Thursday, March 01, 2007

shhhh....

After several nights of constant waking (Kayla has gotten into the habit of waking up 4-5 times a night and only one of those times is to actually eat) I woke up this morning determined to hopefully put an end to it.

How do I do that? you might ask. I poured through all my parenting books this morning searching for an answer. I came across the 4 S method in Baby Whisperer. It stands for:

  1. Setting the stage
  2. Swaddling
  3. Sitting
  4. Shush-pat

So according to this book, Roland and I have been doing it all wrong. When I read that I was concerned and a bit ashamed. Was I a bad mother?

Since coming home from the hospital, we've stopped swaddling Kayla because we thought she didn't like it - she kept wiggling herself out of the blanket so we took this as a sign that she preferred to be free. Little did we know that, in fact, being unswaddled was contributing to her sleep problems.

Next, we were constantly rocking, walking, bouncing Kayla to try to get her to sleep. Apparently that's wrong too! (Hence the "sitting" part). Then I read about the shush-pat trick. Basically it's exactly as it sounds - you make a "shhhh..." noise as you pat her back to calm her down and prepare for sleep.

Of course I was skeptical, but I decided to try today. What else did I have to lose. So today, all day, rather than walk around the house with Kalya in my arms to sleep, I took her to her bedroom and "shush-pat" her until she was sleepy. So what's the difference you ask... well normally it would take me an hour of walking around the house to get her to nap, "shush-patting" her cut that time to 20 minutes, plus she stayed asleep for 1 1/2 hours where previously she was napping only 45 minutes max.

This amazed me. I had more free time to myself to take a nap, get some chores done, and play with my poor neglected doggie! So, I plan to try this out for a good week or so and see how it goes, but I'm quite happy about the outcome today at least. More on the one-week results to come.

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