouldn’t settle anywhere but me. Which was fine, except I didn’t want to co-sleep so it helped her to settle at night and for naps in the daytime. However, over the last month of so Ava has been waking up A LOT at night, and she wasn’t hungry. She seemed to be rooting for the dummy and looking for comfort which resulted in us getting up, sometimes hourly, to give her comfort- whether it be a small feed, the dummy or boobie. I was SO tired, and it made me quite sad. I knew it wasn’t any good for Ava and I really wanted her to learn to settle without the dummy.
We contacted a lovely lady who ran my NCT classes, who was also a ‘sleep trainer’. Now, at 16 weeks old I thought it was much too soon to be training my baby to sleep, and definitely didn’t want to be not comforting her if she needed me, or feeding her if she was hungry. So I was a little apprehensive when Nicola came to our home for our two hour training session. However, after learning a lot about sleep cycles and also identifying that Ava was tired a lot of the time, we decided to do some limited sleep training. We chose the ‘controlled crying’ method. While I understand this might be controversial, I also understand that babies do need to be taught to sleep, and I wanted Ava to have some proper rest and to be able to not have a dummy at all, ultimately.
That was 7 days ago, and Ava hasn’t had a dummy since Nicola left the house. We completely simplified nap-times and night-times, and went back to napping in the house in the daytime, in a darkened room (previous to this Ava would nap anywhere- with her dummy!). We had quiet times and clear signals so that Ava knew when to sleep, and did leave her to ‘cry’ (although this was more whinging to herself most of the time) but always went back in to check on her and let her know we were there. It was REALLY hard the first few days, especially as I was preparing a presentation for a work interview. We also went back to exclusively BF at night so that the routine and person was always the same while we were training.
It has taken a week, and we still have work to do, but Ava has almost completely forgotten about her dummy! She self settles, had a good three hour of naps in the daytime (spread across two-four naps) and just wakes for feeding at night (between one and two times). Most importantly, she is well rested.
For the next few weeks I’m going to try to get one good nap in at home during the daytime, but I am also going to ‘tackle’ naps outside the house (Grandma’s house, the car, pram etc…) without the dummy, next.
Until next time,