It’s been just over a week since we had our first phone consultation with the baby sleep consultant. And I don’t mean to brag but the last 7 nights in a row Baby Mac has slept for 12 hours!!! I almost can’t believe how quickly things have changed. Now I’m not saying that it’s been a piece of cake. It certainly has been hard going at times and I have had a couple of moments when I simply wanted to give up even if it did mean that I would be rocking the kid to sleep until he’s 30! (We’d need to get a bigger rocking chair!)
We agreed with the baby sleep consultant that we wouldn’t share the full ‘sleep plan’ but the key changes we have made are:
- Adding a 30 minute ‘cat nap’ to our morning routine. Sleep promotes sleep and he simply wasn’t getting enough. By bedtime he was overtired, cranky and impossible to settle without at least half an hour of rocking.
- Making sure he is getting enough magnesium in his diet – lots of magnesium rich foods, like spinach, in his meals and Epsom Salt in the bath.
- Having a consistent ‘wind down’ routine before naps and night time. Stories, smiles, cuddles, kisses – a lovely, relaxing time with Mum or Dad.
- Now here’s the one that I believe has made the biggest difference (and been the absolute hardest to stick to): giving him the opportunity to put himself back to sleep. It sounds so simple when you say it out loud but from the moment we bought our squishy little bundle home we got in to the habit of jumping up and grabbing him the moment he made a peep. But I have to say: I don’t regret for a moment doing that when he was little. A baby’s cry is somehow tuned to make Mum go a little crazy when she hears it so to quickly silence that cry was always a natural reaction. But I now realise that sometimes I was picking him up before he was even awake! Now we set a timer to help us wait before picking him up. 9 times out of 10 he is asleep again before the timer is up.
- Not getting him out of bed the minute he wakes up (we used to average 5:30am!) 6:50am is now the time we start our day in the Mac household.
And that, my friends, is it! Nothing earth-shattering or mind-blowing. No secret tricks or amazing tips. Nothing different to what parents have been doing around the world for decades. But it took a professional (a professional who was emotionally removed from the situation and our family) to help us see where we were getting things a little wrong. I am under no illusion that all of our sleep issues are resolved. We will have ups and downs (teething, illness, travel) and we may need more professional insight or we may simply get better at figuring things out on our own. But for now, all is right again in the world.
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This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I understand that not everyone would consider using a baby sleep consultant and that is a-okay with me. And as always, I am in no way any kind of parenting, baby, breastfeeding, fitness, nutrition or healthcare professional. I am simply giving my thoughts and views. x