WORDS OF WIS­DOM

PAR­ENTS WHO SUR­VIVED THE FIRST YEAR SHARE WHAT WORKED – AND WHAT DIDN’T

Little Treasures - - SLEEP -

“OUR BABY WAS A TRICKY SLEEPER. SHE FED FRE­QUENTLY IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS, WAK­ING OF­TEN IN THE NIGHT, AND WOULD GEN­ER­ALLY ONLY GO TO SLEEP WHILE FEED­ING. SHE DIDN’T SLEEP MUCH DUR­ING THE DAY EI­THER. SHE VOMITED THE ONE TIME WE TRIED CRY­ING IT OUT, SO WE DID NOT PER­SIST. IF WE HAD OUR TIME OVER WE WOULD TRY THE WAK­ING-SELF SET­TLE ROU­TINE.” MARK, AUCK­LAND

“We liked to fol­low a pat­tern of feed – play/awake – sleep. I didn’t tend to feed her to sleep and opted for putting her down when still awake. She would have all her day sleeps in a Moses bas­ket in the lounge. If we heard her cry out af­ter a short sleep we wouldn’t im­me­di­ately go and get her up as some­times she would set­tle her­self or if we did need to set­tle her we wouldn’t make eye con­tact and do some shush­ing and pat­ting with­out pick­ing her up.” Shirley, Auck­land

“I WAS SUR­PRISED AT HOW EMO­TIONAL I WOULD GET OVER THIS STUFF. MY BOYFRIEND THOUGHT WE SHOULD LEAVE THE BABY TO CRY MORE, WHEREAS I AL­WAYS FELT VERY POW­ER­FULLY DRAWN TO PICK HIM UP OR FEED HIM WHEN HE CRIED. I RE­ALLY LIKED THIS AD­VICE ON KELLY MOM, WHERE THEY SAY NOT TO BEAT YOUR­SELF UP ABOUT YOUR BABY NOT SLEEP­ING OR TREAT IT AS A MED­I­CAL PROB­LEM, THAT IF YOUR BABY WANTS TO KEEP NIGHT FEED­ING BEYOND WHEN THERE’S A NU­TRI­TIONAL NEED, GO FOR IT, AND THAT THEY’LL START SLEEP­ING THROUGH IN THEIR OWN TIME, EVEN­TU­ALLY.” ROSE, AUCK­LAND

“We never did the ‘cry it out’ thing, I’m way too much of a softy. When she was lit­tle I used to nurse her to sleep in the rock­ing chair and we’d sing to her (poor kid). Then as she got older we used to give her a cud­dle/bit of a dance to mu­sic or rock her in the chair. We al­ways have a bath and then sto­ries be­fore bed as a rou­tine. Once she was weaned, she slept through the night. Be­fore that she would wake up about twice a night for a feed. For our new boy we are hop­ing to try the ‘put down in the bed when he is drowsy’ thing and let him go to sleep by him­self but we’ll see how we go. Lis­ten to your baby in terms of sleep cues and their per­son­al­ity. All ba­bies are dif­fer­ent and sleep dif­fer­ently. Don’t com­pare how your kid is sleep­ing to oth­ers. En­joy this stage. They are only so lit­tle once and you are do­ing a great job help­ing them grow and de­velop even if you are tired.” Kirsty, Waikato

“TRUST YOUR IN­TU­ITION AS A MOTHER. IF A BABY IS SLEEP­ING AND GROW­ING NOR­MALLY, WHY WOULD YOU WAKE THEM? MOST IM­POR­TANT IS THAT HOW­EVER THEY GET TO SLEEP IS THE WAY THEY AL­WAYS WANT TO GO TO SLEEP. I WOULD DEF­I­NITELY SUG­GEST KEEP­ING A LOG­BOOK OF FEED­ING, CHANG­ING AND SLEEP­ING. THE PAT­TERN WILL RE­ALLY HELP TO ES­TAB­LISH A ROU­TINE THAT FITS WITH YOUR BABY’S NAT­U­RAL RHYTHM. I FED MY BA­BIES UN­TIL THEY WERE SLEEPY BUT NOT ASLEEP TO GET AROUND CRY­ING IT OUT – THIS SEEMED TO WORK A TREAT.” ALEXIS, BAY OF PLENTY

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