Sydney Mum finding motherhood is totes hectic
We have three issues
1. Night waking, resulting in crying and need for a bottle
2. Hitting, especially us
3. Dummy usage
Note: she is 16 months old
It takes a long weekend for us to have enough combined strength and sleep power to deal with these things. (June long weekend/ Queens birthday)
Firstly, the dummy. She uses it for sleeping and has to give it back when she wakes up. A few times, when teething, we’ve given her a dummy for soothing. We’re building up the strength to stop the dummy altogether as we think she wakes up and cries for the dummy at night. Next long weekend we’ll tackle that, as the other two issues took up our combined energy.
Last week was sleep deprivation hell. She wakes up crying anywhere between 2am and 5am. She stops when you pick her up and sooth her and starts crying again when you put her down. We’ve tried the silent sooth without picking up and sitting outside the door for 20 minutes. The only way to get her back to sleep is to give her a bottle of formula (200ml). She has slept through the night but there is no consistency.
Using Jo Frost techniques, which were reiterated by other on-line articles, we decided to let her cry it out. Reason being. She can sleep through the night and with this technique, over a few nights of crying she will learn to self-sooth and go back to sleep herself. We check on her initially and after 20 or so minutes. What we found was her rolling around half-asleep letting out cries.
With No. 2 due in September, we really need her to sleep through the night. Any technique or attempt at behaviour change usually takes a few days and we needed a long weekend to be firm and not weaken and do it together.
The first night she woke at 2am and cried for about an hour. After a few checks we knew she was lying down, crying but not too distressed. Although she went back to sleep, we didn’t. Some 2 hours of book reading, iPod listening and phone reading we went back to sleep. She woke up at 8am all happy and ready for breakie. Last night she woke up briefly crying around 3am and went back to sleep very quickly. I barely registered the cry and went back to sleep.
Hitting – another common trait. When we are holding her, or she is close to our face, she will hit or pull our face. We also have a dog and have introduced the ‘gentle’ hand movement to help her understand not to pull the dog’s ears, feet or poke her eyes out. However she’s getting stronger and finds its a fun game to hit us.
Researched opinion says to grab both her hands, say ‘no’ firmly, and let go gently. This can be followed by gentle stroking on her while repeating the word ‘gentle’ or ‘ soft’. We have to be mindful of our reaction as well. For her, it’s a game; for us, it’s a serious issue. We have to play it straight and firm. If it continues, and it will, we need to put her down, say no and ignore her for about 1 minute (which they hate) coming back and doing the gentle demonstration again.
So far, we’ve got a result on two nights of ignoring the cries, as the Faux-Husband said (quoting a book) ‘Parenting is not for cowards’. The hitting issue will be as it occurs.