Sleep Training Your Second Child

Assya is 8 and a half months old.
She sleeps in her cot, next to our bed.
Many times, she takes her naps in her stroller.

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When Zoard was this age, we lived in a hotel and we had to be quiet, not to disturb the guests. I did his sleep training when he was about 10 months older than Assya is now and it was horrible. He slept on a mattress and I had to prevent him of getting out of bed by laying down on the floor, in a certain pose. I remember, he pulled my hair so hard, I had to wear a hoodie when I was doing his sleep training. He was strong and furious. And he could already talk a bit and my heart and soul fought a battle through out those days.

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For a year and a half, Zoard could only fall asleep with the help of my breasts. If I tried moving away from him, he would wake up. This picture, you see here, is Assya. She is being exclusively breastfed but she has a very different relationship to nursing, compared to her brother. “Nene” – as she calls it, is about eating/drinking and that is about it.

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When she is in her stroller, she turns her head to the side and you can easily tell, she is about to fall asleep.

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Since Assya can stand up, you cannot just put her down to sleep and hum a few melodies. She kept standing up so one had to put her back on her tummy and pat her bum until she would close her eyes. This ritual got longer and longer.

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO START SLEEP TRAINING?

I am sure that there is never a perfect time to do this.

Zoard just started kindergarten again, after a month of summer break.
Sad things happened in our family.
I started getting low moods.

I still wished to start Assya’s sleep training, because I knew that putting it off will just make it worse.

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Our sleep training went like this:

Get support.
Keep telling yourself that it will be super emotional (bad) and it will only get better, later IF you do not give up!
You can promise yourself a reward for each battle.

It was NIGHT time when we started the sleep training.
Here is our bed time routine:
Bath
Breast (not letting your baby fall asleep while nursing is key here)
Bag (sleeping bag)
Blinds (to make the room dark)

The first time lasted for 160 minutes!
Assya had red, swollen eyes the following day from crying so much.

During the sleep training, I had to hold her down to prevent her from standing up.

The second time lasted for 90 minutes.

I stayed at home for nap times to practice more!

A few times I got lucky because she was so tired, that she fell asleep right away.

Today is the 5th day and it took me 20 minutes to put Assya down for a nap. She does not cry any more.

Breast, Bag, Blinds

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So more specifically what we did was:

My husband entertained Zoard while I was in our bedroom with Assya. He also cooked for me as he most often does. Sometimes, we switched and I read to Zoard while he was in the bedroom with Assya (for example, when it was 2 and a half hours long to help Assya fall asleep).

I always tell Assya that it is going to be “sleepy, sleepy time”.
She lets me put on her sleeping sack and we make the room dark. She starts nursing and I sing rock-a-bye baby to her.

I put her in her cot, on her tummy. That is how she sleeps.

When we started the training, I stroked her back or patted her bum if it made her calm down. (Sometimes it did not. For example, stroking her head made her more hysterical.)

Now, I just put her down and I start humming while I lay down close to her. Then I move farther away, I sit on the floor or our bed.

I move again, so she does not get used to me being in one place.

I move close to the door. I keep humming.

I go out and either I continue humming or I stop.

At half time of her nap, she woke up yesterday and today (meaning: after 50-60 minutes) so I went back to the room. I stroked her twice and started the humming and moving farther away from her.
I noticed: she does not get up to stand up anymore. She just needs time to let her eyelids get heavier and heavier…

THANK YOU AND PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT.

On Instagram: @zoardandassya

 

 

 

 

Weekend Photo Challenge : /Week 1/ Cuddly And More…

I am trying to do this the right way.  Sarah even sent me a print screen of how this should look like. Sarah’s blog is http://journey2dfuture.wordpress.com/ and that is where I read about the photo challenge which will go on for 8 weeks. 

I am not so good at following rules but at the same time I like to take it seriously when others initiate a game. Playfulness is important for me. And though I never really belonged to a community or a group of people it is something I desire.

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I was very happy to read the themes for this project. Cuddling is the title for this Saturday. I am in LOVE with my boys and moments as such are very precious to me.

OK. Where is the twist?

I am not sure whether I am supposed to stop at this point or not… I would like to share other things I did this morning…

I researched on a couple of things.
One was a question I had about a facial expression that Zoárd picked up a couple of days ago. Now I know that it is called scrunching.

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We found this cute and funny but as a psychologist I tend to be analytical at times: I started to think what if something is bothering him.  It was hard to find info on this because I thought sniffing might be a good keyword…

Next. 
If you want to see very cool people who tried to copy childhood pictures and poses you will love this collection: http://imgur.com/a/e0iIj

What else did I do? We are a bit indecisive on how to create a free space for Zoárd in our hotel room where we live in.

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The floor might be an excellent quality but it rubs your skin off if you happen to be a commando type of crawler. (I just looked up the term! Babies who drag themselves forward with their arms while their belly is on the floor. This was my side note. HAHA)

I am trying to put our few soft belongings on the floor to protect Zoárd but this is the second day we are experimenting with this because I know that it is not ideal.

If you are wondering why there is a hug bag bundle next to Zoárd on the picture… Housekeeping does our laundry (except for our beloved cloth diapers) and I let Zoárd play with it supervised. Is it dumb to let his little fingers get used to touching bags which are a source of hazard? 

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Next topic! 
We live in a five star hotel but I haven’t used its spa since we came back to the island. I only leave Zoárd with his daddy after 5 for an hour when I use the gym. So my only chance would be to ask for someone to come up to our room from the spa at nap time… I tried twice now but the spa was always busy and we do not believe in flashing the wild card: “I am your boss’s wife!”.

I am really bad at doing things that involve being good with your hands but I managed to paint my nails after a year of not having nail polish on. This calls for a celebration! Right?!

PS: many times I order thin noodles with scrambled eggs and tomatoes. That is what you can see on my plate. What?! What would You order from the kitchen if you were a picky vegetarian?!

Before I finish this post. Since I think this turned out to be a baby related post… I have a question. 

Is it OK to let a baby play with your tennis shoes? No, not a brand new pair…