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Experiences at baby sleep school: Part two

Monday Night –

What fresh hell is this?

-Dorothy Parker

Our room. It was either this or a picture of a crying baby.
Our room. It was either this or a picture of a crying baby.

Last night wasn’t fun. Actually it was an atrocity. At bedtime the nurse and I decided to bite the bullet and change to Comfort Settling, given that Hands-on settling hadn’t worked so well during the day. We suspect it didn’t work because of Rosie’s age, and her alertness, which enable her to understand just enough of the process to know that she doesn’t like it, but not quite enough to understand why we need to persevere (and I can’t fathom that concept at some moments, either. She’s smart but it’s a big concept to grasp.) Rosie settled after decent equal measures of screaming and patting. I’d settle her by “shushing” her and patting her bottom rhythmically, then when she calmed, I’d walk out of the nursery. When her screams became elevated, I’d go in and repeat. It took countless repetitions but she finally fell asleep on her own, grizzling, at around 7pm. It took around 90 minutes for her to get to sleep. This process isn’t for the faint-hearted. I was exhausted. Something happens to your body when you’re sleep deprived. As a survival mechanism, your body releases cortisol. This chemical makes you alert, and you find it very difficult to fall asleep. Last night I was tucked in to bed at 7.30pm but didn’t fall asleep until after ten. Rosie awoke at 11-ish and in the dark, I stumbled into the nursery on auto-pilot, sat in the chair (which, to be fair, is quite similar to the club chair we have in our nursery at home), picked her up and breastfed her, still half asleep. She fell asleep and I popped her back in the cot asleep. Bit of a no-no, but hey, you win some, you lose some. Then she didn’t wake again until 2am when she cried for an hour and a half of painful, ear piercing screeching during responsive settling before being breastfed back to sleep. Square one. I returned to bed disillusioned and disappointed. This was too hard. All that crying felt like it was for nothing. Settling methods: hands on comfort Find our what happened next.

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